University Heights City Council meeting highlights 3-5-2018

MARCH 5, 2018

  • Public comments
  • City budget
  • Summer employment
  • Parade committee
  • Gun control
  • Police chief honored
  • Chicken coop ordinances
  • Pool chemicals
  • Point of sale ordinance
  • Traffic box damaged
  • Firehouse repairs
  • John Carroll partnership
  • Waterline valve leaks
  • Silsby Road resurfacing
  • Chairlift
  • Executive session

Present were Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director William Sheehan and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas were also present. The meeting was held from 7 to 9:04 p.m.

Public comments

Chicken coops: A Charney Road resident spoke against a proposed ordinance allowing residents to keep chickens. He cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control outlining diseases, like salmonella, that chickens carry. He asked how the city would dispose of unwanted chickens, noting that Minneapolis has had a problem disposing of chickens that can no longer lay eggs.

A Meadowbrook Road resident countered his argument, saying that people rarely get diseases from chickens if they follow basic sanitary practices. She noted that Lakewood requires prospective chicken farmers to complete a class before they can apply for a permit and suggested that the city include the requirement in its proposed ordinance.

Kiwanis of the Heights: Mark Harris, president of Kiwanis of the Heights, said Kiwanis will implement service clubs in nine schools by the end of the year. He asked council to contact Kiwanis for help with service or fundraising projects. There will be a social meeting at O’Reilly’s Pub in Cedar Center on March 23 at 7:15 p.m.

City budget

The mayor will introduce the city’s budget at the March 19 city council meeting and will hold a special meeting on March 26 to vote on it.

Summer employment

Online applications are being accepted for summer employment at Purvis Park. Resumes should be sent to

Parade committee

The next meeting of the Memorial Day parade committee will be on March 20 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

Gun control

Responding to queries from concerned residents, the mayor said that under current Ohio law, the city can’t pass a ban on guns. Mayor Brennan said it can pass a resolution asking the Ohio General Assembly to take action and recommend what that action may be.

Police chief honored

Council passed a resolution honoring Police Chief Steve Hammett, who is retiring on March 16. Chief Hammett, who joined the city in 2011, was recognized for his leadership, responsiveness and contributions to safety and progress. Mayor Brennan declared March 16 as Chief Steve Hammett Day.

Chicken coop ordinances

After a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of keeping chickens in residential areas, council tabled two proposed ordinances—one amending the city’s planning and zoning code to permit chicken coops, and the other regulating the keeping of chickens—until the planning commission has time to review them and provide comments. The ordinances will be presented at the next meeting, on emergency.

Pool chemicals

Council approved the purchase of pool chemicals from SAL Chemicals for the 2018 summer season. Councilman Sims asked why the cost of chemicals had increased since last year. [Cost figures were not provided to the audience.]Mr. Pokorny said that material costs for chlorine have gone up significantly, and trucking costs have increased by 85 percent.

Point of sale ordinance

Law Director McConville said the city’s point of sale ordinance does not require updating. The ordinance requires the city to obtain an administrative warrant if a property owner or occupant refuses a point of sale inspection.

Traffic box damaged

A traffic box at Green and Cedar was damaged during a late-night hit and run.

Firehouse repairs

The firehouse has a leaking valve, which is destroying the new kitchen cabinet. The city recently spent $15,000 to repair the firehouse kitchen. The mayor is concerned that commercial grade products were not used when the repairs were made. Fire Chief Robert Perko is getting estimates for repairs.

John Carroll partnership

The fire department has resumed a working relationship with John Carroll University’s volunteer emergency medical services department. The university has invited the city to participate in emergency medical training continuing education and will participate in the city’s paramedic training, when applicable.

Waterline valve leaks

There are two active waterline valve leaks at Laurelhurst Road and Washington Boulevard, and at Edgerton Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard. The leaks have been reported several times to Cleveland Water, which has yet to respond.

Silsby Road resurfacing

City Engineer Joe Ciuni said opening bids for the Silsby Road resurfacing project have begun. Cuini hopes to award a contract by the March 19 council meeting.


Ciuni will present options to replace the chairlift at the first meeting in April. One option includes installing a $600,000 elevator at the back of city hall.

Executive session

Council held an executive session to discuss personnel, legal, and real estate matters, and to receive an update on labor negotiations from Labor Counsel Jeremy Iosue.

The next meeting will be Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.

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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 University Heights
Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 2:39 PM, 03.26.2018