LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 11-16-2015]

NOVEMBER 16, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Community events
  • Coryell thanks residents
  • Council seat replacement
  • Income tax code update
  • Traffic signal study
  • Architectural review board appointment

All council members were present.

Public comments

Application for council vacancy: Resident Bonnie Dolezal presented Julie Love’s application to fill the council seat being vacated by Jeff Coryell at the end of December. Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens informed Dolezal that the application process has not been opened yet, and recommended that Love apply in January 2016.

Cleaning vacant lots: Resident Mike Prokop, recipient of the city’s sustainability award in 2010, suggested a city-initiated program to involve residents in cleaning up vacant lots in their neighborhoods.

Resident complaints: Cheyanne Toole, of Nela View Road, complained of problems with her neighbors. She also said that city workers had removed property placed outside her residence without calling or notifying her first. Mayor Dennis Wilcox referred her to the city manager.

Community events

Council Member Jeff Coryell announced several community events:

  • During the holiday season, there are food drives around town—at schools (including Roxboro, Fairfax and Canterbury elementary schools, and Roxboro and Monticello middle schools); churches and synagogues; and stores; as well as drop-offs for clothing and toys.
  • Apollo’s Fire, the baroque orchestra founded by Heights resident Jeanette Sorrell, performs their Celtic Christmas concert, “Sacrum Mysterium,” at First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights on Dec. 12, at 8 p.m.
  • The 14th Annual Holiday Store continues at Heights Arts’ gallery on Lee Road until Dec. 30.

Coryell thanks residents

Council Member Jeff Coryell expressed thanks to the many residents who sent kind words and best wishes since he announced his resignation from council, which is effective at the end of December. He plans to rejoin his wife in Detroit, where she has been Dean of the School of Law at University of Detroit Mercy School since 2014.

Council seat replacement

Coryell noted that it is incorrect to assume that had he announced his resignation earlier, the seat he holds could have been included with the other three seats on the Nov. 3, general election ballot. His term does not expire until January 2018. According to the city charter, when any council member resigns before the end of a term, the resignation is always followed by council appointment of a replacement. Although, depending on timing, there may be a special election in which the appointed incumbent defends the seat for the remainder of its term, no seat can be added to the general election ballot before its time. Coryell encouraged all who wish to serve on council to apply for appointment when the process is announced.

Income tax code update

Council amended the city code chapter on income taxes, effective Jan. 1, to meet the municipal tax code requirements enacted by the Ohio General Assembly in December 2014. This state legislation comprehensively reformed the way income taxes are imposed by municipalities. Before the vote, Council Member Melissa Yasinow noted that the state has continued to cut funds to local governments.

Traffic signal study

Council authorized an agreement with GPD Group for a citywide traffic signal study to determine what signals are needed and if there are currently any signals that are not needed. The fees to be paid to GPD Group shall not exceed $90,750.

Architectural review board appointment

Council approved the appointment of Melissa Fleigel to the architectural review board for a three-year term (Dec. 1, 2015–Dec. 1, 2018).

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 mbarnes9515@gmail.com 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 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:23 PM, 12.16.2015