Deadline looms for Sandusky families

Some residents worry they won't find new homes before city shuts off water
Register
Jun 22, 2013

More than dozen families still face eviction and uncertainty as the city-imposed Aug. 1 deadline approaches when their water line gets turned off. 

"They had a meeting over here in the park two Saturdays ago. Everything they promised everybody over there didn't happen. They blew smoke up everyone's ... ugh ... if you you know what I mean. It's aggravating," nine-year resident Brenda Hosko said.

Click here to watch the video interviews with residents conducted Friday at the mobile home park. 

"I'm a working person. To think you're going to live somewhere the rest of your life and all of the sudden you've got that pulled out from underneath you. Then you have to basically double that pay to pick up and move your home to somewhere else.

"To me, I don't think that's fair and Joe Yost should have to pay for all of it," she said. "And he don't care."

Yost is a developer with city contracts that went bad when he declared bankruptcy a few years ago, including the Cold Creek Crossing housing development off Venice Road that cost taxpayers huge losses in revenue and expenditures.

Shane Thomas has lived in the park most of his life except for a four-year stint in the Marine Corp. 

"When I was young this place was actually decent, when Hoppers actually ran it," Thomas said. "Then it was taken over by someone else and it slowly went down hill a little bit. Then Joe Yost took over and it took a dive."  

Residents have receipts showing they paid their water bills to a management firm but the firm apparently did not use those funds to pay the city water bill. The residents also paid fees for trash collection and maintenance but it is also not clear how those funds were used.

Some Hoppers park residents have secured housing, or temporary housing in the hope they can find better options later. They're worried they might not be able to meet the Aug. 1 deadline. 

Sandusky city commissioner Diedre Cole was at the mobile home park on Friday and spent much of the week there after a June 15 article about the desperation of some residents still looking for suitable housing and the decision by some homeowners to deconstruct their mobile homes to sell for scrap.

A broken gas line was discovered Friday in one of the mobile homes that was stripped where a woman and her children were still living. Social services agencies aided the woman, Cole said, and she contacted the fire department and gas company to plug the open line.  

Cole, who recently moved her family from Hancock Street to Camp Street, said she planned to investigate every option available to assist residents in finding new housing, including legal aid in the disputes over the water bills and ownership titles for the mobile homes. 

Several residents who've lived at the park for years said they paid off their loans but were never able to get the titles from the management company or explanations for why they hadn't received the ownership documents. 

County records show ownership of the homes some residents believed they purchased in their monthly fees are titled to deceased owners, or previous purchasers.

Sandusky police Sgt. Dana Newell, chief of detectives, was at the park Friday. 

"There has been a complaint and we are investigating it," said Newell, who was photographing all areas of the park and the stripped mobile homes. He said more information would be provided when a report of the complaint is filed. 

The residents who spoke with the Register on Friday said they hadn't had much contact with anyone from the city except fire Chief Paul Ricci and Cole. There was a summit at the park June. 1 with county aid agencies, Ricci and other service organizations.

City officials have not provided updates or information about how the water bill could reach $50,000 without a previous or successful effort to collect the money the park residents paid the management company. 

City manager Nicole Ard replied to an inquiry from the Register with an email stating she would provide information at a later date. "I will have a letter for you next week," Ard wrote in the email. 

City commissioners Keith Grohe, Pervis Brown and ex officio mayor John Hamiltion did not respond to requests for their viewpoints. Commissioners Wes Poole and Julie Farrar were unavailable for comment.

Commissioner Jeff Smith posted his response to his personal Facebook page, which he uses as a public vehicle to post city information and criticize the Register's news coverage. 

"For months I have been working with tenants from this park, and was surprised to hear of the desperation," Smith posted. 

"The residents have been given plenty of notice and have been placed in contact with agencies and organizations that specialize in helping people. Our goal is to help these residents relocate with little to no trouble and to prevent more hardship."

The residents who spoke with the Register on Friday don't view the city's success at doing that quite the same way Smith does.

"I live paycheck to paycheck," Hosko said. "I don't have $5,000 to move my home. Not everybody has that kind of money." 

