CH mayor weaponizes law department
The mayor of Cleveland Heights has weaponized the law department. I have been asked to pay for sewer repairs on public property or “appropriate enforcement action may be taken.” The sanitary is blocked and has backed up from city property onto my property.
I confronted the mayor at the grocery store; he informed me that “[they] decided that the city would only take responsibility at the curb.”
I don’t believe the recent changes to our city charter allow the mayor to rule by fiat, nor is this the more responsive government we were promised. There is no local ordinance or state law that makes private citizens responsible for repairs on public property.
It takes time for the legal process to work. The city is relying on isolating the homeowner and forcing them to undertake repairs. The decision by the mayor to remove responsibility from public property is a money-saving maneuver by the city. This could also affect you.
Lateral lines from everyone’s property typically cross the public right-of-way (which includes the tree lawn) and connect with the sewer at or before the curb, which effectively means the city has just handed individual homeowners a liability for repairs on public property.
This is particularly appalling because we pay two sewer bills, the city is under a consent decree with the EPA for sewers, and the city has been asking how to spend the flood of stimulus money it has received.
Robert Jefferis is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights who cares about the city.