Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-2-2015

FEBRUARY 2, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Storefront renovation program
  • Nuisance properties
  • American Heart Month  
  • African-American History Month
  • Upcoming events
  • County sewer services
  • Restaurant anniversaries
  • Greg Zucca

All council members were present.

Public comments

Ohio Fair Trade: Resident Ditte Wolin spoke representing the Northeast Ohio Fair Trade Network. The organization, which supports the partnership between producers and consumers known as “fair trade,” is asking for a resolution from council supporting the fair-trade principles of the Fair Trade Towns and Universities project of Fair Trade USA. The resolution would support fair trade and educate residents about the principles. Mayor Dennis Wilcox replied that council will take this under consideration.  

Move to Amend: Resident Carla Rautenberg, representing Cleveland Heights Move to Amend, thanked the mayor and council for hosting the second annual public hearing on Jan. 22. She also thanked Thomas Raguz, clerk of council, for sending the required letter to government officials as provided in the Cleveland Heights ordinance calling on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that corporations are not people and money is not speech. The text of the letter from the clerk of council to state and federal officials may be found on the city’s website at under "News." 

Storefront renovation program

Council adopted revised guidelines for the city’s Storefront Renovation Program and repealed previous amendments to the program’s guidelines concerning which businesses may receive rebates and loans under the program, and how much equity they must contribute to receive the aid. According to Council Member Jason Stein, the revised guidelines will eliminate geographic restrictions and should result in more and larger projects throughout the city. Funds for storefront renovation come from Community Development Block Grants.  

Nuisance properties

Council declared three residential properties to be nuisances and authorized abatement:

  • 3702 Atherstone Road, owned by Benita L. Martinez
  • 3649 Atherstone Road, owned by Willie and Jenise Payton
  • 1014 Greyton Road, owned by Upscale Properties, LLC

All three had been cited for numerous housing code violations over the past five years, with no progress toward correction. The latter two properties are currently vacant. 

American Heart Month  

Council declared February to be American Heart Month. The city joins with President Obama, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Heart Association and many other cities. Residents are encouraged to raise their awareness about heart disease in order to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their own risk, and to recognize the warning signs and be able to assist other persons suffering cardiovascular symptoms.

African-American History Month

Council also declared February to be African-American History Month. Many events around the community are planned.

Upcoming events

Council Member Jeff Coryell announced several events taking place in the city:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 10, Cleveland Heights musician Charlie Mosbrook will have a release party for his new CD at the Barking Spider Tavern.
  • Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3:30 p.m., the Heights Chamber Orchestra will present a free concert at the First Baptist Church.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 17, the Heights Community Garden Network will hold an informational meeting at the Lee Road Library. Residents can find more information and RSVP at
  • Residents can volunteer to become tutors at Boulevard Elementary School through Reaching Heights (, 216-932-5110).
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24, Reaching Heights will present the Reaching Musical Heightsconcert at Severance Hall.

County sewer services

Council authorized a contract with Cuyahoga County to help maintain the city’s sanitary and storm sewers and catch basins. The contract will cover the period ending Dec. 31, 2015, at a cost of $380,000. Council Member Mary Dunbar noted that the price is lower than that offered by private companies and that the city was satisfied with the results of the same county service in 2014. Mayor Wilcox observed that this regional approach to service delivery by the county was similar to the agreement Cleveland Heights has with the county health department.  

Restaurant anniversaries

The Stone Oven will have its 20th anniversary; Nighttown, its 50th.  

Greg Zucca

Economic Development Director Greg Zucca resigned to take a new job running the Economic and Community Development Institute, a micro-loan intermediary lender of the Small Business Administration.

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 8, Issue 3, Posted 7:19 PM, 02.12.2015