Holly Brinda has served as the Mayor of Elyria for more than 7 years and during her time in office she has maintained the “status quo” of budget mismanagement, misappropriations and driving the city further into despair. Her actions and brilliant ideas have resulted in an average unemployment rate of 5.3% (1.3% higher than the national average), 22.2% of the city’s residents are living in what is classified as “poverty”, she has presided over and furthered a decaying infrastructure, enabled a billowing budget, failed at safeguarding the community & misappropriated tax payer funds.
In order to clearly understand the failures (and there are many) of Elyria one simply needs to dive into the personal life of Holly Brinda. After doing so, it becomes fairly apparent that her failures are most likely intentional and without a doubt benefit the select few. This is done effectively through the art of cronyism, nepotism & favoritism.
For starters, Holly Brinda and her husband Greg Brinda have amassed more than $10,000,000 in total lifetime earnings. Mr. Brinda was a local radio personality for almost 40 years and recently left his position at WKNR. As a result, the Mayor is not in touch with the vast majority of those that makeup the community in which she presides over.
Mayor Holly Brinda lives in a spacious 3,000+ sq. ft. home located off of Windward Dr. Her home features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and is inching it’s way towards a property value of $300,000.00. If her home was in Westlake, it would be worth $600,000.00, easy. Brinda lives a lavish lifestyle and as such doesn’t connect with 90% of the city or it’s residents. In addition, it should be noted that Brinda’s street is entirely free of potholes, debris, and coincidentally enough is located in one of the lowest crime zones in the entire city. Her home is surrounded by the homes of police officers, city officials, lawyers, judges, business owners and other government employee’s who work in Elyria and the Lorain County area.
Motivated by Money
Holly Brinda is your typical money motivated individual. She wants more and then once she gets it from the tax payers, she spends it elsewhere. However, one thing that she doesn’t feel free in doing is publicizing her whereabouts and those that she frequents with. Primarily all of which consists of extensive sums of money – which are entirely out of touch with the norms.
Readers Note: We’re not saying that she’s not allowed to be rich or to do fancy get together’s, we’re just saying that why should she be doing these things when there’s so much work to be done? When things are failing and the people she’s sworn to represent are struggling. That’s where the problem lies….
- Multiple Luxurious Week Long Vacations Per Year.
- $300+ dinners dozens of times per year.
- Propositioned to advertise, promote & support businesses for alleged kickbacks, ie; Tickets, rewards, incentives, discounts.
- Consistently frequents with individuals whom are only in the upper class.
- Slightly prejudicial? Entirely gaudy? View her facebook photos (they are public) by clicking here. How many African American’s is she pictured with (15% of Elyria’s population)? How many pictures do you see her where she’s visiting middle class or lower class portions of the city?
COBRA Says: The Mayor & her constituents have only been thinking about what’s in their own backyards (literally) these past 7 years. This is a vicious cycle that just continues in Elyria and will only continue to fuel it’s demise.
“Jobs are not my responsibility” – Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda
Mayor Brinda has gone on record stating that “jobs are not my responsibility, nor are decent paying jobs.”. Yet she took it upon herself to ensure that the city didn’t lose any of it’s city workforce. This came at the expense of city tax payers who voted to have their roads repaired (this was the primary passing measure on Issue 6). She did this by removing $125,000 from the Issue 6 fund and in doing so lied to the people who voted her into office. Issue 6 was also intended to be utilized for road repairs, fiber optic lines, police salaries and other investment purposes even though she stated the following:
“We want to hold as true as possible to what voters said they wanted and what we said we were going to do,” she said. “We can only do this in very limited areas because Issue 6 is very specific, but it’s worth a discussion if it can be used for more police officers or more road projects. That has to be part of our budget discussions.”
Brinda said that while the city needed Issue 6 and she appreciates voters’ trust in passing it, it does not address any of the problems of the city’s general fund, where expenses outpace revenue. See her comments here: Mayor Wants To Use Issue 6 Funds to Avoid City Layoffs
Not So Fun Fact: Only a year later she dove right into Issue 6 and removed $125,000 and did exactly what she said she wouldn’t do…
Brinda has failed to use business acumen time and time again – this is because she doesn’t have a business background. With that being said she still has a $28,000,000+ yearly income from the city’s tax payers (not counting any government grants and subsidies) and is still unable to work within the confines of the allotments provided to her.
The following question and answer session was conducted with a long time Elyria resident and business owner who has close connections to Mayor Brinda. This will provide you with insight as to why Elyria is in the same position that it has been for such a long time and why things aren’t going to change anytime soon.
Where is the $28,000,000 going? The $28 mill+ income that is generated from the city’s tax payers goes into public funds, private funds and keeps much of the city workers employed. The money just sloshes around from one expense to another, one account to the next, it’s done to balance this area, correct that area, all in an effort to keep the system rolling and those who voted the Mayor into office appeased. This include Police Officers, Firefighters, all city workers and so forth. However, these individuals have negotiated rates of pay to the extreme, are paid extensive overtime and millions are wasted on clerical work, repetitive positions, friends & family and associate plugs. Risks are taken on random programs that have no proven results. In the end, there is no balance and no responsibility for the money that is generated because it goes into an open ended stream that doesn’t have much value or return on the community because it’s a free for all. One that isn’t finely tuned and one that nobody dares to approach because it would be committing career suicide (in their minds).
How is the community benefiting? It isn’t, or at least the bulk of the community isn’t. Those who have secured positions within the government – they are doing well. Those who run companies, like myself or are working at high level positions within various companies – they are doing well. The rest of the population, not so much. 70% of the roads are in disrepair (except for the nice areas where all the government employee’s live and high end areas), there are a few expenditures that went into building playgrounds and fun zones for kids – like parks, however, nothing has changed, because individuals such as Holly Brinda are incapable to have the foresight to actually create a resounding change and have manifested into the same campaign styled approach of maintaining business as usual, while promising change, only to keep things the same for those who are deemed worthy enough to benefit. Cycle repeats, city worsens.
