It was a great thing to see Mayor Franklin and Director Cantalamessa come before the Warren Neighborhood Leadership Council to assure them that the Moving Ohio Forward / ''AG Settlement" demolition funds would not go to waste. It seems like the administration is on task and moving forward to take down as many vacant homes as they can.
It was sad to see the mayor continue to take the blame for the failings of Warren's community development director. Nobody is talking as to why exactly this process was seemingly aborted last fall, and I guess now that the mayor is taking that bullet, no explanations will be publicly offered. That's fine, I guess, but it sure seems like perhaps the problem has been moved to the sidelines, only to resurface again as it always does.
When asked who would be tasked with making sure that everything now moves smoothly, Mayor Franklin named Director Cantalamessa as a manager in this. Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership was named as a partner. One person from the county was named as an overseer and two staffers of Warren's Community Development office were named as the two who will be doing the heavy lifting.
It sure was refreshing to hear that what seems like a last-minute team has been assembled to get a lot of demolitions done in a short time.
It was striking that the mayor did not mention Director Keys as a member of this team or as a part of this process. I mean, this is ultimately happening in his department, correct? Even though he tried to quietly sit in the audience at the start of this meeting, does he not have a role in this process? Does he not bear some responsibility to the citizenry of Warren to ensure that these demolitions get done?
He sure didn't seem to during this WNLC council, when he sat there and let the mayor again take responsibility for his department's failings.
I can only hope that behind the scenes an accounting was held. For a city like Warren, the community development office is very important because, quite frankly, were it not for grants and federal money from Heaven, things would be less smooth here than they already are.
It is becoming more and more evident that the administration is repeatedly forced to find ways to work around Mike Keys because making him work is just too hard. When everything bad that shakes down - from Sunshine to WRAP to the AG settlement demo delay - has a common denominator of Mike Keys, you have to wonder how much longer his bosses will take the heat for him while he keeps trying to sit quietly in the audience.