Newspaper Record of STARK/JACOBS in Avon,
Ohio -- June, 1998 to Present

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NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (6-30-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"AVON -- A rezoning request for the Avon Commons strip mall was approved last night [6-29-98] by the Avon Planning Commission. ...

Stark and Jacobs were not at last night's meeting, but Stark did send a letter to Planning Commission members and to city-hired consultant David Hartt urging that the land not be rezoned for Avon Commons. ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (7-3-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"Avon developer wants to put mall zoning on ballot

AVON -- Developer Mitchell Schneider wants voters to decide the fate of his Avon Commons strip mall, ...

The move comes after a nearly year-long struggle for Schneider who claims he is being sabotaged by rivals Robert L. Stark and Richard Jacobs, the developers pushing for an 800-acre commercial, residential and industrial complex surrounding Lear-Nagel Road.

By putting his rezoning request on the November ballot rather than waiting to see if City Council will rezone the land, Schneider hopes to take ammunition away from Jacobs and Stark. Schneider contended that if City Council rezoned the land, Jacobs and Stark would quickly put a referendum on the November ballot to fight Avon Commons.

The competition for retail dollars in Avon has definitely turned ugly, said Schneider. ...

Councilman Ted Graczyk, ... said it makes sense for Schneider to take his request to the people ...

'He's probably taking a better course of action,' Graczyk said. ...

Schneider also said that voter approval of Avon Commons would send a message to Stark and Jacobs. ...

When Schneider first brought his project forward last fall, it was generally assumed his land was zoned correctly. Since then, however, Schneider lost a court battle brought forward by attorney[s Timothy Grendell, Tom Smith,and] Gerald Phillips over the zoning.

He then applied for rezoning, which was approved by Planning Commission this week [6-29-98] before Schneider withdrew his request.

Although the land is zoned for commercial use, ... [Judge Thomas Janas in Lorain County Common Pleas Court] ruled that it is not the specific type of use that allows large strip malls like Schneider's. ...

Meanwhile, Stark and Jacobs have not presented any official plans to the city. Before they can seek approval, much of their land must also be rezoned. ...

Plans for Avon Commons show a 625,000-square-foot strip mall, including several large superstores, restaurants, smaller retailers, a movie theater, a winding recreational pathway and a ... park-like area to be used for summer concerts. The project would be completely hidden from Detroit Road by extensive landscaping and buffering.

Schneider has touted Avon Commons as an 'award-winning' project that will bring significant tax dollars into Avon without ruining the character of Detroit Road."

NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS (7-8-98) by Amy Ginn

"... Schneider said, 'Putting the Avon Commons rezoning on the ballot will provide the residents of the City of Avon the opportunity to tell these forces that the citizens of Avon have had enough of their attempts to interfere and to deprive the community of Avon of a first-class development opportunity that will provide significant additional resources to the community without overwhelming the community with a development of regional impact involving hundreds and hundreds of acres...,'

Schneider withdrew his rezoning request to the City last week before City Council. He said that he hopes his patience and perseverance made a good enough impression on city officials and residents that the project is in good hands with the voters instead. 'This process has resulted in positive relationships between First Interstate, the Planning Commission, and the community, which have generated the type of good will that First Interstate believes will carry the day in an election...,' he said.

Schneider's need to request rezoning came after a ... June 8 decision that the 84 acres at Rt. 83 and Detroit Road, the site Schneider planned to build on, was not zoned properly for the project.

Following that decision, Schneider had filed a rezoning request with the City. The Planning Commission voted favorably upon it. He pulled the request before Council could vote on it, however, and opted to take it straight to the voters.

Schneider said ... 'First Interstate...has continuously operated in the public forum, has clearly set forth its plan, has listened to the comments of well-intended persons in the community, and has adjusted its plans to meet the concerns and needs of the community, and done so in a professional and first-class manner,'...

... Once the company gathers the number of signatures needed, Clerk of Council Pat Vierkorn must take the signatures to the Board of Elections to be verified.

...Robert L. Stark Enterprises and the Richard E. Jacobs Group have also developed plans for commercial and retail development in Avon. ...."

NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS (7-15-98) by JoAnne Easterday

... Should voters decide to rezone the property, Council would act on the subdivider's agreement for the project.

Some feel, however, that there are not likely to be two initiative petitions circulating in Avon. According to Bill Burges, president of the strategists working with the Stark/Jacobs group, they are still gathering data and ideas from the people.