Why are there potholes on the vast majority of streets even when we paid for the repairs? Because some of the money that was to be used for that was misappropriated by the Mayor. Most importantly, streets in high end neighborhoods and areas like the Mayor’s are focused on extensively and excessively – which deprives the rest of the city and many of it’s residents from getting much needed road repairs done. In addition, big companies moved out of the city a few years ago – once again during the Mayors governance of the city. She really doesn’t have a clue how to bring in business or even keep the ones that are here.
Why is there such high crime? Primarily due to rampant drugs. Elyria has been a high crime zone for the past 2 1/2 decades in large part because of crack cocaine, heroin and meth use. As a result of the drugs, prostitution in Elyria has and still is running rampant. Hookers can still be found walking up and down Middle Avenue to this very day, every single known bed bug and prostitute infested motel that has ever operated is still standing, (see this beauty for an example: The Crime Riddled, Infested & Diseased – Motel 9), the police have grown numb to the conditions in which they are surrounded by feeling as if their hands are tied, the community and the intervention methods that have been deployed are non-existent in fighting drug use and drug trafficking. The city of Elyria’s crime rate will only change with the acquisition of property’s by the city and or the restructuring of zoning. This means cleaning up the entire downtown area and utilizing the budget one section of the city at a time. Lot’s of hard work, real hard work, that this Mayor and the Mayor’s past never dared or cared to attempt.
Why are the school systems ranked considerably lower than the National Average? Again, due to the failures of the Mayor and the community hanging on by a thread. Families are subjected to high crime and illicit drug use, this then rolls over onto the student and ultimately the teachers. Unfortunately there are many kids who attend schools that are living in poverty, have horrendous home lives and then this translates into disruptions and poor school performance. You culminate this with under paid and over worked teachers who are sick and tired of having 30% of their class (for high school) being disruptive and you now have a resounding effect that has officially became a failure.
Why did the Colonial Oaks Trailer Park sell for $17 million, but Elyria Midway Mall only sold for $4.25 million? Sounds backwards right? Well, the truth is that Elyria holds zero value for investors. Literally none. Midway is a ghost town for a reason, people think of North Olmsted when they want to go to a mall, not Midway. The mindset here on behalf of Brinda is small minded – to say the least which takes me into your next question….
Why don’t more businesses want to come into Elyria? Who wants to come to Elyria? Like seriously, what does Elyria have to offer anyone anymore? It’s not a shining and defining moment for a company to expand into the city – not unless they have the passion and pride of being born and raised in Elyria, and even then, many want to distance themselves as much as possible from the city. There’s little to no tax incentives, the Mayor hasn’t created entrepreneur outreach programs to accrue new businesses or to help create a game plan to target specific zones at one time for a culminated effect. Alas, Holly Brinda doesn’t have a business background and couldn’t figure out how to register her own company if she tried, let alone pitch opportunities to other business owners.
Does her political affiliation matter? Brinda is a Democrat. Sadly, people vote for her and other Democrat’s simply because they associate themselves with being “Democratic”. This is the wrong approach, history and statistics have shown locally and nationally that Democratic Mayor’s preside 3 times to 1 over city’s that are high crime and high poverty when put into comparison with their Republican counterparts. This just boils down to basic mindsets and staying within party lines. One method works, the other method fails miserably. You shouldn’t ever vote based on affiliation, but in this case, you must vote on something different in Elyria in order to usher in any hope of change. Brinda has to go or Elyria and it’s residents will continue to suffer.
The Mayors Legacy
- 22.2% Living in poverty.
- 5.3% Unemployment.
- Misappropriated $125,000 from Issue 6.
- Unpaved roads (except for her own).
- Lost major corporations during her tenure (Riddell, 3M, etc).
- Failed to invest into the city (could have purchased Midway Mall for $4.5 million).
- Lied to tax payers and residents.
- Elyria city schools rank considerably lower when in comparison to the National Average.
- Average crime per square mile is 2 1/2 x more likely than the national average.
Hope for Elyria
Not all hope is lost for the city of Elyria, as the income that the city generates doesn’t have to continuously be used for inflated budgets and misappropriations. There is a new candidate, a native of Elyria who goes by the name of Clifton Oliver. Oliver served in The United States Marine Corps and doesn’t live in a sprawling mcmansion (even if he did, he would still be a more down to earth candidate). One who is in touch with the realities and the people that actually reside within the community, whether they are lower, middle or upper income based. Entrepreneurs or hard workers, unemployed or retired – Clifton Oliver appears to be the champion and hope that Elyria has needed for decades.
The difference between the two is that one’s in it for a paycheck (Brinda), while the other is doing it out of passion for the city he grew up in (Oliver). Oliver has promised to make a scholarship every quarter out of his Mayorial salary and invest in someone within the city. He has real ideas and visions – is willing to take risks to bring the city back from the brink of failure.
The Bottom Line: The city of Elyria is becoming a wasteland. Mayor Brinda has failed miserably, she’s been elected for no reason other than a strong political arm and war chest that saw her coffers fill from local donors who she’s graciously returned favors to. Stop voting people in who don’t resonate with the community and things might have a chance at changing. Keep going down the same route and things won’t only not not change, but they’ll just get worse.
SCUMBAGGED Tip: When it’s time to vote in the new Mayor of Elyria (in 2019), vote for the Independent candidate Clifton Oliver. He’s worth the risk for the simple fact that it won’t be more of the same ole’ same ole’ failed Brinda agenda and judging from his comments and public interest in various opportunities for the city, he has a plan that just might work…