April 18, 2022 CoW and City Council Meetings

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Legislation Passed

  • A resolution that extends a longstanding public assessment that funds a portion of the expense of street lighting.
  • A resolution that extends a longstanding public assessment that funds a portion of the expense of the improvement of streets and parkways, including grading, draining, curbing, paving, repaving, repairing, sweeping or cleaning thereof, removing snow therefrom, and planting, maintaining and removing shade trees thereon.
  • An ordinance that amends Chapter 107, “Public Meetings,” of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland Heights by providing that the City may enter into executive session for the purposes identified in Section 107.01 or for any purpose allowed under the Ohio Revised Code.
  • An ordinance that amends certain subparagraphs of Ordinance No. 139-2021 (F), relating to appropriations and other expenditures of the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022.
  • An ordinance that amends Ordinances 81-2020, 133-2020 and 94-2021 and extends the suspension of the levy of an admissions tax under Chapter 155, “Admissions Tax,” of Part One, Administrative Code, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland Heights; and extending the moratorium on the collection and remittance of the same.
  • A resolution that authorizes participation in the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing Program for road salt for the 2022–23 winter season.
  • A resolution that authorizes the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns and DeHaven, Inc., (“GPD Group”) for engineering services for design of traffic signal system upgrades on Monticello Boulevard; and providing compensation therefor.
  • A resolution that authorizes ODOT to proceed with the project of improving sidewalks and pedestrian crossing facilities within Cleveland Heights.

Committee of the Whole

You can find the agenda HERE and the council packet for the week HERE. You can watch a video of the meeting HERE.

Council President Melody Hart called the meeting to order. The Clerk of Council called roll. Present: Hart, Russell, Cobb, Moore, Cuda, Mattox, Larson. (Cobb joined via Zoom.)

Agenda Item 1: Legislation Review/Caucus

Council President Hart asked whether there were any questions on the legislation. Councilmember Russell asked about the reorganization of the City Council meeting agenda. Hart clarified that the letter(s) in parentheses next to the number of the legislation indicates what council committee they fall under. Law Director Bill Hanna clarified that the reading of the legislation previously was organized by committee but is now being organized by first reading for adoption, first reading only, and second reading for adoption; he stated he would include a key on the agenda so residents understand what the parenthetical letters denote.

Russell asked whether legislation on first reading only should be referred to its respective committee, and then the council committees can review and discuss the legislation and then make a recommendation to council about whether to adopt or deny the legislation. Council President Hart asked the mayor for his thoughts, and Mayor Seren stated that this system is appropriate.

Councilmember Larson asked Finance Director Himmelein about proposed budget appropriations (page 27 of the packet) in which there is an unbudgeted increase of $58,341.59, which is proposed to be covered by unbudgeted cash; Larson asked whether that will be paid for by the unexpected increase in tax revenue or the unencumbered funds from the prior year. Himmelein replied that at that moment, the City had roughly $154,000 revenue that is not budgeted; this appropriation would be covered by that, leaving roughly $95,000 of unbudgeted revenue.

Larson asked about Resolution 046-2022 (A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns and DeHaven, Inc., (“GPD Group”) for engineering services for design of traffic signal system upgrades on Monticello Boulevard; providing compensation therefor), which states that compensation for the services shall not exceed $139,487; Larson asked whether that amount is budgeted for, and Himmelein replied that it is and is coming out of the Street Fund.

Larson asked about Resolution 047-2022 (A Resolution authorizing ODOT to proceed with the project of improving sidewalks and pedestrian crossing facilities within Cleveland Heights), which states that the City’s estimated share of costs is $4,329.97; Larson asked whether this amount is budgeted for, and Himmelein states that she would need to ask Public Works Director Clinksdale but believes these funds are covered by a grant.

Larson asked about the three vehicles that would be authorized to be purchased by Resolution 051-2022 (a full-size pickup truck for the Utilities Division of the Public Works Department), Resolution 052-2022 (a dump truck for the Forestry Division of the Public Works Department), and Resolution 053-2022 (a Freightliner 114SD Tandem Axle Cab and Chassis for the Street Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works); Larson asked whether these purchases were budgeted, and Himmelein replied that they were. Himmelein noted that council may see a future appropriation that would be a transfer from one fund to another, but the amount has been budgeted.

Councilmember Cuda asked about Ordinance 043-2022 (the budget appropriations on page 27 of the packet), namely the last item under the Housing Inspections department; Cuda asked if this is for an inspector. Himmelein explained that the City budgets for the return of foreclosure bonds, stating that the City has received higher-than-anticipated returns of fire damage bonds, so this appropriation is transferring those funds from the Housing Department to the Fire Department.

