Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-16-2013

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013

  • Citizen comments
  • Housing code and rain barrels
  • Nuisance properties
  • Civil service regulations
  • CERT
  • Budget process

Council Members Janine R. Boyd and Mary Dunbar were absent.

Citizen comments

2253 North St. James Parkway: Resident Steven Houser submitted a petition from 34 neighbors asking for a solution to a vacant and deteriorating property at 2253 North St. James Parkway. Houser tried to buy the house, which is owned by HUD, to improve it, but title errors made it unavailable. Mayor Kelley referred the issue to Rick Wagner, the city’s housing program manager.

Budget process: Resident Diane Hallum questioned council’s authority to act on the budget process on an emergency basis. Finance Director Thomas Raguz explained that this was acceptable as it is not an expenditure decision.

Assessments: Saying that properties taxes were rising and services declining, resident John Cobb expressed concern about new assessments for street lighting and garbage collection. He urged the city to explore new economic development to bring relief to homeowners.

Tax burden for seniors: Annie Moore, a 45-year resident, claimed that the constant increases in fees and taxes was nearly unbearable for seniors on fixed incomes. She urged that businesses be asked to provide more support and said that seniors need relief and cannot carry so much responsibility for funding community expenses.

Nuisance property: Resident Margaret Bays expressed appreciation that council will take action to demolish a nuisance property on her street.

Property neglect: Bruce Needham, a 40-year resident, complained about two properties in his neighborhood that were being neglected by the residents. He said the rubbish and lack of maintenance was affecting his property and asked for city help. Rick Wagner will meet with him to find a solution to keeping the property to code.

Housing code and rain barrels

Council amended the housing code to define “rain barrel” and “rain garden.” Downspouts no longer have to be connected to the public storm sewer if diverted into a rain barrel or rain garden.

Nuisance properties

Council declared four vacant and seriously deteriorated properties to be nuisances and authorized their abatement and demolition. The properties are at 3281 Altamont Ave., 3599 Antisdale Ave., 13145 Cedar Road and 3377 Kildare Road.

Civil service regulations

Council amended the city’s civil service commission rules and regulations to align with the Ohio Revised Code. The policy requires that all first responders must reside in Cuyahoga County or an adjacent county, which includes Lorain, Medina, Portage, Summit, Geauga, or Lake County.


Council Member Jason Klein announced that anyone interested in being trained for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) should call community relations at 216-291-2323. There will be a session in the fall.

Budget process

Council approved two resolutions to set the tax budget for the coming year. This process confirms the tax rate and expected revenues with Cuyahoga County.

LWV Observer: Susie Kaeser.

Please note: YouTube videos of Cleveland Heights City Council meetings may be accessed at

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.

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 11:57 AM, 10.16.2013