LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / University Heights City Council DECEMBER 7, 2015 meeting highlights [online 12-7-2015]

DECEMBER 7, 2015

  • Tree work
  • Zoning appeal denied
  • Finance proposals
  • Fire department equipment
  • Police vehicle purchase
  • IT policies
  • Finance disaster minimization
  • City services
  • Executive session

Councilwoman Adele Zucker was absent.

Tree work

Tree pruning and removal work has begun. An orange dot on a tree indicates that it is slated for removal.

Zoning appeal denied

Ilana Avraham of 14490 Summerfield Road appeared before council to appeal the zoning board’s decision to deny the Avrahams’ request to widen their existing driveway by nine feet to create a concrete parking pad in front of their home. Linda Johnson of the zoning board noted that the board receives many requests from homeowners to increase the paved area on their property for parking. Solutions have always been found to avoid the permanent impervious surface and appearance of frontyard parking lots. The board had suggested a paved pad be placed behind the home instead. Avraham explained that she and her husband are building an extension onto the back of their home and did not want to take any more of their backyard play space away from their four children. She also said that she has difficulty maneuvering her large van and that the snowplow piles up snow by the garage behind the house. Mayor Susan Infeld noted that their lot is exceptionally deep compared to most properties in University Heights, and Councilman Phil Ertel explained that residents can request that the plow driver bring the snow to the front of the property. Council denied the appeal, with Councilman Mark Wiseman voting in favor.

Finance proposals

Council heard first reading proposals to transfer $92,246.81 from the general fund to the street and capital projects funds, and to transfer $100,000 from the park fund to the general fund. Council had previously transferred $100,000 to the park fund to cover costs until park funding was received.

Council also heard first reading of an ordinance to appropriate funds for current expenses and other city expenditures for the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2016.

Fire department equipment

Council approved the purchase of nine self-contained breathing apparatus sets, and a tracking system from Warren Fire Equipment in an amount not to exceed $57,187. This purchase replaces nine units which are expiring. These new units include a locator which signals if the firefighter becomes lost or disabled. This unit is the least expensive of several comparable options.

Police vehicle purchase

Council approved the purchase of two police department vehicles and equipment in an amount not to exceed $71,432. In 2012, the city could only purchase two Dodge Chargers, which have been extremely unreliable. They are now able to purchase Ford Interceptors, which are proving to be much better for city use. The proposal is to purchase one car and one suburban utility vehicle (SUV). Council also approved the purchase of two mobile data terminals for the two new vehicles for the approximate cost of $14,180. Council authorized the sale of the two 2012 Dodge Chargers on www.govdeals.com. Police Chief Steven Hammett reported that there is high demand for Dodge Chargers in areas where high speed and long distances are common. Given the low mileage on the Dodges, the city is likely to recoup the cost of one new Ford Interceptor.

IT policies

As requested by the auditor, council approved the city’s new IT policies and procedures, which stipulate what is allowed and not allowed on the city’s computers, including issues regarding security and personal use.

Finance disaster minimization

Council approved the new finance office disaster minimization policy, which spells out the city’s financial priorities and procedures to recover from a large-scale disaster. The policy prioritizes the order in which to restore functions; designates a second offsite location; and designates the storage of backups and secured copies of records and policies.

City services

The service department has completed a dozen circuits of leaf pickup since snow removal has not yet been needed. They have now moved on to tree work and pothole patching. The park project is 30 percent complete, although most of the work has been on its infrastructure and below ground.

Executive session

The meeting was adjourned to executive session for the purpose of discussing contract negotiations.

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 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.

Read More on University Heights
Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:01 PM, 12.16.2015