Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

MARCH 6, 2023, regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Clerk of council’s report
  • Council actions on first reading
  • Council actions on second reading
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole


Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, and Council Members Janine Boyd, Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Davida Russell. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. Council Vice President Craig Cobb was not present. The meeting lasted 40 minutes.

Public comments

A resident criticized reactions of some members of council to the mayor’s draft of ARPA spending priorities at the Feb. 27 committee of the whole meeting. She also complained that transcripts of council meetings are not made.

In recognition of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, a resident described the life and contributions of Harriet Tubman.

A member of the skating community urged better communication from the city regarding plans for the north ice rink. He explained that skating program schedules require advance planning and lack of availability of ice rinks creates significant disruptions.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Seren announced that the city has received and is evaluating four responses to the RFQs (request for qualifications) for the community center north ice rink redesign and rebuild. He also announced that the bids for the Denison Park splash pad are out of date and need to be redone.

Clerk of council’s report

Ms. Balester notified council that CAPL RETAIL, LLC, doing business as Joe’s Quick Marts, 3983 Mayfield Rd, has applied for a new C1/C2 liquor permit from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

Council actions on first readings

After amending the agenda to add the vote, council approved a resolution opposing Ohio House Bill 1, which cuts and flattens Ohio’s income tax rates and eliminates $1.2 billion annually in state payments to local governments.

Council approved an agreement with Wade Trim, Inc. for professional design engineering services related to sanitary sewer overflows CH-13 (Hampshire Lane at Euclid Heights Blvd) and CH-61 (Hampshire Road) and connections on Hampshire Rd. Compensation is not to exceed $340,460.

Council authorized the acquisition and installation of a new transfer station compactor from Cleveland Compaction for the refuse and recycling division of the public works department. The total cost is not to exceed $217,039.12.

Council acknowledged receipt of a five-year plan for public services and improvements from the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID) and returned the plan to the SID’s board of directors without comments or recommended changes.

Council actions on second reading 

Council authorized an agreement with the Home Repair Resource Center for the use of up to $44,000 of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Funds to administer the city’s down payment assistance loan program, to become effective immediately as an emergency measure.

Council approved an ordinance amending city code section 505.06, subsection (a), “Animals Prohibited in Public Parks” to permit dogs in city parks provided they are kept on a leash of no more than six feet and are properly cared for and cleaned up after. They may not enter playground areas, tennis and basketball courts, ball fields, picnic shelters, swimming pool premises, splash parks, community gardens, sledding hills, or areas planted with flowers, shrubs, or decorative vegetation. The mayor may prohibit dogs during public events provided signs are erected during the prohibited times. Prior to passage, council approved an amendment changing “his” to “their” when referring to persons accompanying dogs.

Council member comments

Council Members Cuda, Mattox, and Russell praised the mayor and city staff for the Black History Month celebration on Feb. 25.

Mr. Cuda announced that the Housing and Building Committee had met to discuss short-term rentals and legislation is being developed.

Ms. Larson announced that the MetroHealth minority men’s health fair will be held Apr 27, 5-8:30 p.m., and urged residents to register for health screenings by calling 216-957-3862. One of the three locations is the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center at Severance Circle. Volunteers are needed to assist with non-clinical tasks.

Ms. Russell announced that the June 10 You Talk I Listen session on landlord tenant law would include a program on pathways to home ownership.

Council President Hart praised the Black History Month celebration. She described the Women’s History Month Amazing Women of Cleveland Heights awards and encouraged residents to nominate Cleveland Heights women who have made a difference in the community. Awards will be presented during the Women’s History Month celebration on March 23 at the community center. Nominations will be accepted until March 13.

Committee of the whole (Held prior to the council meeting)

Council heard a presentation about the request to vacate Andrews Rd north of Severn Rd.

Mayor Seren described the possibility of University Heights and Cleveland Heights financially supporting the cities’ poet laureate with a stipend and funding for associated programs, such as including poetry at city events. Heights Arts selects the poet laureate. Cleveland Heights has not previously provided financial support. Council members were supportive of the idea.

The next council and committee of the whole meetings will be March 20. Public Safety and Health Committee will also meet March 20.

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 4, Posted 9:59 AM, 04.02.2023