LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / University Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 2-16-2016]
FEBRUARY 16, 2016
- Recorded comments
- Q & A sessions
- Reaching Heights spelling bee
- MLK Jr. speaker Kari Queen
- Compensation range
- Transfer of funds
- New vehicles
- Green Road traffic light
All council members were present.
Councilman Mark Wiseman asked why his comment had not been included in the minutes. Mayor Susan Infeld and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council, explained that the clerk summarizes the business of the meeting and includes comments that clarify and have not already been stated. Councilman Phillip Ertel’s comment, though duplicative, was included because he stated “for the record” before he spoke.
Q & A sessions
Mayor Infeld reported that dates will be announced for two question and answer sessions for community members. She primarily responds to constituents via e-mail but some residents prefer a face-to-face exchange.
The sidewalk plowing moves from the east to the west side of the city, and begins with primary roads and then moves to secondary streets. It takes two full days to clear all sidewalks if the snow has stopped falling.
Councilwoman Michele Weiss asked Jeffrey Pokorny, service director, about the order in which the streets are plowed. He explained that they start with the major streets – Warrensville Center Road, Cedar Road, Taylor and Green roads, and then move on to the secondary streets – Silsby Road, Meadowbrook Boulevard, Washington Boulevard, E Carroll Boulevard and Hillbrook Road. The primary and secondary streets are fully plowed and salted. All other streets are plowed, but are only salted at intersections. The city is divided between east and west so different trucks plow each half. The individual truck drivers determine specific patterns.
Reaching Heights spelling bee
The 25th Annual Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee will be held on April 20. There is a donation of $500 for a team to sign up, and Mayor Infeld highly recommends participating in this fun event.
MLK Jr. speaker Kari Queen
Councilman John Rach introduced Kari Queen as this year’s MLK Jr. speaker. Queen noted that Dr. King had once said that the most segregated hour in the United States occurs every Sunday morning. He was responding [at the time] to a suggestion that integration should begin in churches, instead of schools and communities. Since integration did not occur in the churches, King had said that it was time to move on and find new opportunities.
Queen remembered meeting Dr. King at her church in Cincinnati when she was almost six years old. She remembered her father arguing with an usher who was insisting that no children were to be in the sanctuary as there wouldn’t be room for the adults. Dr. King insisted that the children not only be allowed to come in, but that they sit down in front. He proceeded to speak to each child individually.
Queen’s father, who was a chemist, applied to work at Proctor & Gamble (P&G), where applicants were required to take a test. The P&G human resources representative called her father to say that although he had the highest score of anyone on the test, they would not hire him because “they just didn’t do that.” He went on to become a pharmacist. Today, Queen is proud to live in an integrated community and she thinks Dr. King would be pleased by the integration he would see now in the Heights. She is proud to have met such a man, and to be able to live out some of his dreams.
Mayor Infeld asked Queen if she ever spoke at the schools, and asked permission to give out her name, as many children would be inspired by her life story. Queen gave permission.
The ordinance updating the annual compensation range of specified positions remained tabled.
Transfer of funds
An ordinance was presented on first reading authorizing the transfer of funds from the general fund to the street fund, street lighting fund, capital projects fund, police pension fund and fire pension fund.
Council authorized the finance director to solicit price quotes for two new 2016 Ford Escapes FWD S models. One will be used as the final replacement vehicle for the building department and the second is to be used as a vehicle for city hall. The Ford Escape is not currently on the state bid list, but it was two years ago when the city purchased vehicles. These are most similar to the vehicles already owned by the city, and were therefore chosen in order to simplify driving various vehicles and to exchange car parts. Employees who need to pick up or deliver items would use the city hall vehicle. Some employees don’t have their own cars, and some items require a larger vehicle (such as the sound system for the Memorial Day parade.) City Hall is currently using an old decommissioned police car, but it is very old and unreliable.
Green Road traffic light
A tow truck knocked down the traffic light on Green Road at Heinen’s; the light was not removed by the city. There are only two companies who repair or replace traffic lights in greater Cleveland and demand is high. One of them will come to inspect the signal later this week, but it may take several weeks to replace. The signal is antiquated and must be replaced rather than repaired, and it has a lower priority than a signal at a main intersection. The driver will be charged for the cost of the repairs.
LWV Observer: Wendy Deuring.
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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.
League of Women Voters
Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland