Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-18-12
JUNE 18, 2012
- New fire chief
- CDBG funds
- Ice rink compressor
- “Summer in the City” free parking
- Citizens United resolution
- Nuisance properties
- Nancy Dietrich appointed to zoning board
- Bicycle surveys
Council Member Cheryl L. Stephens was excused.
Dogs in parks: Representing the Dog Project Committee of the Cain Park Neighborhood Association (CPNA), resident Kerri Whitehouse spoke of the committee’s efforts to encourage council to lift the ban on dogs in Cain Park for a six- to twelve-month test period. The committee welcomes input and dialogue.
Trash collection: Carolyn Cary expressed concern about trash collection in the Noble area. Mike Gaynier urged consideration of a closed container system. Later in the meeting, Council Member Bonnie Caplan noted that the idea of trash cans had been revisited recently and the cost to the city was estimated to be more than $1 million. She maintained that educating residents about how and when to put out the garbage would be easier and cheaper. She also pledged that council would work on it.
Citizens United: Gary Coleridge thanked council for considering a resolution on the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and noted it was a good start, although not as comprehensive as he would prefer.
Oakwood: Gary Kanter expressed concerns about the Oakwood development.
New fire chief
Following the Civil Service protocol to find a replacement for Fire Chief Kevin Moore, who is retiring at the end of August, the city will promote Lieutenant William “Dave” Freeman to that position. Freeman has served in the department for 20 years, most recently as paramedic coordinator. The protocol includes independent evaluations by six fire chiefs from the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association Testing agency.
Council approved one-year contracts (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013) with three nonprofit organizations for the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. These include contracts to:
- Heights Emergency Food Center, $5,000 for operating expenses. The food center served 13,000 people in the Heights this year.
- Heights Youth Club Inc., $20,000 for assistance with its Project Learn: The Educational Enhancement Program. Project Learn serves 480 youths, 51 percent of whom are from low- and moderate-income households.
- Noble-Nela Merchants Association, $4,500 to support the association’s administrative costs and activities. Forty businesses benefit from the association’s work, which includes streetscape improvement and marketing of the district.
This is the 38th year of this federal program in Cleveland Heights.
Ice rink compressor
Council approved an agreement with Tempest Inc. for the purchase and installation of a Vilter model compressor for the Community Center’s North Ice Rink on an emergency basis. The total cost is $37,040.
“Summer in the City” free parking
Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox announced a new “Summer in the City” program involving free parking throughout the city on three weekends: June 29 to July 1, July 27–29, and Aug. 24–26.
Citizens United resolution
With one dissenting vote, council approved an amended resolution expressing opposition to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) case regarding the constitutional rights of corporations. The resolution supports a constitutional amendment to provide that corporations are not entitled to the “rights” of natural persons and that use of corporate money to influence the electoral process would not be constitutionally protected speech. Council Member Mary Dunbar voted no, maintaining that council’s time is better spent on local rather than national issues.
Council declared three properties to be nuisances:
- 13151-13153 Cedar Road
- 3228 Oak Road (Before the vote on this property, Council Member Caplan noted that its owner had been convicted of mortgage fraud.)
- 14514 Superior Road
Nancy Dietrich appointed to zoning board
Council approved the appointment of Nancy Dietrich as alternate on the Board of Zoning Appeals. Council Member Dunbar encouraged residents to apply for positions on the city’s various boards, commissions, and committees when vacancies occur.
Dunbar also urged resident participation in two surveys: one about locations for bike racks, and the other to help the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) update its Regional Bicycle Plan. Links to the surveys can be found on the Heights Bicycle Coalition website, http://bikesintheheights.org/.
Mayor Edward Kelley noted that the city would soon be looking for a firm to help find a new city manager and that the mechanism for filling the open position on council will be announced soon.
LWV Observer: Katherine Solender.
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