Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-5-2015

OCTOBER 5, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Nuisance properties
  • Domestic violence awareness
  • Breast cancer awareness
  • Issue 53 for income tax increase
  • CDBG allocations
  • Next meeting

Council Member Jason Stein was absent.

Public comment

Plastic bags: Carla Rautenberg of Berkshire Road expressed concern about the distribution of advertising flyers in plastic bags that no one seems to pick up. City Manager Tanisha Briley stated that the city has been in contact with Northeast Ohio Media Group about this practice.

Thank you expressed: Edgar Mitchell of Goodnor Road thanked council for all they do and the city for the services it provides. He stated that he was proud to live in Cleveland Heights.

Nuisance properties

Council declared two properties to be nuisances. They authorized demolition of the house at 946 Helmsdale Road and scraping and painting of the home at 2108 Stillman Road.

Domestic violence awareness

Council proclaimed October 2015 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Before the vote, Council Member Melissa Yasinow spoke about the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center (, an organization that educates the community and advocates for justice to end domestic violence and child abuse. DVCAC can be reached 24 hours a day at 216-391-4357, and the number for the Family Help Line is 216-229-8800.

Breast cancer awareness

Joining communities throughout the nation, council proclaimed October 2015 as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; Oct. 13, 2015, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day; and Oct. 16, 2015, National Mammography Day.

Issue 53 for income tax increase

Council Member Jeff Coryell brought attention to Issue 53 on the November ballot, the city’s request for a 0.25 percent increase in the municipal income tax to protect essential safety and public works service. He urged residents to read the “Get the Facts” bulletin in the current Focus magazine or to visit the city’s website and click on the “Get the Facts” button. He noted that this would be the first income tax increase in 36 years and does not apply to social security or annuities relied upon by senior citizens.

Later in the meeting, Mayor Dennis Wilcox noted the report received from the Cleveland Heights Independent Finance Task Force, which reviewed budgets, past trends, etc. He thanked task force members Gus Kious, physician executive and management coach; Mark Weiss, vice president and chief financial officer at Montefiore; Patricia Ramsey, vice president and director of community and economic development for Fifth Third Bank Northeast Ohio; and Danny Williams, executive director of The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland, for their thorough analysis. Their recommendations included an income tax increase, which they noted to be a revenue issue, not an expense problem. The report has been posted on the city’s website.

CDBG allocations

As recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee, council authorized two changes in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding: (1) The reallocation of $5,000 from Neighborhood Mini-Grants to FutureHeights, and (2) reprogramming of the HRRC (Home Repair Resource Center) Senior Hot Water Tank Program to include other home improvements that protect the health and safety of seniors, renaming it the HRRC Senior Home Stability Program.

Next meeting

The next council meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 19.

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.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 7:06 PM, 10.20.2015