LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 6-20-2016]

JUNE 20, 2016

  • Public comments
  • Ambulance service paperwork
  • Independents Week
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Zoning variances
  • Loan agreement
  • Mayor’s comments


All council members were present.

Public comments

Forest Hill Homeowner’s Association: Resident Mike Riley, addressing council on behalf of the Forest Hill Homeowners Association, said that Homeowners Associations (HOA’s), while common in newer areas, are unusual in inner-ring suburbs. The Forest Hill HOA is concerned about several deteriorated properties. The HOA was asked to buy one of these for $500, but has discovered that the county land bank is now involved. Mayor Cheryl Stephens said the HOA should work with city staff and approach the land bank to obtain first right of refusal for a purchase.

Ambulance service paperwork

Council approved a three-year agreement with Life Force Management, Inc., to provide billing, collection and related services for all city ambulance services. This is a renewed agreement with a company that has performed this function since 1998.

Independents Week

Council declared the week of July 1–7 as “Independents Week.” This celebration of local businesses honors the entrepreneurial spirit, uniqueness and contributions of independent businesses.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Council approved six resolutions allocating funds from the Year 42 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to nonprofit organizations serving the citizens of Cleveland Heights. These include:

  • $20,000 to Family Connections of Northeast Ohio for assistance with its Family School Connections Program. Council member Michael Ungar abstained because his wife is on the agency’s board.
  • $5,000 to Gesher, for operating expenses of the Gesher Benefits Referral Program. Council member Mary Dunbar voted “no” because the agency apparently serves just one ethnic group. She noted that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) had voted 14 to 1 to deny funding because agency staff seemed not to comprehend how to reach out to other community members with its services. [Gesher is an initiative of Agudath Israel Midwest Region that helps Cleveland Jewish families experiencing hardship to access benefits and government programs for which they are eligible (www.geshercleveland.com).]
  • $30,000 to the Heights Youth Club, Inc., for assistance with its Project Learn: The Educational Enhancement Program.
  • $6,780 to Lake Erie Ink, for assistance with its afterschool writing program at Noble Elementary School.
  • $8,000 to the Open Doors Academy for assistance with its year-round enrichment program for youth living at risk.
  • $5,000 to the Start Right Community Development Corporation, for operating expenses for their Food Bank Program.

Zoning variances

Council approved the following variances from the zoning code to:

  • John and Jennifer Coakley, 2521 Edgehill Road, to permit 69 percent coverage of the rear yard with non-green paving.
  • New Kenilworth Partners, LLC, 14 Kenilworth Mews, to permit a freeform paver patio set back 10 to 15 feet from the rear property line.
  • New Kenilworth Partners, LLC, 15 Kenilworth Mews, to permit a freeform paver patio set back 11.5 to 15 feet from the rear property line.
  • William and Deborah Patterson, 2260 South Overlook Road, to permit a garage to be rebuilt four feet from the principal building, where the zoning code requires a 10–foot setback.

Loan agreement

Council authorized amendment of the commercial loan agreement of March 2, 2004, with B & W Management, LLC. This will convert the remaining loan balance of $115,957.98 from a balloon payment into 60 monthly payments at a rate of two percent interest, and provide for a payment schedule of $1,385 per month for months 1 to 11, $1,410 for months 12 to 36, and $3,235 for months 37 to 60.

Mayor’s comments

Mayor Stephens sadly noted that the mass shooting in Orlando occurred the same day as the death of George Voinovich, with whom she worked in several capacities over the years. She lauded Voinovich as a great public servant and reflected on the importance of what council members and other local public servants do.

LWV Observer: Blanche B. Valancy.

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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