Lake County appears to be moving closer to establishing a
county land bank to help deal with foreclosed and abandoned properties.
Land banks have a mission to accumulate these properties
by various and versatile methods. The property can be held by the county land
bank, tax free, until the land can be put back to productive use.
How times have changed in just a few short years. Not long
ago, many people took on enormous debt convinced they could make money by
flipping or quickly selling the house for a higher price as the demand seem
unsatisfiable. For others, good jobs allowed many homeowners to buy a nice
home, but when the economy tanked, they lost their job and could no longer
afford the mortgage. Others were provided loans that never should have been
But the value of property had never been higher, and now
that all has changed.
Many people have discovered they live in homes with
mortgages higher than what their property is worth.
Suppose you or someone you know lives next to or near an
abandoned property. It’s likely you already know what an eyesore it might be or
perhaps it’s a place that attracts crime. Housing leaders often note that once
one property in a neighborhood is abandoned due to foreclosure it’s often not
long before are as well.
Property values in Lake County are again expected to
accumulatively drop when the county Auditor’s Office finishes property
appraisals this year. That means less tax revenue for local governments, but it
also means many investments people made for their future have taken a hit.
Some properties are now virtually worthless, so much so that
homeowners simply walked away from their mortgage and in many cases the bank
doesn’t want the property because it doesn’t want to pay to maintain the home
The concept of a county land bank is fairly new in Ohio
and has been championed by former Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis
as a way for governments
to tackle the foreclosure crisis that developed in ways never imagined. Land
banks already are in place in Cuyahoga and other counties.
Lake County commissioners asked the county Prosecutor’s
Office to draft the appropriate resolution to create a land bank and after that
action is taken the county treasurer would need to incorporate it.
Geauga Elections Board tie
Look for the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to make a
decision soon on what to do about the tie vote made March 5 by the Geauga
County Elections Board in regards to hiring a deputy director.
The four-member board voted 2-2 to name Chardon
Councilwoman Deborah Reiter
a Democrat, as deputy director. But since a majority vote is required, a tie
vote means it could be up to Husted to break the dispute.
had been the Elections Board director, so Husted ordered
Kimbrew to be the deputy director until the tie was broken.
Reiter was nominated to serve as deputy director by the
two Democratic board members — Janet
, the county party’s chairwoman, and Dennis Pavella
. Board members Edward Ryder
and Dorothy Strange
Reiter’s nomination resulting in the tie vote.
Lake-Geauga County Young Democrats will meet at 6:30 p.m.
April 3 at the Geauga County Democratic Headquarters in Newbury Township.
Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland will attend to share information about
his office and recent events in the county. Membership in the organization is
open to anyone who lives or works in Lake or Geauga counties and is younger
than age 37. “Like” the group’s page on Facebook for more information.
Campaign kickoff for 11th District Court of Appeals Judge Mary Jane Trapp
, 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Thursday at The English Pub in Ravenna. See Mike Apicella.
Continue the Flow fundraiser for Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert Weger
from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Joe Zawatski
Fundraiser for Susan McGuinness
candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 61, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
April 16 at Match Works Tavern in Mentor. See Eddy
or Ray McGuinness
John Arthur Hutchison