Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-4-13

FEBRUARY 4, 2013

  • Citizen communications
  • Waste disposal contract
  • Civil Service Commission opening
  • Exodus Lett
  • Block grant award to HCC
  • Inspection services agreement
  • Zoning variance
  • Amendment to Nighttown agreement
  • School district facilities committee
  • Cain Park dog walking
  • 3247 Oak Road
  • February commemorations

All council members were present.

Citizen communications

Dog walking in Cain Park: Resident Kerri Whitehouse, representing the Dog Project Committee of the Cain Park Neighborhood Association, updated council on the leashed dog pilot project for Cain Park. Efforts are underway to recruit volunteers to restock bags in the waste stations. The group is also looking for help in maintaining the website they are developing. It will be similar to the Leashed Dogs in Lakewood Parks website ( and used for creating public awareness about responsible dog ownership. Mayor Kelley suggested recruiting high school students who like dogs and are looking to fulfill community service hours.

Waste disposal contract

The acting city manager reported completion of a bid tabulation and award of contract for solid waste disposal to Rumpke of Northern Ohio Inc.

Civil Service Commission opening

The resignation of Mildred Barnard created an opening on the city’s Civil Service Commission. The three members of the commission are responsible for preparing and administrating tests for hiring and promoting civil service employees in the city’s police and fire divisions. Acting City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil thanked Barnard for her many years of service. Council appointed Judith Miles to fill the vacancy. Miles, an assistant prosecutor for Cuyahoga County and a longtime and active Cleveland Heights resident, most recently served on the Financial Institution Advisory Commission. Before the vote, Council Member Cheryl Stephens spoke highly of Miles’s personal and professional qualifications.  

Exodus Lett

Mayor Kelley asked for a moment of silence in memory of Exodus Lett, one of the city’s municipal court probation officers, who recently passed away. Susanna Niermann O’Neil described him as a man of energy and integrity who brought great enthusiasm to his work.

Block grant award to HCC

Council approved the use of $8,500 in Community Development Block Grant funds by Heights Community Congress (HCC) for fair housing audit services. HCC will undertake ten sales or rental unit audits at a cost of $850 each. The one-year agreement begins February 2013.

Inspection services agreement

Council authorized an agreement with Mackay Engineering & Survey Company for professional services for the inspection of city culverts and the completion of Ohio Department of Transportation bridge inspection reports. The cost for these services is not to exceed $8,125.

Zoning variance

Council granted a request from Kurt Dan Properties LLC, owner of the corner property at 3066 Yorkshire Road/2038 Cottage Grove Drive, to permit continued use of the Cottage Grove corner side-yard parking pad that is closer to the property line than the zoning code allows. The owner will work with the city’s planning director on a screening plan.

Amendment to Nighttown agreement

Council amended the legal description of the city property that council had previously approved for transfer to Nighttown Inc. in conjunction with a planned expansion. The described size of the property should be increased to include a strip measuring six feet, 48 inches along one side.

School district facilities committee

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools’ Lay Facilities Committee, of which Council Member Dennis Wilcox is a member, has been reviewing the school board’s plans for renovation, rehabilitation and replacement of school buildings. The committee is currently considering six alternative scenarios formulated by a subcommittee. These will be discussed at the committee’s next meeting on Feb. 13 at Roxboro Elementary School, and a survey conducted in February will gather community input. On March 6, at Canterbury Elementary School, the full committee will vote on whether to approve up to three of the subcommittee’s proposed options. Wilcox recommended looking at the committee’s website for more information.

Cain Park dog walking

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to establish a six-month pilot project, from April 15 to Oct. 15, to permit leashed dog walking in Cain Park under specified conditions to ensure adequate control of the dog, cleanup of dog waste, confinement to paved walkways, restricted days and sections, and suspension during specified events such as the Cain Park Arts Festival. The measure will be voted on at the next council meeting on Feb. 19.

3247 Oak Road

Council declared the property at 3247 Oak Road to be a nuisance and authorized abatement. Before the vote, Council Member Bonnie Caplan commended the response of city staff to the hazardous situation posed by this property.

February commemorations

Council declared February to be both American Heart Month and National African American History Month. Council Member Mary Dunbar noted that the Plain Dealer is publishing a series of articles on the accomplishments of African Americans. She urged residents to read those articles and take advantage of other programs to be offered this month, including an African American Read-In at the Lee Road Library on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

LWV Observer: Katherine Solender.

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

Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Cuyahoga Area

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 12:13 PM, 02.13.2013