Law Director Hanna returned to the conversation about the question of referring legislation to council committees, stating that all the legislation that evening on first reading for adoption would not be referred to committee. Mayor Seren stated that there are some pieces of legislation that the administration requests to be passed on first reading, but when possible, the administration encourages two readings and discussion by committee.

The following are legislation on first reading that the administration requested passage on first reading:

Ordinance 043-2022: An ordinance to amend certain subparagraphs of Ordinance No. 139-2021 (F), relating to appropriations and other expenditures of the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022 and declaring an emergency.

Ordinance 044-2022: An Ordinance amending Ordinances 81-2020, 133-2020 and 94-2021 and extending the suspension of the levy of an admissions tax under Chapter 155, “Admissions Tax,” of Part One, Administrative Code, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland Heights; extending the moratorium on the collection and remittance of the same; and declaring an emergency.

Resolution 045-2022: A Resolution authorizing participation in the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing Program for road salt for the 2022-23 winter season; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 046-2022: A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns and DeHaven, Inc., (“GPD Group”) for engineering services for design of traffic signal system upgrades on Monticello Boulevard; providing compensation therefor; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 047-2022: A Resolution authorizing ODOT to proceed with the project of improving sidewalks and pedestrian crossing facilities within Cleveland Heights; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Law Director Hanna explained that Resolution 045-2022 is time sensitive due to the nature of when road salt becomes available for municipalities to purchase through the Cooperative Purchasing Program and how quickly the City must act to take advantage of the program, and that this is an annual purchase.

Councilmember Russell asked for the administration to review all the legislation on first reading but being requested for adoption. Council President Hart asked whether Resolutions 046-2022 and 047-2022 are time sensitive; Mayor Seren affirmed that they were.

Councilmember Moore asked why Resolutions 046-2022 and 047-2022 are time sensitive. Mayor Seren said there are timelines for the projects, stating the request for an expedited legislative process came from the director of Public Works (Collette Clinksdale) and that delay in completing the projects risks potential inefficient transportation or a dangerous situation for motorists. He said that the timeline issues are related to ensuring the jobs can begin in time to coincide with construction season. He added that while the City could wait two weeks [to provide time for council to get information from the Public Works director and review details of the plans], he would prefer the City not need to wait two weeks because these affect health and safety issues.

Councilmember Moore stated that she is asking because council did not know about these projects until council received their packets, and there is no further information on the plans besides what is given in the legislation (Resolution 046-2022 and Resolution 047-2022). Mayor Seren offered to have Public Works Director Clinksdale provide more in-depth information on the plans at the upcoming Municipal Services Council Committee meeting; Moore said she would appreciate that.

At Councilmember Russell’s request, the Mayor reviewed all items on first reading and requested for passage that had not yet been discussed.

The Mayor explained that the administration feels that extending the moratorium on the City’s admissions tax is imperative for the recovery and health of entertainment venues and other similar business within the city. (Ordinance 044-2022, which will extend the suspension of the levy of an admissions tax under Chapter 155, “Admissions Tax,” of Part One, Administrative Code, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland Heights.)

The Mayor read some of the details provided in Resolution 046-2022 and Resolution 047-2022, explaining what these City projects will be doing—upgrading and modernizing traffic signals on some parts of Monticello and improving sidewalk and pedestrian crossings and ADA curb ramps. He read from Resolution 047-2022 that the City’s share of the costs is estimated to be $4,329.97, with the rest covered by federal funds. Councilmember Moore asked whether that amount is budgeted for; Finance Director Himmelein replied that she assumes that there are funds budgeted for the project, but if there is not, the City will increase the budget and funds would be offset by revenue.

The Mayor said that the rest of the legislation on the agenda is for second readings and will be referred to the appropriate council committees.

Agenda Item 2: 2021 Financial Review

Finance Director Himmelein presented the City’s 2021 Financial Review.

Councilmember Larson expressed appreciation for separating Refuse into its own fund so those expenses can be better understood. She asked Himmelein whether people paying more for the bins will reduce the subsidy the City provides to the fund; Himmelein said that is the hope, but when the City conducted the rate study, council at the time approved a subsidization of 23% each year. She is expecting that there will still be a subsidy and added that there has been an exponential increase in the rate for landfill costs and that a capital equipment fund was added to ensure our equipment stays in good working condition.

Agenda Item 3: Council Liaison—Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Committee

Council President Hart asked Law Director Bill Hanna whether the appointment of Councilmembers Moore and Larson as council liaisons to the Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Committee needed to be done by resolution or could simply be done by motion during the council meeting; Hanna replied that a motion is sufficient.

Hart said that she would make this motion at the council meeting. She reminded council that the role of council liaisons in citizen committees is the observe and report back but to not participate.

Agenda Item 4: Executive Session: To consider the terms of a sale or lease of City-owned real property

Council went into executive session to consider the terms of a sale or lease of City-owned real property.

Agenda Item 5: Potential/Future Legislation

Councilmember Cuda brought forward a request from a resident for legislation that would grant access to apartment building residents for people who are engaging in door-to-door voter registration and political campaigning. He acknowledged there may be safety concerns, but he stated that it is difficult to register and engage voters without access. Cuda stated this has been enacted in Minneapolis. Council agreed it’s an intriguing idea that requires further research and discussion of the details of its appropriate implementation.

Cuda brought forward a request from a resident to extend the curfew from 9pm to 10pm for the noise ordinance on weekends and holidays during the summer months. He stated that many residents have backyard parties and concerts and would like to keep them going until 10pm on certain days. Cuda asked Law Director Hanna whether it’s possible for people to extend the noise ordinance curfew by permit; Hanna said it’s not impossible, but he cannot think of an example of it being done, which is not to say it doesn’t exist. Councilmember Moore stated that if surrounding neighbors don’t know that a resident has acquired a permit, they may still call the police for noise past 9pm; Cuda responded that fliering the neighborhood could be a condition of the permit.

Council President Hart asked if any councilmembers would like Cuda’s first proposed legislation (voter access in apartment buildings) be researched more; Moore said she would like to learn about possibilities for making it possible. Hart asked if any councilmembers would like Cuda’s second proposed legislation to be researched more; Russell and Moore stated they would like to learn more about the specifics of how this could be implemented, and the topic was assigned to the Health and Safety Committee.

Cuda brought forward a question of looking at the City’s yard sign regulations. Law Director Hanna suggested Cuda send him specific questions or concerns he has about sign regulations; Cuda said he would.

Councilmember Russell asked whether it was possible for Cleveland Heights to put up large signs in the medians of main thoroughfares to announce City events similar to what is done in South Euclid; Hanna said he’s not familiar with the signs, but the City should not prioritize any speaker or content in allowing signs on certain property.

Councilmember Russell asked about the possibility of setting up a 311 information call center. The mayor stated that a 311 would require substantial funding.

Councilmember Larson asked to refer the Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Committee’s recommendation for action on a deer-culling program to a council committee, which includes research done by the committee and a recommendation to conduct a deer survey. Hart asked Hanna whether that issue would be legislative or administrative; Hanna replied that he believes it is administrative. The mayor said he is familiar with the recommendations from the TESC and will give the issue due consideration.

Larson asked the mayor how he wanted to proceed with his proposed lead-safe certification legislation. The mayor said he saw that Larson had contacted the county board of health and asked whether she planned to invite them to provide information at a Health and Public Safety Committee meeting; Larson said she would. The mayor said that the county recommended amendments and that he is open to those amendments.

Councilmember Moore asked Law Director Hanna about the status of the resolution, recommended at the previous Committee of the Whole meeting, to appoint Moore to the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership Board of Trustees for the council. Hanna said the resolution is not completed and thanked Moore for the reminder.

Council President Hart then adjourned the meeting.

City Council Meeting

You can find the agenda HERE, a synopsis of the legislation that was read HERE, and the council packet for the week HERE. You can watch a video of the meeting HERE.

Council President Hart called the meeting called to order.

The Clerk of Council called the roll: Present: Hart, Russell, Moore, Cuda, Mattox, Larson. The Clerk of Council confirmed there is a quorum. Council President Hart excused Council Vice President Cobb.

Council President Hart approved the meeting minutes of February 22, 2022 and March 7, 2022, noting that all amendments should have been submitted to the President prior to the meeting.

The mayor welcomed Police Chief Britton to make a few words about the officers before the swearing-in. The mayor then swore in Sean E. Corrigan as lieutenant and Brett J. Billi as sergeant with the Cleveland Heights Police Department. Chief Britton then presented both officers with awards for five consecutive years with no reprimand, completing durations of time with no sick or injury leave, no at-fault injury or property damage, and for good conduct.

Hart then opened personal communications from our citizens on topics relating to agenda items only. The Clerk of Council announced that no residents had signed up to speak on agenda items. Council President Hart then closed public comments on agenda items.

