Point Of View

University Heights has funds to purchase a new ladder truck

University Heights taxes are among the highest in Ohio. We pay these taxes because we expect excellent city services from our elected officials in return.

I believe the most critical services for our densely populated city are our safety forces: fire, police and EMS. Mayor Susan Infeld wears a second hat as safety director for University Heights. In that role, she ensures that our fire department has current equipment and trucks.

Our fire department has an aging ladder truck, and I believe our high taxes warrant the purchase of a Rolls Royce-style truck. While our city many not need such a high-end version, for our tax money the least UH residents should expect is a new, fully equipped truck with all the bells and whistles our firefighters request.

In fact, UH residents paid so much in taxes that the fire department had $800,000 left over from its 2016 budget that went back into the city’s coffers. A new ladder truck does not even come close to costing that much. We have the funds.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:05 PM, 03.30.2017

A wiser alternative for University Heights?

In the closing months of 2016, neighbors posted on Nextdoor.com, a social media site, that they heard gunshots. One resident posted: “Hats off to the police that were here immediately.” University Heights police found shell casings, corroborating resident posts.

On Nov. 6, posts by the neighbors discussed their personal experiences concerning safety and enforcement of city ordinances. One post recalled a conversation with Mayor Susan Infeld about the challenges of enforcing ordinances of homes owned by non-resident owners.

On Nov. 6, Mayor Infeld wrote her own post: “The ordinances are enforced . . . regarding the maintenance of a property, and criminal nuisance ordinances regarding noise, illegal behavior . . . rental property inspections, number of unrelated adults, etc."

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 5:52 PM, 01.31.2017

A park, yes—but not a $3 million park

Mayor Infeld’s proposed new tax bond issue for $1.8 million for a neighborhood park is on November’s ballot. Add to it the $856,677 already spent, and this park will cost close to $3 million.

How did it grow from the simple “green space” Infeld said was her preference to a project that now needs a massive tax to fund it?

According to the University Heights City Council meeting minutes of Feb. 6, 2012, Brett Teacher, chairman of Citizens for Saybrook Park, requested that the city purchase the former Fuchs Mizrachi private property and “convert it into a city park.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:00 PM, 09.29.2014

Why is UH mayor urging new tax if $2.2 million 'surplus monies' are real?

Mayor Infeld wants to impose a $1.8 million tax increase on the taxpayers of University Heights. But at the same time, she says we have $2.2 million in “surplus monies.” What?

The question is obvious. If we have surplus monies, why do we need a tax increase? Did Mayor Infeld generate the “surplus monies” by cutting basic municipal services the citizens expect?

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:36 PM, 08.28.2014

Appreciating hyper-local holiday shopping

When did holiday shopping become a contact sport? If I’m to believe what I see in the media, people map out chain-store floor plans weeks in advance. Before the Thanksgiving gravy has congealed, they motor from doorbusters to blockbusters in a wild rush to take another four dollars off the price of a no-name TV.

If that’s how you define the holiday spirit, go ahead. Join the crowd. Buy the Chinese knockoffs. Enjoy the stress.

I’m trying to make my holiday season about appreciation.

To that end, all my shopping will take place within a radius of a couple miles—with the local merchants who do so much to make the Heights all the things it is: unique, comfortable, walkable and increasingly Rockwellesque.

I appreciate small stores where the clerks are plentiful and happy to pay attention to my needs. I appreciate shops that carry merchandise you’ll never find in chain stores.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 11:08 AM, 11.20.2012

How much is your house really worth?

Your house may not be worth as much as you think. The average price of houses sold in one University Heights neighborhood suggests a disturbing downward trend. Over the past three years, the average price fell from $181,850 in 2009 to $153,010 in 2011.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 4:47 PM, 09.04.2012