Cleveland Heights City Council meeting 6-16-2014

JUNE 16, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Access Cleveland Heights App
  • City manager purchases
  • Police auction
  • Tall grass violation
  • Rebecca Alison Meyer
  • Independents Week
  • Bond refinancing
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • County sewer services
  • City accolades for recycling and bicycling

All council members were present.

Public comment

Shop local: FutureHeights Director Deanna Bremer Fisher announced FutureHeights’s new location in the former Coventry School. She asked council to pass the resolution declaring July 1—7, 2014 “Independents Week” to recognize independent business owners who invest in the community and its commercial districts. She said brochures for the “Shop Local” program are available, and she urged residents to vote for the Best of the Heights Awards at

Heights Arts program: Greg Donley, a Heights Arts board member, spoke about the Make Your Mark for the Arts program that continues all summer. (More information is available at

Local merchants and the community: Shawn Paul Gustafson of Shawn Paul Salon spoke about the support local merchants receive from the community and gave all council members T-shirts from local businesses

Turkey Ridge : Resident Diane Hallum expressed concerns about the Turkey Ridge project. She had spoken with several engineers about slope stability and landslide issues at the site. She wanted to see the slope stability analysis, but has been told the report is proprietary. She claimed that her research indicated that Ohio cannot approve the requested Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) petition due to missing information and she believes the developer will not go forward without a CRA. Later in the meeting, during his mayor’s report, Mayor Dennis Wilcox explained that the project is still pending in the board of zoning appeals and that staff continues to work with the developer, with safety as a primary concern.

Access Cleveland Heights App

The city has launched a new mobile application for smartphones, Access Cleveland Heights, which is available for free through the iTunes store or Google Play. More information is available at on the “About Us” page.

City manager purchases

City Manager Tanisha Briley detailed purchases of amounts between $10,000 and $50,000 for council’s information; the city manager is not required to seek authorization for purchases under $50,000.

Police auction

The Cleveland Heights Police Department will hold a public auction on Wednesday, June 25, at the Cleveland Heights Police Department on the north lawn, lower level of City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. The auction will include bicycles and other unclaimed items. The proceeds will benefit the police department.

Tall grass violation

Council heard a first reading of legislation amending the city code to combine two sections into one and to make vegetation six inches or higher a violation.

Rebecca Alison Meyer

Council Member Melissa Yasinow gave a moving tribute to Rebecca Alison Meyer, a recent graduate of the Fairfax Elementary School kindergarten, who died on her sixth birthday of a brain tumor (anaplastic astrocytoma). Yasinow suggested donations to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in her memory.

Independents Week

Council declared the week of July 1–7, 2014 to be Independents Week. Council Member Jeff Coryell urged residents to invest in the community by shopping local. Mayor Dennis Wilcox thanked residents who support local businesses.

Bond refinancing

Council passed legislation authorizing the issuance and sale of bonds in the maximum principal amount of $2,520,000 for the purpose of refunding, at a lower interest cost, certain of the city’s outstanding Severance Ring Road Improvement general obligation bonds.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Council approved the following CDBG awards to:

  • The Cedar Taylor Development Corporation, $11,000 for assistance with streetscape enhancements.
  • Family Connections of Northeast Ohio, $22,000 for its Family Schools Connections Program, serving families with children from birth to ten years old.
  • The Home Repair Resource Center, $133,500 for home repair and home improvement programs, including grants to assist senior citizens in purchasing new hot water heaters for their homes, operating expenses, and housing counseling.
  • Open Doors Academy, $11,000 toward its year-round enrichment program for young people living at risk.
  • Start Right Community Development Corporation, 977 Caledonia Ave., $5,000 toward operating expenses for its food bank, which serves Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland.

County sewer services

Council authorized an agreement with Cuyahoga County to perform certain services to help maintain the city’s sanitary and storm sewers and catch basins. Council members noted that the agreement will save the city $380,000 and is an important step toward regionalism.

City accolades for recycling and bicycling

The city is among the top three in recycling according to the Solid Waste District and has been recognized for bicycle initiatives such as bike lane “sharrows” and Safe Routes to School.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

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 of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 4:28 PM, 07.31.2014