Cleveland Heights City Council regular meeting highlights 2-16-2021
FEBRUARY 16, 2021
- Public comments
- City manager’s report
- Police chief’s report
- Finance director’s report
- Council action
- First readings of new legislation
- Committee of the Whole meeting
Present were Council President Jason Stein, Council Vice President Kahlil Seren, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna.
There was a lengthy complaint about regional 911 dispatchers’ handling the writer's emergency call in a threatening and racially charged manner. The resident who apparently had called twice in January about an unknown car in his driveway and a person banging on his door, considered questions asked by the dispatcher about the situation as intrusive and hung up, did not answer a return call, and did not answer the door when police came to investigate. The chief’s investigation stated that review of the call recording did not reflect poor performance. The city manager concluded that the police inquiry was completely unrelated to the caller’s race.
A resident complained about carelessly parked cars, which used to be subject to ticketing but are now ignored. They claimed the police maintained there was nothing they can do, and that the cars look bad and create dangerous conditions.
Multiple residents signed a letter thanking the council for allowing a forum to discuss the Taylor-Tudor preservation and revitalization project on South Taylor Road.
City manager’s report
Council granted permission for the manager to issue a request for proposal for a hosted voice over internet protocol. This new phone system will be used in all ten city facilities.
Police chief’s report
Police Chief Mecklenberg reported that both suspects in the January 28, 2020 killing on Berkeley Road are in custody. The November 28, 2020 road rage episode in which shots were fired resulted in a gunshot wound. The grand jury recently returned a “true bill” against the suspect on several felonies including assault and various weapons charges.
Finance director’s report
The finance director reported that year-end financials were much better than expected; $4 million was received from COVID funding, and the income tax out-performed projections.
Council updated 2021 appropriations, and other expenditures were updated.
Council authorized an agreement with GPD Group for construction administration and residential inspection services for the Shannon Road Rehabilitation and Water Line Replacement Project, not to exceed $89,363.
Council approved the annual review and revision of current replacement pages to the Codified Ordinances.
First readings of new legislation
First readings included:
- The issuance and sale of $1.5 million of economic development non-tax revenue bond anticipation notes for the city portion of the Top of the Hill project.
- Submission of the 2021 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement application.
- Submission of an amended CDBG entitlement application and plan for 2019.
Committee of the whole meeting
A two and a half hour Committee of the Whole meeting preceded the regular meeting, which therefore started late. Thus council members made no comments in the regular meeting. About half ot the time for the committee of the whole meetings was an executive session to discuss the appointment of a public official and investigate complaints about a public employee.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy, Gail Larson.
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the City of Cleveland Heights, OH YouTube channel: