Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-18-2014

AUGUST 18, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Pension definition in city tax code
  • Benefits Regionalization Program

Council Member Mary Dunbar was absent.

Public comments

Library levy: Nancy Levin, director of Heights Libraries, summarized this year’s annual financial report and discussed the 2.2-mill operating levy that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. An independent library system created before 1947, Heights Libraries must raise about two-thirds of its $8.2 million annual budget through property taxes. She noted the numerous services the system’s four libraries provide to about one million visitors each year.

Bitcoin Boulevard: Nikhil Chand, founder of Bitcoin consultancy CoinNEO, and Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot, discussed the growing use of digital currency and the “Bitcoin Boulevard” experiment on Lee Road, which has drawn national and international media attention.

Rental properties on Pennfield Road: A Pennfield Road resident expressed concern about the number of rental properties on her street and the high level of police activity.

Pension definition in city tax code

Council voted to clarify and explicitly define the term “pension” as used in the city’s tax code in order to ensure that taxes outlined in the code are actually collected. The new section will read as follows: “For purposes of this Chapter, a ‘Pension’ means any amount paid to an employee or former employee that is reported to the recipient on an IRS Form 1099-R, or successor form. Pension does not include deferred compensation, or amounts attributable to nonqualified deferred compensation plans, reported as FICA/Medicare wages on an IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or successor form.”

Benefits Regionalization Program

Council approved the city’s participation in Cuyahoga County’s Benefits Regionalization Program, which will enable the city to obtain favorable group rates for health care benefits (major medical and prescription coverage) for its employees and their dependents. The agreement will be in effect from Sept. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016. Prior to the vote, Mayor Dennis Wilcox commented on the cost savings this measure would achieve and noted that Cleveland Heights is the first city of its size to participate in the program.

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 mbarnes9515@gmail.com 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.

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