Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-21-2014

JULY 21, 2014

  • 2015 tax budget hearing
  • Public comments
  • City purchases
  • Commission on Aging appointments
  • Architectural Board of Review appointments
  • Parks and recreation 2014–15 fall/winter season
  • Guided hikes through Forest Hill Park
  • Admission tax exemption
  • Debt management
  • CDBG reallocation
  • Water meter tampering
  • Zoning appeals
  • Three properties declared nuisances

All council members were present.

2015 tax budget hearing

A tax budget hearing was held before the regular council meeting. The proposed 2015 budget contains just under $42 million in revenue. A balanced budget will be submitted to Cuyahoga County and later forwarded to the State of Ohio. There was no public comment on the budget. City Manager Tanisha Briley presented background on the budget’s development and noted the city’s efforts to contain costs and offset declining revenue.

Later, during the regular meeting, council approved the 2015 tax budget and authorized its submission to Cuyahoga County. A copy of the proposed 2015 tax budget is available for inspection by the general public at the office of the director of finance at City Hall. Before the vote, Mayor Dennis Wilcox noted that the state’s budget has been balanced and a surplus created because of cuts in local government funds and the elimination of the inheritance tax. The city has lost $2.5 million in each of the last two years. Wilcox recognized the city’s efforts to respond to this, but additional revenue is needed.

Public comments

Lynn Park Drive traffic: Resident Richard Snyder presented a petition from residents of Lynn Park Drive requesting speed limit signs and “children playing” signs. He maintained that the street is used as a cut-through, with drivers consistently exceeding the speed limit.

Recent robbery information: Resident Diane Hallum noted similar concerns on Yellowstone Road. She also suggested that, in light of the recent robbery of a person walking a dog, it would help to know the victim’s whereabouts prior to the incident.

Successful neighborhood event: Resident Carol Roe reported positive developments on her street, where 30 people came to a neighborhood event on Sunday, July 20.

City purchases

Briley reported on 13 city purchases, costing between $10,000 and $50,000 each, that she is authorized to pursue without a competitive bidding process.

Commission on Aging appointments

Council reappointed four members to the Commission on Aging for terms ending June 30, 2015: Clarencia Allen, Helen Anderson, Eleanor McBride, and Jody Taslitz. It also appointed two additional members for terms ending June 30, 2016: Shirley Bingham LeCompte, and Carol Whitlach.

Architectural Board of Review appointments

Council reappointed two members to the Architectural Board of Review for terms ending Dec. 31, 2016: Mark Fremont and Terry Saylor.

Parks and recreation 2014–15 fall/winter season

Use regulations and rates for admission and other services for the Cleveland Heights Community Center and parks for the 2014–15 fall/winter season were heard on first reading. This ordinance, which is re-enacted annually, is based on a review of users and rates and includes a few rate reductions as well as several increases. The public is invited to comment.

Guided hikes through Forest Hill Park

Council Member Jeff Coryell announced that guided hikes through Forest Hill Park with a naturalist will take place on Thursday, July 24 and Thursday, Aug. 21. Those interested should meet in front of the Community Center at 7 p.m.

Admission tax exemption

Council approved a city code change exempting from admission taxes small businesses that present entertainment and hold 150 people or less.

Debt management

Council adopted a debt management policy to foster transparency concerning the city’s issuance of debt.

CDBG reallocation

Council authorized the reprogramming and reallocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in order to serve important community development projects. This legislation transfers $4,250 from the Community Development Administration Fund to the Fair Housing Activities Fund.

Water meter tampering

Council established a $500 fee for tampering with water meters and a Water Review Board to hear any appeals of these fees.

Zoning appeals

Council granted zoning variances to:

  • Howard B. Pearce and Cara Kless, 2577 Exeter Road, to permit a 4-foot-tall wood fence in the corner-side yard, set back 3 feet from the East Monmouth Road sidewalk right-of-way and to be set back 2 feet from the 3312 East Monmouth Road side lot line.
  • AV Remodeling, 2860 Noble Road, to permit a two-sided (27.25 square feet each side) freestanding commercial identification sign that would be 4.85 feet tall, set back 7.67 feet from the Noble Road right-of-way, and 12.1 feet from the Parkside Road right-of-way.

Three properties declared nuisances

Council declared the following properties to be nuisances and authorized abatement:

  • 3360 Berkeley Road
  • 3553 Cummings Road
  • 3571 Woodridge Road

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

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 11:51 AM, 08.11.2014