County Council, Nov. 12, 2014

November 30th, 2014  |  Published in Uncategorized

County Council Regular Meeting: November 12, 2014

Observers: Grennetta Taylor and Lynda Mayer

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of a meeting of the Cuyahoga County Council and is not an official statement by any League of Women Voters in the county.  For the official disposition of all agenda items, consult the Cuyahoga County Council website at council.cuyahogacounty.us

I.  Introduction.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Connally at 5 p.m. with all Council members and County Executive FitzGerald present. Because yesterday was Veterans Day, the meeting took place on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

II.  Antecedents, Announcements or Public Comment.  Ms. Connally congratulated winning candidates of last Tuesday’s elections.  During the meeting, she acknowledged County Executive-Elect Armond Budish and County Councilmember-elect Shontel Brown, who were both in attendance.  Mr. Budish addressed the council and indicated he has established a diverse Transition group.  He said his priorities included job growth, establishing a path from poverty, elevating the area as an economic powerhouse, and maintaining an open-door policy.

III. Business Transacted.

*  Two new resolutions were introduced by Council.  One would approve the MetroHealth System’s policies and procedures for participation in joint purchasing associations.  The second would determine which services and programs will be provided and funded from the Veterans Services Fund in 2014.

*  An ordinance establishing guidelines for the County Community Development Block Grant Fund Program, proposed by Council, was adopted on third reading.

* Another Council ordinance enacting the Cuyahoga County Appointment and Confirmation Act was likewise adopted. Councilman Miller commented that the ordinance will streamline the appointment process and make all information on nominees available to the committee.

* The Administration submitted nine new resolutions for referral to committee, some of which were the following:

—  The 2014/2015 Biennial Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program Update.  This will be reviewed twice by the Committee of the Whole before year-end adoption.

—  The MetroHealth System Year 2015 Budget, likewise referred to Committee of the Whole.

—  $1.5 million to Downtown Cleveland Alliance for a Streetscape Improvement Project in the Gateway and Warehouse Districts.

—  $4 million loan from the Casino Revenue Fund to Landmark-May, LLC for the benefit of the May Company Building Project.

—  A $3 million loan, also from the Casino Revenue Fund, to Gateway Huron, LLC for the Gateway Huron Project located at E. 4th Street downtown.

—  $1.5 million in 2015 Community Development Block Grant awards to various communities for projects.  These include projects in Parma Heights ($150k), Shaker Heights ($150k), Rocky River ($150k), Maple Heights ($149k), Olmsted Falls ($150k), Middleburg Heights ($150k), Newburgh Heights ($150k) and Seven Hills ($150k).

—  Almost $1 million in awards to various appraisers for Real Estate appraisal services for properties subject to Sheriff’s Sale.

—  $1.1 million for fiscal agent services regarding emergency food purchases for residents.

*  Several Administrative resolutions were adopted, including the following

—  A contract was amended for the lease of space by the Veterans Service Commission.  Councilman Jones commented the amendment will extend the current lease at a lower cost.  The Council President indicated that upon the expiration the county should consider another location with more accessible space.

—  A lease with an option to purchase the former Juvenile Court Complex will be signed.  Councilman Jones described the planned redevelopment of the site as a boarding school for at-risk youth.  This legislation will enable the developers to begin the quest to secure financing for the project.

— A $2.1 million contract was awarded for design-build services for the Emergency Operations Center Project in Broadview Heights.

—  $1.3 million was awarded to Pictometry International Corp. for GIS data, software, aerial photography and related services for the next four years.  Councilman Miller indicated these services will provide data that will enhance property valuation and zoning; and all communities will have access to the data.

IV.  Notes.  Next regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.  Observers had the opportunity to meet and chat with a number of Council members.  Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell of the Greater Cleveland Urban League expressed interest in collaborating with the LWVGC on future voting-rights-related efforts.

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