Comments

althenaruby

I would have stopped paying my lot fees to cover the cost of having to move.

reading signs

perhaps a good old fashoined sit in/campout at Joe Yost's home might encourage him to do something for the residents of this property.

the question remains, though, how did the city overlook a $1000.00 past due water bill and do nothing?? Joe Yost must be some kind of Houdini to get away with that trick until the bill became over $50,000.

Someone needs to be held accountable for this mess!

LadyC

These people should not have to produce a dime of their own money for this. They have been screwed by that landlord, and where is he living? Many years ago I rented from an absentee landlord, and never got water bills from her (even though I kept asking), and suddenly one day in the middle of summer, the guy with the Big Wrench came and turned off the water. It took my paycheck to get it turned back on. It had gone a year unpaid, and I had lived there about 6 months. In this case, I can't believe that it went that long and the bill got that high, before this was addressed. I am familiar with some of the people in that park, and even though the area looks pretty rough, they are pretty nice humble people, and should not have to be treated badly or suffer inconvenience because of a deadbeat landlord and a mismanaged city.

eightballcuet1

Sounds like it's time to see a lawyer and make Mr Yost pay.

middleclassworker

why doesn't the city get the courts to withhold all the rent each month until the water bill is paid in full? Take him to court, if he doesn't show.... take all the rent. If he does show.... take all the rent and take him to jail. Add all legal fees to the water bill.

God Of Thunder

It's too late to try and do anything here. Unfortunately, the laws in this country protect people who chicken s@@@ their way out of things and file bankruptcy. The residents have pretty much stripped these trailers clean and, sad to say, it's just time for it to go. Hopefully, maybe someone will buy up the land here, the old gas station, and the shopping center and put a supermarket there or something that will benefit.

Centauri

Forgive taxes on some rich people? Go after the poor people?

Ohio is a very corrupt state.

Richard Bebb

That makes no sense. Yost didn't pay his bills and filed for bankruptcy, that's hardly forgiving taxes on the rich.

deertracker

What about the 293,000.00 dollars he owes in back taxes? What did bankruptcy do for those?

Richard Bebb

Ask a tax attorney what happens why you file for bankruptcy.

God Of Thunder

Uh oh.....I sense a Julie R comment on the rise...

Centauri

Why bash Julie R.? I view her as a political activist in corrupt Ohio.

God Of Thunder

Yawn... Only because everyone is against her...And apparently you now

I don't bash her... It irritates me that she can take any story and turn it into her drama with her 'corrupt prosecutor and judges'

Centauri

You have no clue. How did you form your opinion?

From newspapers? Are you and "I" connected? I can find out.

I was against the Vietnam War and also the war in Iraq. I am open to debates as time permits me.

God Of Thunder

My opinion is formed from her comments... Just like I said, she will take any story on here and make it out to be her drama.. You must be her husband.

I'm not a fan of war, I hate to see our soldiers die, but I will support anything our troops do to suppoert us..

Centauri

No, I am not her husband. You need to get smarter. I am a political activist in Ohio, the USA and international.

You are a simpleton! Get a clue. You have the internet.

Centauri

I will not follow your comments. You have NOTHING to offer for freedom in the USA. You are a simpleton of those who follow the powers that be.

Centauri

So you are a simpleton?

God Of Thunder

Yes.. I am a simpleton, and I will take that since that is such a big word you activist...

And if you respond to this, I know you are following my comments....

That makes you a stalker. So If i hear anything back after this, I will consider you a local, national, and international stalker.

You crack me up though.. You say you will not follow my comments, but then you comment to me again... Your head must be huge...

