Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-17-23

APRIL 17, 2023 regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Recognitions
  • Actions on first reading and emergency
  • Actions on second reading and emergency
  • First readings only
  • 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 Janine Boyd, Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, and Anthony Mattox, Jr. Davida Russell was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council and William Hanna, law director.

Public comments

Paul Volpe, representing the Severance Action Group (SAG), expressed disappointment with the city’s lack of action since November on the development concept for Severance created by SAG. He asked the city to prioritize Severance’s redevelopment and work with SAG, including holding regular meetings with the group and public meetings to solicit feedback on the SAG concept.

Two other residents spoke about Severance redevelopment. One urged the city to use the talents of city residents to develop a plan. The other outlined the history of Severance, described its current assets, and argued that it could be so much more.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Seren requested and received council’s permission to bid sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) projects CH-35, CH-45, and CH-49, located on Coventry and Fairmount. 

The mayor congratulated the Cleveland Heights High School Academic Challenge Team for their victory over Our Lady of the Elms and Wickliffe.


Rachel Bernstein, executive director of Heights Arts, described the poet laureate program, offered thanks and farewell to outgoing poet laureate Ray McNiece, and introduced incoming poet laureate Siaara Freeman. Both Mr. McNiece and Ms. Freeman expressed their thanks and read poems.

Mayor Seren and Cuyahoga County Council Vice President Cheryl Stephens presented proclamations honoring the Lutheran East High School boys’ basketball team, 2023 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division 3 state champions.

Actions on first reading and emergency

Council approved establishment of a NOPEC Fund within the Special Revenue Funds and authorized acceptance of Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) 2023 Energized Community Grants. 

Council authorized an easement to the City of Cleveland to install a water line between Cedarbrook and Tullamore roads as part of the Cedar Lee Meadowbrook development.

Council appointed Council Member Janine Boyd to the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership Board of Trustees 

Actions on second reading and emergency

Council authorized an agreement with Cuyahoga County for $425,222 of HOME Program funds for the city’s affordable housing programs, including homeowner rehabilitation loan and down payment assistance programs, through April 30, 2025. 

Council authorized submission of the Community Development Block Grant entitlement application for calendar year 2023. 

Council established an Indigent Drivers Interlock and Alcohol Monitoring Fund within the Special Revenue Funds. 

Council authorized participation in the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing Program for road salt for the 2023-24 winter season.

Council expressed support for Ohio Senate Bill 36, which requires that prospective owner-occupants and specified non-profit housing organizations be permitted to match winning bids at sheriff’s sales for the purchase of one- to four-unit foreclosed residential properties. 

First readings only

Several legislative items were presented on first reading only (no vote). Three agreements related to control of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). Two agreements are with Wade Trim, Inc. for 1.) construction administration related to SSOs CH-12, CH-17, CH-26, CH-28, located at Lee and Superior, Cumberland, Euclid Heights and Cumberland, and Euclid Heights and Lee (not to exceed $121,720); and 2.) for professional design engineering services related to SSOs CH-27 and CH-51 along Quilliams Road and Atherstone Road (not to exceed $983,400). A third agreement is with R2O for professional design services relates to SSOs CH-36 and CH-37 along North Park Boulevard (not to exceed $155,831). An agreement with Tempest, Inc. would be for construction manager services for reconstruction of the Community Center’s north ice rink. 

Council member comments

Ms. Larson explained that the Public Safety and Health Committee is exploring funding sources for a sidewalk repair program and seeking partners and volunteer coordinators for a sidewalk snow removal program. She also urged residents to attend some of the upcoming Earth Week events, including the Millikin Woods clean-up April 23, Arbor Day April 28 at Caledonia elementary school, and Caledonia ravine tour and clean-up April 29. The Heights Bicycle Coalition is sponsoring a Getting Ready to Ride event April 30, 1-4 p.m. at Coventry Peace Park.

Committee of the Whole

A representative of Guidehouse, the city’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) consultant, participated remotely in a discussion of the types of projects that could qualify for ARPA funds. Projects described by council members included housing rehabilitation, sidewalk repair subsidies, gap financing, housing down payment assistance, acquisition of distressed properties, and road repair. Council also discussed the need to develop a process for vetting ARPA funds requests.

Council met in executive session to consider the terms of sale or lease of city-owned property.

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:

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.15.2023