Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-18-2013

NOVEMBER 18, 2013

  • Public Comments
  • City telephone contract
  • Troublesome tenants
  • County health services
  • Heights Emergency Food Center
  • Tax budget

All council members were present.

Public Comments

Joshua Schaffer expressed concerns regarding the conduct of Cleveland Heights police officers and claimed that people do not respect the police because officers do not follow the laws they are hired to enforce. He said that, upon addressing his concerns to the assistant chief, he was told that he did not understand police procedures. Schaffer made an impassioned speech in which he concluded, “Crime will decrease when we trust the police.” He said he maintains a blog with photos and videos of the behavior that concerns him.

City telephone contract

Council authorized a renewal agreement with Windstream for city phone lines and services for three years, commencing Dec. 1, 2013, at a cost not to exceed $1,062 per month. This amount is considerably less than the current contract.

Troublesome tenants

Council amended the Abatement of Nuisances and Certificate of Occupancy sections of the city code to clarify definitions of “nuisance” and “public nuisance,” and to modify the process for revocation of an occupancy permit when either type of nuisance is determined to occur. Nuisance is defined as “an unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public.” Council Member Jason Stein maintained that some absentee landlords have failed to ensure that they rent to tenants who are good neighbors. This legislation will encourage landlords to consider the rights and needs of the neighboring community by empowering the city to remove a certificate of occupancy for up to twelve months if their residential property becomes a nuisance.

County health services

Council renewed an agreement, with an addendum, that enables the city to obtain additional public health services as needed from the Cuyahoga County General Health District. The fee for basic services shall be $180,794, and the additional services are not to exceed $70,000 without further authorization from council.

Heights Emergency Food Center

Council Member Janine Boyd reminded residents that the Heights Emergency Food Center needs volunteers, especially during November and December, and urged people to volunteer by contacting the agency at

Tax budget

Council approved the tax collection amounts and rates as determined by the Cuyahoga County Budget Commission, thereby authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor. This gives the city the ability to issue millages to raise revenue.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

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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 7, Issue 1, Posted 11:36 AM, 12.11.2013