University Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-22-2018

MAY 22, 2018


  • Home improvements in the city
  • Rental permits
  • Fund transfers for capital goods purchases
  • Purchase of police vehicles and equipment
  • Purchase of police radios
  • Paving contract approval
  • Emergency replacement of backup generators
  • Silsby home ready for sale


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, Pamela Cameron, Phil Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Interim Finance Director Michael Frederick and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:40 p.m.

Home improvements in the city

Mayor Brennan reported that the city is reviewing sketches of ideas for a new pocket park on Silsby Road, and that the Heritage Homes program is still available for interested residents by going to He also reported that some 300 lots have been cited by the city for lawn violations. The city will mow those lots (for a fee) unless the property owners can mow the grass before the city’s crew arrives.

Rental permits

Council approved revisions to the city ordinances regarding rental of one and two-family dwelling units by increasing the frequency of inspections to annually instead of bi‑annually. In order to cover the cost of the increased number of inspectors, fees will be doubled. Homes inspected last year will be inspected next year, as will homes to be inspected this year. Homes occupied by a single family and in which no rent is being paid will be exempted from this policy. Councilman Sims raised concern that the fine for violating the inspection requirement is not limited. Councilman Wiseman noted that the language is standard for this type of ordinance but suggested it could be capped at, for example, three times the fee. Attorney McConville will check with the prosecutor about the rate and said it can be amended later. (Ordinance 2018-28)

Fund transfers for capital goods

Council approved the transfer of $100,000 from the general fund to the capital improvement fund to pay for upcoming equipment purchases. (Ordinance 2018-29)

Purchase of police vehicles and equipment

Council approved the purchase of three police vehicles from Lebanon Ford in an amount not to exceed $90,000, plus the necessary additional equipment (computers, cameras, data systems, light bars, graphics, etc) in an amount not to exceed $170,137. Councilman Rach noted that this purchase was planned last year but wasn’t fulfilled. The city will receive approximately $10,000 in trade-in value on the three old vehicles. The city is looking into revising the graphics on the cars, which might change the cost slightly. The cars will take several months to equip.

Purchase of police radios

Council approved the purchase of ten portable radios from Motorola Solutions for $41,522.25 and an updating of the remaining portable radios by B&C Communications for $670.50 for the fire department. Interim Chief Perko reported that the current radios are from 2008 and are no longer supported. The city was able to acquire eight radios at no cost from Cuyahoga County but needs ten more radios. The radios from the county had been purchased for the Republican National Convention.

Paving contract approval

Council accepted a bid from Ronyak Paving to complete the 2018 street improvement project at a cost not to exceed $722,276. Ronyak also had the contracts for 2016 and 2017 and have done good work. They will repave seven streets, seal cracks on other streets, finish resurfacing the city hall lot, and complete the Cedar/Taylor improvement on curbs and sidewalk updates. The city will bill Shaker Heights for the 200 feet of street that is in that city. The work is to be completed within sixty days of starting. Residents can check the city’s website for a list of specific streets receiving improvement. The next lowest bid was $774,000.

Emergency replacement of backup generators

McReynolds reported that while the new servers were being installed, significant issues were found with the backup generators. The generators have been replaced and will need ongoing maintenance to detect and prevent future problems.

Silsby home ready for sale

The home on Silsby Road that had been declared a nuisance property has been fully refurbished and is now ready for sale. Councilman Sims noted that not all nuisance homes need to be torn down. Some can be saved.

LWV Observer: Wendy S. Deuring.

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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. 

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 1:12 PM, 06.25.2018