... Small, in-home group discussions as well as one-on-one conversations in 'places where people feel comfortable,' is the point in the planning process where the Stark/Jacob's group is working, Burges said.

... He said they had no intentions of starting to seek signatures but 'that is not to say that at some point it may go to the people.' For this more easterly project he said, 'I cannot imagine that something would be put on this November's ballot.'

... At this point Avon people can assume that any petition they choose to sign or not sign involves Avon Commons, ..."

SMITH REMINISCES ON HISTORY OF COMMONS PROPERTY by JoAnne Easterday, THE PRESS, July 15, 1998

"There is a touch of irony in remembering. Avon property owner T. J. Smith said last week that he remembers a thing or two about the area in which Avon Commons shopping center is planned.

In fact, some land that Smith owns has been optioned by First Interstate Development. He said that in 1964 the property had been zoned CP-1, the counterpart for present day C-3 zoning. ...

... Smith went on to say that he favored going to the people for a zoning decision. 'The people should make the effort to understand what is going on here,' he said.

Smith is of the opinion that if Avon Commons does not go in, the Stark/Jacobs development is a foregone conclusion. He said, 'THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THEM IS WITH COMMERCIAL COMPETITION. IF WE DON'T PROVIDE IT, THEY WILL PROCEED. I want Detroit Road to look like it is now.' He said Stark/Jacobs has the money and the clout to push through their development. 'They will get their zoning through a court decision,' Smith said.

... Smith concluded by saying, 'People have to shop somewhere. They have to ride on a road to get there.' With Avon Commons there wouldn't necessarily be more traffic. 'Avon would get the tax benefit and the jobs,' he said."

NEWS ARTICLE from the SUN (7-16-98) by Michael Kazimore:

"Voters will decide fate of Avon Commons

AVON -- After months of debate, it looks like city residents will make the ultimate decision about Mitchell Schneider's Avon Commons strip mall. ...

If Schneider's proposal is defeated at the polls, it could open the door for rival developers Richard Jacobs and Robert L. Stark, who are interested in building an 800-acre commercial, industrial and residential complex, ...

Jacobs and Stark declined to comment on any possible plans to battle Schneider at the polls."

NEWS ARTICLE from the SUN (7-16-98) by Michael Kazimore:

"AVON -- Gerald Phillips' proposed charter amendment might have failed on the May 5 ballot, but the local attorney came out a winner last week.

That's because the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the City should pay him more than $22,000 ...

Mayor James Smith said ... the $22,000 price tag ... is out of line. ... Along with disputing the number of hours with which Phillips charged the City, Smith said he was particularly surprised to see that Phillips billed the City at an hourly fee of $175 [per hour]. ...

According to Smith, the money will be paid from the City's general fund and could affect future projects such as paving roads, installing sewers and creating more water retention ponds. ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (7-23-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"AVON -- Two sets of developers each planning huge shopping centers for Avon need to have their projects approved by voters before a single store can be built, but only one of the projects will be on the November ballot.

Mitchell Schneider is already gathering the signatures necessary to put his Detroit Road Avon Commons strip mall on the ballot for voters to decide whether to rezone his 85 acres so the project can go forward.

Rival developers Richard Jacobs and Robert L. Stark are holding back and reviewing their plans before putting their 800-acre project before Avon voters. They too must have their land rezoned at the ballot.

Neither Stark nor Jacobs returned phone calls for comment yesterday. Their consultant, Bill Burges, confirmed that more work must be done on the massive project before any approval is sought.

... Perhaps most importantly, the developers must have options on all the land they would like to rezone before any vote can be taken. Burges declined to comment on how much land has been secured, but said he doesn't think it will be a problem.

... Schneider has been slowed down by challenges. Earlier this summer, the Lorain County Common Pleas Court ruled that Schneider's Avon Commons land is not zoned correctly for large strip malls -meaning that he must either ask City Council to rezone the land or put his rezoning request on the November ballot. He had originally hoped to break ground this summer.

Schneider said he thinks Stark and Jacobs are delaying their project because of Avon Commons.

'I think that they're holding back because they understand that the impact of their project ... is drastically greater [than ours],' he said. 'In order to avoid the contrast, they're simply holding back.'

