Comprehensive Plan Community Survey Results & Unreported Planning Commission Meetings, Discussing 15 Story Buildings.....
October 10, 2018
While we in the community have been attending meeting after meeting organized by Envisions Group principles , Emil Liszniansky and Ryan Smalley Madeira Planning Commission members and other city officials have been quietly meeting with developers and business development companies creating "hypothetical" plans that would change the makeup of our community. The first "hypothetical" plan would be redevelopment of our Kroger Store site. The plan calls for a three story building, with 260,000 SF of floor area. There is no mention regarding where our Kroger Store would be. Councilman Hilberg is part owner of the Kroger property. Click on to the blue button above.
Picture bottom, two of the six residents in attendance listen intently
Above photo, residents in attendance at second forum welcome from Mayor Theis
Below left, Ryan Smalley, Envision principal
Below right, Emil Liszniansky Envision Principal
City Council Members 2020
Madeira City Council Passes Estimated Budget for 2018-2019, City Manager Estimates Revenue On Low Side....
Envisions Group, Suggesting Purchase of Councilman's Railroad Avenue Property...
December 3, 2018
Comprehensive Plan Forum number four was held on November 27th at Madeira High School. Prior to Forum number four the Envision Group was suggesting that our city should create 'The Madeira Community Improvement Corporation which would facilitate the acquisition, assemblage, and holding of multiple Real Estate parcels for future development". The Envisions Group has now lost most if not all credibility. These two suggestions are proof that the November earnings tax defeat was "justifiable". The huge earnings tax increase had many purposes, road repairs was only a small part. Indeed we now know that our city council members were discussing their plans for acquisition of Councilman Hilbergs Railroad Avenue property, for an "Ice Rink", a secret well kept until this week., after the earning tax defeat. City Council was expecting a different November outcome.
City of Madeira allowed B&B Mower "Showroom" to be built illegally on city right of way, (red dot) all city officials untruthful, saying that electric pole and lines (green dot) were improperly installed over top of B&B showroom. Click onto blue button.
Envisions Group recommending acquisition of Councilman Hilberg (Edgewood) property, for Ice Rink.
The results of at least a dozen community meetings, surveys, steering committee meetings, sub committee meetings, and another half dozen or more presentations, we have an outcome. The outcome at this point is represented on three posters currently located in the lobby of Madeira City Hall, and posted on this page for your convenience. It is difficult to imagine that the consultants from"Envision Group" would need any additional meetings before presenting their conclusions and suggestions. The Envisions Group will be paid approximately $100,000.00 by Madeira Tax Payers, for their services. The number one concern expressed by Madeira residents has been a lack of parking thru out downtown Madeira.
Getting around our community via sidewalks is another concern expressed by Madeira residents, along with some cosmetic improvements in downtown Madeira. For many in attendance at the various public forums, continuing to have family, and children friendly activities and places to visit appeared to be most important. One Madeira father at the most recent public forum held at Madeira High School summed it up, "the number one draw in Madeira is the school district, so why wouldn't we plan activities and places friendly to our children" . This same father stated that many of the capital projects suggested would not be appropriate and would be costly.
It has also been discovered that Madeira already is experiencing walkability, witnessed on any weekend morning. It appears that Madeira is a "morning community", Moms, Dads, small children walking with their parents, and an endless parade of baby strollers, mostly weekends but also on many week days. This may explain why there are at least seven Madeira establishments where residents can have a cup of coffee or other beverage, and an assortment of various eateries, from Bagels to an entire breakfast, all in downtown Madeira on Miami Avenue. Then there is the number one breakfast location in greater Cincinnati, Madeira First Watch Café at Montgomery and Hosbrook Road, in our other Madeira business community.
There are also suggestions of "slowing traffic" through our downtown business district. The question is asked if Madeira residents would object to spending more time driving through Madeira, on Miami Avenue between Euclid and Camargo Road. Miami Avenue (photo below) on a typical Saturday evening at 7:30 PM, explains why Madeira is a morning community and why traffic is not always congested. More Coming.... Story to be continued.
