Cleveland Heights City Council regular meeting highlights 3-19-2018

MARCH 19, 2018


  • Swearing in of safety forces
  • Public comments
  • Community Center fitness equipment
  • Bike path striping project
  • Liquor license
  • Top of the Hill property tax agreement
  • Event announcements
  • Vacant properties and foreclosures
  • Homestead discount rates
  • Staff compensation
  • Open meetings and public records laws
  • New standing committee names
  • Beyond essential operations of city government
  • Executive sessions
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein and Cheryl L. Stephens. Michael N. Ungar was absent. The meeting lasted from 7:50-8:25 p.m.

Swearing in of safety forces

Prior to the regular meeting, the fire department swore in three new firefighters and promoted one. The police department swore in four new police officers and one newly promoted detective.

Public comments

Gun control legislation: One resident expressed concern that council consider gun control legislation in response to the surge of school shootings. Mayor Roe responded that council has been talking with the school board about these issues.

Missing resident: Another resident emphasized concern that missing resident Miriam Johnson may have been harmed and hopes that citizens can help in the search.

Community Center fitness equipment

Council granted City Manager Briley permission to issue a request for proposals to upgrade fitness equipment at the community center.

Bike path striping project

Briley reported that Trafftech, Inc. has submitted the lowest and best bid at $24,241.40 for bike path buffer striping on North Park Boulevard. This was noted as a matter of record.

Liquor license

Greedy Girl, 2158 S. Taylor Road has applied for a liquor permit.

Top of the Hill property tax agreement

Council and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education agreed to a property tax exemption, collection of service payments in lieu of taxes, and an urban redevelopment tax increment equivalent fund for depositing these service payments. Ms. Yasinow expressed gratitude to the school board for working with the city to make the Top of the Hill a reality.

Event announcements

Ms. Yasinow announced the following:

  • The end of watch ceremony in memory of the eighth anniversary of Thomas Patton falling in the line of duty was held March 18.
  • The spring egg hunt will be Saturday, March 24.
  • The St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for childhood cancer research will be on Sunday, March 25, at the community center.
  • The March for Our Lives will be at Cleveland Public Square on Saturday, March 24.
  • Passover begins Friday evening, March 30.

Vacant properties and foreclosures

Mr. Seren announced that a draft of legislation regarding a vacant property registry and foreclosure bonds will be ready to present soon.

Change order

Council approved a change order, increasing the contract with GPD Group by $33,817.77 for the administration and inspection for the Cedar Road Resurfacing/Cedar-Fairmount Streetscape Project.

Homestead discount rates

Council approved a payment, not to exceed $125,000, to the City of Cleveland Water Department to reimburse homestead discount rates for the City of Cleveland transition rate for 2017. This [reduced rate] protected lower income residents during the transition.

Staff compensation

Council approved, on second reading, salary schedules, position classifications, and benefits for city officers and employees.

Open meetings and public records laws

Council designated assistant law directors Alix Noureddine and Elizabeth Wells Rothenberg to fulfill open meeting and public records training for members of council as required by the Ohio Revised Code.

New standing committee names

The new names of standing committees, which were approved by council Feb. 20, were inserted into the city code. These are: Administrative Services, Finance, Housing and Transportation, Planning and Development, Recreation, Community and External Relations, and Safety and Municipal Services.

Beyond essential operations of city government

Council outlined priorities beyond the essential operations of city government in order to not limit the ability of the city in any way to respond to and/or address other matters of concern to the community.

Executive sessions

Presented on first reading, this ordinance, drafted by Mr. Seren, amends the city code by repealing Section 107.01(c)(9) to remove the ability of the council, or a city board or commission, to enter into executive session more than four times per year to discuss general plans for the future or general issues before the city. In response to community feedback, this should clarify confusion about differences with state law. Although home rule allows such deviations, it may not always be necessary to discuss these matters in executive session.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Roe thanked city staff for the newly launched Cleveland Heights website and for the many positive stories in the media lately. She announced that the Cedar-Fairmount and Cedar-Lee Special Improvement District renewal applications are ahead of schedule. The next joint meeting of the city council and the school board will be June 25. The Charter Review Commission’s work continues, and there will be a public meeting on April 19. As mayor, Ms. Roe attends the Ohio Mayors Alliance; this body will meet with gubernatorial candidates this summer to help them form agendas related to city concerns.

The next regular meeting will be Monday, April 2, 2018, at 7:30 pm.

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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