University Heights City Council meeting highlights [12-6-10]

DECEMBER 6, 2010

  • Resident suggests health care savings and art exhibit
  • Sun Press article creates good financial news
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Health services
  • Ashurst Community Garden fund
  • Building permit fees
  • Recycling services
  • Funds for fire truck generator
  • Police pension fund 

Councilman Frank Consolo was absent.

Resident suggests health care savings and art exhibit

Paul Miller of Charney road told council that three towns are saving an estimated 60% on health care cost by combining their plans, and suggested council consider doing the same.

Miller also suggested that the grassy knoll along Warrensville Center Road would be a great location to exhibit student art, and that the city could hold a contest.

Article creates good financial news

The mayor happily explained why the railings along the council chamber were festively decorated with seven balloons. She reminded everyone that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation’s had increased the cost of the yearly premium by $100,000 due to late payments for the 2009 year. Despite many efforts by the city to get the decision reversed, the bureau held fast until an article written by Ed Wittenberg appeared in the Sun Press detailing the city’s financial woes and explaining the decision’s negative repercussions on University Heights. Council presented Wittenberg with a proclamation in appreciation for his help in getting the bureau to reverse its decision.

Cuyahoga County Board of Health services

Health Commissioner for Cuyahoga County, Terry Allan, presented an overview of public health services provided by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. The board’s extensive involvement in citizen health includes education on bed bugs, flu shots, a 14-county grant to provide free health care where needed, a travel clinic, food inspection, a heat emergency and much more. Several challenges faced by the board include: 

  • Black babies are three times more likely to die than white babies
  • Funding to fight smoking is disappearing
  • Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are trending upward
  • There is a 25-year difference in life expectancy between city and outer suburbs residents

University Heights’s contract with the County Board of Health has the lowest rate in Ohio at $3.70 per capita. Allan acknowledged that funding county programs would be a challenge in the near future, but he does not foresee a problem working within the new county government structure. Council approved the 2011 contract for public health services provided by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

Ashurst Community Garden fund

Council passed an ordinance to create the Ashurst Community Garden Grant Fund.

Building permit fees

Three ordinances, presented on first reading, would bring building, plumbing, and electrical permit fees more in line with those of neighboring cities.

Recycling services

Council approved a five-year contract for recycling services with Kimble Transfer and Recycling.  The city would earn money from the recycling.

Funds for fire truck generator

Council authorized providing additional funds, in an amount not to exceed $20,215, for the purchase and installation of a generator for the fire pumper truck.  Most of the funds would come from the fire budget and the rest from other budget lines.

Police pension fund

There was the first reading of an ordinance to authorize a transfer of money from the general fund into the police pension fund to cover the first quarter payment. Once the payment was made the pension fund would be left with less than $100.

LWV observer:  Carol Gibson.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to mbarnes9515@gmail.com or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

Read More on University Heights
Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 10:10 AM, 12.14.2010