Residents celebrate club's closure

Troubled party center shut down following recent shooting
Andy Ouriel
May 28, 2014

ouriel@sanduskyregister.com

A rare scene broke out in City Hall on Tuesday.

Except for one noticeable man, all 30 or so community members and Sandusky officials in attendance cheered police personnel for clinching a long-awaited victory against arguably the area’s most problematic and now-shuttered hangout.

Watch video of the meeting in the player below

Tuesday marked the first public meeting after city officials forced the closure of Geno’s Party Center, formerly DJ’s Sports Bar next to Shell on Cleveland Road. The closure occurred a little more than a week ago.

Declaring this establishment a constant threat to public safety, officials mandated the property owner lock out the building’s tenant.

The eviction notice came one day after seven people were shot and one man was severely beaten.

But as sounds of people clapping reverberated throughout the commission chambers, South Larchmont Drive resident Michael Green remained quiet up until he stood up and sternly addressed officials.

Click HERE for more Sandusky City Commission stories

Green questioned all seven city commissioners about why this problematic spot didn’t close sooner, considering Sandusky police responded to about 150 prior incidents at this location since 2010. The incidents range from shots fired to vicious beatings and underage drinkers running amok.

“The people and the community of Sandusky deserve better than this,” Green said. “It shouldn’t have taken the amount of time that it took to close this establishment down. People have worked all of their lives and lived in that neighborhood and have nothing to do with that establishment, (but their) lives were put at risk because this establishment was not closed down. How is that acceptable? I cannot sit back and applaud for a job that should have been done four years ago.”

Even though he bashed their operations, some commissioners agreed with Green’s comments.

“Mr. Green, you are right,” Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. said. “This community deserves better.”

Roughly three hours after the shootings, commissioner Dick Brady revealed he prompted an attorney to accelerate the closure of Geno’s.

“If I have been remiss in not making that call sooner, I apologize to you for that, and I apologize to this community for that,” Brady said. “That will not happen again under my watch. I will continue to be proactive, and I promise to you and promise to the community that we will not sit on our hands. We will do everything we can to support our police department. If we shirked that in the past, we will not have that happen in the future."

Green also asked why this establishment stayed open, even after dozens of complaints came in about this property.

Quite simply, the establishment didn’t have a liquor license, hamstringing police officers from more aggressively enforcing security there in the past, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said.

Orzech, meanwhile, shot back at Green, defending his department and calling upon others to help shut down other troublesome places like Geno’s in the future.

“I have 44 (full-time officers) that I am responsible for, and I have had to send them out there 150-some times and 20-some times this year to face bullets," Orzech said. "It’s not something I take lightly. There are people that live in that area that I know. To insinuate that I don’t care or the police department doesn’t care about the community is senseless. It’s the community that needs to step up and say, ‘We are not going to take it anymore.’” We had done everything we could to possibly shut that place down.”

As of Wednesday, police have yet to charge anyone in this case.

Comments

Whiskey Tango F...

Meanwhile every other bar in town cringes and braces for the worst.... Soon they will come.

WeThePeople1965

Wait, are you saying that the bars are going to be hit with violence, or that they're going to be shut down?

deertracker

Both and he's right!

From the Grave

Only if they stay open until 4 am.

IT'S ME

And don't forget the part where Mr. Green called SPD Officers racist! I don't know how the police chief or commissioners could sit there and let that guy say the things he did about our police force.

IT'S ME

He said SPD targets blacks.... Does anyone know the race of everyone involved in the incidents at DJs?

Whiskey in a Teacup

I don't see how the community could have helped shut this place down. It wasn't the community who ultimately closed the doors. It was the responsibility of officials and the property owner to do something and that was what was finally done. The hands of the SPD were somewhat tied on this. Its over, move on.

norcalbuckeye

Im glad that pile of cr*p is closed. It's high time.This probably saved a life, and shoulda been done long ago.

getit right be4...

