University Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-4-2017

DECEMBER 4, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Heights High concert and open house
  • Property tax rates for low-income seniors
  • Citizens of the Year
  • Police contracts
  • 90-day budget
  • Building department software upgrade
  • Catch basin cleaning and sewer and road repairs
  • Tree pruning and removal
  • Car thefts in University Heights
  • Executive session

Present were Mayor Susan Infeld, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director William Sheehan, and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:12 p.m.

Public comments

Irate neighbor on Northfield: A dog owner on Northfield Road said his neighbor files police reports every time she hears his two dogs bark. He now makes sure her car isn’t in the driveway before he walks them. On a recent Saturday, his dogs went to a front window and barked when they saw a deliveryman. His neighbor called the police, even though the dogs were inside his home. Mayor Infeld said the police chief will follow up with him to discuss his rights as a dog owner.

Heights High concert and open house

The mayor reported that Heights High will host a concert and open house on Thursday, Dec. 21. The open house is from 6–7 p.m., and includes a tour. At 7 p.m., the Heights High Gospel Choir will perform. The concert will be held in the auditorium and admission is $6.

Property tax rates for low-income seniors

The Cleveland Water Department is working with Cleveland City Council to manage the homestead rate for those formerly served by the Cleveland Heights Water Department. The homestead rate reduces property taxes for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. The mayor said the proposal has yet to be approved by Cleveland City Council.

University Heights Citizens of the Year

Bonnye Klein and Sarah Staples were named 2017 University Heights Citizens of the Year for their work co-chairing the City Beautiful Commission and the Beautiful Home Awards program. The commission posts signs at the homes of University Heights residents who have been selected for having the best front yards, etc. Klein and Staples, who share a love of University Heights’ homes, received a proclamation from Mayor Infeld.

Police contracts approved

Council authorized union contracts with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association for patrol officers, sergeants and lieutenants, and dispatchers, on second reading.

90-day budget passed

Council approved a temporary budget from Jan. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2018, on second reading. Mayor-elect Michael Dylan Brennan will begin preparing the city’s budget when he takes the reins in January.

Building department software upgrade

Council authorized the mayor to purchase a software program for building code enforcement from Online Solutions LLC, on second reading. The software works on tablets, which will help the city’s building inspectors complete their inspections more quickly. In the past, building inspectors entered information by hand, and this information was [later] input into a computer program. Community Development Coordinator Patrick Grogan-Myers said the city has applied for a grant from the county that would cover $14,700 of the $19,700 program.

Catch basin cleaning and sewer and road repairs

Council approved a motion to advertise for bids for a two-year catch basin cleaning and sewer televising contract, as well as a motion to advertise for bids for a two-year emergency sewer and road repairs contract.

City engineer Joseph Ciuni said the city has approximately 1,000 catch basins and that the two-year program would address about 700 of them. The budget for the project is $400,000. Councilwoman Cameron asked if the county could complete the project, and Service Director Jeffrey Pokorny said costs would double. He also noted that his department would oversee any sewer projects.

Ciuni said the emergency sewer and road repairs project, budgeted at $250,000, would address potholes and sewer repairs that were too extensive for the city to manage.

Tree pruning and removal

Council approved a motion to advertise for bids for tree proving and removal. Service Director Pokorny said that 500 trees would be pruned and/or removed throughout the city at a cost of $50,000. Councilman Wiseman requested that the arborists meet with community members to discuss the project and how it will affect the trees in their yards and on their tree lawns.

Car thefts in University Heights

Police Chief Steve Hammet reported that six cars were stolen on Nov. 28 and 29, near Green and Cedar roads. Three of the cars were stolen from the Speedway gas station, one from Heinen’s, and one from the John Carroll University annex. The police chief noted that the cars had been left running. He reported that a woman from Lyndhurst was also carjacked at the John Carroll annex on Green Road. Four of the six cars have been recovered, with minimal damage. He said that while the city hasn’t made arrests, it has leads and possible suspects. These thefts have occurred in five to six local suburbs.

Executive session

Council held an executive session before the meeting to discuss police contracts.

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.

Read More on University Heights
Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:50 AM, 01.30.2018