University Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-3-2017

APRIL 3, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Annual reports
  • Arbor Day at Mitchell’s Ice Cream
  • Heritage Home program
  • Signal timing optimization project
  • Cedar Taylor Gateway public meetings
  • Cedar Taylor council action
  • Funds transfer
  • Cedar Taylor Streetscape project
  • 2017 road program
  • Senior transportation contract
  • Paint project bids
  • Executive session
  • Finance director hired

Present were Mayor Susan Infeld, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, Philip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7:03 to 9:35 p.m.

Public comments

Cedar-Taylor Development Association: Two Cedar-Taylor Development Association board members and a resident from Washington Boulevard spoke in support of the stalled $25,000 Cedar-Taylor Streetscape project. They stressed that improving the Cedar-Taylor streetscape would attract merchants and improve property values. A resident from Jackson Road voiced concern that the mayor has been reluctant to work collaboratively with merchants and council on the project. During public comments, council approved a motion to add a discussion of the project to the agenda.

Road repairs: A Barrington Road resident expressed frustration that the road has needed repaving and new curbs for years. The mayor explained that the city is currently repaving roads that have had water line replacements or are in dire need of repair. Council promised that Barrington, and other roads that did not make this year’s list, will be prioritized next year.

Annual reports

Mayor Infeld stated that annual reports, including reports from NASA and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, will be placed in the lobby of city hall. She said the board of health’s report includes a community report for the city.

Arbor Day at Mitchell’s

The mayor reported that Mitchell’s Ice Cream is giving away free ice cream cones and tree seedlings on Arbor Day, Friday, April 28.

Heritage Home program

The Cleveland Restoration Society will be at council chambers on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m., to discuss the Heritage Home program. The mayor said that residents could stop by to learn how to improve a historic home (homes 50 years or older), and receive advice on everything from color selection to contractors.

Signal timing project

NOACA’s signal timing optimization project may introduce signal timing changes at Cedar and Green roads, to reduce the number of accidents. The mayor said the project will last five to six months.

Cedar-Taylor Gateway public meetings

The mayor [said she] welcomes ongoing feedback on the Cedar-Taylor Gateway project. There will be public meetings about the project over the next several months.

Cedar-Taylor council action 

Council voted on and approved a motion for the Cedar-Taylor beautification project, despite the mayor’s misgivings about the project’s merits and cost. Law Director McConville said the motion would have no legal impact because the city’s charter states that council can’t force the mayor to take administrative or executive action. Council also approved a motion to rename the miscellaneous contracts fund, which holds the $25,000 earmarked for the project, the Cedar-Taylor Streetscape Project [Fund].

Fund transfer

Council approved a transfer of funds from the general fund to the street fund ($500,000), street lighting fund ($20,000), capital projects [fund] ($400,000), and police pension and fire pension funds ($200,000), on second reading.

Road program

Council approved a motion to accept a bid from Ronyak Paving Inc. for the 2017 road improvement program. The city received six bids for the $1.2 million project, and Ronyak’s was the lowest. [The company has] a proven track record, having completed the project last year.

Transportation contract

A motion to approve the 2017 senior transportation contract with Senior Transportation Connection agency was presented on first reading. Councilman Sims asked to review the figures before approving the contract.

Paint project

Council authorized the mayor to advertise for bids to paint the pool building. The structural steel and overhead arch have never been painted. City Engineer Joe Cuini said it was too late to start the project before the pool opens. The project is slated for September or October.

Finance director

The mayor has hired a new finance director. William Sheehan, who previously worked for the Cuyahoga County Office of Budget & Management, will join the city on Monday, April 17.

Executive session

Council voted to adjourn to executive session to discuss legal and real estate matters related to University Square.

LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.

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 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 University Heights
Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 1:09 PM, 05.01.2017