Madeira (2019) Comprehensive Plan Decision Matrix, Includes ROI, April 15, March 29, 2019. Final Draft Will Be Discussed at April 9, 2019 Public Meeting. >>>>>>>>>>> Red Button
Mayor Traci Bayer Theis, Vice Mayor Spencer and Councilman Mueller Study Turning Nelle Hosbrook Bird Sanctuary Into "Dog Park", Good Idea?
June 10, 2018
Click blue button above and scroll to Parks and Recreation Committee Report.
Comprehensive Plan Review, August 2018
August 1, 2018
Updated September 2, 2018
More Collusion ?, Relieving Vacant B&B Mower Property Owners & Developer of Financial responsibility, Challenged !
March 16, 2018
Madeira Comprehensive Plan, Forum Number Two Now in the History Books...
May 22, 2018
Attendance far exceeded the first forum and resident participation was brisk. The facts beginning with an explanation of the entire purpose and objectives were presented at the forum by Envision principles Emil Liszniansky and Ryan Smalley. It was stated that more than 500 surveys have been completed with Public Schools as the top Madeira Community draw. The process is still in phase one of four phases, the last will be recommendations and implementation. Emil and Ryan were suggesting that Comprehensive Plans should be updated every ten years. More will be written this week from tonight's meeting.
Madeira Goes on Defense Attempting to Explain Their Disrespect For Open Meetings Law...
July 15, 2018
Madeira City Manager Thomas Moeller, needed an entire page in the current Madeira city newsletter in an effort to defend secret deliberations of various Madeira City Commissions, and discourage residents from supporting proposed city charter amendments. Secret Madeira Planning Commission and BZA deliberations violate section 121.22 of Ohio Open Meetings Act. Madeira city council spent $43,000.00 of Madeira tax payers money concealing violations in 2013, (Horwitz vs. Madeira, Blue Button Above), today our city council members have continued their bad practices. The integrity of our Law Director is questionable when providing council with bogus case law, as a pretense allowing city council and city commissions, to make decisions behind closed doors. The $43,000.00 payout in 2013 was no deterrent, our council members continue thumbing their seven collective noses at Ohio Law. See details above posted above on blue button. We can fix this problem, vote for proposed charter amendment this November.
Left, Council Member Tom Henning, Law & Safety Committee Chair.
Right, Council Member Brian Mueller
Parks & Recreation Chair & Budget
and Finance Chair.
Left, Council Member Doug Moorman
Economic Development Chair, Mr. Moorman was not elected, but was appointed when Mr. Luther resigned.
Right, Council Member, Vice Mayor
Administration and Personal
Madeira Council, "No" Fiscal Conservatives.... ……….
June 8, 2018
Updated June 9, 2018
Madeira City Council is imposing a 3% tax on every Kenwood Country Club Member and asking Madeira voters to increase the Madeira Earnings tax rate, see details posted on blue button, (click on). This is a free for all, at City Hall, every conceivable way of imposing higher tax's is under consideration. This writer doesn't dispute the need for some increased revenue and the need to address specific needs in our community, but that's not what this is about. This is about creating a substantial war chest, of 1.2 Mllion, allowing for the possibility of irresponsible spending in our community. Our City Council members don't get it, "its not Their Money". Until now Madeira was known for fiscal responsibility, not sure today.
First Step Completed, Council Passes First Reading of Ordinance # 18-07...
June 17, 2018
At the June 1st Budget and Finance Committee meeting Councilman Gehring made note that two of the three committee members are Democrats but that as a Republican, he also is supportive of both the 3 % Admissions tax imposed on every member of the Kenwood Country Club and the Earnings Tax Increase. In this instance there was no difference, all three committee members were in lock step. It looks a lot like a decision that would be reached in Washington DC, never before in Madeira. Does the word Socialism ring a bell. Kenwood Country Club members, many of whom reside in Madeira are, without any representation. City Council members at the June 11th City Council meeting stated that the Ordinance imposing the "Admissions Tax" would be in effect only if Madeira residents approve an increase in the current income tax rate. But in the same breath council passed a first reading of Ordinance number 18-07, imposing the Admissions Tax. The only KCC member serving on council
continued next column...….
