LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 3-7-2016]

MARCH 7, 2016

  • Ceremonies for safety officers
  • Public comments
  • Traffic signal reconstruction
  • Liquor license transfer
  • Proposed Circle K at Mayfield and Vandemar
  • Fire department 2015 report
  • Zoning variance
  • State of the city

All council members were present.

Ceremonies for safety officers

The meeting was preceded by ceremonies for the swearing-in of a new fire cadet by Fire Chief Dave Freeman, and the promotion of five veteran police officers by Police Chief Annette Mecklenberg, including two to captain, one to lieutenant, and two to sergeant.

Public comments

Four residents came forward with concerns about 1) the condition of a vacant property on Superior Road; 2) water and sewer rates; 3) a traffic ticket perceived as unjust; and 4) the need for better communication about infrastructure work happening around the city. Regarding the last item, Council Member Mary Dunbar noted that Dominion East Ohio would be providing an update on the next phase of their work in the city on March 22, at 6 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center.

Traffic signal reconstruction

Council accepted the bid submitted by Greenwich Electric for the 2016 Traffic Signal Reconstruction project. This was the lowest and best bid in the amount of $59,421.35.

Liquor license transfer

The Ohio Department of Liquor Control received an application to transfer D5 and D6 permits from Kerry, LLC, doing business as Cedar Lee Pub and Grill at 2189-2191 Lee Road and Patio, to Rudy’s Pub, LLC at the same address.

Proposed Circle K at Mayfield and Vandemar

Council voted unanimously to decline the Circle K rezoning request to enable development of a gas station and convenience store on the site of the former Center Mayfield movie theater.

Fire department 2015 report

Fire Chief Dave Freeman presented the fire department’s 2015 year-end report, noting a historic high number of total calls at 6,238 (4,950 medical emergencies, 1,214 fire calls for assistance, 59 home/business fires, 15 car fires). In addition, 2,143 fire inspections were completed, 202 free smoke detectors were distributed, and 3,231 persons were transported to hospitals. Other activities included inspection of 1,800 fire hydrants, daily trainings in fire/emergency medicine subjects, maintenance of the fire stations and equipment, tours and public education lectures. Chief Freeman also discussed special projects, notable achievements and future plans.

Zoning variance

Council granted a zoning variance requested by Richard Alt of 2710 Fairmount Blvd., to permit a side yard setback of three-feet, two-inches for an attached garage addition and to allow the garage doors to be visible on the street elevation.

State of the city address

Mayor Cheryl Stephens concluded the meeting with her state of the city address. She thanked voters for passing Issue 53 last November, which increased the city's income tax from two to two and a half percent, thereby stabilizing the city's finances. She summarized the current state of various departments, including public safety, public works, housing, and planning and development. She commented on the quality of life in Cleveland Heights, and commended the work of Boulevard Neighbors and Noble Neighbors. She talked of the importance of partnerships, such as those with the Home Repair Resource Center, Heights Arts, the Bicycle Coalition, Heights Community Congress, Boys & Girls Clubs, FutureHeights, and others. She cited the importance of continuing work with the CH-UH school district and efforts to reach out to University Circle. She mentioned recent outreach to Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, for help in obtaining federal funding. Noting the city’s improved financial position going forward, she cited savings on hospitalization, stretching of dollars in all departments, and development of a clear capital improvement plan. The city’s current reserve fund should help raise its bond rating. Going forward, there will be a focus on parking to help commercial districts thrive; economic development, including Top of the Hill, Severance Town Center, Noble Road; and housing issues. She recognized the city’s staff, praised council’s commitment to leading the city into the future, and thanked her colleagues for their efforts. Finally, she emphasized the city’s greatest asset – its residents – and stressed council’s commitment to listening.

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.


League of Women Voters

Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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