Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

  • Ceremony for fire cadets
  • Voting results for Ballot Issues 51 and 52
  • Liquor permit transfer
  • Budget ordinances
  • Community development grant
  • Commercial loan
  • Nuisance bar on Mayfield
  • Wage and salary ordinance

All council members were present: Cheryl L. Stephens, mayor; Jason Stein, vice mayor; Mary Dunbar; Carol Roe; Kahlil Seren; Michael N. Ungar; and Melissa Yasinow.

Ceremony for fire cadets

The meeting was preceded by ceremonies for the swearing-in of three new fire cadets by Fire Chief Dave Freeman.

The regular meeting was held from 7:36–7:55 p.m.

Voting results for Ballot Issues 51 and 52

Issues 51 and 52, the proposed amendments to Articles VII and VIII of the city charter, passed. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (BOE) had requested that the city amend its municipal candidate petition and write-in filing deadlines and eliminate possible ambiguity concerning the means by which a person may become a candidate for council. The BOE also requested revision of procedures concerning write-in candidates as well as revisions to ensure that all registered voters have the opportunity to vote for initiative, referendum, and recall petitions deemed valid under the city’s charter. These amendments bring Cleveland Heights into uniformity with other municipalities within the county so that the BOE may meet its federal requirements.

Liquor permit transfer

An application was made to the Ohio Department of Liquor Control by Winking Lizard on Coventry to transfer permits to JZ Restaurant Group, doing business as House of Crab, at the same location.

Budget ordinances

Two budget ordinances were presented on first reading relating to appropriations and expenditures of city funds for the current fiscal year (ending Dec. 31, 2016) and those anticipated in the next fiscal year (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017).

Community development grant

Council authorized an application to the Cuyahoga County Department of Development’s Community Development Supplemental Grant program for funding to support a Green Commercial Building Initiative–Sustainability program. The aim is to provide financial assistance for environmental improvements to commercial buildings in the city. This is a competitive grant, for which the city might receive up to $50,000. The funds come from Cuyahoga County’s Casino Revenue Fund, and no match is required.

Commercial loan

By a 5-2 vote, council authorized an agreement with Heshny LLC, for a loan of approximately $221,080 for its acquisition of the property located at 2196 Lee Road, so that a separate entity may continue to operate the Lopez restaurant there. The terms are similar to those of the current loan, which is with Lee Road Partners Too Inc. Council Member Seren opposed the measure, saying he does not think it’s a good deal for the city; Council Member Stephens also voted no, because of the loan’s structure. Council Member Stein supported the legislation because an existing loan is simply moving to new ownership; Council Member Ungar also favored it, based on the recommendation of the city’s economic development staff.

Nuisance bar on Mayfield

The operation of the bar and restaurant located at 3560 Mayfield Road, formerly Gibbs Restaurant, currently Rise Bar, was declared to be a nuisance due to criminal activity. There have been more than 18 visits by safety forces in 2016, and the owner has not cooperated with city officials.

Wage and salary ordinance

An amendment to the city’s annual wage and salary ordinance (passed in March 2016) was approved. The change will enable the city manager to offer one-time lump-sum payments to employees in lieu of a cost-of-living increase. The measure also allows the city to contract with another provider (besides Medical Mutual) for health benefits, and cleans up some job titles and other miscellaneous items.

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 -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.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:38 PM, 01.02.2017