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.

worddrow811

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

deertracker

Why would the city manager need metro? Are you all sure that is true?

deertracker

I told you guys before. It's about the land and what the city plans to do with it. Stay tuned!

so.....

I agree. Heard talk of a developer already having plans for that spot. Hotel possibly? ??

I feel bad for these people. At the mercy of others who don't do right. That's a hard place to be.

heaven-leigh

So you are saying the city actually wants these people out so the land can be purchased? Not surprising.

heaven-leigh

The owner of "Discount Muffler" which used to be across the street from their always swore the city was plotting against her to obtain her property. Obviously, that was not true. May be true with the trailer park though.

so.....

That's the talk. Just imagine how cheap they can get it.

pavedparadise

Can the real Commissioner Smith explain just exactly he has been doing to help these residents?

Maybe this is his idea of economic development.

devilsadvocate

How much does Cole make? $100,000 or more? Help me out here. Why does she get metro housing? I make a lot less than her and I don't.

Nor'easter

Mrs Cole is paid $100 per week as a commissioner. That is $5,200 a year and she works 7 days a week for the citizens of Sandusky.

Blues

You are confusing two names. Ni"COLE" Ard is the city manager. Diedre "COLE" is a city commissioner.

I don't even live in the city and I know that. Damn. I sometimes wish I could backhand through the internet. :)

KURTje

So where does yost live?

Blues

Here's a thought...look it up.

Some on here don't mind offering links to back up what they say. That's cool with me and I often check them out. Most are legit, some are just meant as humor. The thing I can't quite take is the others who take advantage of that and want everything dished out to them.

Ask the SR....ask anyone in the comment section, except for doing it yourself. If you want spoon fed information, you will most certainly get that person's bent on whatever topic it happens to be. Type the question in not just one, but several search engines. Make up YOUR mind, don't let somebody else make it up for you because you are too damn lazy....

God Of Thunder

Wow... Relax... I tried to find his name on the auditor's website and I couldn't find his name listed..

God Of Thunder

The more I think about it, shouldn't Joe Yost and Tami Rapp be investigated for something like money laundering or theft by deception?

They were taking in money, after filing bankruptcy, and doing what with it?? Hiding it??

If someone files bankruptcy under an LLC or whatever it was, where are the officials in Bankruptcy court?? Shouldn't their be a receiver handling the paperwork and money?? I'm just asking.. I don't know the procedures for this. Maybe he just claims he filed bankruptcy.

However, I do believe that a criminal investigation should take place into these two individuals, along with anyone else he was involved with.

KURTje

Don't be such a ****. Like the other poster I tried, hence my request. Now say this: dummawrasel. That's how its sounds in English. In German it means you, though it is spelled different.

Blues

Wow..this person is trying to teach me German...I stand in awe.

cockynurse

Even with the water bill aside-which is bs-look at the back taxes!! This is ridiculous. If I don't pay my water bill for a couple months the city will shut my service off. Somebody at the water department needs to be held accountable for allowing this to happen. Yost MUST be held accountable as well!

I feel sorry-very sorry for these residents-but come on. Don't cut them off right now-just send bills from here on out to them as give them notice.

http://erie.iviewtaxmaps.com/Dat...

blueyedgrl1030

Tami Rapp? R u kidding me @ God Of Thunder??? Tami Rapp was always there for those people in the park, working with them continuously on back rent owed etc, even when Joe Yost had told her to evict people. U need to realize Tami Rapp worked for Joe Yost and he has made her the perfect scapegoat saying she stole money from him from lot rent money (think about it, so easy to say ohhh I didnt receive cash money Tami stole it, all while he was hiding it and NOT paying any bills). Tami Rapp may of been his office manager BUT if theres NO money in accts to write checks for to pay bills bcuz of Joe Yosts financial demise how the heck is Tami responsible? I know Tami personally and I will defend her to the end (or until someone can produce PROOF she took money but I dont beleive it one iota!)she is a caring person, willing to lend a helping hand, give real estate advice etc and expect nothing in return. I will say I know for a FACT for the longest time there were water meters out to that park that were old and didnt read water usage properly and adjustments in billing were made constantly around 2006. Lastly I totally agree the city probably already has a buyer for that property and doesnt give 2 whoots where those people has to go as in this case the almighty dollar/profit is all that matters. I think its CRAP city commissioners arent doing more and taking time to investigate how things got to this point

God Of Thunder

Yes Tami Rapp.. No kidding.. I bet she was always working with them on back rent owed, but she was always there collecting the rent too and putting the money somewhere.. She did 'manage' his 'development' company, and I use those words loosely, so I'm sure she saw anything coming into that office, past due notices included, and anything going out.

If she isn't responsible, then, if you're so close to her, tell her to come clean and give her side of the story, or at least have her attorney tell us some vague story.

I stand by my comment that these two should be investigated and I hope the register runs with this.

The county will be taking over the property due to the huge amount of back taxes owed, so stop blaming the city already.. This corner needs something new anyway..

KURTje

Pass the wire ese.

Darkhorse

How can the city say nothing about this trailer park situation? Nothing is being said publically. It is like keeping a dirty little secret and no one is being held accountable. Something smells somewhere. It is all about the land. No doubt the bankruptcy is close to being settled and that is why the city decided to move in.

gene44870

Heres a little food for thought , I am just wandering if theres any connection between Yost and the city other then the water bill ?
I am not saying that there is , but I cant hlp but wander if there isnt some back room dealing between the two of them .And thats why the other commissioners are talking about this . I guess one cant help but wander , with the rep that the city has for closed meetings and other things tht have gone on over the years , one can help but wander .maybe there is maybe there isnt , But its just like people have said that under normal situations the city would never aloow bills to go beyoud two months and from what I understand that is a long time more for it to get to 50,000.00 dollars and the back taxes in the 325.000 dollar mark , its just not at all believe able and this needs to be address not by the sandusky police , but by the Ohio AGs office . Cause something stinks and stinks really bad
I dont have to be smart to see that this isnt right , all though I would like to think that I do have good commen sense and no crap when I smell it

Blues

Dude, you really have to go back to some kind of class that teaches you spelling other than "Hooked on Phonics". Your spelling and syntax go off the charts.

Don't get me wrong, WE ALL make typos, but gimmee a break.

If you don't fix your language or at least make an attempt, I will consider you one of those trolls who misspell every other word intentionally to draw attention to themselves.

gene44870

ok Mr or Miss perfact , Hey I know what you can do if you think my spelling is so bad , Just dont bother reading my post

KURTje

Thanks for paying attention. Now follow your advice you "savant," & use your own search on aforementioned comment. geez.

Kottage Kat

Gene
No one is perfect and I forgive those who think they are
Keep posting I enjoy reading your posts
HISS on those critic's

gene44870

thanks , I enjoy stating my view point and opionon

meplus5

Parcel: 58-60003.000
Owner: ERIE METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY
Address: 1612 CAMP OH

http://erie.iviewauditor.com/Dat...

Link for Coles home on Camp street...Note the owner