Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-17-23

JANUARY 17, 2023, regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Clerk of council’s report
  • Council actions
  • 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., and Davida Russell. Also present were Clerk of Council Addie Balester and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting ran 55 minutes.

Public comments

One resident spoke in support of converting one of the ice rinks at the community center to turf. Ten residents, both adults and children, urged the city to repair and open both ice rinks at the community center. They criticized the city for lack of communication about problems and plans for the rinks and described disruptions to the hockey season.

Mayor’s report

As a matter of record, Mayor Seren informed council that the Lee Road resurfacing project would be bid. The mayor alerted residents that, beginning January 20, helicopters will be used to inspect First Energy transmission lines. He announced the hiring of Kelly Ledbetter as the new director of parks and recreation; he will start in February. The mayor provided an update on recent problems with the community center’s north ice rink, noted that conditions on the south rink are also being reviewed, and promised continuing updates. He announced that no complaints had been received about snow removal during the most recent storm and thanked staff for their efforts.

Clerk of council’s report

Ms. Balester reported that the Ohio Division of Liquor Control had received two applications from Dave’s Supermarket Inc. at 1940 Lee Rd. for the transfer of a C2/C2X/D6/D8 liquor permit from York Lee Inc. dba Zagara’s Marketplace.

Council actions

Council approved a resolution expressing concern about delays in United States Postal Service mail delivery and appreciation to postal carriers working long hours due to staffing shortages.

Council authorized, on first reading and on emergency, an agreement with Friends of Mendelsohn to contribute $45,000 to Naylor Wellman, LLC for historic preservation services related to placing Park Synagogue, 3300 Mayfield Rd. on the National Registry of Historic Places and for its designation as a National Landmark. The property was certified a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 1976 and recertified in 2023.

On first reading and on emergency, council authorized purchase from Classic Ford of Madison of four pick-up trucks with plows, three for the parks and recreation department and one for the public works department. Total cost is not to exceed $268,000. 

On second reading, council authorized an agreement with Schonhardt & Associates to assist the finance department in preparing Annual Comprehensive Finance Reports (ACFRs) for 2022, 2023, and 2024. Total fees and expenses are not to exceed $60,000. ACFRs are required by the Ohio auditor.

Presented on first reading only was a resolution for a fifth amendment to the agreement with Wade Trim, Inc. of Ohio for engineering services for the sanitary sewer overflow control project and the EPA partial consent decree.

Council approved a consent agenda approving two proclamations, designating February 2023 as American Heart Month and Black History Month.

Council member comments

Ms. Larson announced that the Public Safety and Health Committee began work on legislation for a sidewalk repair program. There will be a meeting at Noble Elementary School on January 26 to discuss traffic problems during drop-off and pick-up times. She described the services to be provided by MetroHealth at the Wellness Center that opened at the high school.

Ms. Russell announced that the community center has re-opened. 

Mr. Mattox announced that the Planning and Development Committee met to discuss an appraisal gap financing program and will begin review of the planning commission zoning code recommendations.

Committee of the whole

Representatives of Sustainable Community Associates provided background on the funding requested to support an application for National Landmark status for Park Synagogue.

Planning Director Eric Zamft briefed council on the planning commission’s zoning code review, outlining the categories reviewed, the categories needing further review, and the process for amending the zoning code.

Experiences using the right of inquiry email process were discussed, with some suggestions for modification. Council also discussed the budget process and offered suggestions for next year. Because twenty-seven applications have been received for the charter review commission, the application deadline will not be extended. Status and timing of the process to fill the council vacancy were reviewed.

Ms. Hart, Ms. Larson, and Ms. Russell will plan a Women’s History Day event.

Upcoming meetings include city council and committee of the whole meetings on Feb. 6 and a Public Safety and Health Committee meeting on Feb. 21.

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 16, Issue 3, Posted 8:56 AM, 02.10.2023