Cleveland Heights City Council tax budget hearing and regular meeting highlights 11-6-2017

NOVEMBER 6, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Budget reserve
  • Refuse transfer trailer
  • Professional engineering services RFQ
  • CDBG application
  • Zoning code hearing
  • Public health services
  • Sale of K-9 officer
  • Civil immigration enforcement
  • Charter review commission
  • Correction of clerical error
  • In memoriam, Robert Dunbar
  • Election Day is November 7

Council members present were Mayor Cheryl L. Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Carol Roe and Michael N. Ungar. Melissa Yasinow was absent. The meeting lasted from 8:02 to 8:34 pm.

Public comments

Budgeting and analysis: Melody Hart of Monmouth Road suggested that adding rigor to the process of budgeting and analysis by hiring a financial planning and analysis professional would help city staff learn best practices and plan for use of the surplus projected for the next budget year.

Cleveland Heights gas aggregation: Bill Bruml of Middlehurst Road spoke about the non-renewal of the city’s gas aggregation plan ending Oct. 31, stating it is difficult to reach anyone at Dominion Energy to find out who the supplier will be. City Manager Tanisha Briley said the aggregation was underperforming the market and was allowed to expire so that residents could take advantage of lower prices available from other suppliers. She said that the city will make a new agreement early in 2018. Council Member Ungar suggested that residents check PUCO’s “Apples to Apples” site at and offered to post a number for Dominion on and the city website.

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus: Gabe Schaeffer, who lives across the street from the Coventry PEACE Campus, asked the council members who are on the ballot if they support the campus and retention of the arts center. Council members Stephens, Stein and Ungar all gave affirmative answers.

Budget reserve

City Manager Briley stated that, for the second year in a row, the city projects spending less than it brings in, after eight years of deficit. She pointed out that this represents one month of operating expenses in reserve, rather than an actual surplus, and that ideally the city should have a two-month reserve.

Refuse transfer trailer

Bids for the purchase of a 75-cubic-yard refuse transfer trailer have been tabulated and reviewed, and the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Spector Manufacturing, for $63,079.

Professional engineering services RFQ

Council authorized the city manager to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for engineering services, especially for street and road projects.

CDBG application

Council authorized submission of the CDBG application for the 44th year beginning Jan. 1, 2018, subsequent to hearings and discussion with the Citizens Advisory Committee.

Zoning code hearing

The planning commission will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, to consider zoning code changes.

Public health services

Council renewed the annual agreement with the Cuyahoga County General Health District for public health services for 2018. The fee for mandated services will be $190,019.

Sale of K-9 officer

K-9 Officer Rocky, who has served since early 2012, will be sold to his handler, Lieutenant Robert Butler, for the traditional sum of one dollar.

Civil immigration enforcement 

Council Member Seren announced that he is putting together a substitute ordinance to replace Ordinance 106-2017, which he had presented on first reading on Oct. 2. This legislation pertains to local law enforcement response to immigration agents.

Charter review commission

Council Member Roe announced that the charter review commission will have its first meeting on Nov. 16, 7–9 p.m. The facilitator, Larry Keller, will give an overview of the charter review process and answer questions. The meeting will be at the Community Center to allow for public attendance. Future meetings will be in council chambers and all will be televised.

Correction of clerical error

An amendment was passed to correct a clerical error in figures cited in Resolution 101-2017, which accepted the tax amounts and rates of the budget commission.

In memoriam, Robert Dunbar

Mayor Stephens requested a moment of silence to remember Robert Dunbar, recently deceased husband of Council Member Mary Dunbar. She mentioned among his many qualities that he was a supportive spouse to Ms. Dunbar in her service to the community.

Election Day is Nov. 7

Several members mentioned the importance of citizens exercising their right to vote and of each local race.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

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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 12, Posted 4:53 PM, 01.01.2018