EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — East Cleveland City Council members Korean Stevenson and Patricia Blochowiak believe the demolition of a home belonging to Mayor Brandon King raises a series of questions.
According to Cuyahoga City and County records, King secured the Oakhill Road home from the East Cleveland Land Bank for up to $1,000 in 2017, but Stevenson and Blochowiak believe the mayor had no the right to destroy it.
Stevenson told News 5 that she believes King violated the city’s ordinance, which she says requires any home removed from the city’s land bank to be renovated within a year, or the property be returned to the city.
Stevenson said she believes the mayor violated that agreement, that the house should not have been torn down, and that the mayor should have done a better job of keeping the house maintained in this historic neighborhood.
“I couldn’t believe you were going to tear this house down,” Stevenson said. “You get the property, you have a year to fix the property, if you don’t, the property goes back to the city. This property should therefore have become the city again.
“Every homeowner has an obligation to maintain and renovate their home, they didn’t do what they said they were going to do and that’s why we’re here today. demolition, I would ask where the money for it came from, why it was done and why the property did not return to the city.
East Cleveland Councilwoman Patricia Blochowiak told News 5 that the demolition of the house should have been approved by the city council since the house came from the land bank with council approval.
“We should know where the funds are coming from, we should know why this particular demolition company was chosen, we should know if the permitting process was legal,” Blochowiak said. “We should know why this hasn’t been brought to the council.”
News 5 spoke to other owners living in historic homes on Oakhill Road, who did not want to be identified, who said they were disappointed the home had been demolished, despite its poor condition. Owners have raised concerns about property values and having vacant land in the neighborhood.
News 5 made four phone calls to King’s office and his personal cell phone, including leaving a message for his bureau manager. News 5 has also emailed the mayor, but we are still awaiting a response.
Meanwhile, Stevenson hopes the mayor will soon provide answers to many questions about the house he tore down.
“If you didn’t want the house, if you decided you didn’t want it, you’re not going to fix it, return it to the original point,” Stevenson said. “It was his obligation and he didn’t.”