Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-23-2014

APRIL 23, 2014

  • New law director
  • Public comments
  • Consulting firm to review city operations
  • Taxation of live entertainment venues
  • Bidding and purchasing changes
  • New trees
  • Curfew Penalty Review Board
  • Lead remediation
  • New police vehicles
  • Six new firefighters sworn in
  • Eric Coble

All council members were present.

New law director

Council approved hiring Anthony Farris to be the new law director. Farris was formerly law director for the City of Youngstown, where he made important contributions in city response to housing foreclosure. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University Law School. During his report at the end of the meeting, Mayor Dennis Wilcox expressed appreciation for Jim Julian’s contributions as interim law director.

Public comments

Resident Ross Bartell objected to the large rate increase for permit parking in the Coventry Road lot, especially following the free parking offered earlier in the year. Wilcox said that the council is reviewing all parking rates.

Consulting firm to review city operations

Council approved a $102,000 contract with Cincinnati-based The Novak Consulting Group to review delivery of city services to ascertain if the city is using its resources effectively.

Taxation of live entertainment venues

Council revised language of 1947 legislation governing the taxation of live entertainment venues. The amendments clarify the tax rate for different venues depending on audience size.

Bidding and purchasing changes

Council changed sections of the city code governing competitive bidding by outlining three conditions where competitive bidding is not required: when contracts for goods or services are less than $50,000; if the service can be obtained through a state, federal or municipality purchasing program; or if it is less than what is available through several cooperative purchasing programs. Council also authorized the city’s enrollment in two cooperative purchasing programs: Cuyahoga County Cooperative Purchasing and Sourcing Alliance Network Purchasing.

New trees

The forestry department will start planting a recent shipment of trees.

Curfew Penalty Review Board

Council revised the timeline for holding meetings of the Curfew Penalty Review Board. The 21-day timeline was changed to “reasonable time,” with a minimum of three days notice. The old timeline was not workable.

Lead remediation

In order to give the city time to help more families through the highly successful Lead Hazard Remediation Agreement with Cuyahoga County, council added 30 days to the program agreement, which was set to expire July 31.

New police vehicles

Council authorized the purchase of vehicles for the police department through the Department of Administrative Services Cooperative Purchasing Program. It will purchase five 2014 Dodge Chargers from Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Van Wert, and two 2015 Ford Police Utility Vehicles from Statewide Ford Lincoln Mercury in Van Wert. Lower costs through these purchasing groups eliminated the need for competitive bidding.

Six new firefighters sworn in

Mayor Wilcox said he was pleased to be part of the swearing-in ceremony for six new firefighters held prior to the council meeting. The positions are funded through a two-year safety grant.

Eric Coble

Mayor Wilcox congratulated Cleveland Heights author Eric Coble [on] his play being performed on Broadway.

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.

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