Cleveland Heights City Council meeting 3-7-22
MARCH 7, 2022 - regular meeting
- Public comments
- Staff reports
- City administrator
- Made Cleveland, LLC
- Salaries/position classifications for city officers and employees
- Other council actions
- Council member comments
- Next/upcoming meetings
Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Staff members attending included Susanna Niermann O’Neill, city manager; Amy Himmelein, clerk of council; and William Hanna, law director.
Two residents spoke on two topics:
Marlene Goldheimer spoke on behalf of advocates of the Medicare for All Act of 2021 to support city council’s passage of a resolution supporting the act.
Fran Mentch, spokesperson for the Lee Road-Tullamore Road-Meadowbrook Boulevard public park initiative, asked for volunteers and donations on behalf of Ballot Issue 9, both of which can be done through clevelandheightspublicsquare.com. Mentch added that there hasn’t been extensive opportunity for public input regarding the project’s space or financing despite years of her group proposing a park on the Lee-Tullamore-Meadowbrook site.
Mayor Seren congratulated the developers of the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook project on its design approval by the Architectural Board of Review. He also introduced the new communications director, Mike Thomas. Thomas succeeds Mary Trupo, who has retired.
A resolution confirming the appointment of Joseph E. Sinnott as city administrator was presented on first reading.
Made Cleveland, LLC
On first reading, council passed unanimously an agreement to lease the city-owned space at 1807 Coventry to Made Cleveland, LLC, a locally-owned market featuring items produced by local residents. The lease will be rent-abated to start, and Made Cleveland will make improvements to the space. Rent will increase gradually over four years. Both the Coventry Special Improvement District and the city support adding this business to the street.
Salaries/position classifications for city officers and employees
Also presented on first reading was an ordinance to establish salary schedules, position classifications, and benefits for city officers and employees. Council members noted that it will need to do a wage study in the future, since the one currently used is five or six years old.
Other council actions
Council approved on first reading an ordinance for issuing and selling non-taxable economic development bonds. This is a long-term debt refinancing at a lower rate of the city’s portion of the Top of the Hill development. The new rate is for 10 years.
Council also approved on first reading an ordinance to adjust the 2022 expenditures budget and appointments to various city boards, task forces and committees, some of which still have openings. Among these are the Architectural Board of Review, which needs an additional architect, and the Racial Justice Task Force, which needs two more members.
Passed on second readings were a resolution supporting the Medicare for All Act declaring universal access to health care as a human right, and a resolution correcting accounting in the city’s Flexible Spending Account fund.
An ordinance authorizing entertainment at Cain Park and raising some admission prices was introduced on first reading.
Council member comments
President Hart endorsed Medicare for All. She also spoke about the continuing government transition, a project to plant community gardens in the 44112 area of the city, and the Women’s History Month program scheduled for March 28.
Mr. Cuda reported that the Housing and Building Committee had its first meeting and will meet again on April 4. The committee went over the Novak Report and discussed vacant and abandoned properties. He also spoke in favor of Medicare for All and thanked the city and voters for his position on council.
Ms. Larson spoke about the war in Ukraine and the school vouchers lawsuit. Both will be subjects of future council resolutions.
Ms. Moore proposed a resolution of support for the people of Ukraine and condemnation of the Russian invasion and urged donations for relief. She announced a program for Women’s History month and invited all residents to nominate Cleveland Heights “Women of Distinction.” Five will receive awards and all nominees will be publicized.
Ms. Russell proposed a resolution supporting the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education in the Vouchers Hurt Ohio lawsuit.
Next/upcoming meetings include a regular meeting on March 21 and a Housing and Building Committee meeting on April 4.
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