University Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-19-2017
APRIL 19, 2017
- Geraci’s receives award
- Cedar-Taylor gateway proposal
- Arbor Day at Mitchell’s Ice Cream
- Carroll Fest
- New finance director
- ODOT contract
- Fair Housing Month
- RITA tax rate
- Road repairs
Present were Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Philip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Councilwoman Pamela Cameron was absent. Also present were Luke McConville, law director; William Sheehan, finance director; and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council. The meeting was held from 7:03 to 8:35 p.m.
The first four items below were part of Mayor Infeld’s report.
Geraci’s receives award
Cleveland Magazine has named Geraci’s Restaurant one of its 2017 Best of the East.
Cedar-Taylor gateway project
Preliminary drawings of the Cedar-Taylor gateway project can be found at universityheights.com/cedartaylor. Mayor Infeld encourages community members to submit their feedback using the website’s online form.
Arbor Day at Mitchell’s
Mitchell’s Ice Cream is giving away free ice cream cones and tree seedlings on Arbor Day, April 28.
John Carroll University’s Carroll Fest will be held on Saturday, April 29. The festival includes outdoor activities, such as games, food, contests and live music.
New finance director
Mayor Infeld administered the oath of office to new Finance Director William Sheehan. Sheehan comes to University Heights from the Cuyahoga County Office of Budget & Management, where he served as senior financial reporting administrator. The Westlake resident attended St. Ignatius High School and Princeton University, and earned an MBA from Harvard University.
Council approved a resolution authorizing the city to participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s winter salt contract for the winter 2018 season. The one-year contract enables ODOT to submit bids for road salt on behalf of the city. The city is requesting 3,500 tons of salt to restock its supply.
Fair Housing Month
Council proclaimed April as Fair Housing Month, supporting the 49th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, on emergency. The mayor stated that University Heights is committed to ensuring that housing is available to everyone. She noted that the act ensures that people cannot be excluded from housing based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, military status, or disability. The resolution will be sent to the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors.
RITA tax rate
Councilwoman Weiss made a motion to discuss decreasing the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) rate for University Heights residents, which is 2.5 percent. She noted that University Heights residents pay some of the highest taxes in the area, which may discourage people from buying homes in the community. Vice Mayor Pardee and Councilman Sims applauded Weiss for trying to find ways to ensure that University Heights remains a sustainable community, but said that reducing the tax rate could be dangerous at a time when federal and state budgets may be cut. The mayor echoed their concerns, saying that any changes in the tax rate would reduce the city’s income, which could affect vital city services. Council agreed to the table the motion, and Pardee agreed to discuss the tax rate in the next financial advisory committee meeting in May.
Councilman Sims reported that the services and utility committee will meet in May to discuss much-needed road improvements not included in the 2017 road repair program.
LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.
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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.