The second Madeira location that could be the subject of "hypothetical" redevelopment" is our other business district, at the corner of Hosbrook and Montgomery Roads. This includes Chuy's , First Watch, Jimmy Johns, Gigi"s Cup Cakes, Penn Station, Half Price Books, Hoppin' Vines Tap House and Wine Bar (coming soon) in addition to several other Madeira businesses. The "hypothetical" redevelopment plan for this area would require rezoning, allowing for a Five (5) story building built on the existing 4.9 acres, yielding 370,000 SF of floor space. Madeira planning commission members suggested that Neyer Properties might be interested in this "hypothetical" project. Douglas Moorman, Madeira resident, planning Commission member and chairman of the advisory Steering Committee, by all accounts is the thrust behind the "hypothetical" redevelopment planning. There will be questions asked regarding possible ethics violations when planning commission members met with developers and consultants. There are names listed in emails included in this posting. The messenger is waiting for confirmation of what city officials attended the meetings and did the city announce the meetings in advance, as required. Mr. Moorman is a principle with the firm, Development Strategies Group LLC. The firm has a long list of services that they provide, their bio is posted on the Blue Button above . It appears that Mr. Moorman and the Envisions Group are "lobbying" in Columbus in an effort to influence the outcome of H.B. Number 469, giving a big lift to 3 and 15 story construction in Madeira. The messenger has been made aware of Moorman's previous ethics violations, and our community must be certain that there are no current ethics concerns.
Below, left current Madeira Kroger site owned in part by Councilman Hilberg. Below right, Madeira retail center located at Hosbrook and Montgomery Road, Chuy's, First Watch, Gigi's, Jimmy Johns, Chipotle, Former TGIF, Etc.
April 22, 2018
The City of Madeira accepted the proposal submitted by the Envision Group LLC, but the potential for corruption is already setting in, begging the question, what are the real objectives of the "comprehensive plan"? Is this just another part of the ongoing Swingline Grill Saga or is this a sincere effort for planning the future of our community? After sitting through the April 16th Madeira Planning Commission meeting I am of the opinion that this $100,000.00 expenditure is more of an effort to use a legitimate business plan to achieve the personal objectives of former Mayor Adrien, current Mayor Theis and Vice Mayor Spencer. Keep in mind that Adrien hand picked the new inexperienced six members of our planning commission. Adrien gutted the previous experienced, mature planning commission.
Potential signs of corruption in the process are already beginning to surface, beginning with the appointment of a "Steering Committee". Included in the comprehensive plan was the directive "Envision will facilitate five (5) meetings with a Steering Committee comprised of City Staff; local organizations, institutions and business; and regional agency partners" Adrien had a different idea, explaining that her new planning commission recruits would be better suited serving as the Steering Committee, in spite of advice to the contrary. "Everyone sitting here on planning commission are new, I have been on council for six and a half years, have the history, but have never served on planning commission before". " We purposely picked everyone on planning commission because we were engaging in the process (comprehensive plan) immediately, so I would be immensely comfortable that every planning commission member should be on the steering committee, but would agree that adding some others would be a useful thing because we don't represent the whole community, stake holders in the community". This quote from Adrien may explain the importance of the "special election" , pursing the previous planning commission members. The actions of city council and planning commission will be watched very closely as the process is moved forward.
Proposed Charter Amendment Stops Abuse of Executive Sessions, City Council Wasted $43,000 Of Tax Payers Money Concealing Sunshine and Open Meetings Violations...
