Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-1-2013
JULY 1, 2013
- Citizen comments
- Bicycle rodeo, Forest Hill run
- 2014 Tax Budget
- CDBG funds
- Recycling report
- Zoning variances
- Independents Week
Council Member Jason S. Stein was absent.
Move to Amend: Residents Dean Sieck, Greg Coleridge and Carla Rautenberg, representing Cleveland Heights Move to Amend, spoke about a citizen-initiative petition in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010. The initiative, which Move to Amend hopes will be placed on the ballot and approved by voters in November 2013, calls for Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that only human beings, not corporations, are persons, and that money is not speech and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Cummings Road properties: Kendra Reddick expressed concerns about neglected and abandoned properties on Cummings Road.
Independents Week: Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights, spoke in support of a resolution on council’s agenda this evening declaring the week of July 1–7 as Independents Week in recognition of the city’s locally owned businesses. She and Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot on Lee Road, presented members of council with T-shirts and “Buy Local” stickers.
Best of the Heights: Bremer Fisher also mentioned the Best of the Heights Awards and encouraged residents to vote for their favorite businesses in the Heights. They can vote on the FutureHeights website (www.futureheights.org) or submit ballots published in the Heights Observer. The voting deadline is Aug. 31.
Parking enforcement: Resident Ray Bayless voiced concern that parking enforcement in Cleveland Heights is too strict in the Coventry and Cedar Lee areas, but too lax when it comes to landscapers.
Deer population: Resident Gwen Fenty said that she’s afraid to be in her backyard because of deer. Susanna Niermann O’Neil, acting city manager, recently attended a meeting with representatives from several eastern suburbs about this very issue. She described the cooperation among the cities and said that lethal methods for controlling the deer population are not a good option in densely built communities. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will be looking into the situation, and may endeavor to alter the animals’ migration patterns.
Bicycle rodeo, Forest Hill run
The police department is offering a bicycle rodeo on Saturday, July 20 from 9–11:30 a.m. at the Heights Youth Club. The Forest Hill Thunder Run, a 5k run/walk, will take place on Saturday, July 27, at 8 a.m. in Forest Hill Park. This year all proceeds from the run will benefit the Heights Libraries.
2014 Tax Budget
Council heard a first reading of the 2014 Tax Budget. A public hearing will be held on Monday, July 15, at 7 p.m., at City Hall. Most likely, council will vote on the budget at the regular meeting that evening.
Council approved the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in agreements with six nonprofit entities:
- Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library, $30,000 for its Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center/Small Business Development Center Collaboration. This will be an entrepreneurial support space for small businesses and nonprofits.
- Heights Emergency Food Center, $8,500 for operating expenses.
- Heights Youth Club, $33,000 for assistance with its Project Learn: The Educational Enhancement Program. Project Learn reinforces school-based learning and knowledge through leisure reading, writing activities, group discussion, homework help, tutoring, and cognitive skill-building games.
- Home Repair Resource Center, $118,000 for its home-repair and home-improvement programs.
- Open Doors Academy, $10,000 for the organization’s year-round enrichment program for at-risk youth.
The 2012 Residential Recycling Report from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Disposal District shows that Cleveland Heights has one of the highest overall recycling rates in the county: 66.98 percent (up from 59.98 percent in 2011). The combined tonnage of recyclables (paper, plastic, glass, metal, etc.) and organics (leaf, brush and other lawn waste) is calculated as the percentage of waste diverted from landfills in 2012. Council Member Bonnie Caplan thanked residents for doing their part and encouraged everyone to do more.
Council granted variances from the zoning code to:
- Darin Croft and Lisa Yerian, 1371 Oakridge Drive, for a six-foot-tall ornamental fence in the front yard.
- Marty Resnik and Sherri Appleton, 2288 Coventry Road, to place pool equipment three feet from the rear property line and to build a 10 x 55-foot lap pool six feet from the north property line.
- Corinne Coen and David Mahoney, 2968 Hampshire Road, for a five-foot-tall ornamental metal fence in the corner side yard.
- Benjamin and Kyle Volpe, 2638 Fairmount Blvd., for a four-foot-tall ornamental metal fence in the corner side yard.
Council declared July 1–7 as Independents Week, in support of the many locally owned independent businesses in the City of Cleveland Heights.
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 email@example.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.
League of Women Voters
Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Cuyahoga Area