Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 3-4-13

MARCH 4, 2013

  • Citizen communications: Maury Feren, Youth of Coventry
  • Zoning appeals
  • Economic development cooperation
  • Demolition of former Medic property
  • 3629 Grosvenor Road
  • Salary schedules and benefits
  • Boards and commissions appointments
  • Block grants for community development projects
  • Ohio House Bill 5
  • Free paper shredding

All council members were present.

Citizen communications

Maury Feren: Council recognized Maury Feren for his service to the city and for being made Knight of the Legion of Honor, an award bestowed by the government of France. This high honor, created by Napoleon in 1804, was awarded to Feren in recognition of his acts of heroism and remarkable deeds during World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a liberator. Feren expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve the city as a member of the Commission on Aging, and for the recognition of his war service. Mayor Kelley and Council Members Bonnie Caplan and Dennis Wilcox expressed appreciation for the ways Feren had affected them and the city. Remarks by other [council] members focused on appreciation for his service to the country and the community.

Youth of Coventry: Resident Norah Eagan, a member of Youth of Coventry, expressed her concern that city council ignored the existence of this constructive youth group and did not seek their input or involvement when they created the Youth Advisory Commission. This diverse group has been active in promoting a positive image of youth. She introduced the group’s new initiative that will provide after-school programs for students at the Lee Road Library.

Zoning appeals

The council approved requests for zoning variances to:

  • Janet Kious, to allow placement of her chicken coop in the side yard.
  • Kathy Blackman, owner of B-Side Arcade, to allow her to operate a game room, for those 18 and over, within 200 feet of a multi-family residence.

Economic development cooperation

Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights, South Euclid, East Cleveland, University Circle Inc., and Heights Hillcrest Chamber of Commerce have formed the Circle Heights Alliance, to work together on economic development. Council authorized the city to join in an application for a grant of up to $100,000 from the State of Ohio Local Government Initiative Fund to support a feasibility study for economic development cooperation.

Demolition of former Medic property

Council approved the contribution of $30,000 toward the demolition of the former Medic property at 2920 Noble Road. This action amends the resolution that authorized purchase of the property from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. The Land Bank had agreed to demolish the property but asked for a contribution by the city because of unexpected demolition costs.

3629 Grosvenor Road

Wells Fargo Bank will donate the property at 3629 Grosvenor Road to the city and cover all transfer costs. The city will decide the disposition of the property in the future.

Salary schedules and benefits

Council Member Janine Boyd introduced, for first reading, the minimum and maximum salary schedules and defined benefits for officers and employees of the city that will take effect on April 1. Changes include employee contributions toward health care coverage.

Board and commission appointments

The council approved appointment of the following to city boards and commissions; all have served before:

  • Administrative Services: David Benson, Hugh Fiebig and Vadim Ludvich. Terms expire Oct. 31, 2014.
  • Architecture Board of Review: Todd Anderson. Term expires Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Board of Zoning Appeals: Gail Bromley. Term expires Jan. 31, 2016.
  • Commission on Aging: Pat Dillard, Anne Hunter, Wilma Kasper, Shirley Bingham LeCompte, Judith Van Kleef and Carol Whitlach. Terms expire June 30, 2014.
  • Landmark Commission: Marjorie Kitchell, James Edmonson and Charles Miller. Terms expire Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Planning Commission: Michael Unger and Leonard Horowitz. Terms expire Dec. 31, 2018.

Block grants for community development projects

Council reallocated $8,071 of Community Development Block Grant funds from Neighborhood Project Repair to the Deferred Loan Match fund. This change, which has been approved [by] the Citizens Advisory Committee, will support community development projects that need funding.

Ohio House Bill 5

Council approved a resolution expressing strong opposition to the passage of Ohio House Bill 5 (HB 5) as it is currently written. The law proposes uniformity measures for municipal income taxes that council finds objectionable because they could cause a substantial loss of revenue and impose unfunded mandates. The resolution urges legislators to reject HB 5 and any legislation that reduces municipal income tax revenue or removes municipalities’ right to enforce their own local income tax laws. The resolution also calls for “restoring previous funding levels to the Ohio Business Gateway and correcting its multitude of programming problems.” According to Council Member Dennis Wilcox, there is bipartisan opposition to this bill among municipalities because of the threat to their ability to function. While there is a need for some improved uniformity, this bill ignores areas where there is consensus for change.

Free paper shredding

May 18 is shredding day and the public is invited to bring paper for free shredding.

LWV Observer: Susie Kaeser.

Note: YouTube videos of Cleveland Heights City Council meetings may be accessed at youtube.com/clevelandheightsoh

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 Cleveland Heights
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 10:26 AM, 03.12.2013