LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 12-21-2015]
DECEMBER 21, 2015
- Public comments
- Eastside Greenway Plan
- CAC reappointments
- Recreation regulations for 2016
- Budget stabilization account
- 2015 and 2016 expenditures
- Departing council members
Vice Mayor Cheryl L. Stephens was absent.
Litter and vacant properties: Resident Gail Larson, representing Noble Neighbors, brought two concerns: enforcing the “litter thrown from vehicles” ordinance to stop the delivery of Plain Dealer circulars, and holding an entity-owning vacant property responsible for maintenance. Law Director Jim Juliano commented that The Plain Dealer has agreed to use mail for delivery to the 44118 zip code area. The law department is working to get this extended to other Cleveland Heights zip codes. He added that the “ShopCLE” circulars will end in January.
Accolades for outgoing council members: Alan Rapoport, a former council member and mayor, rose to induct Mayor Dennis Wilcox and Council Member Jeff Coryell into the “Millard Fillmore Society,” an organization which he said is dedicated to the obscurity of former public officials. Rapoport facetiously opined that these retiring members might be ineligible because of doubt that they will not be involved in future social good. He therefore conferred probationary status on them and thanked them for their service to Cleveland Heights.
Ken Montlack, a former council member and vice mayor, spoke about working with and observing both Wilcox and Coryell. He praised their honesty, hard work, intellect and integrity. In addressing all council members and staff, he said it is easy to become discouraged, but urged them not to be, saying that the work is always for the future and the city is on a path that will pay off in the future.
Oakwood site: In parting comments to Mayor Wilcox, resident Fran Mentch spoke about the controversies surrounding the sale of the 144-acre Oakwood Country Club. She named council and staff members who she felt were working for the developer, not the citizens, and asked for an explanation of the city’s actions on Oakwood.
2016 wishes for improvement: Resident Joanne Siegel expressed her wishes for the new year: better-maintained property and more responsive city employees. She described her experiences with a non-responsive cashier, rude water department clerks and unreturned messages left for staff and council.
Eastside Greenway Plan
Council approved the Eastside Greenway Plan, as recommended by the Cleveland Heights Transportation Advisory Committee. This plan has involved multiple jurisdictions in planning connectivity, health and sustainability for non-motorized transportation. Five of the Greenway’s 17 projects will involve Cleveland Heights.
Council approved two variances:
- To Fen Zharo of 2851 Edgehill Road, a variance from the zoning code to permit a six foot, 10-inch wood fence in a corner side yard along Washington Boulevard and the property line shared with 2840 Washington Blvd.
- To Carrols Corporation, owners of the Burger King at 3456 Mayfield Road, variances from window regulations to allow a decrease in the number of windows on the southwest side of the restaurant in keeping with a new model for the chain.
Council reappointed 17 members of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for the calendar year 2016. Five vacancies are yet to be filled.
Recreation regulations for 2016
Council established use regulations and rates of admission for Cumberland swimming pool and other recreation sites. There are no significant rate increases. Council also approved the presentation of entertainment and programs in Cain Park.
Budget stabilization account
Council established a budget stabilization account within the general fund along with policies to govern that account.
2015 and 2016 expenditures
Council adjusted appropriations and other expenditures of the city for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2015. This involved increases and decreases to various city accounts.
Council approved appropriations for the current expenses and other expenditures of the city for the period of Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2016. This represents 2016 expenses for all city operations.
Departing council members
In turn, council members expressed appreciation to outgoing council member Jeff Coryell and Mayor Dennis Wilcox. Mayor Wilcox said it was a privilege and an honor to serve on council for 16 years, and thanked city staff and each council member, past and current. He praised city services and thanked residents for making Cleveland Heights an exceptional community.
Coryell, who is moving to Detroit to join his wife, a law school dean at the School of Law at University of Detroit Mercy School, issued “fond farewells” to his colleagues and wished residents happy holidays.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.
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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.
:eague of Women Voters
Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland