University Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-17-2018

DECEMBER 17, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s comments
  • Guide Studio proposal
  • Council assignments changes
  • Ladder truck financing
  • Supplemental appropriations and expenditures
  • Community improvement updates
  • Contract with Solon jail
  • Delinquent property taxes
  • Movement to amend the U.S. Constitution


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Vice mayor Susan Pardee, Pamela Cameron, John Rach, Michelle Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:42 p.m.

Public comments

Tax relief promise: Kate Uhlir of Fenwick once again asked for an update from Mayor Brennan on the tax relief promised during his campaign. She also filed a freedom of information request and was surprised to be charged 25 cents per page instead of the customary 5 cents and requested a refund.

Award for video: Firefighters Local 974 President Keith Kanner reported that the video produced by Caleb Schuster for Mayor Brennan’s election campaign won first prize in the International Association of Fire Fighters category of “Best affiliate public relations or political campaign or project” in 2018. The video can be viewed at:

Mayor’s comments

Mayor Brennan reported that for 31 of the previous 36 days the leaf crews have been out picking up leaves. He also noted that his own street’s leaves have not been picked up in several weeks so nobody is receiving preferential treatment. Pickup will continue through the end of the week, weather permitting. If leaves are not picked up, residents are urged to bag them and leave them out for trash collection.

Guide Studio proposal

Guide Studio, which recently completed the plan for a new logo, was approved for the next phase of the project to develop proposals for new signage and wayfaring, based on the needs of the city. The proposal for $10,000 will include surveys, interviews, and analysis leading to a complete concept design. Although the cost is within the mayor’s approval limit, he asked council to approve the expenditure as money has already been spent on this project, and he wants to continue council’s involvement.

Council assignments changes

John Rach will take over as council’s planning commission liaison, and Mark Wiseman will become the alternate. Councilman Wiseman requested this mid-term change due to his recent appointment to the new community improvement corporation.

Ladder truck financing

Council approved financing from Leasing 2, Inc. for purchase of the new ladder truck for the fire department. The approval is required in specific language by Leasing 2 before the truck can be built. The truck is projected to arrive in 2020, and the first payment will be due upon arrival. The cost will be spread over ten years. (Resolution 2018-74)

Supplemental appropriations and expenditures

Council approved the realignment of expenditures against the 2018 budget, adjusting categories in which expenditures were less or greater than budgeted. They also approved temporary budget appropriations for the first quarter of 2019 due to Mr. Goffe’s temporary medical absence. The amounts are comparable to the first quarter of 2018.

Community improvement updates

The new traffic signal at the Speedway gas station at Cedar/Green is awaiting the acquisition of a small piece of property from Speedway for installation of the pole. Speedway has until the end of December to respond. The mid-block crosswalks and the new bike lanes on Warrensville have now been approved by ODOT to be installed next year. Mr. Grogan-Myers reported that work is beginning at the corner of Cedar and Taylor with the old parking lot moved and some small trees and shrubs planted.

Contract with Solon jail

Police Chief Rogers reported that the city has just begun the second year of a contract with Solon for use of their jail and has already reached the benchmark for usage, meaning that the city will now owe an additional $10,000 to Solon for 2018.

Delinquent property taxes

Mr. Grogan-Myers reported that letters have been sent out to 23 property owners with delinquent property tax bills in an effort to address the problem proactively. The spring mailing brought in payments of $90,000.

Amend the U.S. Constitution

Councilwoman Cameron reported that the request from a private citizen for council to ask Congress to address the impact of Citizens United has been referred to committee for further consideration.

One final nice note

Fire Chief Perko reported that the winners of the coloring contest were to win a free ride to school in a fire truck. However, both winners are home-schooled, so instead they are receiving a tour of the city in the fire truck.

The next meeting will be Monday, Jan. 7 at 7 pm.

LWV Observer: Wendy S. Deuring.

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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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