Council President Hart called for Communications from the Mayor. Mayor Kahlil Seren notified Council that a Request for Proposal will be issued for the creation of a splash pad at Denison Park.

Council President Hart opened the Poetry Month Presentation. Hart introduced Rachel Bernstein from Heights Arts, who introduced the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate, Ray McNiece, who Heights Arts appointed in 2020 and extended his tenure for poet laureate due to the pandemic. Bernstein also provided a background of the history and mission of Heights Arts in our city and its poet laureate program. Ray McNeice then spoke and read some of his poetry. Councilmember Larson presented him with a certificate of recognition from the mayor and council.

Next for the Poetry Month Presentation, Amy Rosenbluth from Lake Erie Ink discussed the importance of youth voices through poetry and introduced two students, Zariah Smith and Myeishia Hodges, who read original poems for council. Councilmembers Russell and Moore presented the students with certificates of recognition from the mayor and council.

Council President Hart then called for Report of the Clerk of Council; Clerk of Council Himmelein had nothing to report.

Council President Hart then opened the presentation of legislation on first reading.

The following legislation on first reading has been requested for consideration of adoption by the City administration:

As chair of the Finance Committee, Council President Hart presented the following legislation, on first reading and being moved for passage:

Ordinance 043-2022: First Reading. An ordinance to amend certain subparagraphs of Ordinance No. 139-2021 (F), relating to appropriations and other expenditures of the City of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022 and declaring an emergency. Passed 6–0

Ordinance 044-2022: First Reading. An Ordinance amending Ordinances 81-2020, 133-2020 and 94-2021 and extending the suspension of the levy of an admissions tax under Chapter 155, “Admissions Tax,” of Part One, Administrative Code, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland Heights; extending the moratorium on the collection and remittance of the same; and declaring an emergency. Passed 6–0

As chair of the Municipal Services Committee, Council Member Moore presented the following legislation, on first reading and being moved for passage:

Resolution 045-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing participation in the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing Program for road salt for the 2022-23 winter season; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure. Passed 6–0

Resolution 046-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns and DeHaven, Inc., (“GPD Group”) for engineering services for design of traffic signal system upgrades on Monticello Boulevard; providing compensation therefor; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure. Passed 6–0

Resolution 047-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing ODOT to proceed with the project of improving sidewalks and pedestrian crossing facilities within Cleveland Heights; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure. Passed 6–0

The following legislation was on first reading only:

As chair of the Municipal Services Committee, Council Member Moore presented the following legislation, on first reading only:

Resolution 048-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the City to participate in the NOPEC Green Community Choice Program for the City’s Electricity Aggregation Program Starting January 2023; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 049-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Wade Trim, Inc., for professional engineering services relating to the 2022 Member Community Infrastructure Program grant for the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control of CH-2, CH-30, CH-33, and CH-39 and Rehabilitation Project; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 050-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Wade Trim, Inc., for professional engineering services relating to the 2022 Member Community Infrastructure Program grant for the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control of CH-9, CH-32, CH-57, and CH-58 and Rehabilitation Project; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 051-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Valley Ford Truck, Inc. for the acquisition of a full-size pickup truck for the Utilities Division of the Public Works Department; providing compensation therefor; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 052-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Valley Ford Truck, Inc. for the acquisition of a dump truck for the Forestry Division of the Public Works Department; providing compensation therefor; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 053-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Valley Freightliner, Inc., for the acquisition of a Freightliner 114SD Tandem Axle Cab and Chassis for the Street Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works; providing compensation therefor; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

As chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee, Council Member Mattox presented the following legislation, on first reading only:

Resolution 054-2022: First Reading. A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with WXZ Development, Inc., concerning the redevelopment of the Taylor-Tudor Plaza; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

As chair of the Community Relations and Recreation Committee, Council Member Russell presented the following legislation, on first reading only:

Resolution 055-2022: First Reading. A Resolution declaring May 2022 National Preservation Month; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

Resolution 056-2022: First Reading. A Resolution proclaiming May 2022 to be Bike Month in the City of Cleveland Heights; and declaring the necessity that this legislation become immediately effective as an emergency measure.

