Mayor Infeld delivers 2014 UH State of the City report
At the Jan. 6 University Heights City Council meeting, Mayor Susan Infeld marked the beginning of her second term by delivering the annual State of the City Report, highlighting 2013 achievements—including a 2013 revenue surplus of $2.2 million—and looking ahead to 2014.
At the same meeting, council members Phillip Ertel, Susan Pardee and Mark Wiseman were sworn in, and council members selected Pardee vice mayor by a majority vote.
In her report, Infeld stated that the carried-over $2.2 million surplus provides a “cushion for unexpected expenses” that will enable the city “to put more money into capital improvements.” Infeld said, “We will pave more streets, make the last installment payment for the former Fuchs Mizrachi school property . . . and begin the development of a community park on the site.”
Infeld characterized the plans for a public park at the site of the former Fuchs Mizrachi School on Fenwick Road as the city’s “biggest community improvement in 20 years.” UH City Council voted to purchase the property in April 2012, for $600,000. The city plans to make the final payment of $100,000 in June.
Citing diminished revenue from the state and federal government, Infeld noted the city’s success in obtaining grants to fund capital improvement projects, and suggested that adding a new position, community development coordinator, would enable the city to “improve [its] grants acquisition and business outreach programs.” Infeld explained, "The position builds on a previous position called community coordinator. This position will have increased emphasis on grants management. The addition of the word development to the title emphasizes the new direction of the position."
With a goal of delivering “better service at a reasonable cost,” in 2013, the City of University Heights explored the consolidation of shared services with other cities. Fire service consolidation with Shaker Heights, explored via a study funded by the Cleveland Foundation, was found to be “a longer and more difficult [process] than initially projected,” and one that was impeded by UH and SH fire union contracts.
UH council is still exploring a consolidated police dispatch, involving Euclid, South Euclid, Beachwood and Shaker Heights. “A consolidated police dispatch,” Infeld explained, “would house the equipment and dispatchers needed to answer emergency and other police calls for the five cities.”
The mayor praised John Carroll University for “continuing to bring good news to University Heights,” and cited the school’s patio and walkway improvements in the Fairmount Circle commercial district.
To read Mayor Infeld’s 2014 State of the City Report in its entirety, click on this link.
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer. She lives in the Shaker Farm Historic District in Cleveland Heights.