In last week’s Sun Messenger Mayor Georgine Welo accused me of spreading false information about her plans to develop the land adjoining the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
I stand behind every word I wrote.
This document refers 19 times to the “library site” and discusses building on land that was owned by private citizens and was not for sale; Mayor Welo has a history of threatening eminent domain.
The Zimmerman Volk 2008 document describes building houses on all the land surrounding the Library property. Selling Telling Mansion clears the way for the development of the “library site”.
When the Library Board asked Mayor Welo if she wanted the Library to stay in Telling Mansion, Mayor Welo approved the sale of Telling Mansion in order to open the door to developing the entire “library site”.
Mayor Welo got us into this mess and Mayor Welo can get us out.
Mayor Welo says she cannot keep the Library in Telling Mansion, but what has she tried? Nothing. No public statements, no letters, no meetings asking citizens if they wanted or needed a new Library, no evidence that she used her political influence to keep the Library in Telling Mansion.
Why hasn’t she tried any of these things? Because Mayor Welo wants to develop the “Library site”.
On November 19th, 200 people attended a meeting with the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board in the South Euclid Community Center. The meeting was conducted by Cuyahoga County Council and the South Euclid city government. Other city officials attended and spoke; but Mayor Welo was not there.
If Mayor Welo wanted to save Telling Mansion that would have been the perfect time to try. She could have made a statement in front of her constituents and the Library Board saying that since citizens want to keep the Library in Telling Mansion, that is what she wants, too.
Telling Mansion must be taken off the market. If it is sold its state and federal historic designation does NOT protect it because no federal funds were ever spent on its renovations. The community is being tricked into thinking the building can be preserved if it is sold.
The listing agreement for Tellling Mansion does not include an easement of any kind that would protect this historic and beautiful property. So, CCPL did not use the one legal protection available when they put Telling Mansion up for sale.
Telling Mansion is being treated as a throwaway, as if it is replaceable, as if it has no value because it is old.
The best steward for historic buildings is a library. People have the greatest freedom to move about and enjoy an historic building when it is used as a library. Think about how you can use and enjoy Telling as compared to the way you can use museums or city offices or other public space.
This is not about me or Georgine Welo. It is about our community—South Euclid, Lyndhurst, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, East Cleveland and the surrounding areas. Although Mayor Welo tries to make much of my living in Cleveland Heights, the Library receives about $15million a year in state revenue and is part of statewide consortiums; public libraries would not survive on local levy money alone. Everyone has a right to participate in this discussion.
In a few years, the Mayors, the Library Board and current South Euclid, Lyndhurst, and county elected officials will all retire, resign or move on, but the community will be left with the destruction caused by their decision to sell Telling Mansion.
If Telling is sold, 10 years from now people will ask, “Why didn’t the community save it?” “Didn’t they care?”
I can’t save Telling Mansion. Neither can the hard-working committee Save the SE-L Mansion Library.
Communities are expected to protect themselves. It will take every single person reading this letter taking action to keep the Library in Telling Mansion. The elected officials of South Euclid and Lyndhurst and all county council representatives should make a public statement about being for or against keeping the Library in Telling.
Please email or call: Mayor Georgine Welo 216-381-0400 firstname.lastname@example.org ; Mayor Frank Cicero (440) 442-5777 email@example.com and county council representative Sunny Simon: 216-698-2035 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cleveland Heights county council member Julian Rogers. email@example.com, 216-698-2022. Ed Fitzgerald ContactEd@cuyahogacounty.us, 216-443-7178.
When they say “there’s nothing I can do”. Ask them “What have you tried?” and continue to ask them this question until they answer it.
This is not a done deal, but they are working hard to convince you that it is. Don’t fall for this PR ploy. Join the Save the SE-L Mansion Library Committee by calling 216-694-8304 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MansionLibrary.
They are counting on you to give up. Don’t. Together, we can save the SE-Lyndhurst Mansion Library.