January 19, 2017
Updated May 26, 2018
Horwitz V. Madeira, (Blue button above) cost Madeira Tax Payers more than $43,000.00. You would think that wasting $43,000.00 would be a wake up call, but quite to the contrary, our council has continued to meet in inappropriate executive sessions, closed to the public, at nearly every council meeting. The Proposed Charter Amendment, (Red button above) will assure that public issues and information will be discussed in public, and records of what is public will be maintained and available to the public. City Council will be required to submit the proposed Charter Amendment to the electors at this years November Election. It is unlikely that our council members will support this proposed Charter Amendment, after all the amendment takes away their ability to secretly discuss public matters, and will end Planning Commission and BZA deliberations, in secret. Putting this amendment on the ballot will require that "we the people" will have to gather signatures on petitions. Help will be needed, many hours will be required, If you would like to assist respond at email@example.com . The proposed amendment (on red button above) will be on the November 2020 General Elections ballot. Go to page 19 for updates, issue will be submitted for 2020 November Ballot.
is Chris Hilberg. Hilberg has said nothing throughout the process in opposition to imposing the Admissions Tax in spite of his membership at the KCC., in fact no Council member has brought up the possibility that the tax may be unfair or that the KCC membership is already contributing substantially and financially to our community, beginning with the $403,984,43 annual real-Estate payment. Much more discussion is needed before imposing this tax on every member of Kenwood Country Club.
Recording of the entire May 9, 2019 public meeting is posted, on Green Button above. Listen to the opinions of your neighbors. Personal Commentary is coming soon. Read Miami Avenue Traffic study application requesting $30,000 Federal Funds, from CDBG Mini Planning Grant, Blue Button above.
City Council "Partners" with Kenwood Country Club , Members Agree to Be Taxed, So Says Council Members...
July 23, 2018
City Council passed Ordinance number 18-07 at this nights City Council meeting by a vote of 6 to 0. Councilman Chris Hilberg did not participate in the discussion or the vote because of his KCC membership. The 3% tax can be increased up to 8% by city council.
It began in the July 23rd Budget and Finance committee meeting ,at 6:30 PM just prior to the City Council meeting. Committee members Spencer, Gehring and Mueller met with city manager Moeller. There agenda included discussing the proposed 3% Admissions Tax, a tax that would be imposed on every Kenwood Country Club member. Moeller had met with representatives from the KCC previously (click on green button above) and conveyed their concerns during the committee meeting. Moeller also provided his interim report to the three council committee members, posted above on the green button.
The committee members agreed to recommend that the tax should not include the initiation fee paid by new KCC members. The KCC representatives meeting with Moeller asked that the initiation fee not be taxed because the fee is used for KCC capital improvements and that the club has 8 or 9 million dollars in debt. Committee member Spencer said that the meeting with KCC represented a "great example of cooperation between private business and city administrators, and that the city will only go after the funds needed".
Justification for imposing the 3% tax included the council opinion that the Golf Course is "undervalued" in respect to real-estate revenue received and services provided by the city to support the golf course property. The law director was instructed to finalize the text in the ordinance and that the "golf course" is subject to the 3% tax on KCC members, and not the "club". Apparently Madeira city council members have committed to approving an increase coming next year from the Madeira-Indian Hill Fire Company expected to be $184,000.00, using the $188,000.00 KCC proceeds from the new "admissions tax" imposed on members of the KCC. Council members were grateful that the club had opened up their books showing that the city would exceed their estimated revenue expectations of only $170,000.00. Mayor Theis acknowledged her gratitude for the KCC good faith.
The KCC representatives, in their meeting with Moeller had asked that city council follow thru on a earlier commitment of imposing the KCC member tax only if Madeira voters approve an increase in the Madeira earnings tax, to be decided this November. In spite of this request from KCC representatives, city council decided that the tax should not be delayed, stating that "a bird in hand" had to be considered, expressing concern that the outcome of the November vote increasing the earnings tax is not certain, but that the KCC tax is a certainty. There was some discussion that if the November vote is not favorable for the city, revisiting the KCC tax rate on members might be in order. Madeira can raise the 3% tax up to 8%. Council members continued expressing their pleasure that the club is a partner with the city, for opening their books, and for accepting the imposition of the 3% member tax. Ordinance Number 18-07 imposing the 3% tax is posted above on the Blue Button.
