University Heights City Council meeting 3-20-23

MARCH 20, 2023 regular meeting


  • Mayor’s report
  • Council actions
  • Staff reports
  • Committee reports


Present were Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan, Vice Mayor Michelle Weiss, and Council Members Barbara Blankfeld, Christopher Cooney, Brian J. King, John P. Rach, and Sheri Sax. Justin Gould was not present. Also present were Kelly Thomas, clerk of council; Luke McConville, law director; and Dennis Kennedy, finance director. The public meeting ran one hour and 12 minutes. Council also convened in executive session to discuss litigation.

Mayor’s report

The mayor noted that because of upheaval in the East Cleveland police department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has taken over some policing duties in that city so there will be an increased Highway Patrol presence in the area. 

Council actions

Mayor Brennan requested, and council approved, a motion to purchase a used 2012 rear load packer truck for rubbish collection. The 2006 Freightliner owned by the city engineer has failed and repair costs exceeds the cost of purchase. Ms. Weiss noted that council had approved a five-year capital plan for new trucks, so she requested that the service department research this matter. The mayor said he would give the issue to the new service director. 

Council authorized advertising for bids for the 2023 grass abatement program.

Council declared the property at 3777 Bushnell a public nuisance, enabling the housing department to bring the house into compliance and put a lien on the property to recover expenses. Geoff Englebrecht, director of housing & community development, noted that the owner has not responded to requests for upkeep and is $18,000 behind on taxes despite an agreed payment plan. The property is currently unoccupied, and its condition is an issue for the neighbors. 

Council approved extension of the Starfish IT contract for an additional two months.

Staff reports

Mr. Kennedy noted that the city has received income tax revenue from RITA and property tax distribution from the county has been caught up as of mid-March.

Fire Chief Robert Perkoe said the 2022 annual report has been delivered to council and posted on the website.

Mike Cook, communications and civic engagement director, reported that the charter review has nearly concluded. Council should start planning how to present items from the review to voters. He will work with council on the best communication methods and offered to put together a video. Ms. Sax felt a video was problematic because all speakers and opinions would not be represented.

Committee reports

Ms. Blankfeld said the Building and Housing Committee met immediately before this council meeting and had a robust discussion. She did not specify the topic.

LWV Observer: Marilyn Singer.

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 University Heights” YouTube channel:

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 11:04 AM, 04.20.2023