The establishment has no means of taking a life. The thugs that choose to take over such establishments do. The problem will just move on to the next establishment.

Nemesis

It won't make any difference - it was a townie hangout, and according to Rebuild Sandusky, everybody KNOWS the city's problems are all caused by Cedar Point tourists.

reader

Not so, Nemesis.

Many of Sandusky's problems stem from dwindling revenue. The state has slashed funds to local governments and eliminated the estate tax.

The city has to present a balanced budget and to do so cut fire department staffing, slashed city employment by almost a third, putting off street repairs, tree trimming, etc.

There are 3 routes to increase revenues....the income tax....won't pass. A property tax levy ....probably won't pass....and the admission tax.

Most Sandusky citizens can see the fairness in raising the 3% admissions tax to fund essential city services.

DGMutley

We had 57 police officers in 2003 compared to the 44 we have now.

cc: Nemesis

Nemesis

And there are 15% fewer residents who perpetrate twice as many crimes as then.

The problems are homegrown, and more police will not solve them.

Nemesis

What's fair about squeezing the relatively well behaved tourists in order to hire more cops to babysit the overabundance of locals whose life's work seems to be undoing millions of years of evolution.

You missed one huge glaring route to increasing revenues - increasing the percentage of residents who actually work and pay taxes. The source of dwindling revenue is dwindling numbers of productive taxpayers.

The problem is the prevalence of ghetto thug culture within the city's population. There are far too many people in Sandusky who see this behavior as normal and acceptable, and far too many people who, in the name of being good multicultural progressives, refuse to condemn and fight the spread of the culture that fosters that attitude. No amount of revenue, from admissions tax or otherwise, will solve that.

T. A. Schwanger

###

The point referencing "residents working and paying taxes" is well taken.

The City Commission voted three separate occasions to remain doing business at City Call and to make upgrades to the building over time. Nothing has happened by way of replacing inefficient windows, etc. Heck, the parking lot hasn't been seal coated and stripped in years. Why? The minority voting block convinced the former City Manager to delay City Hall improvements for a better plan to sell City Hall and the Sandusky Bay Pavilion.

The Sandusky community is still waiting for a City government led plan to create jobs at the former Sandusky Cabinets, Keller and APEX properties.

Nemesis

"The point referencing "residents working and paying taxes" is well taken."

Thanks - so many people seem to miss that simple principle.

"The City Commission voted three separate occasions to remain doing business at City Hall and to make upgrades to the building over time. Nothing has happened by way of replacing inefficient windows, etc. Heck, the parking lot hasn't been seal coated and stripped in years. Why? The minority voting block convinced the former City Manager to delay City Hall improvements for a better plan to sell City Hall and the Sandusky Bay Pavilion."

There's something to be said for both sides of that debate. On the one hand, moving City Hall would necessitate displacing something else, and it's a solution in search of a problem. On the other hand, both properties represent some prime development opportunities taken off the table by government. Giving city bureaucrats a view of the lake while they work does not spur economic development. In the end, I wouldn't have supported putting city hall there in the first place, but now that it's there, it should stay, at least until a REALLY great alternative plan for the property, backed by adequate private capital without govt. enticements, is on the table.

"The Sandusky community is still waiting for a City government led plan to create jobs at the former Sandusky Cabinets, Keller and APEX properties. "

It's not city government's role to create jobs - that's the role of the private sector. What the city needs to do is get the heck out of the way, and putting the screws to the most successful business in town doesn't exactly spell "welcome" to potential investors. Nor does coddling and nurturing a subculture that rejects the social contract, especially when it's concentrated in close proximity to the properties you mention.

DGMutley

Nemesis,

A 6 percent sales tax on admission tickets is not squeezing the relatively well behaved tourists.

Nor is partying until dawn a new idea fostered by the supposed ghetto thug culture within the city's population; it's been around for generations.

We can't proclaim that we want law and order and endorse cutting the Sandusky Police force to balance a budget.