Tear Down or Rehab....
December 8, 2018
The question is do I tear it down and build, or do I start in the basement and rehab to the second floor? Local Madeira resident and Madeira Planning Commission member Paul Yankie is making a pitch that there are both options. Paul is owner of "Green Building Consultants" located in Downtown Cincinnati and believes that there are many opportunities for salvaging older Madeira Homes, including Tax Abatements. Sometimes construction of large and expensive new homes (tear downs) don't always fit as well as rehabbing existing homes, preserving the character of the neighborhood. And sometimes it just won't be worth salvaging an older existing home.
Paul makes his case, "Dispelling the Myths of a Well Designed Tax Abatement Program" and explains what the Goals would be, "Madeira Goals". When deciding the future of your home consider both options.
Appeals Court Ruling "White Washes" Moeller Wrong Doing, City Council Complicit...
November 3, 2017 Updated
Please Note: Appeals Court Ruling from March 30th is posted on page 11.
Madeira City Manager, Thomas Moeller woke up on the morning of Tuesday April 14, 2017 facing a dilemma, Moeller did not have the Madeira City Council Clerk available to sign an extremely important Ordinance, number 17-06. Every Ordinance and Resolution passed by Madeira City Council must be signed and certified by the council clerk to be valid. Moeller was desperate, the Certified Ordinance had to be at the Hamilton County Board of Elections that day, April 14, 2017, or the Madeira May 2nd "Special Election" would be cancelled............
Madeira City Tax Commissioner & Assistant Treasurer Christy Lowndes, in sworn testimony on April 27, 2017 stated, "I was appointed as the acting clerk (City Council Clerk) Tuesday morning March 14th 2017" She was asked who appointed her as the acting clerk, her answer was " The City Manager ( Thomas Moeller)" She was then asked what authority does Mr. Moeller have to appoint an acting clerk? Christy answered " He is the City Manager" Madeira City Manager Thomas Moeller in his sworn testimony was asked "Ms. Lowndes testified, Is it correct that you appointed her as acting clerk of Council?" Moeller answered " No, I did not appoint her as acting clerk of council" Moeller was then asked "Who did appoint her?" Moeller then answered "Well, the city council approved legislation which designates the assistant treasurer / tax commissioner as the acting clerk inthe absence of the Clerk of Council" Perjury or just very intentional misleading testimony, Perjury. City Manager Moeller immediately delivered the signed copy of ordinance 17-06 to the Hamilton County Board of Elections in effect perpetuating the Madeira City fraud, knowing that the copy of ordinance 17-06 had just been "Falsified" at his (Moellers) direction, a moment of desperation. You can review the full transcripts of Moeller's and Lowndes sworn testimony, go to page 11. Lies, & fraud, covered up by Mayor Adrien, Law Director Brian Fox, Vice Mayor Theis, council members Gehring, Steur, Hilberg, Ashmore, and Spencer, or were they complicit.Why is Moeller still employed as the City Manager of Madeira? The results of the May 2, 2017 election will be decided by either the Hamilton County Appeals Court or the Highest court in our state. The lawsuit is about the "Soul of our Town".
City Council makes decision behind closed doors, in SECRET, results posted on white button above.
Councilman Brian Mueller Makes Pitch for Increased Tax's, Increased Spending...
August 1, 2018
" In July my colleagues and I voted unanimously to place a tax increase proposal on this November's ballot. If the proposal is approved by voters, then the city's earnings tax will increase to 1.25%, (from 1.00%) and the resident earnings tax credit will change to 1.05% (from 0.90% an increase of 0.20%) . Additionally, in July council nearly unanimously passed a 3% admissions tax on membership dues to golf clubs (KCC) ." Council member Chris Hilberg a member of Kenwood Country Club did not participate in any discussion and nor did he cast a vote.