Burges denied the allegation. ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (8-6-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"AVON - Avon officials yesterday [8-5-98] verified that developer Mitchell Schneider has enough signatures to put his Avon Commons strip mall on the November ballot. ...

Schneider said he will now focus on informing Avon residents of his plans through a series of community meetings ... and mailings.

He said, however, that he expects his efforts could be thwarted by attempts from rival developers Richard Jacobs and Robert L. Stark to portray Avon Commons as detrimental to the community. ... 'I think it'll take one of two forms,' Schneider said. 'I think we could probably expect one form to be a bunch of wonderful and puffy information regarding the proposed Stark-Jacobs mega-project.'

'I suppose the second campaign which may be waged -- although I'm not sure we'll know who's waging it -- will be a more negative type of campaign critiquing what we're proposing,' he said.

Bill Burges, a consultant for Stark and Jacobs, declined to comment."

HAS THE STARK/JACOBS PR CAMPAIGN ALREADY STARTED? THERE IS A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRESS (8-5-98) PRAISING GERALD PHILLIPS. THERE IS ALSO A FRONT PAGE ARTICLE IN THE SUNDAY, (8-9-98) CHRONICLE - TELEGRAM PRAISING PHILLIPS. IS THE APPEARANCE OF THESE DOCUMENTS WITHIN 5 DAYS OF EACH OTHER A COINCIDENCE? IF STARK/JACOBS WANTS TO IMPROVE PHILLIPS' IMAGE, WHAT IS THEIR MOTIVE?

NEWS ARTICLE from the PLAIN DEALER (8-11-98) by Hollace Silbiger:

"AVON - ... City Council agreed last night [8-10-98] to place a rezoning issue on the on the November ballot for the proposed Avon Commons ...

On June 8 [1998], a Lorain County Common Pleas judge [Thomas Janas] ruled zoning changes were necessary for the project, ...

[First Interstate President Mitchell C. Schneider] In a letter to city officials last month [July, 1998] ... said the project was supported by Avon residents. He also said ... developers Robert L. Stark Enterprises and the Richard E. Jacobs Group ... would work to defeat it. ...

Stark spokesman Bill Burges declined to comment on Schneider's accusation, calling it 'speculative' ..."

COMMUNITY PULSE ... AND OPINION from THE PRESS (8-12-98) by Richard J. Hemmer, Jr.

"... Avon City Council has decided to put the Avon Commons issue before the voters. ... My initial thinking is First Interstate is going to work very hard to inform Avon residents of every aspect of this project. I believe Stark/Jacobs could also run a campaign to negate First Interstate's efforts...."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (8-14-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"AVON -- After months of silence, mega-developers Richard Jacobs and Robert L. Stark appear to be reworking their huge plans for Avon so as to move the shopping mall portion north of Interstate 90. The shift is hinted in their attempts to acquire 220 acres owned by Norfolk and Southern Railroad. ...

Although the plans entailed commercial, residential and industrial development, the 150-acre shopping center seemed to be the sticking point with most Avon residents -- especially since the land eyed for that portion of the development is lined with houses and would have to be rezoned.

If Jacobs and Stark acquire the land from the railroad, they could allow for the construction of a shopping center north of I-90 on land currently zoned for industrial use. ...

Mayor Jim Smith ... said the shopping center would have a big impact on residents of Lear-Nagel road wherever it's located. ... 'You've got to remember Nagel Road goes south, and there's a lot of traffic on that road already.' ...

Councilman Jack Kilroy, whose ward abuts the proposed development, said three obstacles prevent him from supporting the plan: his opposition to tax abatements, changing the city's master plan to rezone land and the proposed highway interchange.

'I think it would be a disaster,' Kilroy said. 'It would make Lear-Nagel into a major thoroughfare, and it's not equipped to handle it. It's not equipped to handle the traffic it has right now.'

If the interchange went through, Lear-Nagel Road would have to be widened -a move that Kilroy said wouldn't sit well with residents.

'Even putting in sidewalks on Lear-Nagel, we're having complaints about sidewalks gobbling up so much of their land,' he said. 'There's barely room for sidewalks.'

Whether the developers buy the railroad land or not, Jacobs and Stark would still need to have much of their land rezoned -- either from residential to commercial or industrial to commercial.

City Council vowed last year not to rezone land for the developers, meaning that any rezoning request would have to go to a city-wide vote. Jacobs and Stark have not announced when they will put their plans on the ballot.

