Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-4-2017

DECEMBER 4, 2017

  • Public comments
  • 2018 operating and capital budget and appropriation
  • Zoning variances
  • Zoning code amendments
  • Overnight on-street parking
  • Protected liability self-insurance
  • Charter review commission
  • Cain Park entertainment programs
  • Recreation and park use regulations and rates
  • 2017 appropriations and expenditures amendments
  • City account signatories
  • NOPEC Gas Aggregation Program
  • Sanitary and storm sewer maintenance
  • Property purchase for Mayfield Road Signalization project
  • Mayor’s report and holiday wishes

Council members present were Mayor Cheryl L. Stephens, Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren, Michael N. Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. Vice Mayor Jason Stein  was absent. The meeting lasted from 7:51 to 8:54 p.m.

Public comments

Charter review commission: Resident Melody Hart stated she appreciates the video availability of charter review commission meetings on the city website. She encourages that videos of all committee meetings, including committee of the whole, be posted.

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus: Lee Chilcote reiterated requests he made at the Nov. 20 council meeting in support of the nonprofit agencies in the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus and asked for council’s support for this “terrific opportunity.” Mayor Stephens responded that the city is trying to move forward but does not control the property. She added that the city will make a statement when the school board agrees, and thanked Coventry P.E.A.C.E. for its patience, time and continued dialogue.

Severance ring road pavement deterioration: Bill Bruml stated that the pavement of the Severance ring road is dangerously deteriorated, detailing an accident it caused that injured him and damaged his bicycle. Council Member Ungar asked if the city or the owner is responsible; Law Director Juliano [said he] believes it is the owner of the center. The city manager will look into the matter.

2018 operating and capital budget and appropriation

City Manager Tanisha Briley presented the 2018 operating and capital budget, the theme of which is “Onward.” She discussed advancing city council relations, continuing to build fiscal sustainability, diversifying and strengthening the tax base, continuing to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness, developing plans to address major infrastructure needs, promoting Cleveland Heights’ market strengths and opportunities, and implementing the goals and actions prioritized in the city’s master plan.

The total budget for 2018 is $76 million, the general fund is balanced at $43.3 million, and the capital funding budget is $8.5 million. Ten positions continue to be held vacant.

Later in the meeting council approved expenditures for the 2018 budget.

Zoning variances

Council voted to permit Hebrew Academy to build a seven-foot chain-link fence in the front yard at 1516 Warrensville Center Road, and Peace Lutheran Church to erect a 26.15-square-foot institutional identification sign at 3740 Mayfield Road.

Zoning code amendments

Zoning code amendments were given a second reading, but not voted upon because they need more work.

Overnight on-street parking

Council approved this legislation, which is an annual action to permit overnight permit parking on specified portions of Kensington, Hillcrest, Belmar, Glenmont, Hampshire and Eddington roads, to accommodate insufficient resident and guest parking due to a high concentration of older apartment buildings with inadequate garage space.

Protected liability self-insurance

Council approved an agreement with Arthur J. Gallagher & Associates for continuation of the city’s protected liability self-insurance program. The 2018 premium will not exceed $402,825.

Charter review commission

The next meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. The agenda and archived videos are on the city website.

Cain Park entertainment programs

Council authorized the presentation of entertainment programs in Cain Park for the year 2018.

Recreation and park use regulations and rates

Community center, pool and park regulations and rates for the winter, spring and summer seasons were approved.

2017 appropriations and expenditures amendments

Council approved these amendments to correct the 2017 budget.

City account signatories

Council approved legislation amending and authorizing city bank account signatories. This specifies which staff members can sign for which city accounts.

NOPEC Gas Aggregation Program

Three ordinances dealing with a future natural gas aggregation program agreement with the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) received first readings only. NOPEC is a council of governments (COG). As a new member, Cleveland Heights must adopt the governance plan and approve the bylaws for the natural gas program as well as execute the natural gas program agreement in order to proceed. Two public hearings will be scheduled in the new year.

Sanitary and storm sewer maintenance

Cuyahoga County will perform certain services to help maintain the city’s sanitary and storm sewers and catch basins. Council approved the 2018 agreement at a cost not exceed $300,000.

Property purchase for Mayfield Road Signalization Project

Council appropriated money for the purchase of three small pieces of property along Mayfield Road needed to install new signals. They are appraised at $490, $893 and $1,261, respectively.

Mayor’s report and holiday wishes

Mayor Stephens gave a short address in which she noted that the best gift is democracy. She gave highlights of the year in city government and thanked voters for believing in and reelecting council members. She and council members Dunbar, Roe, Ungar and Yasinow all wished residents happy holidays.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

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.

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