Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-17-2019

JUNE 17, 2019


  • Public comments
  • City manager’s report
  • Director of finance/clerk of council’s report
  • City-owned property transfer
  • Top of the Hill parking
  • CDBG agreements
  • Public recreation financing
  • Wireless communications facility
  • Joint meeting
  • Council meeting suspension in August
  • Issuance of bonds
  • Mayor’s announcements
  • Council members’ announcements


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren and Jason Stein. Michael N. Ungar was excused, but listened on the telephone.

Prior to the regular meeting, there was a police officer promotion and swearing in ceremony for seven officers. Chief Mecklenberg stated that this brings the CHPD to 102 officers, just three short of fully staffed.

The meeting lasted from 7:40 to 8:29 p.m.

Public comments 

Cedar-Fairmount parking lot: Attorney Lee Chilcote spoke on behalf of the Russo family in support of the ordinance authorizing the transfer of city land to Bellfield-Grandview Development, an enterprise through which the family will build a 64-car private parking facility between Bellfield and Grandview Roads south of Cedar. The Russos originally deeded this lot to the city in 1977 for a city parking lot; they have acquired three more lots and accommodated all the city’s requirements. Mr. Chilcote mentioned the involvement of the family in the Cedar-Fairmount area for 75 years.

Home flooding: A resident of Ivydale spoke about the flooding of their home due to a creek, which runs out of the Park Synagogue property, being choked with debris and organic material. Mayor Roe connected the homeowner with the appropriate city department. 

City manager’s report

Ms. Briley requested and received permission to issue a request for proposals for a redevelopment plan for Severance Town Center. 

She notified council of a final change order to cover the $20,969.88 increase to the contract price for the Edgehill/Overlook intersection construction; final contract price is $236,310.15.

Ms. Briley reported other miscellaneous items. The state’s operating budget is due by June 30 and may yield a modest 1.66 to1.68 percent increase in the local government fund. The state has subsidized a radio system for the fire department; the final community meeting for the Noble Corridor has been rescheduled to July 18; the musical “Ragtime” has opened at Cain Park. There will be a police end of watch ceremony on June 20 in front of City Hall in memory of Officer Tom Patton. The Youth Police Academy has begun. There have been some temporary repairs to Coventry Road while the city awaits assistance with permanent work from NOACA. The 2022 Safe Routes to School grant of $200,000 has been approved.

Director of finance/clerk of council’s report

Assistant City Manager Susan Niermann-O’Neil notified council of plans to issue bonds to pay for capital improvements to be dealt with by legislation later in the meeting. She presented notice of an application for a liquor license by Mister Brisket Inc., 2156 South Taylor Road. She detailed new council committee assignments, which can be viewed here:

The city had a residents’ shredding day on Saturday, June 22. 

City-owned property transfer

Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing transfer of real property to Grandview-Bellfield Development, LLC, praising the Russo family’s involvement in the business district and noting that the new lot will help ease parking in the district.

Top of the Hill Parking

First reading of an ordinance to implement a temporary parking plan during the Top of the Hill construction will be followed by a public comment period. Read the plan here:

CDBG agreements

Council approved fourteen agreements for Community Development Block Grant funding. Council members praised the invaluable work of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) in this endeavor. The agencies, amounts, and purposes are:


  • Bhutanese Community of Greater Cleveland – $8000 for its job training program
  • Central Bible Baptist Church – $8000 for its Neighborhood Seniors Resource Center
  • Cedar Taylor Development Association – $10,000 for streetscape enhancements
  • Family Connections of Northeast Ohio – $20,000 for its Family School Connections Program
  • FutureHeights – $33,000 for its Community Capacity Building Program
  • FutureHeights – $10,000 for the Cedar Lee Mini-Park Placemaking Project
  • Gesher – $8,000 for a program to help eligible residents access government assistance programs
  • Heights Emergency Food Center – $25,510 for operating and capital improvement expenses
  • Home Repair Resource Center – $117,327 for multiple loan, grant, and counseling programs
  • Heights Youth Club, Inc. – $10,000 for its after school Learning Place Program
  • Lake Erie Ink – $12,015 for its Ink Spot After School Program
  • Open Doors Academy – $15,000 for its year-round enrichment program for youth living at risk
  • Severance Tower Local Advisory Council – $10,800 for its Accessible Community Garden Project
  • Start Right Community Development Corporation – $10,000 for its food bank program



Public recreation financing

Council authorized application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for financing for public recreation under the NatureWorks grant program.

Wireless communications facility

Council authorized a site lease agreement with T-Mobile Central LLC for a wireless communications facility on the roof of Fire Station #1.

Joint meeting 

Council passed a motion to hold a joint meeting with the University Heights City Council and the CH-UH School Board at the high school on June 24, 

Council meeting suspension in August

Council also approved suspending council meetings for the month of August.

Financial notes and bonds


  • Four ordinances in anticipation of the issuance of bonds received a first reading. These will fund the following:
  • Motor vehicles and equipment for the forestry division of the public works department – $214,412
  • Mobile radios for the police department – $163,199
  • Reconstructing and resurfacing streets and rebuilding Monticello Boulevard and Taylor Road, including engineering, planning, and motorized equipment – $582,000
  • Motor vehicles and equipment for the sewer utilities division of the public works department – $253,389



Mayor’s announcements

Mayor Roe reported on a memorial tribute to Coach Cappelletti at Heights High on June 15, which she and Mr. Cobb attended. She announced that PowerPoint presentations from the tax abatement workshops for homeowners held June 12 at the Economic Development Department are available on the city website:

Council member’s announcements

Ms. Dunbar commented on the production of “Ragtime” at Cain Park and on the Safe Routes to School bike training and safety efforts.

Mr. Seren announced a presentation by the Cuyahoga County Solar Co-op at the Lee Road Main Library on July 25, 6-8 p.m.

Ms. Yasinow reminded residents that summer brings an increase in vehicle break-ins, so remember to stash your belongings out of sight and lock your vehicles.

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. 

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 9:03 AM, 08.02.2019