Further complicating the shopping center scenario, is developer Mitchell Schneider's plan to put his proposed 85-acre Avon Commons strip mall on the November ballot.

Some in the community have suggested that if Avon Commons gets the nod from voters, it would make residents less likely to approve any subsequent commercial development. ..."

AVON'S INDUSTRIAL LAND SHOULD BE USED TO CREATE HIGH-PAID INDUSTRIAL JOBS TO PRODUCE INCOME TAX FOR AVON. THIS INDUSTRIAL LAND SHOULD NOT BE REZONED COMMERCIAL. Stark/Jacobs should put in an industrial park.

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (8-15-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"Bed, ticket tax sought for Avon

AVON -- Mayor Jim Smith sees hotels, motels and movie theaters on Avon's horizon. And when they come, he wants to make sure they bring money into the city's coffers.

To that end, Smith plans to ask City Council to pass a tax on movie theater tickets and lodging.

'We are the place hotels and motels are going to be,' Smith said. 'I've got the feeling that -- in the next six months -- there will be a lot of people that will want to break ground in April. And we've got to be ready.'

The tax, which Smith said would bring 'big bucks' to cash-starved Avon, could be anywhere from 3 to 6.5 percent. The money would be charged to consumers based on the cost of admissions tickets or hotel/motel bills.

The movie theater proposed for Detroit Road by developer Mitchell Schneider could bring in between $300,000 and $500,000 in additional annual tax revenue alone, Smith said. And then there are the hotels and motels the mayor is confident will arrive. ...

In Sandusky, a tax on admissions netted nearly $2 million last year, thanks largely to Cedar Point, according to city officials. The myriad hotels and resorts brought in another $500,000.

But it's not only the established cities that are looking for a little extra cash. Like Avon, Sheffield Village is in the middle of a commercial boom expected to bring hotels, motels and a 20-screen movie theater.

... Surrounded by cities already taking advantage of the tax opportunity, Smith said it's time Avon gets going.

'Let's not stick our heads in the sand,' said Smith, who plans to propose the taxes to Council next month. 'The reality is that people want to locate here. We have to be prepared and make sure we're ahead of the game.'"

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (9-3-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"Disbanded Avon charter commission regroups

.... Members [of the Avon Charter Review Commission] plan to continue meeting to discuss issues such as tax abatement and the rezoning of land to commercial. ...

... Currently, citizens have no say in the rezoning of land. Rather than change the charter so that rezoning requests would automatically go to a vote of the people, the commission is considering extending the period during which rezoning can be challenged through a referendum from 30 days to 90 days, [Commission Chairman David] Mast said.

"What it does is negate the fear that you won't be able to reverse a decision that's made (at a council meeting) on Jan. 22 in the middle of a snow storm,'' Mast said. ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (9-12-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"Avon -- Developer David DiBenedetto is attempting to acquire land across the street from the proposed Avon Commons shopping center -- a move that has raised suspicions he is either planning a strip mall of his own or pretending to do so in an attempt to cast a negative light on Avon Commons.

The truth is a matter of debate, with both sides stacking up evidence on their behalf. On one side is DiBenedetto, who said he has no specific plans for the Detroit Road land, zoned for residential use only. As a developer of both residential and commercial land, acquiring options to property is nothing new or unusual, DiBenedetto said. 'I'm still making a decision on what's the best use for the property,' he added. 'It has the potential for a variety of things. It depends on what the City would allow it to be used for.'

On the other side is Avon Commons developer Mitchell Schneider who is in the middle of a tenacious battle to get his 84 acres rezoned [from C2 to C3] so that he can build his shopping center. After losing in court [decision by Judge Janas on 6-8-98], Schneider placed the fate of his development in the hands of the voters. For months, Schneider has maintained that rival developers Richard Jacobs and Robert L. Stark are working behind the scenes to stop him so that they can go forward.

DiBenedetto is working with the Jacobs/Stark team to crush Avon Commons' chances in the election, Schneider claims.

Schneider also pointed out that DiBenedetto stands to make money by selling land to Stark for his proposed project around Lear-Nagel Road, which is more likely to go through if Avon Commons is defeated.

'I believe that the Stark/Jacobs people would very naturally try to assemble land across the street from Avon Commons prior to this election,' Schneider said. 'Not for the purpose of developing the land, BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CREATING VOTER CONFUSION PRIOR TO THE NOV. 3 ELECTION. I believe that what is happening is DiBenedetto and Stark and Jacobs are setting up a confusion issue.'

