LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / University Heights City Council meeting
JULY 10, 2023 - special meeting
- Committee assignment
- Council actions
Present were Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan, and Council Members Brian J. King, Threse Marshall, John P. Rach, Sheri Sax, and Win Weizer. Vice Mayor Michele Weiss and Christopher Cooney were not present. Also present were Kelly Thomas, clerk of council; Luke McConville, law director; Dennis Kennedy, finance director; and Joseph Ciuni, city engineer. The meeting ran 34 minutes.
New Council Member Weizer will chair the Building and Housing Committee and become a member of the Community Outreach Committee and Development and Economic Development Committee. She will be an alternate on the Finance Committee.
Council appointed Shawn Belt to the CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) Board, filling the vacancy created when Win Weizer was appointed to fill the council seat vacated by Barbara Blankfeld.
After considering a contract with Terrace Construction for water main replacements at Saybrook and at Northcliffe, council voted to authorize the Saybrook project and to defer the Northcliffe project. This was the second time the projects on Saybrook and Northcliffe were sent out for bid as no bids were received the first time. Terrace Construction was the only bidder and its bid increased from 2021—design costs by eight percent and engineering costs by five percent. Cleveland Water will reimburse the Saybrook project 100 percent but only 50 percent for Northcliffe. University Heights can shelve the design and engineering work for Northcliffe and re-apply for funds in a future year.
After some discussion, council authorized purchase of a used rubbish truck for $55,000. This would replace a current truck that has suffered engine failure, making the city below the minimum required equipment for rubbish pick-up. Repairs would take eight to twelve weeks with no guarantees. The truck was due to be retired in 2025. Sax raised concerns about buying another truck because the last three budgets have included items for leasing new trucks. She commented that it would be a disservice to the members of the service department to get another used vehicle instead of a new truck. Weizer said she had been wary of buying used equipment but supports buying this truck as the city needs another truck now. Finance Director Kennedy said there is nothing in the budget for a new truck because such a purchase was not contemplated for 2023. Prior budget set asides for trucks had been used when other vehicles had failed. Council had specifically requested that no items be placed in this year’s budget for rubbish. A discussion ensued that the process needs to be managed better. Mayor Brennan requested and received from council a waiver from competitive bidding for purchase of the used truck.
Council approved, on emergency, a special meeting ordinance to remove anachronistic provisions and allow notice by e-mail.
Council approved, on emergency, to authorize acceptance of a NOPEC grant of $132,038, to be used on or before Nov. 30, 2025. With money already provided, the city will have over $154,000 to use for any eligible project, such as upgrading restrooms at Walter Stinson Park so they can be used year round.
Council adjourned to executive session to discuss Aleksander Shul and University Square.
LWV Observer: Marilyn Singer.
Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found at: https://www.universityheights.com/council/
Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of University Heights” YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA82j5L_CkQxK9cXP_qrXvw/videos