City Hall is still standing

Feb 19, 2013


My topic this week is the county’s offer to move City Hall into the county building.

Being present at the last city commission meeting, I wondered what exactly was going on with the county’s offer to allow the city to move into the county building downtown. The city commissioners stated they knew nothing about the county’s offer. One city commissioner wanted to bring up the subject to discuss it. The mayor disallowed the discussion because they had not received anything formally from the county.

The county ommissioner who made the offer is either throwing a suggestion up against the wall to see if it sticks, prematurely released confidential information, or made a strategic political move. I would think the county would at least discuss it first with the entity involved to see if it was going to be feasible before announcing the idea publicly.

The reporter asked if the Chinese were going to buy City Hall. Here again, the commissioners knew nothing. I think the reporter could have phrased the question differently. He should have asked if the Chinese stopped at the corner of 222 Meigs Street to check it out. The crown jewel and no one asked the Chinese to take at least a look when they were in town?

I don’t think renting space off the county will work. I was on the City Hall committee a few years back and there was a developer who wanted the city to rent from him. He had all the rental pricing worked out but when I sat down and worked out the increases in rent over the years, I found the city could afford to buy two city halls. Back then, City Hall was estimated to cost between $11 and $12 million dollars to obtain a new building. It is a bad investment to rent and have nothing to show for all the money that the city would have to pay out. It is much too risky to house two government entities in one building if something were to happen to the building or it would have to relocated for some reason.
If any developers are interested in City Hall, the red tape alone would discourage them, unless they are willing to wait years for all the transactions to be cleared away. It has taken the city 23 years just to make a decision to move City Hall, so can you imagine what it is going to be like trying to make plans to finally move once the decision is made? Each time the City Hall move is suggested, it is an absolute emergency to move because the condition of the building is so bad. But after 23 years of deliberating, the building is still standing strong.  

I think if we wait long enough, the Historical Society might be able to close the deal once and for all and claim the building as a historical building, ending all the agony. At any rate, the whole process is distracting staff from progressing along with other projects that need to be taken care of in the city. Either we are going to move or we are not.

Until next week, I have to wonder where the Historical Society is when you really need them to save a building.



Sharon, with all due respect, your time on that committee was a long time ago. You don't know, nor does anyone apparently, what kind of "offer" the county has made since no one seems to know anything about this. So your comments seem to be premature and off base here.

Whatever county commissioner made the comments either doesn't know what they are talking about or they made the offer to the entire city at one time in hopes of it being discussed by the city commissioners without any facts. That should not be how the city or the county does things.

It appears the city wasn't looking in that direction to begin with. As for the Chinese, if they wanted that building, don't you think they would have taken a trip through it? I do. But since they did not, they obviously are not interested in it. I would think they would be more interested in a "ready to go" manufacturing building or near ready where they could set up shop and start building just like the two other groups did. That is far more cost effective to them and they are pretty well known for being cost effective. Ask anyone who has done business with them as I have.

As for the Hisotrical Society, everyone better hope that they don't do that. Look at the mess it has caused with the Keller Building. The City of Sandusky call ill afford another mess like that one. What possible historical reference could the city building have anyway?

This city better start thinking about moving into the 21st century pretty fast and stop thinking of the past so much. Its time to start thinking about leaving things for our children and grandchildren, instead of leaving them piles of rubble and debris.

I would love to see a downtown that is fitting for our community, the parks we already have. The city cleaning up that cesspool of a pool and them finishing Lions park.

As for anyone else buying the city hall, I believe that buyer went out with Matt Kline, did he not? I am still wondering who was the culprit in that little fiasco? There was more there than met the eye or ear. Some people were not telling the truth about that mess.

Besides, as the SR has pointed out again and again, the city does not have the money for all this....especially NOW that they have given Reigers a loan for $150,000 and have to pay for that mess with the police chief.

Perhaps in a few years, but not now. If, as the SR has said again and again, we haven't the funds for parks, buildings and the like, we can't do much of anything. So let sleeping dogs lie and do only the basic bare bones of things. Right now, this city....according to you, the SR and many articles, our finances cannot afford much of anything but just the basics.

Why is anything being discussed but just bare boned necessities at all?


When did we get a "Mayor"?


when the commissioners elected him....Hamilton is the ex-officio mayor of Sandusky. LOL


"The county ommissioner who made the offer is either throwing a suggestion up against the wall to see if it sticks, prematurely released confidential information, or made a strategic political move." Bingo, Sharon!!!! That commissioner consistently and frequently releases confidential information and is always thinking strategically...sometimes for the County and ALL of its subdivisions but mostly for himself.


