LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 9-6-2016]


  • Public comments
  • Liquor application
  • Stormwater management
  • Traffic signal project
  • Coventry Road paving
  • Zoning appeals
  • Top of the Hill
  • Dept. of Homeland Security SAFER grant
  • Overnight parking permits
  • Assessment board reports
  • Assessment rates
  • Tax collection
  • Mayor’s report

Council Member Melissa Yasinow was absent.

Public comments

Communications with the deaf:Rico Delaney of East 49th Street, Cleveland, president of National Black Deaf Advocates, asked to speak with someone in city government about communication with deaf citizens, especially in law enforcement. He was referred to Susanna Niermann-O’Neil, assistant city manager.

Neighbor complaint: Resident Cheyanne Toole of Nela View Road complained about neighbors, and also said she is working with city housing inspectors in regard to her own house.

Neighborhood beautification: Barb Systowski, representing the Noble Neighbors Beautification Team, spoke about areas the group is developing, and litter control. She thanked the Building and Public Works Departments for the [flower] pots that were moved from Lee Road to Noble Road this summer.

Adjoining driveways: Resident Sterling Stennerson asked if owners of buildings having adjoining driveways may put posts or cement blocks between the drives. He was referred to Niermann-O’Neil to put him in contact with the Building and Housing Departments.

Parking meters: Resident Roz Peters said residents want both to know more about the task force working on the parking meters and also to give input. Mayor Cheryl Stephens and City Manager Tanisha Briley responded that business owners are included in discussions. Niermann-O’Neil and Council Member Kahlil Seren are responsible for a pilot study. A public meeting on parking will be scheduled in the future.

Deteriorated property: Resident Fred Gearhart has been contacting the city for several years about deteriorated property at 1610 South Taylor Road, which sits behind his home. He said the building needs to be demolished, and detailed problems with squatters, a fire and terminated water service. Mayor Stephens said he would receive a notice when its demolition is scheduled.

Liquor application

The Ohio Department of Liquor Control received an application from Walgreen’s at 3020 Mayfield Road.

Stormwater management

Council authorized an agreement with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) for stormwater management service.

Traffic signal project

Council authorized an agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns and DeHaven, Inc. (GPD Group) for engineering services for the final design and right-of-way acquisition phase of the Mayfield Road traffic signal project, with payment not to exceed $133,932. Council Member Carol Roe noted the intense discussion and inclusion of citizen concerns in the planning of this project. She emphasized council’s priority on public safety.  

Coventry Road paving

Council authorized application to the State of Ohio, through the Office of the District One Public Works Integrating Committee, for Ohio Public Works Commission funds to be used for the Coventry Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project (within the city’s boundaries).

Zoning appeals

Council granted a request by Stephen B. Stone, Ardleigh Drive, to allow a driveway to be set back zero feet from the side property line. A second zoning appeal was tabled.

Top of the Hill

Council approved an agreement with Silverlode Consulting Corp., to provide additional consulting services relating to the Top of the Hill development. The initial agreement, dated April 7, was not to exceed $50,000. This agreement would provide additional consulting services relating to the development, not to exceed $25,000. Seren voted against the resolution. [When asked after the meeting about his “nay” vote, Seren said his vote was not a critique of the consultant or city manager, but he felt inadequately briefed and, therefore, could not judge the need for the amount requested.]

Dept. of Homeland Security SAFER grant

Council accepted a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant of $591,435 from the Department of Homeland Security for the Fire Department. The SAFER grant may be used for personnel costs to ensure adequate resources for providing protection from fire and fire-related hazards for the city.

Overnight parking permits

Council added on-street overnight permit parking on specified portions of Hampshire Road. It also authorized sale of overnight parking permits to residents and owners of property on Hampshire Road between Hampshire Lane and Overlook Road at Euclid Heights Boulevard, through Dec. 31, at a cost of $35 per month.

Assessment board reports

Council approved the Aug. 16 reports of two assessment equalization boards: the first board was appointed to hear objections to the estimated assessments for a portion of the expense of street and parkway maintenance and improvement; and the second to hear objections to estimated assessments for a portion of the expense of street lighting. Both reports contained three objections, all of which were overruled.  

Assessment rates

Council approved ordinances to levy assessments for 2016 and 2017 of $1.08 per front foot of property for street maintenance and improvement, and of $.92 per front foot of property for street lighting.

Tax collection

Council accepted the tax amounts and rates as determined by the county’s budget commission, authorized the necessary tax levies, and certified them to the county fiscal officer. This is a step in developing the 2017 city budget.

Council requested the county fiscal officer to advance taxes payable to Cleveland Heights from the proceeds of the 2016 tax year collection from personal property taxes, real property taxes, and special assessments, according to the Ohio Revised Code. This is a step in the 2016 budgeting process.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Stephens thanked residents for working with the city through the microburst weather a few weeks ago. She expressed appreciation for the hard work and long hours that fire, police, and public works employees worked in dealing with this emergency. Stephens announced she has joined with mayors of the 30 largest cities in Ohio to work with the state government to find ways to make state financial actions friendlier to cities. She thanked residents for their patience and understanding of the functions of city government, citing the citizens who spoke about parking and the Noble Neighbors association early in the meeting, concluding, “It is our job to work on your behalf.”

LWV Observer: Blanche B. Valancy.

Please note: YouTube videos of Cleveland Heights City Council meetings may be accessed at youtube.com/clevelandheightsoh

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 email 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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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:19 PM, 09.23.2016