Schneider's theory is that DIBENEDETTO INTENDS TO ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR A SHOPPING CENTER JUST DAYS BEFORE RESIDENTS ARE SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON AVON COMMONS. Talk of two shopping centers would not only confuse some voters, but would create a fear that Avon is being overwhelmed with commercial development -- making Avon Commons less appealing to voters. ...

'Absolutely not true,' said DiBenedetto ... Neither Stark nor Jacobs returned phone calls seeking comment. ...

City officials asked about DiBenedetto's plans said they have heard rumors ... 'From what I hear the land's being optioned for, it makes absolutely no sense,' Councilman Shaun Brady said, ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (9-22-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"Avon audit points up concerns

AVON -- Former Council President Ed Krystowski conducted potentially illegal private business dealings with developers working in Avon, according to a final draft of the state audit obtained yesterday by The Morning Journal. The audit, which is scheduled to be officially released by State Auditor James Petro this week, said Krystowski acted improperly when he sold $60,000 worth of heavy-duty equipment to a developer and then approved plans for the developer's subdivision. It also accused him of selling $29,000 worth of equipment to a firm that received nearly $1.7 million in city business.

While the audit has not been signed by Petro yet, Avon Mayor Jim Smith and Finance Director Bob Hamilton said the contents are unlikely to change. The draft, which has already been distributed to city officials, was given to The Morning Journal by a city source yesterday.

The audit contains two findings, including one on Krystowski's conflicts of interest and one stating that City Council as a whole opened the city up to lawsuits by disregarding the opinion of other city boards.

Both findings, said Hamilton, should be taken seriously.

''Anytime there's a finding it raises the red flag with credit analysts around the country,'' he said. ''And I don't like to see that. No one in city government wants to see a finding.''

The audit has been sent to County Prosecutor Greg White's office for review.

Krystowski, who was not available for comment yesterday, resigned from office May 26 following almost a year of controversy that began when The Morning Journal published a series of articles examining the relationship between city officials and developers in Lorain County's fastest growing city.

In the articles, Krystowski admitted he sold equipment to developers through his Wellington tractor store and then voted on their projects, but said he was not aware that it was a possible conflict of interest.

With copies of the series in hand, state auditors arrived in Avon last fall to investigate, said Hamilton.

''The newspaper could have been the driving force behind the audit,'' Hamilton said. ''I think it had a lot to do with this thing being continued.''

The first finding reported that Krystowski sold about $60,000 worth of equipment to a developer and then voted on his project -- a move that is prohibited by both Avon's charter and state ethics laws.

The audit did not list the name of the developer, but Krystowski told The Morning Journal last fall that he sold $12,000 worth of equipment to Devonshire Meadows developer Joe Scaletta and $50,000 in equipment to Carnegie Development, a Westlake firm working on Red Tail, the city's largest subdivision.

The first finding also reported that Krystowski sold $29,000 worth of equipment to an unidentified company which received nearly $1.7 million in city contracts between 1995 and 1997.

Avon officials said yesterday that they will have to check records before determining what company the audit referenced, but said it is most likely a construction company that did sewer work.

Dennis Bender, the president of Avon-based Bender Trucking and Excavating, said the audit may be referring to his company, which bought a tractor from Krystowski Tractor Sales Inc. and also completed several sewer projects for the city. Bender stressed that all of the projects were competitively bid.

The second finding said that council -- then under the leadership of Krystowski -- opened the city up to lawsuits filed by developers and builders when it disregarded recommendations of the city Planning Commission and zoning inspector.

Planning Commission Chair Jim Piazza echoed the auditor's report that his board's rulings were often ignored.

''Planning Commission would recommend a development to council, but when the development got to council they started all over again,'' Piazza said. ''They asked questions about things we already reviewed.''

Piazza stressed that the relationship between council and Planning Commission has improved greatly since Council President Ted Graczyk joined the team of planners, but admitted that council's former disregard for the board has cost the city money in legal fees.

As an example, Piazza cited a lawsuit filed by developer Greg Romes when council overruled Planning Commission's recommendation to approve sewer plans for Romes' subdivision.

Council President Ted Graczyk attributed the conflict and ensuing lawsuit to ''growing pains,'' and said there was no malice involved in the decision to refuse a sewer exception to Romes, who has since dropped his lawsuit.

