Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-15-2014

DECEMBER 15, 2014

  • Public comments
  • 2015 budget presented
  • Budget legislation
  • Parking Fund
  • Citizen appointments
  • Liability self-insurance
  • Sign variance
  • Retirees recognized
  • Council Member Boyd

All council members were present.

Public comment

Housing fee: Nolan Roddy of Richmond Heights, who owns a rental property on Helmsdale Road in Cleveland Heights, inquired about the latest fee increase for a certificate of occupancy. Mayor Dennis Wilcox referred him to Housing Director Rick Wagner. Resident Carla Rautenberg requested that the city reconsider the certificate of occupancy fee charged to the owner/occupier of a rental property.

Police follow-up: An East Scarborough Road resident expressed frustration with police follow-up procedures after her home was burglarized in July. She was referred to City Manager/Safety Director Tanisha Briley.

DAV signs: Resident Bruce Needham of Oxford Road requested more DAV (Disabled American Veterans) signs placed with handicapped parking signs around town to increase awareness of disabled veterans.

National concerns: Resident Calvin Lampkin, who lives behind the U.S. Post Office at Severance, stated that he came to the meeting with the intention of complaining about noise from the post office, but instead spoke about national concerns— especially racism and religious discrimination.

2015 budget presented

City Manager Tanisha Briley reviewed the city’s 2015 budget with a PowerPoint presentation, which is part of the online record of this council meeting, available at The total budget is $91,223,965. General fund expenses amount to $42,084,804, an increase of 2 percent over last year. The budget being presented for 2015 is balanced. She reviewed the city’s major funding sources as well as the effects of expense reductions—mainly a reduced workforce (16 percent since 2013). The coming year will see a wage freeze for all employees, with non-union personnel also paying a larger share of their healthcare costs. She reviewed the positions that will be eliminated or will remain vacant. The capital improvement budget is about $7.9 million, with 64 percent of that for streets.

Budget legislation

Council amended the 2014 budget ordinance, to reflect appropriations and other expenditures for the 2014 fiscal year.

Council approved the appropriations for current and future expenses and expenditures for the Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2015 fiscal year. Before the vote, Mayor Wilcox noted the impact of the loss of state funds and the recent passage of House Bill 5, which limits the ability of individual municipalities to control their own tax collection process at the local level.

Parking Fund

Council amended the city ordinances to change the name of the Off Street Parking Fund to Parking Fund. For efficiency, this will now be the consolidated locus for revenue from both parking meters and parking permits.

Citizen appointments

Council approved the following appointments:

  • Recreation Advisory Board: Kenneth Dowell (Jan. 1, 2015 through May 31, 2018)
  • Board of Zoning Appeals: Nancy Dietrich (Jan. 1, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2019)
  • Citizens Advisory Committee: Kim DeNero Ackroyd, Jeffrey Bendix, David Benson, Melissa Bilanchi, Vetella Camper, Jessica Cohen, Douglas Dykes, Jonathon Goldman, Christine Henry, Anthony Mattoz Jr., Allison McCallum, Marian Morton, Donalene Poduska, Kahil Seren, Amanda Shaffer, Keba Sylla, Steve Titchnel, Diana Wellman, Sarah West, George Witherspoon, Parker Zabell and Kevin Ziegler (Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2015)

Liability self-insurance

Council authorized an agreement with Arthur J. Gallagher & Company for continuation of its protected liability self-insurance program for the city at a cost not to exceed $367,157.

Sign variance

Council granted a request from HealthSpan, 10 Severance Circle, for variances from the sign regulations to make it easier for patients to identify the appropriate parking lot from which to enter the building. New patients are confused by the fact that there are two distinct parking lots that provide access to two separate entrances to the building.

Retirees recognized

Mayor Wilcox thanked Eddie Carter, who is retiring from his long-held position as assistant city manager, and Judy Hayes, who is retiring from her position as secretary to the city manager.

Council Member Boyd

Mayor Wilcox and other council members acknowledged the service of Council Member Janine Boyd, who is joining the state legislature in January. Wilcox also commended Boyd’s mother, Barbara Boyd, for her many years of public service.

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 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:04 AM, 01.13.2015