Cleveland Heights ty Council meeting highlights 6-4-2018

JUNE 4, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Cain Park 80th anniversary
  • Aggregated Solar Project
  • Liquor license
  • Community Development Block Grant Funds
  • Mayfield Corridor
  • Doan Brook Watershed
  • Stormwater management
  • Boss Dog Brewing Company patio
  • LGBT Pride Month
  • Nature Works application
  • Mayor’s Report


Council members present were Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Cheryl L. Stephens, and Michael N. Ungar. Members absent were Mayor Carol Roe and Jason Stein. The meeting lasted from 7:38 to 8:52 p.m.

Public comments

Council support of the public schools: School Board President James Posch thanked council for its stands supporting the public schools over the last few months. He mentioned the ranking of districts and the changing methodologies for state report cards, gun safety, and the proposed transfer of powers from the Ohio Department of Education and State School Board to a governor-appointed entity. The school board looks forward to a joint meeting with council later in June.

Foreclosure bond legislation: Two people spoke about the foreclosure bond legislation council is developing. Frank Ford of Kirtland, representing the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, described fears that if banks must post such bonds, they would not make loans in Cleveland Heights. However, he was not sure this was a reasonable concern, because the banks making the most loans were not the ones doing the foreclosures. He noted that foreclosure rates are down, almost to what they were before the crisis, but that the current federal government is deregulating. Resident Michael Gaynier stated he has advocated for a foreclosure bond ordinance for several years. He called it a simple investment and a tool to use against lenders who do a poor job, which will help set expectations that those buying loans do the right thing. He hopes this will protect against another mortgage crisis. He added that the character of many neighborhoods has changed, with higher numbers of rental homes than before.

Sanctuary city: A resident opined that sanctuary cities can help to stem the horror of deportations and children being removed from parents at the border and kept in cages. She said the federal government is doing this “on our watch, in our names, with our tax dollars.”

Municipal broadband fiber network: Four residents spoke about the need to study the feasibility of publicly available broadband. They said that freedom of affordable access to the internet can level the divide between the most and least privileged citizens. They advocated that this be treated as a utility that is revenue neutral (citizens should be shareholders) and provides choice, net neutrality, speed, and privacy. They mentioned benefits for medical and research professionals, school children, telecommuters, and current and new businesses. There is great potential to attract new residents and businesses when broadband becomes readily available. Councilperson Ungar commented that a multi-department analysis is warranted and that broadband seems to fit in with the city’s strategic plan. He added that citizens should be involved.

Committee of the whole recording: Deborah Van Kleef thanked council for recognizing the importance of documenting and making available these meetings. However, she asked that they reconsider video recordings, as audio is difficult to understand and obscures who is speaking.

Tree roots in sewer lines: A resident complained that tree lawn tree roots are getting into sewer lines and causing backup of water into basements after heavy rains, as well as raising sidewalk blocks. He wondered if the city could clear these roots. City Manager Briley clarified that it is the responsibility of homeowners to treat the roots; they may call a private service or obtain service for the sanitary sewers from the city for a $100 fee. The county offers a service for the storm sewers.

Cain Park 80th anniversary

Council presented a proclamation to George Kozman, Cain Park Arts Festival director, regarding the 80th anniversary of the park.

Aggregated Solar Project

Council granted the city manager permission to participate in Cuyahoga County’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for companies to design, finance, install, operate, and maintain solar panels on county buildings with the hopes of improved electricity pricing in the future. Municipalities participating can seek similar improvements for their buildings.

Liquor license

Cain Park concessionaire, Tasteful Sensations, LLC, has applied for a new license.

Community Development Block Grants

Council authorized the reprogramming and reallocation of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as follows:

  • $125,000 was moved from Storefront Loans into other CDBG funds.
  • An additional allocation of $139,893 has been awarded to the city of Cleveland Heights.
  • Cedar Taylor Development Association received $10,000 for streetscape enhancements.
  • Future Heights’ Community Capacity Building program received $33,000.
  • Gesher received $5,000 for operating expenses for its referral program.
  • Heights Emergency Food Center received $19,577.
  • The food bank at Start Right Community Development received $10,000.

Mayfield Corridor

The Community Center hosted a meeting about the Mayfield Corridor project [a collaboration with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, other regional entities, and other eastern suburbs]on June 6.

Doan Brook Watershed

Storm drain stenciling is scheduled for Saturday, June 16 (Rain date: June 17). Volunteers interested in helping should meet in the Community Center parking lot for training and assignments. Information can be found at

Storm water management

Credit opportunities are available to owners who make modifications to impervious areas on their property. Information can be found at

Boss Dog Brewing Company patio

Boss Dog Brewing Co., LLC, has altered its design plan and seeks a different portion of city property to expand its outdoor dining. The lease shall be $2,300 per year for five years.

LGBT Pride Month

Councilperson Seren spoke about the history of the modern pride movement and council declared June 2018 as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride Month in the city.

Public recreation grant funds

Council approved application to the NatureWorks grant program of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for financial assistance for public recreation funds.

Mayor’s report

Vice Mayor Yasinow read Mayor Roe’s report.

  • Three community members for the Immigration Task Force were chosen from numerous applications: Robin Koslen, Kermit Lind, and Michael Sharon. The first meeting of the task force will be June 27 at 7 p.m. at city hall.
  • Noble Neighbors will meet on June 19 at Start Right Church.
  • Denver Brooker’s appointment to the board of zoning appeals was approved unanimously, as was the appointment of Gregory Ross to the architectural board of review.

The next regular meeting will be Monday, June 18, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

To receive regular email postings of full reports, send an email to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

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 11, Issue 7, Posted 2:06 PM, 06.25.2018