Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-4-22
APRIL 4, 2022 - regular meeting
- Public comments
- New police chief
- Mayor’s report
- Budget amendment
- First readings, no vote
- NOPEC grants
- Consent agenda
- Council member comments
Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present were Susanna Niermann O’Neil, city manager; Amy Himmelein, clerk of council and finance director; and William Hanna, law director. The meeting lasted 45 minutes.
There were no comments on agenda items. Two residents spoke about other issues.
Laura Marks suggested that the city needs to develop a climate plan.
Blanche Valancy of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland CH/UH Chapter announced a forum to be held Wednesday, April 6, at the Lee Road Library for Issue 9, which is on the May 3 Primary Election ballot.
New police chief
Prior to the meeting, Christopher Britton took the oath of office as the eighth Chief of Police of Cleveland Heights. His first action was to present outgoing Chief Annette Mecklenberg with an honorable discharge and several awards. Ohio Representative Janine Boyd and Cuyahoga County Council Member Cheryl Stephens gave short remarks. A large crowd of family, friends, and police department members attended.
Mayor Seren congratulated Chief Britton and noted Chief Mecklenberg’s departure with a heavy heart and many thanks.
Council amended the 2022 budget on first reading. The amended sections were changes in the location of appropriations or grant covered expenditures; there was no impact to the budget’s bottom line.
First readings, no vote
Resolutions were introduced establishing 2022 and 2023 assessments for street lighting, at a rate of $0.92 per front foot per year, and for street and tree lawn improvements, at a rate of $1.08 per front foot per year.
An ordinance would amend the Public Meetings Chapter of the city code permitting council executive session for the purposes identified in Section 107.01 or for any purpose allowed under the Ohio Revised Code. The proposed changes would align Cleveland Heights’ public meetings policies more closely with state law.
On second reading, council authorized the mayor to accept funds from the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) 2022 Energized Community Grant Program.
Council approved a consent agenda that proclaimed April 11-15 as National Community Development Week, April 2022 as National Poetry Month, April 3-9 as National Library Week, April 2022 as Autism Awareness Month, April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, and April 2022 as Fair Housing Month.
Council member comments
President Hart spoke about the council retreat held April 2, at which members discussed their goals and how to work with each other. The next retreat will be May 14. The five hour, 20 minute retreat can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlxxqJ02wG0
Ms. Russell announced and encouraged attendance at a Minority Men’s Health Fair at MetroHealth on April 28 at the Severance facility, as well as at the Broadway Clinic and the main MetroHealth Medical Center. She announced that the Cleveland Heights Green Team is partnering with MedWish to collect unused supplies to sent to Ukraine; they can be donated at the April 7 Heights Bike Crawl at Boulevard School or the April 23 Sustainability Fair at Coventry PEACE Campus.
Ms. Moore mentioned the March 28 Municipal Services Committee meeting at which they discussed the municipal broadband study, sidewalk repair program, tree planting and maintenance, and the possibility of sidewalk shoveling in the future.
Mr. Cuda reflected on Saturday’s council retreat and the aspirations members have for the city.
Upcoming meetings include a regular council meeting, April 18 and joint meetings of Cleveland Heights and University Heights city councils, the CHUH Board of Education, and the CHUH library board on April 6, June 29, and October 26, all at the Cleveland Heights Community Center at 6:30 pm.
Public Safety and Health Committee meets April 18 and will have a Lead Safe Certification hearing April 25.
Community Relations and Recreation Committee meets April 19; Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee May 19 and the Commission on Aging, April 22.
Finance Committee will present the 2021 and 2022 budgets at the committee of the whole, Monday April 10 at 6 p.m.
Housing and Building Committee will have work sessions on April 20 at 9 a.m. and May 2 at 5 p.m.
Meeting note: Council President Hart has reorganized the meeting in several ways. There are two periods of public comment: one early in the meeting regarding agenda items and one toward the end on other topics. Legislation is organized by “type of passage” (first reading with consideration for adoption, first reading only [i.e., no vote], second reading for passage, and a consent agenda). Council members making committee reports will restrict their reporting to actions and discussions that took place at the committee meetings; council member comments follow old and new business at the end of the meeting.
LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.
Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: https://www.clevelandheights.com/1142/2021-Agendas-and-Minutes
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandHeightsOH