$15 million available to pay your rent

1. Tom Williams reported there was a meeting with mayors, county directors, community development and solid waste personnel.  Meeting was to provide county contacts to mayors and to open communication lines.  

2. Matt Lundy discussed the continued elevated numbers of county residents with mental health and addiction issues.  This should come as no surprise.  It would be helpful to know exactly what LCADA Way, MHARS Board and Nord Center are doing to address these issues.  In speaking with the former director of MHARS Board several months ago, there is no centralized record keeping of overdoses, deaths from suicide, etc. 

3. Michelle Hung reported that Lorain County Storm Water acquired 59.2 acres south of Lorain Rd. on Rt. 83 for a retention basin project.  The cost of the property was $295,000.  Michelle sits on the board for Lorain County Storm Water.  

4. Dave Moore reported that Gary Gibbs was recently hired as the Convention and Tourism Director.  Possible programming includes a return of the air show next July.  Mr. Gibbs will be looking into establishing a county convention center. 

The commissioners are accepting applications for various county board positions.  

A county crisis center may be established within the next 12 months (Previous county administrators have been discussing this for the last 10 years).  MHARS and the Nord Center will be involved in developing the crisis center along with county hospitals and other stakeholders.

Dave brought up the recent Chronicle Telegram (CT) hit piece on Tom Williams and Tom’s 2014 emails in retaliation for reporting Sharon Sweda’s emails.  The latter lead the Secretary of State to deny Sweda a seat on the Board of Elections – and the decision was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court.  

Dave talked about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program which has about $15 million to be distributed to tenants in the county.  Obviously, assisting tenants to stay in their homes is beneficial to landlords.  Dave just happens to have rental real estate…..so…..what does the CT do?  The CT has requested a list of all landlords receiving these funds and Dave believes another hit piece will be written which will include what amount of funding he has received through tenants.  Dave noted that by asking for this information, the CT might discourage landlords from participating as they may not want their names in the newspaper.  If this happens, the landlords and the tenants will be hurt and any unused funds will need to be returned to the Federal government – and, for what end?

In the meantime, Dave wondered why the CT has not looked into the shenanigans surrounding deleted emails and laptops that were destroyed during the prior administration.  This revelation was made during the Feb. 17 commissioner meeting – we have not viewed that meeting and cannot provide additional detail at the moment.  

The commissioners voted to go into Executive session to discuss personnel issues, employment and new hires and pending litigation.  Session lasted for about 45 minutes.

(Note: This is a report about the Lorain County Commissioners Meeting on May 26, 2021.)