"Combined these changes will generate approximately $1.2 million in annual new revenue to the city. The city currently collects approximately $7.5 Million depending on the year. Recommending that my neighbors and I increase our tax's is not a cavalier decision. Indeed, the city of Madeira has a decades long, good tradition of low tax rates, in general the lowest 20% in the county. However, I believe a priority change is needed at the city level because for too long the city has lived from paycheck to paycheck with no long term savings and by passing on the cost of infrastructure projects to future generations (we are still paying off Kenwood Road construction through 2020). The city should have a better fiscally managed house. The city should afford to install sidewalks when we reconstruct a street, for example".
"Council first researched the need before determining the proposed rate increase. If passed, the new $1.2 million revenue will fund:
-$650k for roads/storm water construction
-$400k for long term capital improvements
-$150k for increasing Fire Department cost
-Bolster rainy day reserve fund by using operating excess revenue in windfall years for savings, instead of late repairs"
"I hope that the proposal (increased tax's) will not be perceived as a change in attitude. Council remains committed to restrained spending and tax's. Indeed, even if the proposal passes will remain one of the lowest municipal tax rate communities and lowest municipal tax rate communities in the county".
You can read Councilman Muellers entire posting on his FB site "Madeira City Council Member Brian Mueller" madeiramessenger.com will work from Mr. Muellers posting in explaining many other Madeira tax and spending decisions made during the past three years.
Left, Council Member Scott Gehring, Public Works
Left, Mayor Nancy Spencer
Right, Council Member Traci Theis
What and Where is The Comprehensive Plan Focus?
April 22, 2018
"At your direction, our team will re-use and adapt any applicable materials from your 2006 land use plan and other previous plans (Central business district concept plan; 2008 Camargo road corridor planning study) while seamlessly integrating recent and ongoing planning efforts (e.g. city council goals/projects prioritization) to efficiently deliver a cohesive and quality product that builds on past/ongoing efforts".
Long Expected Comprehensive Plan, Draft Completed...…
February 20, 2019
At this weeks Planning Commission meeting the long expected Comprehensive Plan Draft was distributed with nearly no discussion, in spite of both Envision Group principles Emil Liszniansky and Ryan Smalley standing at the podium. prepared for questions. This is the nearly finished project that began early in 2018 at a cost of at least $100,000. This report consist of 68 pages and is posted on two red buttons to your right.
March 18, 2019, Madeira Planning Commission meeting. Envisions Group principals discussed the Comprehensive Plan - Discussion Items with Planning Commission members. Madeira residents are encouraged to review the documents posted on the blue button to your right.
April 15, 2019, Final Draft of Comprehensive Plan, discussed at April 15, 2019 Planning Commission meeting. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
First Comprehensive Plan Public Forum Finished in One Hour..
May 16, 2018
The downstairs meeting room at Madeira Silverwood Presbyterian Church was all set for the first Madeira Comprehensive Plan Public Forum. Envision Group Principals Emil Liszniansky and Ryan Smalley were there to present the goals and objectives that are to be expected, including future land use ideas.
Early results from surveys indicate that residents are enticed by the availability of a good school district, a good place to raise a family, and a safe community. Many surveys reflect that residents are pleased that Madeira still has small town characteristics. A brewery or sit down restaurant has been suggested in surveys, boding well for the soon to open "Pub 81 " opening on Camargo Road, and for the potential restaurant replacing the vacant space where Fridays was previously located. Pub 81 will have a combined seating for 135 patrons.
One Forum participant asked about the Steering Committee makeup. It was determined that eight positions have already been filled including the appointment of all seven Madeira Planning Commission Members. Another resident talked about school children and the possibility of a Community Center or other options that might cost less and still provide an outlet for Madeira children. This question brought back memories several years ago when a Parks and Rec . member was to be relieved of his Parks and Rec. position for suggesting a Recreational facility. Mr. Gehring, a member of our city council, was that person.
The next Forum will be held at Madeira Middle School next Tuesday May 22nd beginning at 7 PM. The messenger will have a representative at that forum.