University Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-15-13

APRIL 15, 2013

  • Public comments
  • Arbor Day
  • Mayors Against Illegal Guns
  • Figure skating honors
  • Utility vehicle purchase
  • Fernwood, Channing water lines
  • Internet auction of city goods
  • Street resurfacing
  • Former Fuchs Mizrachi School
  • Overnight parking
  • Electronic device use while driving
  • John Carroll University banners
  • Back taxes found
  • University fencing
  • Home exterior inspections
  • Executive session

All council members were present.

Public comments

Resident Yanina Muzis expressed concern about the Smart Meters being installed by Dominion East Ohio Gas Company. She has been doing some research regarding the meters and feels that they are dangerous. Mayor Infeld urged Muzis to contact the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Muzis responded that she prefers community-wide action instead of individual action.

Arbor Day

Arbor Day will be celebrated April 26 when the city will plant some trees on Silsby Road near the building department and a neighboring house. The schools have been invited. University Heights has been named a “Tree City” for 35 years and the mayor hopes to receive the honor once again.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Mayor Susan Infeld announced that she is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is in favor of background checks [for anyone] purchasing guns.

Figure skating honors

Council issued a proclamation honoring Hannah Rosinski and Jacob Jaffe who placed eighth in the Junior Dance Competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. Rosinski lives in University Heights and is a senior at Beaumont School, and Jaffe is a recent graduate of Hawken School.

Utility vehicle purchase

Council approved the purchase of a four-wheeled utility vehicle for the service department at a cost of $13,110. This is a Kubota RTV900, purchased from Middlefield Farm and Garden, and is the same model the city is currently using. This price is lower than what [the city] paid last year. The service department will again fabricate a lift and hopper for this unit.

Fernwood, Channing water lines

Council approved seeking bids to replace water lines along Fernwood and Channing roads. The repairs will be paid for by the city and reimbursed by the Cleveland Water Department.

Internet auction of city goods

Council authorized the sale of city goods that are not needed for public use or are obsolete or unfit for the use for which they were acquired. This would include motor vehicles acquired for the use of municipal officers and departments, and road machinery equipment or supplies. The city has been using the website, a public Internet auction site. This authorization needs to be approved annually. The city posts items monthly, on average, and designates its own bid terms.

Street resurfacing

Council authorized an agreement with Karvo Paving Company for the 2013 street resurfacing at a cost not to exceed $534,140.37. Paving will include portions of Lansdale Road, Washington Boulevard, East Carroll Boulevard, Milford Road and perhaps Silsby Road. An application has been submitted for Cuyahoga County Development Block Grant funding for the paving work on Lansdale Road. If that grant is not received, Lansdale Road will be repaved using city funds and Silsby Road will be removed from the list for this year. This paving contract was negotiated in partnership with Shaker Heights.

Former Fuchs Mizrachi School

Council approved a motion, resolution and ordinance to deal with razing the city-owned property at 2301 Fenwick Road, formerly Fuchs Mizrachi School. The motion declared it to be a nuisance property, which is necessary before the city can order demolition. Both David Menn, building commissioner, and Joe Ciuni, engineer, had walked through the building and confirmed its poor condition. The approved ordinance authorized the demolition.

The resolution awarded the demolition contract to The Lower Cork Company. The company, located in Geneva, hasn’t done work in University Heights but has demolished other public buildings and their references were verified. Lower Cork will have 60 days following receipt of notice to complete the job. In the meantime, safety forces have been using the empty building for live training. The service director will remove some of the cabinetry before demolition. Councilwoman Frankie Goldberg said there was interest in retrieving a quantity of bricks to sell to alumni as a fundraiser. However, Lower Cork will “own” all of the materials and the company would have to agree to set aside a portion of the bricks.

Overnight parking

Council amended the ordinance prohibiting parking on the street between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. for more than 30 minutes by removing the 30-minute provision. Neighboring communities do not have this provision.

Electronic device use while driving

Council amended the ordinance prohibiting the use of electronic wireless communication devices for text-based communication while driving. Texting while driving, or using any electronic device while driving, will now be a primary offense, meaning that someone can be pulled over specifically for this offense. The fine for the first offense would be two points on [one’s] license plus $100, the second offense $250, and the third and subsequent offenses up to $500. There would be a 60-day warning period after the legislation is passed. Offenses are cumulative across Ohio, not only within University Heights. Councilwoman Susan Pardee clarified that the legislation also applies to the use of data devices for looking up addresses or adjusting a GPS device, not only the use of cell phones for texting or talking.

John Carroll University banners

Council authorized John Carroll University to erect temporary banners on utility poles in certain zoned areas to celebrate the university’s commencement, national ranking, and 125th anniversary. John Carroll has received approval from Shaker Heights but is still confirming approval from First Energy Corporation, which owns the utility poles.

Back taxes found

Larry Heiser, finance director, reported that R.I.T.A. has found $380,000 in back taxes due to University Heights and will be following up.

University fencing

John Carroll University has begun putting up fencing around Murphy Hall prior to major renovation work. The work will begin as soon as the school term ends and be completed in time for fall 2014 reopening.

Home exterior inspections

The city building department has begun conducting exterior home inspections.

Executive session

Council adjourned to executive session immediately following the regular meeting for the purpose of discussing personnel and legal matters.

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.


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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 10:41 AM, 05.09.2013