Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-8-2015


  • Public Comments
  • Liquor license
  • Master plan process
  • Chipper purchase
  • Recycling
  • Lee Road streetscape
  • Coventry Road pavement
  • Meadowbrook waterline replacement
  • Water department
  • Nuisance properties
  • Citizen appointments
  • Architectural board of review
  • Next meeting

Council Member Melissa Yasinow was absent.

Public comments

Mayfield Road bars: Marian Bryant, representing South Noble Road homeowners, spoke of concerns about Helen’s Game Time Bar and the whole strip on that block of Mayfield Road. Noting trash, unacceptable activity, and noise issues, she gave council a list of desired outcomes, including closing the bar.

Chris Fitzgerald, who owns a bar on Mayfield Road about which there have been many complaints to the police, said he is paying to pick up trash and trying to manage parking lot problems, but cannot do anything about motorcycle noise and other patron issues. He said that he is trying to work with the city.

Smart parking: Speaking on behalf of the merchants of three Special Improvement Districts (SIDs), resident Bill Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Chocolate on Lee Road, encouraged adoption of “smart parking” technology, already in use in many cities. He said that merchants lose customers who leave to put more money in parking meters. He claimed that the merchants lost their advocate for this technology when the economic development director left. City Manager Tanisha Briley replied that the city still advocates for this technology but is hampered by staff capacity, as the economic development director position is one of 20 being held open at this time. Meanwhile, the city is working on changing all meter heads to electronic ones.

LWV events: Resident Blanche Valancy, co-chair of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, announced several upcoming events, and said more information about them can be found online at

  • Oct. 7 program, Housing Crisis in Northeast Ohio: Where are We In 2015?
  • Sept. 29 Candidates’ Forum at John Carroll University for University Heights City Council and CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) candidates
  • Oct. 14 Candidates’ Forum at the CH Community Center for Cleveland Heights City Council and CH-UH BOE candidates.

Noble Neighbors: Susan Sanders, representing Noble Neighbors, expressed appreciation to city council members and staff for their service and congratulated Tom Raguz, finance director, on the Auditor of State Award. She announced a candidates’ forum to be held Oct. 6 at Noble Road Presbyterian Church, at which city council [and BOE] candidates will address issues of importance to Noble Neighbors.

Water department: Resident Rich O’Donnell, who said he had been unable to get specific questions answered regarding water department problems, handed his list of questions to Mayor Dennis Wilcox.

Complaint about city finances: Resident Charles Drake applauded the Auditor of State award, but criticized the city’s auditing, especially in view of the water and sewer losses coming to light. He urged televising council’s committee of the whole meetings, where the real work is done. He said that the water and income tax situations would not help the city entice new businesses.

Liquor license

The city has received a notice concerning transfer of liquor permits from Christopher’s Pub to Pete’s Tavern, both at the same address, 1318–1322 Warrensville Center Road.

Master plan process

Glenn Coyne, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, reported on the Cleveland Heights master plan for future growth and development. Cleveland Heights and University Heights are two of four cities to receive county grants for this process, which will produce a study of current conditions, a vision for the future, and an action plan to achieve the vision. Three public meetings and a website will collect community input. A draft master plan will be produced in July 2016.

Chipper purchase

Council approved the acquisition of a chipper for the public works department, for a price not to exceed $62,105, to be paid for from the capital improvement program.


Council approved a consortium agreement for the processing of recyclable materials with Kimble Transfer & Recycling. The consortium, organized by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, includes Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, Highland Hills, Independence, Lyndhurst, Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, University Heights, Warrensville Heights and Woodmere. Cleveland Heights has been part of the consortium for six years, and this agreement continues the city’s strong support for recycling.

Lee Road streetscape

Council approved an agreement with CT Consultants for engineering services for plan revision and rebidding for the Lee Road Streetscape Project.

Coventry Road pavement

Council acted to enable immediate application to the state for Ohio Public Works Commission funds for the Coventry Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project (north corporate limit to south corporate limit). This project will cost $86,300, half of which will be paid by the city and half by the Coventry SID. The project will receive $3.2 million in outside funding.

Meadowbrook waterline replacement

Council also authorized immediate application for Ohio Public Works Commission funds for the Meadowbrook Waterline and Pavement Replacement Project (South Taylor Road to east corporate limit).

Water department

Council heard legislation on first reading (no vote) toward negotiations for choosing a partner for the city to resolve the water problem. One resolution would authorize negotiations with the City of Cleveland for a possible transition from a master meter agreement to a direct service agreement. The second resolution would authorize negotiations with Energy Systems Group (ESG) concerning possible engagement of ESG for services to fix, maintain and administer the city’s water system with a goal of an energy savings performance contract to implement improvements to the city’s water utility.

Nuisance properties

Council declared three properties to be nuisances and provided for demolition:

  • 881 Greyton Road, owned by Douglas Smith.
  • 952 Greyton Road, owned by decedent Mary Odom.
  • 3249 Oak Road, owned by Mary Smith.

Approximately 50 houses have been demolished in each of the last four years, but foreclosures are down in Cleveland Heights this year.

Another property, at 2481 Arlington Road, owned by John G. and Rebecca Truden, was declared a nuisance but repairs were specified, including painting the house and removing tarps and scaffolds that have been in place since 2010.

Citizen appointments

Council approved three appointments to the Commission on Aging for terms to end in August 2017, and two appointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee for unexpired terms to end in January 2016.  

Architectural board of review

Council amended the city code chapter on the architectural board of review to increase the board’s efficiency, clarify certain procedural processes, reflect changes in state law, alter the qualifications for membership, and add enforcements mechanisms and penalties.

Next meeting

The next council meeting will be Monday, Sept. 21.

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 10, Posted 5:53 PM, 09.21.2015