One neighboring homeowner, Joseph Andrada, told Cleveland City Council members this week, “I have an issue with the chief of police pinpointing my wife and trying to make it sound like she is the only one calling about all of the problems at Northcrest apartments. She isn’t the only one calling. I’ve called numerous times myself.”
Andrada was referring to comments made by Cleveland Police Chief Wes Snyder during an earlier meeting that day with neighbors Brenda Andrada and Jeanne Goins, apartment manager Mike Hodnett and the owner of the majority of the units, Peggy Kimsey. There are other owners and property managers who have not attended any of the three Council meetings in 2012 during which Northcrest Townhomes was discussed. This is the second meeting Hodnett has attended.
The meeting with Snyder was held at the request of Cleveland City Council members who wanted to know if conditions at the complex met the threshold for declaring it a nuisance property.
Snyder said based on statistics, the situation does not rise to the level of being classified as a “nuisance” since statistics show a decrease in the number of calls to Northcrest Townhomes received by the Cleveland Police Department.
The chief of police said reports to him indicate there has been an overall decline in the calls for service to 315 Northcrest Circle compared to the same period in 2011. In the first seven months of this year, there were 102 calls for service to that location compared to the 108 calls in the first seven months of 2011.
Goins said six fewer complaints is not much of a reduction.
Of those calls between Jan. 1 and July 31, the calls resulted in “no contact” made by responding officers 56 percent of the time; no reports were filed in 25 percent of the instances; 6 percent each resulted in warnings, arrests or no report filed. No citations were issued, according to a report prepared by the police department.
According to the written report, one burglary was reported between January and May 2012 compared to 12 during the same period of 2011; assaults dropped to two from three; and thefts decreased from four in 2011 to two in 2012.
Snyder said 10 percent of the calls came from one person, Brenda Andrada, and none of those calls were substantiated.
On average, the calls take 13 minutes from dispatch to completion. A majority of the calls from Andrada are noise complaints. Only three other people have made noise complaints in 2012.
“There are approximately 35 apartments on Northcrest Circle; if noise complaints are such an issue, then there should be a greater number of calls from various persons,” he said.
Andrada said his wife does not currently live in their home because she is a full-time caretaker of a sick woman. He sometimes watches from a window for hours in the evening and rarely sees a police car patrolling the neighborhood.
“I haven’t seen 10 police cars between the hours of 6 [p.m.] and midnight in the last two months,” he said. “There are many, many issues and we’re not going to solve them today. This is not over today. I guarantee you, whatever it takes to get this issue taken care of, I’m letting all of you Council people know and city people here — we’re not going to give up.”
He said police officers encouraged calls every time they responded to each of the eight calls attributed to Brenda Andrada in 2012.
“Every police officer who has come out there says they would love to see this place torn down,” he said. “I don’t care if they are torn down or not. There are times when I feel like that myself. But when we are citizens paying taxes, trying to have a decent home, a decent life, we have a right and it is the duty for people to call.
“We could be like Chattanooga where you have the housing projects over there where people, just like last night on the news, didn’t want to show their faces because they were afraid — we’re not going to do that. We’re going to stand up for our community, for our residential area. We’re going to stay and we’re going to call and we’re going to do whatever we have to to take care of a very major problem.”
He said the city didn’t create the problem, but the problem exists.
“It’s the city’s responsibility to take care of it, along with the owners and the managers, to do the best job they can do,” he said. “That’s all we’re asking.”
Concerning trash, Public Works Director Tommy Myers said Monday a concrete pad for an 8-cubic-yard waste bin is to be in place by Sept. 15.
“We hope this will eliminate all the trash being put out on the side of the road. We (and Waste Connections) have agreed to dump it four times a week, which is a lot,” he said. “If this doesn’t work, we’re going to require them to put in an additional dumpster.”
Hodnett said no agreement has been reached with the other property owners about paying for installing the concrete pad or collection fees. He said negative publicity has made his job of finding good renters more difficult.
“Every time we have these meetings and these ladies come up here and talk about how bad it is, it makes my job a lot harder to find decent renters, because no one wants to rent a place that’s in the paper every two or three months. We’re trying to get this stuff done and hope you appreciate the fact that Mrs. Kimsey has spent a lot of money over there ... evicting a lot of problem people,” he said.