Cleveland Heights

Cedar Lee streetscape improvements are underway

Merchants, stakeholders and city officials gathered at the Lee Road Library on April 28 to learn about the highly anticipated Lee Road streetscape improvements. Alex Mannarino, director of public works for the City of Cleveland Heights, and representatives of S.E.T. Inc. led the meeting and answered questions.

The 1.2-mile project, spanning Lee Road from Superior Road to Corydon Road in the Cedar Lee Business District, will be split into two phases. Construction for the first phase, the west side of Lee Road, began May 9 and is scheduled to run for three months. Construction will then shift to the east side of the street.

The streetscape construction will focus on paving roads, lighting (79 light poles), brick pavers, new sidewalks in certain areas, ADA-compliance construction, trees and traffic signals.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 11:48 AM, 05.17.2016

Cleveland Heights City Council appoints Michael Ungar to vacant seat

On April 8, Cleveland Heights City Council announced the appointment of Cleveland Heights resident Michael Ungar to fill the unexpired term of former Council Member Jeff Coryell, whose resignation was effective Dec. 31, 2015. Ungar will officially be sworn in as a council member at the next CH City Council meeting, on Monday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m.

According to an April 8 news release from the City of Cleveland Heights, Ungar is a longtime resident of the city who has served on its planning commission since 1993, and has chaired the commission for 16 years. Prior to that, Ungar was a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee.

Ungar is a partner in the law firm of Ulmer & Berne LLP, where he is chair of the firm’s litigation department and a member of the management committee.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:42 AM, 04.12.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 3-21-2016]

MARCH 21, 2016

  • Liquor license transfers
  • 2015 CH Police Department report
  • Zoning variances
  • HOME funds
  • Women Out Walking (WOW)
  • Special assessments
  • Bond sales
  • Purchases
  • Pedestrian and bicycle transportation for schoolchildren
  • RNC cooperative public safety services
  • Heights Libraries 100th anniversary


All council members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:48 AM, 04.15.2016

CH crime tallies for 2015 show continued improvement

The number of serious crimes committed in Cleveland Heights last year declined by double-digit percentages. It was the third straight year crime was down in the city.

According to data compiled by the Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD) to standards established by the FBI, the number of violent crimes in the city was down 17 percent in 2015, compared to a 28 percent drop the year before. The number of property crimes dropped 16 percent last year, compared to a 22 percent drop in 2014.

The number of crimes committed in almost every category declined last year, except for homicide, which remained the same; there were two murders in the city in each of the last two years.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:43 AM, 03.28.2016

CH City Council denies Circle K rezoning request

In a unanimous decision at its March 7 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council denied a request to change the zoning of two residential properties on Vandemar Street to make way for a Circle K. The decision came after a March 3 public hearing that council held on the issue, at which 30 residents spoke in opposition to the project.

Council members expressed their appreciation for the professionalism of the applicant and for the civility of the neighbors, but stated that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

At its Jan. 15 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council stated that it had received a petition from the Wellert Corporation on behalf of Mac’s Convenience Stores to rezone 1411 and 1419 Vandemar Street from residential to commercial, to make way for a 16-pump Circle K gas station and convenience store. Both residences are currently occupied.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 12:59 PM, 03.08.2016

CH holds master plan meeting, invites public to take survey

On Feb. 23, the City of Cleveland Heights held the first of three planned 2016 public meetings to discuss the Cleveland Heights Master Plan. Cleveland Heights is one four cities that is currently working with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to develop a master plan. (University Heights is another of the four cities.)

The planning commission has posted an online survey at www.tinyurl.com/clevelandheightspm1survey with information from the Feb. 23 meeting, which took place at the CH Community Center. Residents are invited to complete the survey, and share it with neighbors, on or before March 13.

At the meeting, members of the planning commission introduced themselves and provided an overview of the planning process. The commission is working with city staff and an 11-member Master Plan Steering Committee comprising Heights residents selected by city council.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 3:57 PM, 02.24.2016

Twelve residents apply for open CH City Council seat

The City of Cleveland Heights announced on its website on Feb. 11 that it had received 12 applications for the open city council seat vacated by former Council Member Jeff Coryell, who resigned from council effective Dec. 31, 2015.

