Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-17-22
OCTOBER 17, 2022, regular meeting
- Mayor’s report
- Clerk of council report
- Council actions on emergency Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook
- Lead safe ordinance
- First readings, no vote
- Council member comments
- Committee of the whole
Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present was William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for 45 minutes.
Mayor Seren announced that Joe McRae has resigned as director of parks and recreation to accept a position as chief administrative officer of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. The mayor praised Mr. McRae’s many contributions to the city and explained that Mr. McRae had declined a public recognition ceremony.
The mayor described the ordinance related to financing the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development, which is on the agenda for first reading only, as the final step before construction. The city worked with the school district to develop the agreement and council would act on the ordinance after the school board votes to approve.
Mayor Seren announced that one of the city’s Pride benches has been defaced, that the damage was being repaired, and that an investigation was underway. He deplored the vandalism as counter to the city’s values.
Clerk of council report
In Clerk of Council Balester’s absence, council appointed Vice President Cobb as temporary clerk. Mr. Cobb reported that an application was received from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for transfer of a C1/C2 permit from Uptown Mart LLC to 1900 Mart Inc., 1900 Lee Road.
Council actions on emergency
Council approved, on first reading as an emergency measure, changes to the 2022 fiscal year budget. The changes were transfers with no impact on the overall budget.
On second readings as emergency measures, council:
- Approved an ordinance regarding the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development: declaring property improvements a public purpose exempt from real property taxation; making provision for the collection of service payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT); establishing an urban redevelopment tax increment equivalent fund (TIF) for the deposit of such service payments; and authorizing a compensation agreement with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.
- Appointed Andrew Unetic as director of finance, beginning Oct. 24. Ms. Moore voted no without explanation.
- Adopted the 2022-2027 update of the Cuyahoga County All-Hazards Mitigation Plan for Cuyahoga County.
- Amended the “Impounding Vehicles” sections of the city code to be consistent with current state and local law. Specifically, front license plates are no longer required in Ohio.
Lead safe ordinance
Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook legislation There was a second reading, but no vote, of legislation for the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development: declaring property improvements a public purpose exempt from real property taxation; making provision for the collection of service payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT); establishing an urban redevelopment tax increment equivalent fund (TIF) for the deposit of such service payments; and authorizing a compensation agreement with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.
Council approved an amended ordinance requiring rental units constructed before 1978 to be certified lead safe as a condition for obtaining a rental occupancy permit. Mr. Cobb recused himself due to his wife’s business as a lead clearance technician.
Amendments included permission of lead-safe certificate transfers to a new property owner during the certificate’s two-year period and clarification of the compliance role of realtors. Realtors’ are protected from non-disclosure liability for hazards not disclosed to the realtor by the seller or lessor.
First readings, no vote
Several pieces of legislation were presented on first reading with no vote. Two resolutions would authorize the mayor to accept funds from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District under the 2023 Member Community Infrastructure Grant program for: 1) the Cedar Glen Parkway Rehabilitation and Replacement Project and 2) the design control of the SSO [Sanitary Sewer Overflows] projects, CH-27 [Quilliams north of Randolph] and CH-51 [Langton at Atherstone]. An ordinance would eliminate the December 2022 expiration date and permanently adopt the provisions of the “Tenant’s Right to Pay to Stay” ordinance.
Council member comments
Ms. Hart announced that the 2021 fiscal year audit report had been discussed in committee of the whole and is now publicly available. She congratulated Start Right CDC for its infill housing construction groundbreaking. She urged residents to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election, for which early voting has started.
Ms. Larson thanked those who participated in developing the lead safe legislation and listed education, funding, and sufficient building department staff as among the steps necessary for implementation. She also recognized the Cleveland Heights Green Team’s recent EcoFair.
Mr. Mattox reminded residents to fill out the online survey on the city’s website regarding how the city should use its ARPA funds. He announced that the next ARPA community meeting would be Oct. 18 at Caledonia School.
Ms. Moore reminded residents not to place recycled items in plastic bags. With the city’s new recycling contract, plastic tubs, such as butter containers, may now be recycled and residents should consult the recycling guidance on the city’s web site. She announced two events: the last Future Heights Community Conversations meeting on Oct. 26 and the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership Family Fishing Workshops on Oct. 22. She praised the work of the Cleveland Heights Green Team and its EcoFair.
Ms. Russell announced that the Commission on Aging would hold a listening session on Oct. 24 to solicit input from the public on needed services. She also announced that groundbreaking on the first Caledonia neighborhood infill house had taken place.
Several council members recognized departing Parks and Recreation Director McRae and congratulated him on his new role. Several council members spoke of the value of attending the Ohio Municipal League’s annual conference.
Committee of the whole
Council reviewed the 2021 fiscal year financial and compliance audit, and the report is now publicly available.
Council members discussed their experiences requesting information from the administration, using the procedures implemented by the recently adopted memorandum of understanding. Some procedures were clarified with the mayor.
Council decided that the committee of the whole would take over the responsibilities of the Finance Committee and the members of the Finance Committee would be re-assigned to other committees.
LWV Observer: Jill Tatem.
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