Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-7-2018
MAY 7, 2018
- Public comments
- Rock salt
- Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control
- Street resurfacing
- Gun laws
- Police radios
- Service assessments
- Cedar Fairmount SID
- Complete and Green Street Policy
- Bike Month and National Preservation Month
- Outdoor dining lease
- Caledonia Park playground
- Sale of city property
- Robert Klein
- CHHS Alumni Hall of Fame
- Municipal broadband
- Police bike auction
- Immigration task force
- Mayor attends meetings
Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein, Cheryl L. Stephens and Michael N. Ungar. The meeting lasted from 7:33 to 8:25 p.m.
Marijuana sales: A resident discussed his opposition to marijuana sales in the city. Mayor Roe replied that it had previously been decided that Cleveland Heights is open to business, but there are no plans in the works.
Inspirational presentation: A resident sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem, and spoke about a number of concerns for quality of life, health care, and freedom from violence and discrimination.
Heights Bicycle Coalition: Steve Reinhart, representing the Heights Bicycle Coalition, thanked the city for the Bike Month resolution and programming.
Street closings for repaving projects: A resident expressed concern that lane closures for the repaving of Cedar Hill westbound and the Mayfield hill, compounded by the lane already closed on the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive hill, will cause great difficulties for commuters. He was put in contact with Public Works Director Mannarino.
The city will participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation Cooperative Purchasing Program for rock salt for the 2018-19 winter season.
Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control
Council approved a second amendment to the agreement with Wade Trim, Inc. of Ohio, for professional engineering services relating to the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control project and the EPA Consent Decree, for an amount not to exceed $2,100,000. Ungar added that the council will explore engaging a professional oversight project manager due to the expense. He said this does not imply he doubts the competence of the engineers or city staff. Seren and Stephens echoed his suggestion.
In cooperation with Cuyahoga County the city will repave Warrensville Center Road from Mayfield Road to Noble Road and Cedar Glen Parkway from Euclid Heights Boulevard to the west corporation line. The county will contribute 50 percent of the cost up to $250,000; the anticipated cost is $581,000.
Council passed a resolution urging state and federal governments to enact common sense gun laws and mental health legislation to help reduce gun violence, including the following provisions:
- Ban the sale of assault-style firearms;
- Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21;
- Ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks;
- Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law;
- Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from purchasing firearms;
- Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks;
- Provide funding for enhanced mental health services and substance abuse treatment so that all individuals have sufficient access to such services.
Several members commented in favor of this and pointed out adoption was urged by the school district and citizens.
Resolutions authorized purchase of 60 mobile radios for police cars ($59,095) and 47 portable radios ($69,997) for the police department.
Council passed resolutions affirming that special assessments must be passed every two years to cover part of the expense of street lighting and improvements, including grading, draining, curbing, paving, repaving, repairing, sweeping or cleaning, removing snow, and planting, maintaining and removing shade trees.
Cedar Fairmount SID
Council approved the proposed public services and improvements plan for the next five years for the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (SID).
Complete and Green Street Policy
Cleveland Heights has been in the forefront of urban sustainability. Council approved these policies, which address the livability and environmental needs of our community with multipurpose streets that better accommodate walkers, cyclists, and public transportation, while reducing the environmental impact of transportation infrastructure by incorporating green infrastructure strategies to reduce waste, stormwater runoff, and energy consumption.
Bike Month and National Preservation Month
This is the eighth year the city has proclaimed May Bike Month, with associated special days and weeks.
Many events are planned by the city and other groups to support historic preservation during May as National Preservation Month. Some state tax credits are available for rehabilitation of property.
Outdoor dining lease
Council approved a lease agreement with Weinstein & Frankel for its tenant, Fresh Fix of the Heights, to expand and improve its outdoor dining at 2234 Lee Road for five years at $324 per year.
Caledonia Park playground
Council approved an agreement with Service Supply Ltd., Inc. to design and install a new playground at Caledonia Park for $100,000. Ms. Stephens explained that Barbara Boyd, former council member and mayor, had championed a park for the north end of the city and had aggregated land from East Cleveland and private owners to make the park. It will be upgraded and dedicated to Ms. Boyd.
Sale of city property
City-owned vacant lots between 3217 and 3219 Euclid Heights Boulevard, commonly referred to as the Boulevard Townhomes, is not needed for municipal purposes. Therefore, council approved its sale to Boulevard Townhouse Association, Inc., for $200.
Robert Klein, also known as Mendy Klein, a business owner and philanthropist in the Orthodox Jewish and greater communities, died recently. Stephens commented on how moved she was by his life and his funeral.
CHHS Alumni Hall of Fame
Several members talked about the Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) Alumni Hall of Fame induction, commending the school board, staff, and Superintendent Dixon, as well as those who spoke at the event, calling it “heartwarming” and “a walking advertisement for the city.” Mayor Roe also attended the CHHS Hall of Fame ceremony. She was most gratified to hear how the values of the city have influenced citizens. She also praised the students who introduced the individuals being honored.
There was discussion of the need to carefully consider municipal broadband service soon and how it will fit in with the strategic plan.
Police bike auction
The police bike auction was a successful event, with children’s helmets provided by the Heights Bicycle Coalition.
Vice Mayor Yasinow described her experience riding along with the police; she has previously ridden with firefighters and got a lot out of both experiences.
- Coffee with Cops will be May 19.
- A benefit raffle for the Jason West Scholarship will be at the Boss Dog Brewery on May 20.
- An End of Watch ceremony to honor Jason West will be May 26 at dusk in front of city hall.
- Yasinow reminded voters of the Primary Election on May 8.
- The “We Are Noble” festival will take place the weekend of May 18.
- The next joint meeting of the school board and city council is June 25.
Immigration task force
Three members will be chosen soon for the Immigration Task Force from the eighteen applications received. This group will consider how to implement Cleveland Heights as a “welcoming city.”
Mayor attends meetings
Mayor Roe discussed the Northeast Mayors and Managers Association and First Suburbs Consortium meetings, which she recently attended.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 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.