University Heights City Council meeting highlights
DECEMBER 5, 2016
- Tribute to Beryl Rothschild
- Public comments
- JCU football team
- Gesu girls’ soccer and cross-country teams
- Cedar Taylor Development Association presentation
- Fund transfers
- Discussion of current expenses and other expenditures
- Cuyahoga County Board of Health services
- Crime in University Heights
- Leaf collection, tree planting
- The next meeting
Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach and Michele Weiss were present. Councilman Steven Sims was absent.
Also present were Luke McConnell, law director; Larry Heiser, finance director; and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.
The meeting took place 7:05–9:45 p.m.
Tribute to Beryl Rothschild
Mayor Susan Infeld held a moment of silence for former Mayor Beryl Rothschild, who died on Nov.29. Rothschild served 32 years as mayor of University Heights, stepping down in 2009. The mayor noted that Rothschild was a cheerleader and vigorous supporter of University Heights.
Crime: Residents from Jackson Boulevard and Cedarbrook Road asked the mayor to address recent crime in their neighborhoods, expressing concerns about safety and home values. The mayor asked Police Chief Steve Hammett to confirm that incident reports had been filed. Hammett said that an incident report had been filed on Nov.4 for a burglary on Cedarbrook Road ($3,000 in merchandise was taken) and for a shooting on Jackson Boulevard, on Nov. 21.
Abandoned property: A resident of Tullamore Road expressed concerns about a home that has been abandoned for more than six years. It is now being used for illegal activity, and gutters and debris from the home are littering his backyard. The mayor said that the property was originally under foreclosure, but the bank wouldn’t take it, so it reverted to its original owner. The ensuing court process delayed action. The city has been approved for funding to address the property, but hasn’t yet received any funds yet. She promised to address the issue the following day.
John Carroll University football team
Mayor Infeld congratulated the John Carroll University football team for reaching the NCAA Division III semifinals. They will play against the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Certificates presented to Gesu girls’ soccer and cross-country teams
The mayor presented certificates to Gesu’s girls’ soccer team, which won the 2016 Diocese of Cleveland CYO championship game. This is the second consecutive championship the team has won. Mayor Infeld also presented certificates to the girls’ cross-country team, which is celebrating its first championship win.
Cedar Taylor Development Association presentation
Councilman John Rach introduced Kevin Smith, Cedar Taylor Development Association president and board member, who outlined plans to improve the streetscape in the northeast corner of the Cedar Taylor district. Rach reported that he and Councilwoman Michelle Weiss have secured an annual streetscape fund of $25,000 from the finance committee, which has yet to be voted on. Smith estimated that improving the streetscape would cost approximately $32,000. The project would include installing benches ($775 each), bike racks ($1,525 each), planters and plants ($370 and $1,500–2,000, respectively), banners ($250 each), and trashcans (price not set).
Mayor Infeld reminded council that the city is resubmitting a county development block grant [proposal] to widen sidewalks and narrow the intersection in the district. The plan will come before council on Dec. 19. She voiced concerns that the Cedar Taylor project would come out of the city’s pockets. Vice Mayor Pardee reminded her that council has requested that $25,000 be set aside annually for the project. The mayor said the project would need to be put before the proper channels before she could weigh in.
Council approved the transfer of funds from the general fund ($286,729.24) to the street fund ($90,000) and the capital projects fund ($196,729.24).
Discussion of current expenses, other expenditures
Finance Director Larry Heiser reported that an ordinance for current expenses and other expenditures of the City of University Heights for the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, would be discussed at the Dec. 19 meeting.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health services
Council approved a contract for public health services with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
Crime in University Heights
Police Chief Steve Hammett reported several crimes. On Nov. 16, at 2:05 a.m., a robbery occurred at the Dunkin Donuts near Fenwick and Cedar roads; an employee was arrested on Nov. 18. On Nov. 18, a resident’s car was bumped from behind on Elmdale Road and carjacked. Hammett advised residents to pull into the nearest police station or a well-lit area and call the police if this occurs, rather than exchanging information with the driver.
Leaf collection, tree planting
Service Director Jeffrey Pokorny reported that leaf collection is wrapping up and that the planting of 300 trees is complete.
The next council meeting will take place Monday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m.
LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.
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