University Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-1-2017

MAY 1, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Geraci’s gives back
  • Cavs support housing
  • Annual reports
  • Memorial Day parade
  • JCU president honored
  • Minority Health Month
  • Local executive honored
  • Proposed HUD cuts
  • Medical marijuana
  • Hydrant flushing
  • Repaving project
  • Finance committee
  • Executive session

Present were Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, John Rach, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Councilmen Philip Ertel and Steven Sims were 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 8:25 p.m.

Public comments

Pedestrian safety: A resident who lives near the intersection of Cedar and Warrensville Center roads expressed concerns about pedestrian safety, especially for seniors and people with disabilities. She said that people drive over the speed limit, and that walk lights in the area are often broken or too short.

The first four items were part of Mayor Infeld’s report.

Geraci’s gives back

Geraci’s will donate a percentage of its receipts to Meals on Wheels every Monday in May. Meals on Wheels serves homebound residents, seniors and people recovering from surgery.

Cavs support housing

Want to see a Cavs game and support Habitat for Humanity? The Cleveland Cavaliers will donate all admission proceeds from playoff watch parties to Habitat for Humanity.

Annual reports

Residents can stop by the lobby of University Heights City Hall to pick up annual reports from the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Memorial Day parade

It’s almost time for University Heights’ annual Memorial Day parade. The parade, which will be held on Monday, May 29, at 11 a.m., begins on Silsby Road near Allison Road, and ends at John Carroll University’s (JCU) natatorium.

JCU president honored

Council passed a resolution honoring the retirement of the Rev. Dr. Robert Niehoff, S.J., president of John Carroll University. Mayor Infeld praised his service to the university, which includes a successful fundraising campaign that raised more than $100 million for scholarships, professorships and campus improvements. Niehoff, the university’s longest-serving president, hasn’t set a retirement date. JCU is University Heights’ largest employer and tsingle largest contributor of income taxes.

Minority Health Month

Council passed a resolution [recognizing] National Minority Health Month. The resolution will be sent to Congress and county officials to encourage them to advocate for equal access to healthcare. National Minority Health Month, which is celebrated in the month of April, was created in 1989 to strengthen social determinants of health. It was officially recognized in 2000.

Local executive honored

Council passed a resolution honoring Shirley Baldwin, executive director of Beachwood-Shaker Heights-University Heights Meals on Wheels, who is retiring after 25 years of service. She will be remembered for her tireless commitment to the community, including preparing and delivering Thanksgiving meals with the help of her husband and two daughters. Before joining Meals on Wheels, Baldwin was a teacher in several east-side schools.

Proposed HUD cuts

Council heard, on first reading, a resolution opposing the proposed elimination and reduction of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs. Mayor Infeld expressed concern that President Trump’s proposed budget will affect vulnerable members of the community, and programs such as the Community Development Block Grant program, which was used to repave Cedarbrook Road. She noted that these types of grant funds have allowed the city to spend taxpayer dollars using federal government funds rather than general fund dollars.

Medical marijuana

Citing the opportunity for tax revenue, Councilwoman Weiss proposed that University Heights become a medical marijuana dispensary. Law Director McConville advised that dispensaries must be in standalone buildings 500 feet from schools, churches and public parks, and must adhere to strict zoning regulations. Vice Mayor Pardee voiced support for the business growth potential, but said she needed more information before weighing in. The mayor will invite Attorney Kevin Patrick Murphy, an expert on the subject, to an upcoming meeting to discuss the pros and cons.

Hydrant flushing

Fire Chief Doug Zook reported that University Heights has completed springtime hydrant flushing. Beginning May 8, hydrants in the northwest area of the city will undergo flow testing to determine how many gallons are being pumped from each hydrant. The city will put up warning signs.

Repaving project

City Engineer Joe Ciuni told council that the road program, which began on May 1, will be completed within 90 days, and that parking lots at city hall will be repaved beginning the week of May 8. Ciuni said that access to city hall will be restricted during May.

Finance committee

Vice Mayor Pardee announced that the next finance committee meeting will be on Wednesday, May 27, at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

Executive session

Council approved a motion to go into executive session to discuss pending legislation and a personnel matter.

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.

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