Pastor Ron

They should all sue Yost so they can get double wides!!!

meplus5

Commissioner Cole didn't recently move her family from Hancock to Camp street. Metro housing paid for her to move from Hancock to camp street! Since Cole is on and has been on Metro public housing for quite sometime and now even has metro paying a moving company to move her family I would think the only advice she can give these people that were paying real rent to this slumlord is to now go get public housing and live off the taxpayers just like she does.

margaritaville88

AMEN to that !!!!!

gene44870

there is nothin wrong with aCole being on metro or whatever , she is tring to do what the tax payers ask of her and thats is to try and help the people at the park out if she is able too
And I have to admit , at least Cloe is doing something other then sitting behind a computer desk talking smack about a person that is on metro and tring to make a differnce in the city that she lives in .
My hat goes off to her , she is tring unlike her counterparts on the city commison

SamAdams

I have no argument against Cole trying to help these residents. But the point of her being on Metro stands. How can somebody manage a multi-million dollar City budget when she can't even manage her own? How can we expect her to help other residents when she clearly has to have help herself (unless she's busy, busy, busy telling people how to live off the sweat of the rest of us like she does)? Why should we trust her to work for US when she obviously can't even making a living wage for herself (unless she's scamming the system, which I do NOT allege here)?

It's not unreasonable at all to rely on experience as an indicator as to just how well someone will perform their job duties. And Ms. Cole's "experience" shows one of two things: She has none, OR she's incompetent.

You have to appreciate any resident's interest in the City as well as their willingness to do something about it. But people in positions of authority — the decision-makers — need to be more qualified than merely having an interest and a willingness to step up.

pavedparadise

Hey Sam.

I know folks that work for the local auto industry on metro and SNAP, so your point is????

pavedparadise

I know folks that work for the local auto industry on metro and SNAP, so your point is????

Talking about slumlords-isn't one of Smith's rental properties condemned?

God Of Thunder

The city can condemn a property for a number of reasons, a lot of times it is when a utility gets shut off and the housing dept becomes aware of it, so maybe one of his tenants didn't pay a bill.

From what I know of his rentals, they are all in very decent shape.

gene44870

I have to say the city is as much at fault as yost is , when was the last time before all this took place , did a inspector from the county or the city go out and check on that lot ? No one can answer that I bet . Now the city says oh well , you are out on your butts on augest 1st , .Nice going Sandusky , Nice place to live would you all say ?
AND WHATS EVEN WORSE , IS THE CITY IS PASSING THE BUCK AND NOT TAKEN ANY RESPONSABLITY FOR THIS MESS .WHEN yOST FILE BANKRUPSY , The city should have been notifies due to the amount owed to the city .I am not saying the city should be 100% accountable , But I am saying they are at least 50% percent , and should help in anyway they can to make sure the people that live there and have paid what they were charged is helped in anyway they can .
Clue - the city as pull and can use it to get these people in a safe and decent place . Its time for sandusky goverment to step up to the plate and help cause these people are victims and should be helped , and the city county and state have resources to help ..Go the extra mile and you will see a change in the way the people look at you as goverment

I would also like to know who set the order down to turn the water off and how did they come up with the date they came up with? And did they give any thought to what was going to happen to the People of that park < Or did they even care?>

I know if it was me and I lived in that park I would go to CNN AND FOX 8 , FOX 13 And the journel and let them see what is going on in SANDUSKY AND HOW THE GOVERMENT IS DOING AND MAYBE A LAWYER WILL STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND FILE A RESRAINING ORDER AGAINST THE CITY TO PREVENT THE WATER FROM BEING TURN OFF AND THE PROPERTY BE PLACED TO A RECIEVER SO THAT PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVABLE TRAILERS CAN LIVE I THEM AND SOMETHING CAN BE DONE TO PAY THE WATER BILL OFF , NOW THE TAXES , THATS SOMETHING ELSE , THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN UP WITH YOST , AND IF HE CANT PAY THEN OTHER ACTION CAN BE TAKEN AND IT WONT AFFECT THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE TRAILER PARKS ONLESS THE TRAILERS ARE DETERMIND TO BE UNFIT AND UNSAFE

Home Boy

@gene44870......BEST COMMENT EVER! What the hell is going on in this city. This is so basically wrong in so many ways. I am calling Fox and CNN today. Hopefully they will pick up on this horrendous situation, and not only help to resolve this terrible situation for these poor people, but also show not only what a scum bag the land owner is, but also how this city is lacking in effective government. Shame on you people at City Hall. And you call yourselves "government"? On second thought, maybe that is the problem.

gene44870

I really dont think that we have the knowladge in the people that represent the City . Its like the blind leading the blind down there

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