Michele Weiss, candidate for University Heights City Council At Large
Cleveland Heights Age: 44
Facebook: councilwoman michele weiss
Education: BS Accountancy John Carroll University; MBA John Carroll University
Current Occupation: Controller Hebrew Academy of Cleveland; City Councilwoman University Heights; Adjunct Professor John Carroll University; Founder of the non-profit AMATZ Initiative
Unique Qualifications: I understand the need for financial oversight in budgeting through my current positions. Furthermore I am keenly aware of the inner workings of a successful non-profit. Finally, I will bring my qualities of relationship building, growth mindset, optimism, collaboration and passion to the city.
Questions for University Heights City Council:
1. Top issues: 1. Staying competitive with attracting new business 2. Managing our budget. The city hired an economic development director last year which has concentrated our efforts in growing the cities economy by attracting new business ventures and utilizing any unused or underused land available. As a council member I inquire and brainstorm in meetings on how to keep growing. As a small city, University Heights is challenged with the fact that most of the city is residential. So we need to maximize the commercial potential while keeping our residential housing stock at capacity.
2. City budget: Unfortunately the new cities administration two years ago was left in a difficult predicament. The finances were in shambles as was our accounting of the finances. With a complete overhaul of the finance department and the implementation of a new accounting system, we are back on track. The council meets all year regarding our finances and has a lay finance committee of professionals to assist in this endeavor. September begins our budget meetings for the next fiscal year and it is comprehensive and lengthy to ensure accountability to our residents.
3. New residential and commercial development: As mentioned before we have an economic development director who researches opportunities in our city and a housing director to concentrate on our housing stock. Our tax base has very little commercial so we need to be intentional in the opportunities that arise. Working collaboratively with developers and being transparent of our needs is paramount.
4. Regionalization efforts: Regionalization is an opportunity for all cities to utilize resources effectively and efficiently. I support these efforts and am always looking for more collaboration.
5. Rental properties: The topic of rental properties is complex in our city. We have a wonderful partnership with John Carroll University and their students rent many homes in the city. But this comes with challenges as does absentee landlords. The housing stock in University Heights is our most valuable asset as are our residents because we have very little commercial property in the city. We need to ensure that the housing stock is maintained to standards since almost 25% of the cities homes are rentals. Our city's motto is "So Much More Than Home" and we want to maintain this promise.
League of Women Voters
The 2019 Voters Guide to Candidates and Issues is published as a public service by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, CH-UH and FutureHeights. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage the informed participation by citizens in government. FutureHeights is a nonprofit community development organization. Election Day is Nov. 5, 2019. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.