Nemesis

"6 percent sales tax on admission tickets is not squeezing the relatively well behaved tourists."

Yes it is - they already contribute a percentage of the city's budget that exceeds the incremental burden they create, and thus are already subsidizing the city's unsufficiently productive population.

"Nor is partying until dawn a new idea fostered by the supposed ghetto thug culture within the city's population; it's been around for generations."

Actually, it is. It has always been the domain of the unproductive whose relationship to society is parasitic. However, it's not partying until dawn that I was addressing. That's a minor part of the thug culture.

"We can't proclaim that we want law and order and endorse cutting the Sandusky Police force to balance a budget."

I'm not calling for cuts, and yes you can - law and order depends upon the people, not the police. It's a question of the culture. If the culture is broken, all the police in the world won't help.

Nemesis

double

reader

I question why the city can't enact laws regulating the hours of rental party halls and requiring the operators to have security officers on site during rentals.

How about it, Mr. Icsman....is it possible to regulate these party halls to prevent future incidents?

We are very fortunate there were 7 people wounded and not fatalities.

Nemesis

Still focusing on the symptoms and not the disease. If not party halls, it will be happening somewhere else.

The problem is that far too high a percentage of residents believes this is how one behaves.

Stop It

Good stuff for Sandusky and well spoken on all parts except for profiling. Gimme a break. I won't even go to Daly's anymore because of the element that exists there.

That being said, no place should be open past state laws with alcohol being served. 2:30 AM is way too late as it is.

That is what eventually closed down DJ's/Geno's. You have a liquor license or you don't. No "iffy" kinna crap.

Little Giant

I seem to recall that once the Register mentioned the owner of the property things moved very fast.

Little Giant

So "Dick" Brady is taking credit for getting the ball rolling? If it was so easy to do...... why did he wait years to do it? I will take credit for the sun coming up in the morning and will take credit for when it sets in the evening.

Babo

Right, and why did he have to contact an attorney when the City employs one at $135,000 a year to ensure ordinances such as apply to nuisances are enforced.

IMO, the real credit belongs to the commentators who first exposed on line the ownership of the property which was then published in an article by the SR. Once the slum lord "capitalist pig" (that's for you Nemesis) was exposed to negative publicity, he shut the place down.

Start enforcing building codes, ensuring properties are correctly appraised, and clean the city up by eminent domain and nuisance actions.

Ctwhalers

I wish I had the money cause when the former tenent had the bar and she was selling it I wanted to buy it and turn it In to a place cedar point people could go for good food and good music. I also wanted a place so the older generation people had a place to go and listen to the music from the 50 60 70 early 80's. If carl ruta would fix it up inside and get a liquor licenses for there and do something with outside of building I would help run the place with my former boss who sold the bar. Yes winter time would be slow but if you add the right things in there the older crowd would come during the winter time. There are a few who probably remember me djing there and playing all the right kind of music. Yes I did karaoke if we had a crowd for it. But if you play the right music the thugs and others that cause problems will stay out. Some of you remember me has Duane or they called me detrain at the bar.

From the Grave

There have been problems at the location as far back as I can remember, with just cars getting broken into(late 70's even). It would be a good place for an empty lot...

WaterStreetCooncat

CP tourists never even stopped there when it was Club Coconuts back in the early '90's. It quickly became a shady hangout for underage CP employees & neighborhood riff raff. The only reason tourists went to Johnny Angels was because they happened to be staying at the GreenTree. The only places Cedar Point tourists stop in Sandusky are restaurants on 250 & gas stations. Downtown is the same. A show lets out at the State Theatre & a handful may go to the Crush& that's it. When the fun's over they go home.

Nemesis

"The only places Cedar Point tourists stop in Sandusky are restaurants on 250 & gas stations."

Two words: Thirsty Pony

richrs

See the above explanation on Johnny Angels.

YoMamma

Well said cooncat!

