LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [1-17-2017]

JANUARY 17, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Citizen appointment
  • Liquor permits
  • Recognition for Tom Raguz
  • Recreation regulations for 2017
  • County sewer maintenance services for 2017
  • Energy conservation project
  • Mayor’s comments
  • Next meeting

Six council members were present: Cheryl L. Stephen (mayor), Jason Stein (vice mayor), Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren and Melissa Yasinow. Michael N. Ungar was absent.

The meeting was held from 8:12 to 8:58 p.m.

Public comments

Equal access: Resident Robin Koslen urged that the city affirm its commitment to providing services regardless of citizenship or immigration status. She gave council a document with suggested language and a number of citizen signatures.

Energy conservation: Mark Havens, representing Gardiner Energy Group of Solon, expressed his company’s concerns about the possible selection of Evans Energy of Dayton to provide contracting services for an energy conservation project currently under consideration by the city. He requested that the city delay any action on the project.

Solar energy: Resident David Wolin inquired about the inclusion of solar energy on municipal property through power purchase agreements (PPAs). Mayor Stephens suggested that Wolin contact the City Manager Tanisha Briley and Council Member Yasinow, chair of the municipal services committee.

Democracy Day: Resident Carla Rautenberg noted the upcoming fourth annual Democracy Day public hearing, to be held at 7 p.m. in the council chamber on Jan. 25. Held in accordance with the passage of Issue 32 in 2013, the hearing’s purpose is to examine the impact of political influence by corporate entities.

Candidates for Cleveland Heights Municipal Court Judge: James Costello and DeAngelo Little both announced intentions to run in November for the seat currently held by Judge A. Deane Buchanan, who is retiring this year.

Citizen appointment

Douglas Dykes was appointed to the Civil Service Commission, replacing James Costello, whose term expires in 2019.

Liquor permits

Nevaeh Cuisine & Catering LLC, doing business as The Fix Bistro & Patios (2195–97 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 44118) has applied to transfer permits from 2195 Lee Road Inc., doing business as The Fix Bistro & Patios at the same address. La Serena LLC, doing business as Quintana's Speakeasy at 2200 South Taylor Road, Cleveland Heights, 44118, has applied for a new permit. In addition, Law Director Jim Juliano reported that his department has filed a request for a hearing regarding the liquor permit requested by Noble Roman Inc., doing business as Noble Gas at 2610 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights, 44121. He noted that the hearing is not likely to take place for several months.

Recognition for Tom Raguz

Tom Raguz, who has served since 2012 as the city’s finance director/clerk of council, has accepted a position with RTA. Mayor Stephens and other members of council thanked him for his service to the city.

Recreation regulations for 2017

Council heard a first reading of annual ordinances approving the presentation of entertainment and programs in Cain Park, and establishing use regulations and rates of admission for the Cleveland Heights Community Center, city parks and Cumberland swimming pool.

County sewer maintenance services for 2017

Council authorized an agreement with Cuyahoga County for services to maintain the city’s sanitary and storm sewers and catch basins at a price less than that charged by a private company. The agreement will expire Dec. 31, and the total amount to be paid by the city shall not exceed $160,000.

Energy conservation project

By a five-to-one vote, council authorized contract negotiations with Evans Energy of Dayton for an energy conservation project aimed at achieving savings in the city’s energy costs. Council Member Seren opposed the measure, expressing concern that the process has been moving too quickly and that residents need time to provide input. Council members Yasinow and Dunbar noted that the project has been thoroughly studied and analyzed by city staff for many months.  Yasinow cited a figure of $2.7 million in savings that the city will achieve from the energy efficiencies arising from modernization of facilities and infrastructure. Recognizing that residents should be well-informed about a project representing about 10 percent of the city’s general fund budget, Mayor Stephens requested that information about the goals of the project and the process of selecting a contractor be posted on the city’s website as soon as possible. [See http://tinyurl.com/hs4sfde.]

Mayor’s comments

With an eye to the national rather than the local, Mayor Stephens urged that the incoming president honor all the iconic figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr., who have worked for the freedoms we all enjoy, and noted that she had received a letter from a resident suggesting that Cleveland Heights declare itself a “Bigotry-free Zone.” Stephens [said she] believes that this sentiment expresses what the city stands for as a community, and that it is possible to respect differing opinions without denigrating one another.

Next meeting

The next regular council meetingwill be Monday, Feb. 6.

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 email 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.


Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:26 PM, 02.28.2017