Whomever council chooses to fill the vacancy will serve out Coryell's remaining term. The term of service is from the time of appointment until Dec. 31, 2017. The seat will be up for election in the next municipal election, in November 2017.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 11:36 AM, 02.16.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 1-19-2016]

JANUARY 19, 2016 

  • Ruffing Montessori School students observe council
  • Rezoning residential parcels
  • Bids and requests for qualifications
  • County sewer maintenance services
  • New police chief
  • “Inspired to Ride” documentary
  • Citizen appointments to architectural board
  • Issue 32 hearing


All council members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.14.2016

Crime continues to drop in Cleveland Heights

Crime data through November from the Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD) shows a continued decrease in crimes in all categories since the current method of collecting crime data was implemented in early 2011.

The information is compiled by the CHPD according to federal standards defined by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system, and is published in a different format on the Cleveland Heights city website. It represents serious offenses defined as "Part I" crimes. It does not include "Part II" minor offenses, such as trespassing or DUI—which the FBI does not seek from local agencies because it would be too costly to report with the same level of detail.

For more information about how the CHPD collects and validates crime statistics, and why the Observer publishes them regularly, see the original article in this series by scanning the QR code or visiting http://tiny.cc/chcrimestats.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 12:40 PM, 01.29.2016

Community invited to Feb. 23 CH master plan meeting

A community meeting to discuss the Cleveland Heights Master Plan will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., in the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.

The meeting will introduce county planning staff to the public, and provide an overview of the planning process. Current conditions will be reviewed, and the public will be asked to provide feedback and set priorities for Vision Statements and Strategic Development Areas.

As a follow-up to the public meeting, county planning will host an online survey that will mirror the information available at the public meeting.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.26.2016

CH City Council announces application process to fill vacant council seat

In a Jan. 8 posting on its website, the City of Cleveland Heights announced that it is now accepting applications to fill the council seat left vacant by the resignation of Council Member Jeff Coryell, which took effect on Dec. 31, 2015.

Applications may be accessed online, at www.clevelandheights.com/council-app, or may be picked up at Cleveland Heights City Hall. The application deadline is Feb. 5.

Whomever council appoints will serve as a council member from the time of the appointment until Dec. 31, 2017. The seat will be up for election on Nov. 7, 2017, and whomever is elected then will serve a four-year term.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 1:20 PM, 01.11.2016

Annette Mecklenburg to become CH's first female police chief

As of Feb. 2, the Cleveland Heights Police Department will have a new chief. On Feb. 1, Jeffrey Robertson will retire as police chief. The following day, Annette Mecklenburg will be sworn in, becoming the first female chief in the department’s history.

Robertson, 55, has served as chief for five years, and spent 34 and a half years on the force. Mecklenburg served as captain for a year and a half before being named chief. She has been on the Cleveland Heights police force for 25 years, and has lived in Cleveland Heights for more than 20 years.

The three candidates for chief underwent a testing process and interviews with city administrators. Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley made the decision to name Mecklenburg the city's new police chief.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 12:26 PM, 01.11.2016

CH City Council elects Stephens mayor; Stein vice mayor

At its first meeting of 2016, Cleveland Heights City Council swore in its new and re-elected members. It also elected Cheryl Stephens as mayor and president of council, and Jason Stein as vice mayor.

The meeting began with the swearing in of Cleveland Heights City Council members Mary Dunbar, who was elected to a second term in November; Kahlil Seren, who was elected to council after having served, as an appointee, the remaining 10 months of an unexpired term; and newly elected Carol Roe.

The members of council (currently six, with the vacancy created by Jeff Coryell's resignation) then elected Cheryl Stephens as mayor and president of council. She is the second African-American woman to hold that office. Barbara Boyd, who had been elected to council in 1983, was the first.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 10:46 AM, 01.05.2016

Police Navidad

The Cleveland Heights Police Department's Community Response Team delivered holiday food baskets to 18 needy Cleveland Heights Families on Dec. 23 in a new community outreach program called Police Navidad.

The purpose of the program was to spread cheer and goodwill as part of the CHPD's mission to serve citizens through diverse community policing. The baskets contained all the fixings for a turkey dinner, plus some additional food items. It was organized by Officer Andrew Watkins, according to Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson.