Darkhorse

When there are seven people shot, the place becomes a liability for the owner. When each drinking establishment shuts down, the same people seek out other bars to go to and the cycle starts up again. There will be more shootings this summer and it will only get worse because the bars don't want to take the responsibility for how much alcohol the customer is consuming. The city has a chance to enact an ordinance to lay down law if the bars will not take on the responsibility.

Nemesis

The only thing a bar owner can effectively do is shift the problem to another bar, or some other venue.

The problem is the prevalence of ghetto thug culture within the city's population. There are far too many people in Sandusky who see this behavior as normal and acceptable, and far too many people who, in the name of being good multicultural progressives, refuse to condemn and fight the spread of the culture that fosters that attitude.

Ctwhalers

When I was a DJ there we had cedar point people stop in and do karaoke or just for the food.

Truth or Dare

Nemesis; You are so way off base, let alone purposely misleading with your comment regarding Rebuild Sandusky, and that they think all our problems stem from tourists. By the way, been in the service industry for 40 yrs., and yes, they do stop within this city. They don't all head home. The majority may, but not all. According to 2013 attendance records, we had an additional 17.7 thousand visitors per day from May 1 - Oct. 31 to just C.P., which doesn't include those that actually came here to do something else! I mean after all, we're a tourist destination, right?!

This topic of DJ's closing, as it should have been and is about time, has absolutely nothing to do with seeking an increase in the Admissions Tax! Which my friend would be quit beneficial for street repairs, addressing the problem of over 300 dead trees throughout this city that now they want to possibly hold property owners responsible for and 3 FIRE HOUSES OPEN 24/7/365, not to mention funds to help with police. You know, for things such as $$$'s to purchase bullet proof vests! By the way folks, it isn't nor was it ever Chief's Orzach's job to close this place down. It was theirs to answer any calls that came in and answer they did!!! Their family wants them home at the end of their shift too! The buck stops at the TOP and it's a damn good thing no one was killed!

Nemesis

"Nemesis; You are so way off base, let alone purposely misleading with your comment regarding Rebuild Sandusky, and that they think all our problems stem from tourists."

Go read your supporters' comments in prior threads. Go talk to Babo and Comrade Boose. Rebuild Sandusky's support base believes that residents are subsidizing tourists and that the taxes from CP (at least 25% of city revenues) do not cover the incremental burden they place on city coffers. Since the biggest expense are safety forces payroll, which go largely to dealing with the consequences of people doing stupid stuff, the clear implication is that tourists are the ones doing the stupid stuff that costs the city money.
Rebuild Sandusky's entire cause is about putting the screws to the tourists to cover the costs of the residents' collective dysfunction. That can only be considered fair or just if the dysfunction is the tourists' fault.

"By the way, been in the service industry for 40 yrs., and yes, they do stop within this city. They don't all head home. "

And by doing so, they generate even MORE revenue and boost their contribution to city coffers well above that 25% figure.

"This topic of DJ's closing, as it should have been and is about time, has absolutely nothing to do with seeking an increase in the Admissions Tax!"

It has EVERYTHING to do with it. The problem is NOT tourists, and the solution is NOT bleeding the tourists. The topic of DJ's is a huge glaring piece of evidence that the city's problem is NOT what Rebuild Sandusky claims, and the solution is NOT what Rebuild Sandusky proposes.

"Which my friend would be quit beneficial for street repairs, addressing the problem of over 300 dead trees throughout this city that now they want to possibly hold property owners responsible for and 3 FIRE HOUSES OPEN 24/7/365, not to mention funds to help with police."

But which, in reality, would go to moving city hall and handouts to the denizens of places like DJ's.

"You know, for things such as $$$'s to purchase bullet proof vests!"

Which won't do a bit of good if the bleeding hearts at the courthouse keep putting the thugs back into Sandusky's neighborhoods. You can't protect cops OR citizens if you keep ignoring the real problem.