Cleveland Heights City Council meeting 3-5-22

MARCH 21, 2022 - regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Staff reports
  • Down Payment Assistance Loan Program
  • City administrator
  • Employee compensation, benefits, etc. 
  • American Rescue Plan Act consultant
  • Budget amendments
  • Cain Park
  • NOPEC Energized Community Grant Program
  • Other council actions 
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole


Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Josie Moore. Staff members attending were Susanna Niermann O’Neill, city manager; Amy Himmelein, clerk of council; and William Hanna, law director. Davida Russell was excused. The meeting ran 35 minutes.

Public comments

Three residents spoke on three topics:

Laura Marks, representing Heights Tree People, reported the group has planted 671 trees in three years and invited members of the public to an Arbor Day celebration at the Community Center on April 29 at 10 a.m. She also reported on a project on Nela View between Noble and Winsford, in cooperation with Start Right Community Development Corporation and the city’s Forestry Department, to prune trees, remove stumps, and plant new trees. She invited residents to sign up at to have Heights Tree People plant front yard trees for free. 

Fran Mentch described the benefits of having a public park as part of the proposed Meadowbrook-Lee-Tullamore development and requested donations to support Issue 9, which will be on the May 3 ballot. The campaign website is

A resident encouraged the reopening of City Hall as soon as possible.

Police chief

Mayor Seren thanked Police Chief Annette Mecklenberg, who will retire at the end of March, and announced that she would be replaced by Christopher Britton.

Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

On first reading/emergency, council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Home Repair Resource Center to use HOME funds to continue administering the Down Payment Assistance loan program.

City administrator

On second reading/emergency, council confirmed the appointment of Joseph E. Sinnott as city administrator.

Employee compensation, benefits, etc. 

On second reading/emergency, council established amended salary schedules, position classifications, and compensation and benefits for city employees.

American Rescue Plan Act Funding consultant

On second reading/emergency, council authorized Mayor Seren to execute a contract with Guidehouse, Inc. for consulting services related to American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funding. 

Budget amendments

On first reading/emergency, council amended the 2022 budget to increase it by about $7,900. 

Cain Park

Council authorized Cain Park’s 2022 programs on second reading.

NOPEC 2022 Energized Community Grant Program

On first reading/emergency, council authorized acceptance of Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) 2022 Energized Community Grant Program Funds.

Other council actions

Presented on first reading/emergency were resolutions recognizing April 3-9 as National Library Week; April 11-15 as National Community Development Week; April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day and April as Autism Awareness Month; and April as National Poetry Month. 

Council approved, on first reading, a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressing support for Ukraine.

Mayor Seren requested and received permission to bid a project for asphalt resurfacing.

Council member comments

Ms. Larson announced that Ordinance 78-2021 Lead Safe certification, introduced June 21, 2021, had been referred to the Public Safety and Health Committee to schedule a public hearing.

Mr. Cuda announced that the Commission on Aging needs members and encouraged interested residents to apply.

Ms. Moore described a special city council meeting on March 28 for a Women’s History Month celebration. She also described several Earth Month events in April sponsored by the Cleveland Heights Green Team including a sustainability fair at Coventry Peace Park on April 23, and an April 27 sustainability forum with FutureHeights.

Committee of the whole

Aspects of the Lead Safe ordinance introduced June 21, 2021, were discussed, including the types of residences covered, testing costs, availability of funds to assist with lead remediation, and necessary staffing. Members agreed that a hearing to gather more information from stakeholders and experts was needed and the matter was referred to the Public Safety and Health Committee for a hearing.

David Madoff of Guidehouse, Inc. gave a brief presentation about the firm’s background and services related to American Rescue Plan Act funds program planning, communication, cost tracking, and compliance monitoring.

LWV Observer: Jill Tatem.

Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: 

Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel:

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 2:55 PM, 04.18.2022