The Community Response Team worked with two non-profit organizations to identify struggling families that would receive the baskets. Start Right Church, 977 Caledonia Ave., selected 10 of the recipients; Us Together, 2490 Lee Blvd., an organization that resettles political refugees and displaced persons to start new lives in America, identified eight families who recently came here from Nepal, Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 11:16 AM, 12.24.2015

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 12-7-2015]

DECEMBER 7, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Traffic light changes
  • Finance software maintenance
  • Finance legislation
  • Overnight parking permits
  • Nuisance properties
  • Zoning variances
  • City’s liability insurance
  • Citizen appointments
  • 2016 recreation regulations
  • Liberty Row Oaks
  • Mayor thanks the vice mayor


All council members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 1:10 PM, 12.16.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-2-2015

NOVEMBER 2, 2015

  • Public comment—Noble neighborhood and litter
  • Waterline replacement bid
  • Liquor license transfer
  • Community events
  • Nuisance code changes
  • Nuisance properties
  • Zoning variances
  • CDBG funds
  • HRRC agreement

 All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 11.16.2015

Elected officials comment on Nov. 3 results

On Nov. 3, Cleveland Heights voters approved Issue 53—raising the city’s income tax to 2.25 percent, from 2 percent—with 59.59 percent (7,573) voting in favor. The ordinance goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, to support general municipal functions and replace revenue lost through cuts by the State of Ohio. 

Cleveland Heights Mayor Dennis Wilcox, who did not seek re-election, stated, “I am thankful to the city’s voters for passing Issue 53; it’s gratifying to know people understood the issue and are willing to invest in our future. This is a victory for our [city] and for the people here. The city can continue to provide the quality of services that citizens deserve.”

Wilcox added, “Council still has to be a good guardian of taxpayers’ money, and must work to try to expand the tax base through business development and housing.”

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.10.2015

CH Council Member Jeff Coryell announces resignation

Cleveland Heights Council Member Jeff Coryell announced his resignation from council, effective Dec. 31, at the Cleveland Heights Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 9.

“I will be stepping down from city council effective the end of 2015 so that I can move to Detroit and be reunited with my spouse, Phyllis L. Crocker, who was appointed Dean of the School of Law at University of Detroit Mercy in early 2014,” said Coryell.

Coryell will have completed two years of a four-year term on Cleveland Heights City Council that began in January 2014.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 12:21 PM, 11.10.2015

Severance Town Center's future discussed at public forum

Severance Town Center—the shopping center located at the intersection of Mayfield and Taylor roads in Cleveland Heights—has been deteriorating for much of the past decade. On Oct. 21, about 200 people attended a forum at the Cleveland Heights Community Center to discuss the future possibilities of Severance.

FutureHeights presented the forum, which featured presentations by five people, including three members of the FutureHeights Civic Engagement Committee. The forum’s attendees also shared their thoughts about what could be done with the Severance area.

Vince Reddy, a project manager at LAND studio and a member of the FutureHeights Board of Directors, opened the program by giving the history of Severance.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:27 AM, 10.27.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-21-2015

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Finance award
  • Water negotiations
  • Noble Road resurfacing
  • Outdoor lighting energy review
  • Tower Road fence
  • Architectural Board of Review
  • Mayor’s comments on income tax issue
  • Next meeting

Council member Melissa Yasinow was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 6:43 PM, 10.13.2015

Candidates address Noble neighborhood concerns at Meet the Candidates event

More than 100 people attended the Noble Neighbors candidates forum on Oct. 6 at Noble Road Presbyterian Church. Neighborhood leader Brenda May moderated the discussion, which focused on issues affecting the Noble quadrant of Cleveland Heights—the parts of the city north and east of Taylor and Mayfield roads. The six candidates running for three seats on Cleveland Heights City Council and the three candidates running for two seats on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board all participated.

May opened the discussion by noting that, while the candidates were being asked to focus on issues affecting the northern part of the city, the challenges facing Noble have an impact on the entire community. She then set out the format for the evening, in which candidates would make brief opening and closing statements and address, in one- or two-minute time frames, questions they had been given in advance. Audience members were asked to listen politely, and, although there was no opportunity for the audience to ask questions during the formal part of the event, all of the candidates were available afterward for one-on-one conversations.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 5:21 PM, 10.29.2015

Planning commission approves adaptive reuse for Grace Lutheran Church

At its October meeting, the Cleveland Heights Planning Commission conditionally approved the adaptive reuse of the landmark Grace Lutheran Church, 13001 Cedar Road, as an office for Horizon Health Services, a home health care provider, which plans to move from smaller quarters near Shaker Square. Grace Lutheran, which moved to Cleveland Heights from East 55th Street in Cleveland in 1927, had been searching for a buyer for its property; the mostly older congregation had dwindled in size to fewer than 100 active members. Previously, a developer who had been interested in redeveloping the property for residential uses withdrew his offer after it became apparent it would be necessary to demolish the church to make the project work financially.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.20.2015

Cleveland Heights crime down in most categories for first seven months of 2015

Crime data from the Cleveland Heights Police Department for the first seven months of 2015 indicate a positive trend is continuing, as year-to-year crime rates declined in all but two categories. 

