Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-18-22

APRIL 18, 2022


  • Public comments
  • Denison Park splash pad
  • New police officers
  • National Poetry Month
  • First readings
  • Street assessments
  • Executive session permission
  • Appointments
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole


Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present were Susanna Niermann O’Neil, city manager; Amy Himmelein, clerk of council and finance director; and William Hanna, law director. Council Vice President Craig Cobb was absent. The meeting ran from 7:30 to 8:48 p.m.

Public comments

Robin Van Lear, representing Coventry PEACE, Inc., announced their desire to purchase the former Coventry School. She voiced dissatisfaction with recent Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library Board decisions regarding property management, leases, and rents and urged city council to support the group’s efforts.

Fran Mentch, representing Issue 9 petitioners, urged voters to vote for Issue 9, criticized aspects of the Coventry Lee Meadowbrook development’s finances and announced a public forum to be held April 28 presenting the arguments for Issue 9.

A resident urged council to consider changing the sound ordinance relating to outdoor house concerts by extending the allowable time on Fridays, Saturdays, and nights before holidays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Denison Park splash pad

Mayor Seren notified council that a request for proposal would be issued for creation of a splash pad at Denison Park.

New police officers

Swearing-in ceremonies were held for Lieutenant Sean E. Corrigan and Sergeant Brett J. Billi.

National Poetry Month

For the commemorative month, Ray McNiece, the city’s poet laureate, was recognized and read a few of his poems. Cleveland Heights middle school and high school students, both part of Lake Erie, Inc.’s school programs, read their works. All three poets received proclamations of appreciation.

First readings

Council approved several measures on first reading and emergency. These include: 

  • Amendments to the fiscal year 2022 budget.
  • Extension of the admissions tax suspension.
  • Authorization for participation in the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing Program for road salt for winter 2022/23.
  • Authorization for the mayor to contract with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns, and DeHaven, Inc. for engineering services to design traffic signal systems upgrades on Monticello Boulevard.
  • Authorization for ODOT to improve sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

Offered on first reading without a vote were:

  • Authorization to participate in the NOPEC Green Community Choice Program for the city’s Electricity Aggregation Program beginning January 2023.
  • Authorization for the mayor to contract with Wade Trim, Inc. for engineering services relating to the 2022 Member Community Infrastructure Program grant for the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control and Rehabilitation Project.
  • Authorization for the mayor to acquire from Valley Ford Truck, Inc. a pickup truck for the Utilities Division and a dump truck for the Forestry Division.
  • Authorization for the mayor to acquire from Valley Freightliner, Inc. a Freightliner 114SD Tandem Axle Cab and Chassis for the Street Maintenance Division.
  • Authorization for the mayor to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with WXZ Development, Inc. regarding redevelopment of the Taylor-Tudor Plaza.
  • Resolutions declaring May 2022 as National Preservation Month and Bike Month.

Street assessments

Council renewed special assessments for 2023 and 2024, at the current rate, to fund 1) a portion of street lighting expenses and, 2) a portion of street improvements and snow removal.

Executive session permission

Council amended Chapter 107 of the city code to permit executive sessions for purposes in Section 107.01 or for any purposes allowed under the Ohio Revised Code.


Council rescinded a previous appointment to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) because there was no vacancy to fill. Council reappointed a member to the BZA and a member to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee. Council appointed Ms. Moore as liaison and Ms. Larson as alternate liaison to the Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Committee.

Council member comments

Ms. Hart announced that Ms. Himmelein had presented a 2021 financial report during the committee of the whole meeting and urged residents to watch the presentation, available on the city’s YouTube channel.

Ms. Larson reported that the previously scheduled hearing on Lead Safe certification had been cancelled pending further clarification of the ordinance.

Ms. Hart thanked staff and members of the Refuse and Recycling Task Force for their efforts developing the new refuse and recycling program, announced that delivery of the new bins has started, and urged residents to read the information included in the blue bins.

Ms. Moore urged residents to participate in the Cleveland Heights Green Team’s April 23 Sustainability Fair and Future Heights’ April 27 Sustainability Forum.

Committee of the whole (COW)

Mr. Cobb participated remotely.

Ms. Himmelein presented an overview of fiscal year 2021’s financial results.

The COW discussed the process for reviewing legislation by council committees.

Potential issues for future legislation were offered, including:

  • Access to apartment residents for voter registration and political candidates
  • Changes to the permitted hours of house concerts in the noise ordinance
  • Changes to sign regulation regarding temporary signs, e.g., political campaigns
  • Offering a 311 service (call center)

There was an executive session to consider the terms of a sale or lease of city-owned property.

Next regular council meeting is May 2. Other upcoming meetings include:

  • Committee of the whole and council, May 2 and 6. 7:30 p.m.
  • Parks and Recreation Committee, May 2, 10 a.m.
  • Housing and Building Committee working session, April 20, 9 a.m.
  • Municipal Services Committee, April 25, 4:30 p.m.
  • Planning and Development Committee, April 25, 5:30 p.m.

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:

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 9:02 AM, 05.16.2022