University Heights City Council special meeting highlights 8-17-2015 & 8-25-2015

AUGUST 17, 2015  

  • Community public park bid
  • New equipment
  • Hardware
  • Computer-aided dispatch
  • Medical examinations
  • Bombardier sidewalk snowplow

Vice Mayor Susan D. Pardee and Adele Zucker were absent.

Community public park bid

Council tabled the motion to accept the bid from Cavanaugh Building Corporation as the lowest and best bid for the community public park project. Tabling came after a lengthy debate between council members and Mayor Susan Infeld about consideration of minority- and female-owned subcontractors. While such stipulations were not in the bid terms, there were still questions about requirements that may be in the city code.

Councilwoman Pamela Cameron voted against tabling the issue because of concerns about costs going up. Cavanaugh presented the best alternatives for specific equipment and landscaping designs for the best price, according to Braun & Steidl Architects. The architects also have prior, positive experience with Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh’s bid was $1,586,000, with Braun & Steidl recommending an additional $80,000 for contingency costs.

Councilman Steven Sims emphasized the importance of including minority-owned and female-owned subcontractors. Rob Habel, of Braun and Steidl, explained that Cavanaugh would seek out the subcontractors once their bid has been accepted. Sims noted that he was not comfortable accepting the bid until he could be assured that minority contractors would be sought. He doesn’t expect a certain percentage of participation—simply that the effort is made. Mayor Infeld noted that bid terms requiring minority involvement should have been included in the original RFP. She said that the governmental affairs committee had been assigned to review the city’s ordinances regarding minority involvement, but the committee has taken no action.

Finance Director Larry Heiser noted that he had already locked in a bond rate for this project, which was dependent on the acceptance of a contractor. Heiser didn’t know when the bond rate expired, but noted that the rate had gone up three days after he had locked in the city’s terms.

New equipment

Due to concerns that competitive bids were required because of the cost of the equipment, council almost tabled authorization to purchase new equipment for the fire department, using the 2014 FEMA grant funds. However, if the grant money was not used this month, it would be lost and reapplication would be necessary. It was finally determined that the equipment qualified as highly specific and specialized, and was provided by only a few vendors. Council approved MCPc as the best quote, in the amount of $40,152.54. The FEMA grant will cover 95 percent of the cost. The equipment from MCPc was not the lowest cost but [was] considered to be more reliable and functional, and is used by neighboring cities. The equipment to be purchased includes eight Mobile Data Terminals of which six would be used for the CAD software and two for the EMS charting software for each ambulance; eight Bluetooth keyboards; one three-bay battery charger; one protection plan for the equipment; and eight digital styluses.


Council approved the purchase of hardware to mount the eight mobile data terminals from Parr Cleveland at the cost of $12,733.

Computer-aided dispatch

Council approved the purchase of software and licenses for computer-aided dispatch equipment from New World as the sole source in the amount of $24,265.54. The purchase will be paid for by the FEMA grant.

Medical examinations

Council approved the purchase of medical examinations for the firefighters by the Cleveland Clinic at a maximum cost of $15,200. The actual cost per exam is determined by the age and condition of the patient. This exam will be provided in addition to their standard insurance. The Clinic’s firefighter exam is more expensive than the one provided by University Hospital but is more comprehensive. The cost of these exams will be paid for by the FEMA grant.

Bombardier sidewalk snowplow

Council authorized the service department to seek bids for a Bombardier sidewalk snowplow. One of the city’s current plows broke at the end of last winter, but can be used as spare parts for the other. The new plow will have a hydraulic instead of a mechanical steering system, but is otherwise essentially unchanged.

LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.

AUGUST 25, 2015

Councilman Phil Ertel was absent.

Cavanaugh bid accepted

Council accepted the bid from Cavanaugh Building Corporation as the lowest and best bid for the community public park project in an amount not to exceed $1,666,000, with Councilman Steven Sims voting no. Councilman Mark Wiseman confirmed with Finance Director Larry Heiser that the initial closing date of Aug. 27 was still in effect, and that there was no cost to the city [for] the one-week delay. Wiseman noted that they had expected Cavanaugh to be present tonight to answer questions, but [company representatives] had not been invited to attend, per the opinion of the law director that it was not in the city’s interest to pursue the question regarding Cavanaugh’s use of minority and women-owned subcontractors. [When asked following the meeting why he had voted no, Sims stated that his opposition was to the city’s process and council’s management of the bid request.]

LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.

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 University Heights
Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 09.21.2015