University Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-20-2019

FEBRUARY 20 2019


  • Public comments
  • Harvey Schabes, BZA appointment
  • Storefront improvement program
  • 2109 Taylor Road a public nuisance
  • 2307 Saybrook Road purchase
  • 3958 Silsby Road purchase
  • Supplemental temporary appropriations
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Hazardous waste and paper shredding


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Pamela Cameron (at 8:20 p.m.), Phil Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims and Mark Wiseman. Vice Mayor Susan Pardee and Michele Weiss were absent. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director James Goffe and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:25 p.m. when council adjourned to executive session for real estate matters.

Public comment

Cuyahoga River Restoration: Jane Goodman, executive director of Cuyahoga River Restoration, updated council on the state of the Cuyahoga River, its watershed, and the ten miles of lakefront which her agency oversees. Three of the 10 impairments have now been resolved—most recently, that almost all fish caught in Lake Erie are now safe to eat (with two breeds still carrying cautions). Nine Mile Creek and Dugway Brook, which are visible in the University Heights/South Euclid region are headwaters of the Cuyahoga.

Meals on Wheels: Paul Nickerson reported to council on Meals on Wheels of Beachwood, Shaker Heights, and University Heights, noting that their organization is independent and totally funded by donations and the recipients, who pay $7 per day for two meals. They would like to serve more clients, but they need more volunteers to prepare and deliver the meals.

Trash: Sherry Dewer of Washington Boulevard returned to council to raise concerns about trash in the city. She reported that the city’s notification system to absentee landlords is not working as she is seeing trash violations everywhere—trash bags on tree lawns instead of behind the house; multiple bags not in covered containers; and trash put out days before trash pickup day. She reported several specific addresses that are consistent violators and also noted that, each year, new student occupants need to be taught the rules.

Harvey Schabes, BZA appointment

Harvey Schabes was appointed to the remaining open seat for a two-year term on the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), to commence on March 1, 2019. Councilman Wiseman said that he has known Mr. Schabes for many years, and that he is a man of intelligence and integrity. Mayor Brennan noted that Mr. Schabes will bring a new perspective to the BZA with his engineering background.

Storefront improvement program

Council approved the creation of a storefront improvement program under the city’s economic development department. Susan Drucker, economic development director, requested a budget of $25,000 for this pilot program, which is open to locally-owned businesses that want to make transformational improvements to their exteriors. There is no deadline at this point so as not to discourage applicants.

2109 S. Taylor Road declared a nuisance

The building at 2109 S. Taylor Road, formerly Action Pest Control Company and now owned by the city, was declared a public nuisance and will probably be torn down. There is significant water damage to the structure.

2307 Saybrook Road purchase

Council appropriated $75,000 for the purchase of the home at 2307 Saybrook Road, which is located between City Hall and the service yard.

3958 Silsby Road purchase

Council appropriated $85,000 for the purchase of the home at 3958 Silsby Road, which is located between the building department and a house which is currently being used for storage by the city.

Supplemental temporary appropriations

Council approved temporary appropriations for current and other expenditures for the first quarter of 2019 as the administration and council work to finalize the budget for 2019.

Infrastructure projects

City engineer Joe Ciuni reported that the East Ohio Gas project replacing gas lines between Fairmount and Hillbrook, from Saybrook to Edgerton—approximately four miles of pipes—has begun. The Cedar Road repaving project from Green Road to Brainard will begin shortly. Finally, Cuyahoga County has granted $29,000 to pay for materials to fill pavement cracks on Warrensville and Cedar, in an effort to extend the life of the roadways.

Hazardous waste and paper shredding

Mr. Pokorny reported that the city’s next hazardous waste collection and paper shredding will be on March 9.

The next meeting will be Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the new location: the CH-UH Board of Education building, 2155 Miramar Boulevard.

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 12, Issue 4, Posted 10:58 AM, 03.19.2019