Safety & Public Works Committee, Sept. 6, 2019

October 4th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Present: Council members Nancy Moore (chair), Julianna Johnston Senturia, Tres Roeder, Anne Williams; citizen members James Brady, Austin McGuan, Jonathan Hren, James Sammon

Others present: Mayor David Weiss; Chief Administrative Officer Jeri Chaikin; Planning staff Ann Klavora, Cameron Roberts; Director of Public Works Patricia Speese; Deputy Chief of Fire James Heath; Police Chief Jeffrey DeMuth; administrative assistant Debra Messing; Law Director William M. Ondrey Gruber.

The meeting was called to order by Ms. Moore at 8 a.m.


Minutes of the June 7 and July 12, 2019, meetings: Approved with minor corrections.

Presentation of Scooter Share Update. Mr. Roberts explained Cuyahoga County Council has approved four vendors for motorized scooter share operations. They are already operating on Cleveland streets from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will soon be introduced at Shaker Square. Scooters can go up to 12 mph, have lights for operation after dark, and are equipped with tracking technology. Shaker could opt out, in which case scooters would automatically slow down then cease functioning inside Shaker. Shaker could opt in, impose modified scooter regulations, and collect a royalty (15 cents per scooter that enters Shaker). Mr. Gruber explained current ordinances need to be reviewed to see whether they already cover each type of scooter, whether helmets would be required, and whether scooters need to operate on streets or sidewalks. Mr. Cameron proposes a public event so residents can see and try scooters and learn about safety features.

Grant Application for South Woodland/Warrensville Center Road Intersection. Ms. Klavora sought approval from the committee for a $200,000 grant application to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency in order to refine and implement changes to vehicle and pedestrian patterns at this intersection. A 2018 consultant study looked at possibly “reducing side street movements” such as restricting access from Somerset, additional left-turn lanes, and clearer pedestrian walkways.

Action: Approved, referred to Finance and Administration Committee and City Council.

Prisoner Housing Services Contract with Solon. Chief DeMuth sought approval to renew a contract with Solon through 2021 to house Shaker’s jail population. Since 2015 Shaker has been housing its prisoners at the Solon jail for several reasons, including the fact that Shaker’s facility design is outmoded and subject to potential litigation, and that over two years Shaker saves $528,000 in costs and staff time administering its own jail. The only other outsource option at this time is Cuyahoga County Jail. A neighbor community may be interestied in collaborating on a new facility with Shaker, but that is only a preliminary inquiry at this time. