University Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-22-13
JANUARY 22, 2013
- Councilman Thomas A. Cozzens
- MLK celebration
- Robert Perko
- Tennis courts
- Catch basins and storm sewers
- Wire Transfer Agreement
- 2013 budget
- Busy year for fires
- Cell phones and driving
All council members were present.
Councilman Thomas A. Cozzens
Councilman Thomas A. Cozzens died on Jan. 17 after a brief illness. A white rose was placed on his desk. Cozzens had served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for 13 years, and was elected to city council one year ago. Mayor Infeld spoke of his remarkable commitment, attending two meetings in January despite his illness, thus ensuring that the budget proposal for 2013 was completed. Council members spoke of his being not just a gentleman, but also a gentle man who was an extraordinary listener. He was described as providing a quiet, steady leadership, not speaking often, but only when he had something to contribute. Pamela Cameron, who joined council one year ago with no prior government experience, said she appreciated his acceptance of her in her new role and his confidence in her abilities.
Council must appoint someone within 30 days to serve out the remainder of this year. This November there will be an election to fill the remaining two years of Cozzens’s term. Letters of interest and résumés for consideration of appointment should be submitted to Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1.
The program in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. was not held this evening due to the schools being closed for inclement weather. Mayor Infeld will see if the program can be rescheduled.
Robert Perko was sworn in as a lieutenant in the fire department. Because this is a management position within the departmen, Perko had to be sworn in by the mayor. His family and friends were present.
Council authorized advertisement for bids for crack sealing, patching, and surface sealing of the tennis courts, which was last done in 2006. Separate pricing to replace six of the poles that hold the nets will also be requested in the bids. The bids should not exceed $70,000.
Catch basins and storm sewers
Council authorized advertisement for bids for catch basin and storm sewer cleaning and sanitizing, and television inspections. Approximately one-third of the catch basins and one-third of the sewers are cleaned and inspected annually. The bid pricing is per individual catch basin and per linear foot of sewer, but the city will only pay for the work that is done. There is a possibility that this work can be done by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, but that has not yet been determined.
Wire transfer agreement
Council authorized a wire transfer agreement with FirstMerit Bank, which was required by the bank, and also authorized the finance director, law director and clerk of council to sign agreements required by the bank. The finance director can sign agreements up to $1,000 without a second signature required. A resolution was presented on first reading for a wire transfer agreement with Fifth Third Bank as well. Fifth Third does not require this, but Larry Heiser, finance director, felt it would provide consistency and transparency to have the same agreement on record with both banks.
Council adopted the 2013 budget with one amendment. The budget line for the juvenile diversion program was changed from $3,500 to $9,500. There is a backlog of cases from 2012 needing follow-up along with new cases for 2013. The juvenile diversion program is for young offenders whose crimes do not warrant criminal sentencing but who are starting down a path of crime.
Busy year for fires
Brian Phan, interim fire chief, announced that 2012 was the busiest year ever for the fire department, but that 2013 is even busier so far. By this time in 2012, the department had received 81 calls; this year they have received 114 calls and have responded to five working fires since Dec. 15, including one last night. Mayor Infeld will include a reminder about the importance of smoke detectors in the next newsletter. Free smoke detectors have been distributed by the fire department.
Cell phones and driving
Councilwoman Frankie Goldberg announced that the safety committee is finalizing details on a new ordinance restricting all cell phone use while driving in University Heights, and hopes to present the new ordinance, which is similar to regulations in South Euclid and Beachwood, at the meeting on Feb. 4.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
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