Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-7-22
NOVEMBER 7, 2022 - regular meeting
- Public comments
- Mayor’s report
- Barbara Boyd
- Clerk of council’s report
- Sharing facilities
- Other council action
- 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 were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for one hour.
Two speakers urged approval of the final TIF agreement to move the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook project forward.
Three speakers advocated restoration of Horseshoe Lake, commenting that NEORSD (Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District) had been much less transparent than it claims to be.
Davida Russell rose to speak as a citizen about the importance of voting tomorrow, stating that Cuyahoga County is underperforming because too few people vote.
Mayor Seren rode along with Cleveland Heights Police Department officers last Friday to re-launch the ride-along program suspended due to COVID. Council members will be able to schedule this informative activity, followed by members of the Racial Justice Task Force, and then members of the public. He commented on the Nov. 8 General Election and the importance of voting as a protection against authoritarianism. Mr. Seren announced contracts for the Lee Road Sanitary Sewer Overflow Project and for refuse disposal.
The mayor announced the death of Barbara Boyd and spoke of her many long and deep contributions to Cleveland Heights and the region. He mentioned the park in the Caledonia neighborhood named in her honor.
Clerk of council’s report
Ms. Balester notified council of two notices from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control regarding applications from The Inn on Coventry, 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard, and Taste, 2317 Lee Road.
On first reading, council authorized and directed the mayor to negotiate with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for a mutually beneficial agreement for sharing each other’s meeting and recreational facilities. Currently sharing facilities is in the pending TIF agreement; a new agreement would remove that to a separate ordinance. The mayor and council are committed to this agreement. They spoke of their support and belief that it would be fair, collaborative, and mutually beneficial.
Other council action
On second reading council:
- Authorized transfer of 2124 Rossmoor Road and 901 Englewood Road to FutureHeights for redevelopment.
- Authorized two grant agreements of $619,300 and $498,700, with NEORSD, under the Member Community Infrastructure Grant program, to partially fund the Cedar Glen Parkway Rehabilitation and Redevelopment Project, which will replace a seriously deteriorated, century-old sewer pipe that carries wastewater for a significant portion of the southwestern part of Cleveland Heights.
- Amended Chapter 767 of the city code, “Tenant’s Right to Pay to Stay,” to eliminate the sunset date and make the ordinance permanent.
Legislation presented on first reading only (no vote) include:
- An ordinance to remove all or portions of Euclid Heights Boulevard, Lee Boulevard, Lee Road, North Taylor Road, and South Taylor Road from the list of “through streets,” enabling the city to reduce the maximum allowable speed on those streets.
- An agreement with Rubican Global, LLC to purchase software for the refuse collection division of the public works department for $73,344 for three years with automatic one-year extensions.
- Purchase of a Freightliner 114SD Tandem Axle Cab and Chassis for the public works department for $106,475.
- An ongoing agreement with Cuyahoga County to perform certain maintenance services for the city’s sanitary and storm sewers.
- An agreement with Cuyahoga County to plan and fund the resurfacing of Warrensville Center Road from Mayfield Road to the south corporation line of Cleveland Heights.
Council amended and presented on fourth reading the ordinance to exempt the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development from property taxation for up to 30 years, provide for the collection of service payments in lieu of taxes, establish an urban redevelopment tax increment equivalent fund (TIF) for the deposit of these service payments, and authorize a compensation agreement with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. There was no vote and there will be one more reading after the school board responds to the agreement.
[A third reading was presented at a special meeting on Oct. 31 as the only public item on the agenda. The remainder of the meeting was held in executive session]
Council member comments
Vice President Cobb announced an Administrative Services Committee meeting on Nov. 28 to work on legislation to establish a charter review commission.
Mr. Cuda reported on a robust meeting of the Housing and Building Committee, which discussed vacant, abandoned, and nuisance properties; staffing of inspection services and lead safety; and home ownership opportunities. About 30 people attended, many of whom were angry, according to Mr. Cuda. A future meeting will focus on rental tenants. This is part of a county-wide housing and rental crisis. He urged voting tomorrow.
Ms. Larson announced a Public Safety and Health Committee meeting for Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. She noted the county COVID rate has increased 19 percent in the last two weeks and encouraged booster shots. She talked about the conclusion of high school football and the Heights High musical, “Sister Act.”
Mr. Mattox commented on the importance of voting and stated that the Planning and Development Committee will schedule a meeting on GAP financing soon.
Ms. Moore said that with their voting choices citizens can help prevent the rollback of small climate gains. She announced the Nov. 17 annual meeting of the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and the opening of the Heights Arts Holiday Store.
Ms. Russell reported that the Community Relations and Recreation Committee met this morning and discussed small businesses, street clubs, the library, outreach, and recreation. She announced a series of “You Talk, I Listen” sessions she will present in conjunction with Municipal Judge Costello and FutureHeights. The first will be a discussion of landlord/tenant law at Disciples Christian Church at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 19.
Council President Hart announced Small Business Month. She urged all eligible to vote, even personally offering rides to any who need them. She will begin a series of informal coffee hours at which anyone can drop by to talk with her; the first will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Phoenix Coffee on Lee Road.
Committee of the whole (CoW)
NEORSD updated council on planning and community engagement.
Civic Plus Media made a presentation by Zoom of software called Civic Clerk and CP Media Plus used by city clerks for recording and reporting on meetings. Council members asked questions of the vendor. Discounts are available if council purchases the software before the end of the year. Legislation to authorize purchase will be ready for a vote at the next council meeting.
There was a brief review of tonight’s legislation. Council held an executive session to discuss pending court action with an attorney and to consider purchase or lease of property for public purposes.
The council meeting started late as the CoW lasted two hours.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, Nov. 21. Upcoming committee meetings include Public Safety and Health, Nov. 21, 10 a.m., and Administrative Services, Monday, Nov. 28.
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