Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-3-2017

JULY 3, 2017

  • Public comments
  • New and promoted police officers
  • HOME agreement with HRCC
  • Top of the Hill development
  • Medical marijuana ordinance
  • Charter Review Commission
  • National Parks and Recreation Month
  • Tax budget
  • Bond anticipation notes renewal

Five council members were present: Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Kahlil Seren, Carol Roe, Michael N. Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. Mayor Cheryl Stephens and Council Member Mary Dunbar were absent. The meeting lasted from 7:46 p.m. to 8:14 p.m., with Vice Mayor Stein presiding.

Public comments

City policies and procedures regarding rape victims: A woman who was raped in May requested establishment of a citizen panel to review the police department’s handling of trauma victims. She suggested that a lack of trust leads to underreporting of incidents of rape, and that education and training in treating victims with respect and compassion would help restore faith in the department’s ability to protect the public. Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg was present and spoke with the woman after her comments. Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee will be looking into the matter.

Former Coventry School: University Heights resident Brady Dindia, board president of ARTFUL, thanked council for recent efforts to include the current tenants of Coventry School in ongoing discussions regarding the future of the building. City Manager Briley and Economic Development Director Boland have now met with Coventry building tenants, and Dindia expressed her hope that such communication will continue. She mentioned upcoming events, including the Coventry Community Weekend on July 28 and 29. Council Member Yasinow noted that a public hearing on the Coventry building sale has been tentatively set for Tuesday, July 27, 7 p.m., at the community center.

New and promoted police officers

Before the meeting, Police Chief Mecklenberg conducted a promotional swearing-in ceremony. Two officers were sworn in as detective, five as police officer, and two as basic police officer.

HOME agreement with HRCC

Council approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Home Repair Resource Center (HRCC) for the use of federal HOME funds for its down payment assistance loan program. Under this program, city residents who meet certain criteria may receive up to a $10,000 loan. With this agreement, the program will have up to $154,078 of HOME funds issued by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) via Cuyahoga County.

Top of the Hill development

Council authorized a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Flaherty & Collins Development Inc. concerning the Top of the Hill development.

Medical marijuana ordinance

Council heard the first reading of a measure enacting Chapter 711, “Medical Marijuana,” of the city ordinances. This is in response to passage of a state law that took effect in September 2016 approving a medical marijuana control program under which licensed medical marijuana entities, including cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and testing laboratories, can legally operate within Ohio. The law gives cities the power to regulate and license such entities. Council has determined that these entities should be able to locate within Cleveland Heights so that residents may access this form of medical relief for the conditions that qualify for such treatment. Council has also determined that the business regulations outlined in the ordinance will ensure the safe and secure operation of medical marijuana entities within the city. Council Member Seren encouraged public input on this measure before its final passage.

Update on Charter Review Commission

Council Member Roe reported that the city received 57 applications for the commission, 19 of which were submitted by women. She stated that the applicants come from every city ward and represent the diversity of Cleveland Heights.

National Parks and Recreation Month

Council approved a resolution proclaiming July 2017 National Parks and Recreation Month.

Tax budget

Council heard the first reading of a resolution adopting the 2018 tax budget. A public hearing will be held on July 17, prior to that evening’s regular council meeting.

Bond anticipation notes renewal

Council approved the issuance and sale of $1,285,000 of notes, in anticipation of the issuance of bonds, for the following purposes and amounts:

  • Reconstructing, resurfacing and otherwise improving city streets - $116,000
  • Rebuilding Monticello Boulevard and Taylor Road, including engineering and planning costs - $181,000
  • Purchasing motorized equipment - $929,000
  • Purchasing computer hardware and related equipment - $59,000

This is an annual procedure required to pay down the notes over the life of these ongoing projects.

LWV Observer: Katherine Solender.

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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.

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:15 PM, 07.25.2017