CH Charter Review Commission to make recommendations in time for November 2018 ballot
The Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission held its first official meeting on Dec. 7. Cleveland Heights City Council appointed the 15-member commission to review all aspects of the city’s charter and make recommendations for changes. City council will then decide which items to place on the ballot for residents to vote on.
The commission expects to submit its recommendations to council by May 2018, in time for council to place the revisions on the November 2018 ballot.
The first item the commission will address is the city’s form of government. Cleveland Heights is currently governed by a seven-member city council, with all members elected at large (citywide), and by a city manager, who is appointed by council.
Of Cuyahoga County’s 57 municipalities, only Cleveland Heights and Bedford Heights are governed without a popularly elected mayor. With respect to local city councils, some are elected at large, some are elected by ward, and others are split between at-large and ward-based members.
CH City Council appointed Larry Keller, a Cleveland State University professor emeritus, to facilitate the group’s meetings and process.
The commission selected Jack Newman to serve as its chair and Allosious Snodgrass to serve as its vice-chair. The commission agreed to schedule meetings for the first and third Thursday of each month, with the next meeting scheduled for Jan. 4, 7 p.m., at CH City Hall.
Several city staff members attended the Dec. 7 meeting, including Tanisha Briley, city manager; Susanna Niermann O'Neil, assistant city manager; Jim Juliano, law director; and Liz Rothenberg, assistant law director. CH City Council members Mary Dunbar and Mike Ungar, as well as five residents, also attended.
The commission’s meetings and agendas will be posted on the city’s website, http://www.clevelandheights.com/index.aspx?page=2206. All meetings are open to the public and each will include time for public comment.
All meetings will be recorded and broadcast on the city’s cable channel, Channel 20, and on the city’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandHeightsOH.
Robert Brown is a city planner with 40 years of experience, including nine years as Cleveland's City Planning Director. A resident of Cleveland Heights for more than 40 years, Brown recently joined the board of FutureHeights.