The only categories that didn't show a decrease in the number of crimes were murder and rape. Through July of this year, there has been one murder in the city—the same as last year during the same period. Four rapes were reported through July, compared with three the previous year.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 1:45 PM, 09.30.2015

CH Council Member Kahlil Seren to introduce legislation to restrict the city’s use of executive session

Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from Cleveland Heights Council Member and candidate Kahlil Seren, regarding legislation he plans to introduce. The initial discussion is scheduled to take place at the Sept. 30 Council Committee of the Whole meeting; the legislation is slated to be introduced at council’s Oct. 5 meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.

City Councilman Kahlil Seren has drafted and distributed legislation which would eliminate the local code section designed to allow Council to circumvent Ohio sunshine law and meet in executive session to discuss general matters. Currently, Chapter 107 of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland Heights deviates from state law by providing that “[n]ot more than four (4) times during each calendar year, Council or a board or commission of the City may meet in retreat to discuss general plans for the future, or general issues before the City.“

 

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 11:48 AM, 09.29.2015

Inaugural Happy 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run is Oct. 4

The City of Cleveland Heights and its merchants invite residents to the inaugural Happy 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on Sunday, Oct. 4, to celebrate all the good things happening in Cleveland Heights. The event, a collaborative effort of the city, the Cedar Lee and Coventry Village special improvement districts, and Western Reserve Racing, benefits the city’s Youth Scholarship Fund. The race is a fun run for all ages and abilities, as well as a timed race for the competitive runner. 

Organizers encourage participants to “come for the run and stay for the fun!” Walkers and runners will follow a flat 5K route through historic neighborhoods. See the course map here. The 1 Mile Fun Run event begins at 9:30 a.m. and the 5K at 10 a.m. Registrants are welcome to bring leashed dogs to join them on the course for both events. The races will be followed by a post-race block party and live music presented by the Grog Shop, as well as a "happiest costume" contest.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 10:48 AM, 09.29.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-8-2015

SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

  • Public Comments
  • Liquor license
  • Master plan process
  • Chipper purchase
  • Recycling
  • Lee Road streetscape
  • Coventry Road pavement
  • Meadowbrook waterline replacement
  • Water department
  • Nuisance properties
  • Citizen appointments
  • Architectural board of review
  • Next meeting

Council Member Melissa Yasinow was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 5:53 PM, 09.21.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-17-2015

AUGUST 17, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Cedar Lee Theatre liquor license
  • Recreation regulations for fall/winter
  • New parks and recreation director
  • Transportation committee appointment
  • Tele-Town Hall

All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 6:21 PM, 09.09.2015

Wilcox will not seek fifth term; eight others vie for CH City Council seats

Cleveland Heights Mayor Dennis Wilcox has announced that he will not run for reelection in the Nov. 3 general election. Wilcox, 62, is a principal with Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., L.P.A., specializing in business and corporate law. He has served four consecutive four-year terms on council, and was elected president of council—mayor of Cleveland Heights—in 2014. In Cleveland Heights, city council president is elected by city council members.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:34 PM, 08.31.2015

38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden tour set for Sept. 20

The 38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour, sponsored by Heights Community Congress (HCC), gives tourgoers the opportunity to discover six Cleveland Heights homes and five gardens, to explore their history and learn what makes them unique. This year’s self-guided tour, with the theme, Step Inside Our Stories, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20, noon to 6 p.m.

A preview party is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at The Alcazar, a historic landmark. After a preview tour of selected homes, preview party guests will return to The Alcazar for fun, food, drinks and entertainment.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:32 PM, 08.31.2015

Understanding crime in Cleveland Heights: A snapshot of the CHPD

At a public forum this summer, sponsored by FutureHeights and the Heights Observer, Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson said that maintaining diversity on the police force is a management priority.

