Councilman Polensek Sounds Off on Lakefront Development: "I'm Tired of Complacency"


Cleveland Ward 8 Councilman Mike Polensek wouldn't or couldn't go into detail about the potential acquisition of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park, embedded within the east side Cleveland Metroparks properties, but he confirmed that there has been discussions between CMP and "some nonprofit organizations" about purchasing that land.

Scene delved into the dynamics and hurdles associated with that prospect in a cover story late last year.

"The Metroparks is not gonna buy it directly," Polensek said. "I can't go into detail. But is anything going to happen tomorrow or next week? No. My priorities now are improving the three parks they already have."

Polensek said that CMP CEO Brian Zimmerman phoned him this morning because Polensek keeps pestering him for updates: "We've been playing phone tag," said Polensek, who's eager to see some progress on the two miles of lakefront he's got in his ward. Polensek did say that although the pace has been slow, the momentum is headed in the right direction.

"The number of people are slowly coming back," he said. "They're walking dogs, pushing baby carriages. You can really feel that sense of community. There's tremendous possibilities out here."

Polensek remains frustrated with the city's lack of vision and urgency on the lakefront — "We're really lagging behind," — but he maintains that June, 2013, when ODNR transferred the Lakefront parks to CMP, will be a "pivotal moment" in the city's history.

That's assuming plans begin to materialize (beyond the maintenance which people acknowledge has been first rate).

"We need something to jump start this and get it going," said Polensek. "I don't wanna wait any longer. We just talk about this shit and it never gets done."

Polensek described current lakefront conversations at City Hall as "disjointed," and said he's fed up with the complacency that has characterized Frank Jackson's administration re: the Lakefront.

"And it's not just about recreation and economic development," he said. "It's about job creation and having a lakefront we can be proud of."

As for the Metroparks: Its CEO and commissioners have hinted rather blatantly in meetings that the mobile home community at Euclid Beach is an eyesore, so a lakefront they "can be proud of" probably doesn't include that particular parcel in its current state.

CMP has yet to respond to a Scene public records request from December, 2013, requesting information regarding Brian Zimmerman's correspondence related to the Euclid Home Mobile Home Park.

CORRECTION: CMP did respond, in an email from legal assistant Janice Kinchy on January 9, 2014, but no correspondence to or from Brian Zimmerman related to the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park was provided, because CMP didn't have any.