University Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-13-11

DECEMBER 19, 2011

  • Finance director
  • Health care provisions
  • Budget legislation
  • Municipal energy program
  • Fund transfers for closing 2011
  • GAAP conversion
  • Public health services
  • Compensation plan
  • McDonalds
  • Street repairs
  • Retiring council members

Councilman Kevin Patrick Murphy was excused.

Finance director

Mayor Infield announced that finance director Jennifer Esarey had accepted a position with the city of Brooklyn, Ohio, and that this would be her final council meeting. The position has been posted on and several other sites. The mayor will oversee the city’s finances in the interim. There were many messages of thanks and farewell for Esarey, who stepped into major financial challenges and is leaving the city with much stronger financial records.

Health care provisions

The council approved health care provisions to bring directors, appointed employees, and nonunion employees to the same coverage as union members.

Budget legislation

Council authorized the final appropriations for 2011 and approved the appropriation of funds for the first quarter of 2012. The amounts are the same as for the first quarter of 2011, pending finalization of the budget.

Municipal energy program

Council authorized the advance of funds to the County Municipal Energy Program (MEP). This is a temporary transfer of $12,000 to the county MEP energy audit and $27,652 to the NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) grant. When the county and NOPEC reimburses the city for expenditures previously made, these advances will be repaid back to the general fund.

Fund transfers for closing 2011

Council authorized the transfer of funds to the Street Maintenance Fund ($315,000), Street Lighting Funds ($10,000) and the Sewer Maintenance Fund ($15,000) as authorized in the 2011 budget. This step was needed to ensure a positive balance in these funds at the close of 2011.

GAAP conversion

Council approved a contract with James G. Zupka to perform the 2011 GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles] conversion for the cost of $9,028. They will also perform a GASB 54 [Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement Number 54] compliance for a quote to be made later.

Public health services

Council approved the 2012 contract with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to provide public health services, required by law. The county will provide services for $3.84 per person or a total of $51,990, based on the 2010 census.

Compensation plan

Council approved the termination of the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC) 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. The previous finance director put the original plan in place without authority and VALIC was unwilling to work with the city to rectify this error. Only six employees are currently participating and they will still be able to contribute after-tax income. Councilman Sims abstained from voting due to his concern about eliminating a benefit for employees and the lack of information regarding this issue.


The building commissioner reported that McDonald's will now open in early February due to delays in the selection of an owner by the McDonald's corporation. Dave Stiles, who owns several stores in the Greater Cleveland area, will be the owner. McDonald's is currently hiring new employees through its website, and details are posted outside the building.

Street repairs

Councilman Sims asked the city engineer to notify homeowners whose street repairs were completed last month that their tree lawns would be restored by the contractor next spring.

Retiring council members

Councilmen Frank Consolo and Steve Bullock both gave farewell messages, as this was their final meeting. Consolo served for four years and Bullock for seven.

LWV observer: Wendy Deuring.

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 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.

League of Women Voters

Chapter co-chair for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Cuyahoga Area

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 2:20 PM, 01.24.2012