“Officers in this department come from many different backgrounds, as do the residents of the city,” Robertson said. “I feel that a well-educated work force that reflects the community that it serves is helpful in the job that we do.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:51 PM, 08.31.2015

Dennis Wilcox will not seek a fifth term on Cleveland Heights City Council

Cleveland Heights Mayor Dennis Wilcox has announced that he will not run for reelection in the Nov. 3 general election. Wilcox, 62, is a principal with Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., L.P.A., specializing in business and corporate law. He has served four consecutive four-year terms on council, and was elected president of council—mayor of Cleveland Heights—in 2014. In Cleveland Heights, city council president is elected by city council members.

Wilcox cited the need to run his law firm and the desire to spend more time with his family as the reason for his decision not to run.

“Cleveland Heights is a great city, and I have enjoyed working with our excellent city staff and my hard working colleagues on council,” he said in a press release. “I will dedicate myself to achieving goals in the next five months that council and the city have made a priority, including working to pass our additional 0.25 percent income tax in November.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:45 AM, 07.30.2015

GrowingHeights names new coordinator

GrowingHeights, a Heights-based organization created to connect and grow local community gardens, has added a familiar face to a leadership role. Chris Hanson assumed the role of coordinator on Aug. 1. The position was originally held by Samantha Provencio, who was known for her highly detailed and helpful newsletters and website.

Hanson had his first taste of the Heights as a FutureHeights intern in 2012. He graduated cum laude that year from Cleveland State University with a B.A. in Urban Studies. Wanting to continue service to his community and country, Hanson then enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard as a combat engineer. He now lives in The Canterbury, a building located in the Cedar Taylor neighborhood of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:18 PM, 08.31.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-3-2015

AUGUST 3, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Fall and winter recreation
  • Server performance
  • Zoning variance
  • Regional business development practices
  • Public engagement
  • Mayor’s comments on the city

Council Member Jason Stein was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.16.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-20-2015

JULY 20, 2015

  • TAX BUDGET HEARING
  • REGULAR MEETING
    • Public comments
    • Water rate increases
    • Zoning variances
    • Anti-poaching business development
    • Tax budget
    • Income tax
    • Nuisance properties
    • City development

All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 08.16.2015

Cleveland Heights residents monitor city's search for water solutions

Approximately 40 Cleveland Heights residents crowded into city council chambers on July 13, as City Manager Tanisha Briley presented a detailed update on the city’s troubled water department. Most in the audience sported stickers reading, “Public water? Yes!” created by writer and activist Joyce Brabner, and distributed by Cleveland Heights Citizens for Safe, Affordable Water.

Present at the Committee of the Whole meeting were Mayor Dennis Wilcox, Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens, and council members Jeff Coryell, Kahlil Seren and Melissa Yasinow. Council members Mary Dunbar and Jason Stein were out of town. Flanking Briley were Utilities Commissioner Colette Clinkscale and other city staff members.

In a presentation that lasted more than one-and-a-half hours, Briley reported on both short-term measures to curb financial losses, and the city’s efforts to find long-term solutions to the water department’s looming deficit and decaying infrastructure.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:41 AM, 07.28.2015

CHPD seeking applicants for 2015 Citizens Police Academy

The Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD) is accepting applications for the second class of the Cleveland Heights Citizens Police Academy.

Participation is free. The brief application process is open to anyone interested in learning more about how police are trained and how CHPD operates.

In 12 classes conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings over six weeks beginning Aug. 11, students in the Citizens Police Academy will receive survey-level instruction on the same topics taught to full-time cadets who train there. Each topic is covered by an academy instructor who is knowledgeable, highly trained and active in the field. 

The instructors speak from substantial, personal knowledge and experience, according to members of the 2014 Citizens Police Academy, and were open to dialogue while providing straightforward answers to questions.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:07 AM, 07.21.2015

City dedicates Forest Hill Park ball field in honor of Jim Brennan

On Saturday, July 11, the City of Cleveland Heights dedicated Ball Field #5, the main field at Forest Hill Park, in honor of Jim Brennan, the former owner of Brennan’s Colony on Lee Road who was murdered last year.

"Jim Brennan was an enthusiastic supporter of our recreation programs for over 20 years," said Mayor Dennis Wilcox. "He sponsored softball teams and held many an after-game celebration at The Colony. This dedication celebrates and honors the energy and commitment Jim brought to our Cleveland Heights community."