The following legislation on second reading has been requested for consideration of adoption by the City administration:

As chair of the Finance Committee, Council President Hart presented the following legislation, on second reading and being moved for passage:

Resolution 040-2022: Second Reading. A Resolution declaring the necessity of assessing a portion of the expense of street lighting; and declaring an emergency. Passed 6–0

Resolution 041-2022: Second Reading. A Resolution declaring the necessity of assessing a portion of the expense of improvement of streets and parkways including grading, draining, curbing, paving, repaving, repairing, sweeping or cleaning thereof, removing snow therefrom, and planting, maintaining and removing shade trees thereon; and declaring an emergency. Passed 6–0

As chair of the Administrative Services Committee, Council Vide President Cobb presented the following legislation, on second reading and being moved for passage:

Ordinance 042-2022: Second Reading. An Ordinance amending Chapter 107, “Public Meetings,” of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland Heights by providing that the City may enter into executive session for the purposes identified in Section 107.01 or for any purpose allowed under the Ohio Revised Code. Passed 6–0

Council President Hart then called for committee reports.

Councilmember Mattox, for the Administrative Services Committee, (1) moved to rescind the appointment of Tom Hodgkiss to the Board of Zoning Appeals because the appointment was made in error, as there was not a vacancy for him to be appointed to, and council passed the motion; (2) moved to reappoint Benjamin Hoen to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and council passed the motion; (3) moved to reappoint David Benson to the Citizens Advisory Committee, and council passed the motion.

Council President Hart moved to appoint Councilmembers Moore and Larson as the council liaisons to the Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Committee.

Councilmember Russell, for the Community Relations and Recreation Committee, announced the upcoming Community Relations and Recreation Committee meeting on May 2.

Council President Hart, for the Finance Committee, reported that there was a finance presentation from the finance director in that evening’s committee of the whole and encouraged everyone not in attendance to watch it.

Councilmember Cuda, for the Housing and Building Committee, announced the upcoming Housing and Building Committee work session on April 20 on 9am to discuss the committee’s strategy for the remainder of the year.

Councilmember Moore, for the Municipal Services Committee, announced the upcoming Municipal Services Committee on April 25 at 4:30pm to discuss legislation referred to committee for consideration.

Councilmember Mattox, for the Planning and Economic Development Committee, announced the upcoming Planning and Economic Development Committee on April 25 at 5:30pm.

Councilmember Larson, for the Public Safety and Health Committee, thanked Public Works Director Collette Clinksdale and her staff for showing council the new refuse bins and trucks and explaining the new system the previous Saturday. She then shared brief information about a presentation in that evening’s Public Safety and Health Committee meeting regarding the Metro-Health’s services program for students in our school district; a presentation from Sam Bell on the Vision Zero project and possible wording to strengthen Resolution 98-2021, which adopted the concepts of Vision Zero in our city; and a presentation from Councilmember Russell regarding a basketball court safety program she is researching. Councilmember Larson announced the cancelation of the April 25 public hearing on lead-safe legislation due to concerns expressed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health but has requested a representative from the Board of Health to present at an upcoming Public Safety and Health Council Committee meeting.

Council President Hart, for the Committee of the Whole, announced that the next Committee of the Whole meeting will be on May 2 and 6:00pm.

Hart then opened personal communications from our citizens on topics not relating to agenda items. The Clerk of Council announced residents who had signed in to speak.

  • One resident spoke in support of the Coventry PEACE Campus project and their partner-tenant organizations in their negotiations with the Libraries Board for an agreement that allows the CPC project to continue and grow.
  • One resident urged people to vote yes on Issue 9.
  • One resident asked council to consider changing the sound ordinance for “house concerts” to extend the curfew later than 9:00pm.

Council President Hart then opened the floor for discussion of old business. There was no old business.

Council President Hart then opened the floor for discussion of new business. There was no new business.

Council President Hart then opened the floor for councilmember comments.

Councilmember Cuda.

Councilmember Moore announced the upcoming Sustainability Fair on April 23 from 1:00 to 4:00pm at Coventry PEACE Park and a FutureHeights Community Conversation on Sustainability on April 27 at 7:00 to 8:30pm at Coventry PEACE Campus.

Councilmember Russell thanked the Refuse and Recycling Task Force, a citizen group that convened to make recommendations to the City for updating and improving our city’s refuse and recycling collection services.

Councilmember Larson stated that she’s excited to attend Saturday’s Sustainability Fair on April 23 from 1:00 to 4:00pm at Coventry PEACE Park.

Council President Hart then gave the Council President’s Report, announcing that the new refuse and recycling bins are in the process of being distributed to households. She reminded residents to look inside the blue recycling bins to find information packets about how to use the bins and what should and should not go in the bins. Hart also thanked the Refuse and Recycling Task Force for their work and service for the city.

Council President Hart then adjourned the meeting.