Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-21-2014

JANUARY 21, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Bids, RFPs
  • Liquor licenses
  • Community book discussion
  • Issue 32 public hearing
  • Teen poetry slam
  • Arnold Pinkney
  • Sanitary sewer work
  • Safe routes to school
  • Cedar Lee streetscape
  • Heritage Home Program
  • Juvenile offender mentoring
  • Fire department reporting system
  • Notable Heights residents

All council members were present. 

Public comments

Culture of fear: Resident Diane Hallum spoke of a culture of fear in the community and urged convening an open dialogue.

Loading dock noise: Resident Calvin Lampkin requested assistance in obtaining relief from the noise of a loading dock near his home. Mayor Dennis Wilcox stated that he and Tanisha Briley, city manager, would schedule a meeting with Lampkin.

Bids, RFPs

Council granted Briley authority to: 1) receive bids for the purchase of sand, gravel and limestone for the water department and for sewer billing services, 2) post a request for proposals (RFP) for LED lighting for the city hall and community center parking lots and 3) pay Apex Construction $57,725.50 for emergency repairs to the garage door of the city’s public works building.

Liquor licenses

The Ohio Department of Liquor Control notified the city that applications have been made by: 1) RAMB Co. Cleveland Heights LLC, doing business as Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar (12459 Cedar Road, 44106), for a new permit and 2) Mekong River Inc. (1918–20 Lee Road, 44118), to transfer permit to Lotus Thai House Inc. at the same address.

Community book discussion

Council Member Jeff Coryell noted that meetings for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Community Book Discussion of education expert Diane Ravitch's book, Reign of Error, would take place from 7–8:30 pm in the Cleveland Heights High School Social Room on three Wednesday evenings: Jan. 22, Jan. 29 and Feb. 5.

Issue 32 public hearing

As mandated by the passage of Issue 32 this past November, city council will hold a public hearing on Thursday evening, Jan. 23, to examine the impact on Cleveland Heights, the State of Ohio, and the nation of political influence by corporate entities and big money in connection with the most recent election.

Teen poetry slam

The 14th Annual Teen Poetry Slam will take place on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 6–8:30 pm at the Lee Road Library. The slam is open to poets aged 13 to 18 who must perform their original poetry. They will be judged and prizes will be awarded.

Arnold Pinkney

Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens reflected on the life and service of longtime political and community activist Arnold Pinkney, who died earlier this month.

Sanitary sewer work

Council approved an agreement, at a cost not to exceed $198,000, with Mackay Engineering & Surveying Company for the engineering and surveying services needed in advance of constructing a new sanitary relief sewer, and rehabilitating an existing sanitary sewer, on Fairmount Boulevard between Shelburne Road and approximately 200 feet east of Wellington Road. The existing sanitary sewer on Fairmount Boulevard is supposed to control up to five sanitary sewer overflows along this route, but is too small to do so without periodically overflowing into the storm sewer, thus sending waste into Lake Erie. The city will issue tax-exempt notes or bonds to cover these costs.

Safe routes to school

The public was invited to review and comment on the Cleveland Heights “Safe Routes to School Travel Plan” draft, which has been posted on the city’s website along with the PowerPoint presentation from the public meeting on this subject, which was held on Jan. 16. Deadline for comments was Thursday, Jan. 23.

Cedar Lee streetscape

Council authorized an agreement with CDM Smith for engineering, bidding support and post-bidding design services for signal design and roadway work for the Cedar Lee Streetscape Project, at a cost of $69,778, to be covered by issuance of tax-exempt notes or bonds.

Heritage Home Program

Council renewed an agreement with the Cleveland Restoration Society and Preservation Resource Center of Northeastern Ohio for historic preservation consulting services in connection with the Heritage Home Program. Since 2001, the city has participated in this program, which provides below-market interest rate loans to owners of historic properties, for repairs and improvements. The fee paid for these services will be $17,850.

Juvenile offender mentoring

Council authorized establishment of a Juvenile Diversion/Mentoring Program. The program’s goal is to provide an opportunity to juvenile first-time offenders to correct self-defeating and life-altering behaviors, instead of referral to the juvenile court system. Stemming from an alliance of the Cleveland Heights Police Department, the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court and the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, the program has three objectives: 1) to redirect juveniles from delinquent, unruly, and anti-social behavior, 2) to reduce the recidivism rate of juvenile offenders and 3) to decrease the risk factors associated with delinquent behaviors.

Fire department reporting system

Council authorized an agreement with Zoll Data Systems Inc. to upgrade the current operating platform of the fire division’s reporting system, at a cost not to exceed $73,255. The upgrade will increase reporting efficiency and enable the generation of reports needed to apply for state grant funds.

Notable Heights residents

Council Member Melissa Yasinow noted that resident Margaret Bernstein is a finalist for the Cleveland Indians “Mentor of the Year.” Another prominent resident, Michael Symon, recently taped a segment of his network show, “The Chew,” with members of the Cleveland Heights Fire Department. The program will be broadcast at 1 p.m. on Feb. 4 [on ABC, Channel 5].

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 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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