A dedication ceremony was held prior to the All-Star softball games, which are traditionally held the second weekend in July each year. The city also declared that, from now on, the weekend will be called the Brennan All-Star Weekend. In 1999, Brennan was inducted as a member of the Cleveland Heights Softball Hall of Fame, because of his sponsorship of many softball teams over the years.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 11:40 AM, 07.14.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-6-2015

JULY 6, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Parks and recreation department
  • Police vehicle purchases
  • Nuisance designations postponed
  • Zoning appeals
  • Master Planning Steering Committee appointments
  • Upcoming community events:
  • Bonds issued
  • Tax budget
  • Municipal income tax proposal
  • Sewer overflow control
  • City garage repairs
  • “We are a Colony”

Council Member Mary Dunbar was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 11:14 AM, 07.16.2015

CH City Council announces members of Master Plan Steering Committee

At its July 6 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council announced the names of residents appointed to serve on an 11-member committee to oversee the development of a master plan for the city.

The members are Michael Ungar, chair of the city’s Planning Commission; Howard Maier, co-chair of the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee; Jeanne Diamond, a member of the city’s Commission on Aging; Ken Dowell, a member of the city’s Recreation Advisory Board; Allison McCallum, a member of the city’s Citizens Advisory Committee; Bill Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in the Cedar Lee Business District, representing city merchants; Saroya Queen-Tabor, a CH-UH City School District parent and chair of the district’s Strategic Planning Committee, representing education stakeholders; Julia Kious Zabell, a member of the FutureHeights Board of Directors; and residents Kristin Hopkins, Yovan "Lou" Radivoyevitch and Chuck Miller. Hopkins is a principal planner with CT Consultants and lives on Bellfield Avenue. Radivoyevitch is vice president of sales for RAD Graphics Inc., a tactical marketing firm, and lives on Dartmoor Road. Chuck Miller is a principal with Doty & Miller Architects and lives on Mayfield Road.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 11:38 AM, 07.14.2015

Cleveland Heights proposes income tax rate increase

Cleveland Heights City Council is proposing an increase in the city’s income tax rate. If approved by voters in November, the quarter-percentage-point increase would take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. It would be the first rate increase since 1979.

In introducing the proposed increase on first reading at the city council meeting on July 6, Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens cited cuts in state funding as the cause of the city’s budget woes. She explained that the rate increase from the present 2 percent of income to 2.25 percent would not apply to retirement income. The current half-percentage-point credit for income earned outside of Cleveland Heights would remain in effect.

After Stephens formally introduced the ordinance authorizing the tax hike, Mayor Dennis Wilcox explained why the increase is needed. He reiterated the effect of reductions in state funding of local governments, which have included significant cuts to the Local Government Fund and the elimination of the inheritance tax.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:39 AM, 07.14.2015

New group seeks to keep CH water public

Cleveland Heights Citizens for Safe, Affordable Water is a new organization that advocates public ownership and operation of the Cleveland Heights water system. The group formed in response to a move by the city to lease its ailing, century-old water system to a private utility.

On May 27, the City of Cleveland Heights tabled discussions with Aqua Ohio, a subsidiary of the $3.76-billion private utility Aqua America. The decision followed a May 26 public forum at which approximately 230 Cleveland Heights residents gathered to air objections to the proposed 20-year lease. For more than two hours, participants lined up at the microphone to address questions, comments and, in some cases, admonitions to Tanisha Briley, Cleveland Heights city manager, and Edmund Kolodziej, Aqua Ohio president and chief operating officer.

Cleveland Heights purchases water from the Cleveland Water Department, and resells it to residents and businesses. Out of 58 municipalities in Cuyahoga County, 54 receive water directly from the Cleveland Water Department. Cleveland Heights is one of only four “master meter” cities, which operate their own water departments.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:39 AM, 06.16.2015

Cleveland Heights continues to explore water options

The City of Cleveland Heights announced May 27 that no action will be taken at this time on the Letter of Intent (LOI) regarding a proposed partnership with Aqua Ohio to manage the city's water utility. It made this announcement following a public forum held on May 26 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, which more than 200 residents attended.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 05.27.2015

Cleveland Heights crime rates continue slide in first quarter of 2015

Data for the first quarter of 2015 shows a continuing decline in crime in Cleveland Heights across most categories. The summary data for the period January through March was released by the Cleveland Heights Police Department in mid-May, and represents all so-called "Part I" crimes, which are serious offenses as defined by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system.

In the first three months of the year, total violent crime was down 50 percent from the same period last year, and was 70 percent below the peak year of 2012.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 1:43 PM, 05.29.2015