Spring is Here !

Spring is finally here! That being said, with Cleveland’s weather we could still get a snow storm or two. So, don’t relax, yet.

As I reported last month, the potholes are popping up like dandelions in the Spring.  Drive cautiously.  Any road repair issues please call them into (216) 664-2510. Don’t assume that someone else has turned in the road hazard. Be proactive.

On the issue of road repair, you may have been reading about the ongoing controversy surrounding the City of Cleveland’s Residential Street Resurfacing program.  The City has implemented a repair program based off of an outside consultant’s study where they are allegedly targeting the “the worst-first “streets in the city for resurfacing. I have publicly questioned the accuracy of that report. I find it intriguing and suspect that virtually the same wards for the last three years seem to have the worst number of streets. How could that be? Yet, I know, that those are the same wards, for the most part, in the past, where councilmembers allegedly traded their resurfacing funds. So, those councilmembers and their wards, ours being one of them, who played by the rules, are now receiving less funds to upgrade their residential streets.   

This in turn, impacts the citywide sidewalk replacement program, as well.  So, the wards that receive the most resurfacing funds through this new so-called visionary plan, then receives the most sidewalk replacement dollars. Had I and our citizens been told in advance that with the passage of Issue 32 in 2016, the City’s income tax increase, the Administration would create “winners and losers” with regards to street resurfacing and the replacement of dangerous sidewalks, I would have never supported Issue 32, nor would the overwhelming majority of our residents. I am sure of that. All we have ever asked for is fairness and equity in the distribution of capital dollars and city services.  That, obviously, is not happening and you can see it in the condition of our streets throughout the city.

You have all heard the saying, “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.” Here is the complete opposite of that – the system is broken and must be fixed if we are to address deteriorating streets in our city.  Watch for future updates.  In the meantime, you can also call all bad road conditions into the Mayor’s Action Center at (216) 664-2900.

As I have reported to you before, our community and this councilman over the years has taken a very strong position against criminal activity especially the perpetrators of violent crime.  On Wednesday, March 13 through Friday, March 15, 2019 the U.S. Attorney’s office, the DEA, 5th District Police, U.S. Marshall’s Office, Euclid Police, and other Law Enforcement Agencies including departments out of Lake County, conducted massive raids throughout the northeast side of the city including the surrounding suburbs and into Lake County. The raids came after twenty-two individuals were indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury pertaining to the dealing and distribution of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.

The gang’s leader, out of Cleveland’s Ward 1, on the city‘s southeast side, referred to themselves as the “Grovewood Boys.” I don’t have to tell you how troubling that was to hear, since several of them, unfortunately, trace their roots back to Grovewood Avenue between Lakeshore Boulevard and East 156 Street.  As of this writing, a few of these “rats” are still on the run with U.S. Marshalls in active pursuit. These individuals, which included several women, could only be described as “Merchants and Peddlers of Death;” for, their customers, which totaled at last count, over three hundred and many out of Lake County, thought they were buying cocaine and/or heroin to feed their addictions, and in reality were buying drugs laced with high levels of fentanyl and carfentanil, which are extremely deadly.

As of my last briefing, authorities are actively looking at the drug overdoses and deaths in the areas in question to see if any of the drugs sold by these individuals, could be linked to any of the victims. Thus, if they can, additional charges will be forthcoming.

What is so critical in this case, is that a great deal of the information used to build these cases came directly out of the communities in question. So, when you hear 5th District Commander, Sammy Morris, and myself at neighborhood gatherings say “If you see something or know something - say something” – it does and will make a difference.  I know, firsthand, that residents are reluctant to turn in critical information for fear of the unknown; however, when you do your civic duty and turn this information into the proper authorities, your name is not given out and your help goes a long way in cleaning up our neighborhood.   

I can say without any fear of contradiction that several of the individuals arrested, and the information surrounding them, came into my office from concerned neighbors, who made it very clear, that they were not going to live by drug dealers and/or violent criminals. Let’s step back for a moment, if we all do our part, pay attention and turn things in when your gut tells you that something is not right, what a difference it would make throughout our community.  A community is only as good as those who live in it and care about it. Let’s continue to set the tone throughout Cleveland’s eastside that we will not tolerate criminal activity in our ward. Please join with me in sending that message and making our greater community the best it can be.

Watch for announcements as it pertains to neighborhood events and activities.  This year, 2019, is going to be a busy and exciting year for our community. 

As always, any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call me.  I may be reached at the office at (216) 664-4236 or by email at mpolensek@clevelandcitycouncil.org.

Sincerely yours,

Michael D. Polensek

Read More on Councilman Update
Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 2:55 PM, 03.30.2019