LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

AUGUST 21, 2023 - regular meeting

  • Public comment
  • Mayor’s report
  • Council action
  • Committee reports
  • 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 Davida Russell. Anthony Mattox, Jr. was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. Council met for one hour.

Public comment

A resident criticized the city for directing more resources to the southern part of the city over the north. She urged the city to advocate revival of Aldi’s plans for a store on Mayfield and to create a redevelopment plan for the Noble area.

A resident urged the city to use ARPA funds to remove parking meters, which he claimed were old and ugly.

A resident said that lack of Cain Park concert promotion resulted in low attendance. 

A resident expressed outrage about using city and county funds for the proposed Noble Station affordable housing development. She also opposed voting legislation on emergency and demanded three readings for all legislation.

A resident expressed appreciation for residents’ opportunity to speak and opposed the development of affordable housing on Noble Road.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Seren described the need for a sustainable and dedicated funding source if the city becomes responsible for sidewalk repair and replacement, perhaps through an additional assessment on frontage. The mayor gave copies of Roberts Rules of Order to each council member and expressed the need for a common language and formality to increase council’s effectiveness and efficiency. 

Mr. Cuda described the mayor’s proclamation recognizing Mr. Cuda's Cleveland Heights High School Class of ’73.

Council actions

On second reading, council approved allocation of $5,000 to FutureHeights to serve as a co-sponsor for the 2023 Heights Music Hop.

Council confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Danny R. Williams as city administrator, also on second reading.

Several items were offered on first reading only (no vote) and include:

  • A zoning code amendment to create and make permanent the Shared Spaces Program to permit and regulate business use of private property and city-owned property for outdoor dining. 
  • An amendment of chapter 10, City Property Disposition, of the city code to permit transfer of real property acquired by the city through tax-foreclosed or donated-in-lieu-of-foreclosure to the Cleveland Heights Community Improvement Corporation.
  • Authorization of title transfer for over 190 specified city-owned properties to the Cleveland Heights Community Improvement Corporation. 
  • Authorization of a contract with Nutter Consulting to prepare a Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, at a cost not to exceed $99,100.

Using a consent agenda, council declared September 2023 as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and National Preparedness Month and September 8-17, 2023 as Welcoming Week. 

Committee reports

For the Public Safety and Health Committee, Ms. Boyd reported work on legislation to update youth mentoring and diversion programs.

For the Municipal Services and Environmental Sustainability Committee, Ms. Larson reported a presentation from the Quiet Clean Heights Group, which aims to raise awareness about gas leaf blower noise and pollution. Future meetings will address developing a climate action plan.

For the Housing and Building Committee, Mr. Cuda reported work on legislation to regulate short-term rentals.

For the Administrative Services Committee, Mr. Cobb reported that a hearing on the proposed Arts Commission would take place at the end of September or beginning of October.

Council President Hart expressed council’s support of the right of the public to respectfully comment on the business of the city and the right of council members not to be interrupted while making their comments. She also described steps necessary for approval of the proposed Noble Station development including consideration by the Architectural Board of Review on September 7 and by the Planning Commission on September 13 and consideration of a development agreement by council.

Committee of the whole

A 90-minute executive session was held to consider the sale or lease of city-owned real property and appointment of a public official.

Kristine Pagsuyoin, FutureHeights executive director, presented a request for $5,000 for the Music Hop.

Mayor Seren provided an update on the Mayor’s Action Center, which can be contacted at 291-2323 or MAC@clevelandheights.gov. Processes for tracking and reporting complaints are under development. A replacement for the Access Cleveland Heights app, which is no longer being updated, is being researched. Early analysis has identified bulk pick-up problems as a frequent complaint. City staff are working on changes to improve bulk pick-up reliability. Complaints made at council meetings will be forwarded to the Mayor’s Action Center.

LWV observer: Jill Tatem  

Meeting packets, legislation, and other information can be found on the city website at: https://www.clevelandheights.com/1142/2021-Agendas-and-Minutes 

Videos of council meetings can be viewed on the “City of Cleveland Heights, OH” YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandHeightsOH

Read More on Cleveland Heights
Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:34 AM, 10.09.2023