Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-22-2019

JANUARY 22, 2019


  • Public comments
  • Master plan and council priorities
  • Municipal broadband feasibility
  • Liquor permit
  • Codified ordinances update pages
  • Housing code update
  • Fair practices update
  • Council seat applications
  • Boards and commissions appointments and openings
  • CDBG funds
  • Top of the Hill
  • Charter Review Commission
  • Refuse and Recycling Task Force established
  • Health Code update
  • Martin Luther King Day celebration
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein and Michael N. Ungar. The seventh seat is unoccupied. The meeting lasted from 7:33 to 8:53 p.m.

Public comments

Immigration Task Force report: Robin Koslen, who served on the task force, inquired about the disposition of the report and Council Member Seren’s proposed legislation. She mentioned detainers, warrants and referrals to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the possible compromise of utilizing a third party between the police and ICE. During the mayor’s report, Mayor Roe responded that the task force report has been completed and shared, that it includes, but is not limited to, policies related to immigration enforcement. There has not been consensus on an ordinance. She added that bias-free policies are being implemented.

Council seat applicant: A resident applying for the empty council seat introduced himself. He talked about the city, praised the Cleveland Heights High School wrestling team, suggested a resolution concerning a police tragedy in Illinois, and reminded residents about Martin Luther King Day observances, after which he sang.

Master plan and council priorities

City Manager Briley presented the 2018 4th quarter update for the master plan and council priorities. She noted that this is a multi-year plan and priorities are ongoing. Highlights included the public dashboard on the city website (, realignment of council committees, the formation of a city-wide community reinvestment area (CRA), restructuring of joint meetings of the council and school board, and the naming of FutureHeights to be the Community Development Corporation (CDC) for the city. She noted that crime was down in the fourth quarter. Ms. Briley praised the work of the city staff in 2018 and concluded, “The master plan lives and breathes.”

Mayor Roe asked Ms. Briley how to respond to citizens who ask why the city is working on the Top of the Hill and not Severance. Ms. Briley replied that this is not an either/or situation, and that there has been a lot of city staff engagement with the new ownership of Severance Mall.

Municipal broadband feasibility

Council authorized the city manager to issue a request for proposals for a study of the feasibility of municipal broadband. Mr. Stein pointed out that a knowledgeable citizen has spoken twice to council about this. Ms. Briley replied that requesting qualifications does not commit the city to any particular action.

Liquor permit

Council was notified that the owner of 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard has applied to take control of a liquor license at that address, where the tenant holding the license is leaving, and hold it until a new tenant is found for the space.

Codified ordinances update pages

Council approved the annual ordinance to replace pages in the codified ordinances to reflect new legislation passed in 2018.

Housing Code update

This was a first reading of an ordinance to amend the section of the Housing Code entitled “Family” to read as follows:

“‘Family’ means a group of individuals who function as a single, cohesive household. The procedure to determine whether a group of individuals constitutes a family shall follow Section 1103.04 of the Zoning Code.”

Fair practices update

Also on first reading, council heard an ordinance to amend the city code to include age, along with other classes, to protect citizens’ access to housing, employment, education and public accommodations.

Council seat applications

Mr. Stein announced that 41 citizens have applied to fill the unoccupied seat on council. Applications can be read online at ( The applicants will be interviewed on video with the assistance of the League of Women Voters. Council intends to fill the seat as soon as possible.

Boards and commissions appointments and openings

Reappointments were announced to the Citizens Advisory Committee, Landmark Commission, and Parks and Recreation Commission. Council member Stein noted there are many openings on boards and commissions and urged residents to consider applying.

CDBG funds

Council approved resolutions to provide Year 44 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to Family Connections of Northeast Ohio for its Parent Café Program ($5,000) and to Open Doors Academy for its Pathways to Independence enrichment program at Cleveland Heights High School ($10,000).

Top of the Hill

Mr. Ungar said that “a ton is going on” with this project and that a new set of plans for the Top of the Hill would be posted soon on the city website for citizen comment prior to the next Architectural Board of Review meeting. They are available at:

Charter Review Commission

A public meeting of the Charter Review Commission was announced for Jan. 24, 7 p.m., at the Community Center. A summary guide to charter changes is available under “Commission Materials” on the city website:

Refuse and Recycling Task Force established

Council passed a resolution establishing a Refuse and Recycling Task Force and prescribing its composition (13 members, including 10 residents and three designated by the city manager), duration, purpose and duties. Interested citizens are urged to apply.

Health Code update

An ordinance repealing sections of the Health Code was introduced on first reading; this will remedy confusion concerning Cuyahoga County’s jurisdiction over health services created by the dissolution of the city health department.

Martin Luther King Day celebration

This annual event featuring student essays was scheduled for January 23 at the Community Center.

Mayor’s report

Noble Corridor: Mayor Roe commented on a recent meeting about the Noble Corridor hosted by FutureHeights. Detailed information about the Noble Corridor is available on the FutureHeights website at:

Ohio Mayors Alliance: In Mayor Roe’s place, Mary Dunbar attended the December meeting of the Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan lobbying coalition of the mayors of Ohio’s thirty largest cities, and reported on the discussions.

LWV Observer: Blanche Valancy.

To receive email postings of full reports, send an email to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports. 

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 10:08 AM, 02.21.2019