''I think it was just so many developments going on and trying to work with the people,'' Graczyk said. ''I think everybody was trying to figure out what was the most economical way to approach putting in sewers.''

As for state auditor's claims concerning Krystowski, Graczyk said he will wait to see what the county prosecutor does with the issue.

Other city council members, however, have less faith in their former leader and fear his influence is still at work with some members of City Council.

''I have a lot of trust in the state auditor,'' said Avon Councilman Jack Kilroy, who often spars with Graczyk over procedure. ''What I'm concerned about now that Krystowski's gone is people like Ted Graczyk who sat idly by while all of this happened. Ted Gracyk likes to make speeches on the council floor about conflicts of interest and yet he sat next to Krystowski while all of this happened and didn't say a peep.''

Kilroy said that when he and another member of council spoke out about Krystowski's business dealings they were told to, ''Shut up unless we could prove something in writing.''

''Here it is in writing and people still don't want to believe it,'' Kilroy said.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he's just glad the conflict appears to be nearing an end.

''It's done,'' he said. ''I haven't seen (Krystowski) since he left.''

While still days away from official release, city officials said Avon's reputation is already staggering from the state auditor's report.

''It attacks the integrity of the over-all management of the city,'' Hamilton said. ''And I don't know if all the problems have been resolved or not."

NEWS ARTICLE from the MORNING JOURNAL (9-23-98) by Colleen Mytnick:

"State audit rattles Avon

AVON -- Lorain County Prosecutor Greg White is investigating reports that former Avon Council President Ed Krystowski had potentially illegal business dealings with developers doing work in Avon.

White would not elaborate on his investigation yesterday, but did confirm it is related to State Auditor James Petro's findings that Krystowski's Wellington tractor store sold nearly $90,000 worth of heavy duty equipment to companies that do work in Avon.

"We're looking into a few things over there and kind of helping in conjunction with the auditors,'' White said. "We're not identifying individuals and we're not defining the scope of the investigation, but we are in progress.''

While the state audit has not been officially released yet, a final draft copy obtained by The Morning Journal cited two findings -- one involving Krystowski's private business dealings and one involving City Council as a whole.

Because the audit is not official yet, Petro also refused to discuss specifics yesterday, but did confirm he and White are working together.

"My staff has already been working with Greg White,'' Petro said.

Petro's office first began investigating Krystowski after The Morning Journal published a series of articles last year examining the relationship between Krystowski and developers to whom he sold equipment.

"The conflict issue had been pretty well-quantified in your paper,'' Petro told The Morning Journal yesterday.

Krystowski, who has not returned a phone call from The Morning Journal since last November's elections, resigned from office in May, citing "intimidation'' and "scrutiny.''

Since then, many council members have continued to maintain that any wrong-doings on Krystowski's part were unintentional.

The final draft of the audit, which outlines Krystowski's conflicts of interest, came as a shock to Council President Ted Graczyk, who said he has arranged for one last meeting with auditors this week.

"We've never seen this report before,'' Graczyk said. "It's a completely different report than we were presented (earlier).''

Councilman Jack Kilroy, a vocal critic of Krystowski, said revisions of audits are common and questioned why Graczyk felt the need for another meeting.

"Mr. Graczyk called me at 7:30 this morning, which I was rather surprised by,'' Kilroy said. "He said there were things in the draft that were not in the final report. He wants to get to the bottom of it. He was very troubled by it.''

Despite the last minute meeting, the auditor's office said their official report will most likely be released at some point next week.

"At this point, we don't expect it to be postponed,'' said Kate Buchy, a spokeswoman for Petro's office. "But, I couldn't say that 100 percent.''

Regardless of when the audit is released, Finance Director Bob Hamilton said he doesn't expect it to change much from the most recent draft copy.

The first finding in the draft reported it was a violation of both state ethics laws and Avon's city charter for Krystowski to sell $60,000 in equipment to a developer whose subdivision he then voted to approve. The draft said it was also a violation for Krystowski to sell $29,000 in equipment to a construction firm that received $1.7 million in city contracts.

The second filing said City Council opened the city up to lawsuits filed by developers and builders when members disregarded the recommendations of the city Planning Commission and zoning inspector."

Newspaper Record of Stark/Jacobs in Avon

More Documents Relating to the June 8, 1998, Decision Against Avon

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