Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-19-2018

NOVEMBER 19, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Street projects
  • Liquor control board applications
  • Cain Park Village security cameras
  • CDBG 2019 application
  • Recent tragic murders
  • Parks and recreation 2019
  • Small Business Saturday
  • County agreements
  • Civil service amendments
  • Transportation
  • 2019 and 2018 budgets
  • Cheryl Stephens’ resignation
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Jason Stein, Kahlil Seren and Cheryl L. Stephens. Michael N. Ungar was absent. The meeting lasted from 7:43 to 9:05 p.m. Public comments occupied the first 41 minutes.

Public comments

Municipal broadband: Mark Pultusker said he was taken aback that no one in city government chose to speak to him after his last appearance, considering his experience in private and municipal broadband development. He pointed out that feasibility studies never seem to say a project is not feasible, but then cities do not come close to projected income, as these projects are so capital intensive. He suggested that money could better be used to subsidize lower income residents’ service. The mayor agreed to talk with him.

2611 Fairmount Boulevard: Five residents spoke about the ongoing renovations at 2611 Fairmount Boulevard, including the next-door neighbors, their attorney, and several supporters. A document signed by 27 nearby households was presented. Comments included a perceived neglect of established processes and lack of appropriate building permits (which seemed to indicate preferential treatment for this project). They noted tree removal, impervious surfaces potentially leading to water in neighboring basements, and lack of personal outreach from the homeowners. The residents claimed that notices were being sent to former rather than the current neighbors and felt that the city was disregarding the concerns of, and stress on, the neighbors. Others posited that the elimination of a city building department and outsourcing of that function, as well as a heavy workload in the areas of planning and zoning, may be to blame. Mayor Roe apologized for their distress and promised to try to help resolve the dispute.

Tobacco 21 legislation: The owner of a hookah business in the Coventry district asked about an amendment to the Tobacco 21 legislation to exempt his business because it does not sell tobacco to take away, only to consume on the premises. Mayor Roe said this could be considered upon receipt of a written request.

Top of the Hill plans: A resident expressed confusion that there appear to be two different site plans for Top of the Hill. He wondered if the design was final and was told it was not. The mayor mentioned future meetings citizens can choose to attend, including a public hearing on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. prior to the council meeting.

Street projects

City Manager Briley requested and received permission to request bids for 2019 street resurfacing, surface treating, and striping, and for the ADA Curb Ramp Replacement Program. She announced that Liberta Construction of Akron submitted the lowest and best bid for the Cuyahoga-Edgehill/Overlook project at $215,340.70.

Liquor control board applications

The Ohio Liquor Control Board has received a permit transfer application for Emily’s Angels LLC, 3962 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44121. A motion was made and passed unanimously by council to oppose this permit and to request a hearing following a letter from the police chief detailing many dozen police calls to another establishment with the same owner.

Cain Park Village security cameras

Council authorized City Manager Briley to apply for a grant of up to $50,000, under the Community Development Supplemental Grant program of the Cuyahoga County Development Department, to install security cameras in the Cain Park Village commercial district.

CDBG 2019 application

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement application for 2019 received a first reading.

Recent tragic murders

Council Member Yasinow spoke movingly about the massacres at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the concert club in Thousand Oaks, California, the murder of Cleveland journalist and Cleveland Heights resident, Nikki Delamotte, and the murder of Alicia Fraser of Shaker Heights. She mentioned the contact number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline in conjunction with Ms. Fraser’s death.

Parks and recreation 2019

Legislation for programs, rates, and regulations for parks and recreation facilities for 2019 [was discussed].

Small Business Saturday

Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring November 24 “Small Business Saturday.”

County agreements

Council approved sewer maintenance and public health services agreements with Cuyahoga County. Sewer maintenance shall not exceed $600,000. The fees for health services shall be $218,614 for 2019 and $251,359 for 2020.

Civil service amendments

Amendments to the city code changed the length of the probationary period in the fire department.


Council approved the following:

  • The installation of signs for the free Circle Link shuttle bus route. Ms. Dunbar noted that an effort is under way to put bike racks on the shuttle buses.
  • An annual resolution to permit overnight parking on certain densely populated streets.
  • The implementation of bike lanes on Nobel Road.

Planning Director Richard Wong will be honored at an upcoming Bicycle Coalition meeting

Also, a resident is designing a robot capable of painting bike lanes, which must currently be done by hand.

2019 and 2018 budgets

Ordinances regarding the 2019 budget and amendments of the 2018 budget received first readings.

Cheryl Stephens’ resignation

Council Member Cheryl Stephens submitted her letter of resignation from council, effective Nov. 26, 2018, at 11:59 pm. She talked about her experiences and the importance of service. Members voted unanimously to accept her resignation, spoke in her honor, and presented a gift. She will be sworn in as District 10 representative on Cuyahoga County Council on November 27.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Roe pointed out the cast on her ankle, fractured in a fall at home, and praised the fire and police personnel who took care of her, as well as the MetroHealth Emergency Department staff. She acknowledged the assistance of the city manager and council, too.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

To receive 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. 

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:05 AM, 12.18.2018