@reserved....which county commissioner was that,please?


@ Wiredmama222

Are you serious: You made several comments on the below past Register article from 10 days ago and you have to ask which County Commissioner.

wiredmama222 know. You just seem to get your "jollys" pushing my buttons and I am getting really sick of it. I have taken it and taken it all I am going to. I asked a simple question because I could not remember. So sue me. I suppose you have never forgotten a single thing in your entire illustrious life where you ever had to ask someone to refresh your memory, correct? Well good for you. I am sorry to let you know that I don't have your wonderful recall for every little detail right now. I have had a little more going on in my private life than you or anyone else realizes. So if you would kindly just answer my questions without your typical snide comments and your vicious attacks on me, it would be greatly appreciated. If you cannot do that, then please feel free not to answer at all. Someone else will I am sure. Or, I can always do my own research and look back through my old newspapers and find it myself. Thank you very much.


@ Wiredmama222

Now that's one of the best ideas you have come up with to date. Research before you comment.

Oh, and the County does not control what the City does with City offices on Meigs Street once the City moves into County offices.


learning impairment is not pretty. I guess you just don't get things the first or second time at all, do you? But I don't need your snide remarks anyway. At least some people are kind enough to answer.


Erie County officials offer county building to city

Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo will help pursue and facilitate a possible move, in which Sandusky officials could move their operations from the Meigs Street-based City Hall to the Erie County office building in downtown Sandusky.

Andy Ouriel


Feb 7, 2013


Thank you very much for your kind answering of my question. I have been going through a very rough period here and I just can't seem to remember all the things I would like to right now. I remember reading the article but couldn't remember the name.

I consider your thoughtfullness a real help. Thanks for your considerate manner in which you answered. Kate


The county commissioner looked foolish when the city claimed they didn't know what the county commissioner was talking about. I always like those sneak previews of what government is up to. The city is going to have to make a decision because the more this goes on, the more tax dollars are being wasted on something that won't happen. Someone needs to pull the plug on the idea soon.


I can't help but wonder what the county may have had in mind for the property once the city was out of there? Or was someone behind that generous offer. Since the city didn't know anything about it, or so they claim, I wonder? (do I hear twilight zone music?) LOL

T. A. Schwanger

January 10th, 2011:::

Todd Roth (City Engineer) said "the preliminary energy audit (for City Hall) placed a value of $450,000 on a number of tasks". And said "the other number received was for window replacement and was approximately $350,000".

$800,000 in electrical, air/heating and window replacement has turned into $2 million to convince the public a move to another location is best for all.


was that 2 million not a figure from Polous for a new building? I believe the figures Mr. Roth gave were for just the "tasks" and window replacements as stated, and did not include the increase in additions necessary such as those to the court for the judge and other additons needed. I can see where $850,000 would go up considerably after we just got an estimate on an small addition and the cheapest one was $45,000. That wasn't much of an addition I might add. So to a commerical sight, I can imagine the cost would be MUCH higher. What's next? The roof, the air or heating systems? And didn't the police ask for more room as well or larger space of some type? They are fast running out of room as well.

While I may not be for moving it at this time, I can see where in the near future this place is going to be far too small to be a continued place to have the city hall.

And didn't you want to put a big PARK there anyway, something about a huge skateboard, bike thing? Or do you just not want a developer to come and take it?

T. A. Schwanger


I don't want you to take my word for it, so I have included a couple of links to answer your questions.

Poulos gave an estimate of $2 million for upgrades to the current site. He explained rather than spend that kind of money on upgrades, might as well build new.

The City is paying for air conditioning, heating, vents and associated roof upgrades all done a few years ago.

The public was afforded the opportunity to tour the Police Station a few weeks ago to observe the major upgrades thanks partly to a $50,000 donation from the CEO of Cedar Point.

On the southeast side of the Police Department are car bays that are not in use which can be used for expansion if there truely is a need.

Included in G. Poulos' estimate are costs associated with the proposed Muni-Court expansion and remodel. Muni-court construction costs should be financed by the court ($2 million in court rainy day fund)not City funds.

11-26-2012 City Commish Meeting minutes---Poulos City Hall presentation.

8-13-2012 City Commish Meeting minutes--Smith reads prepared letter advocating City Hall move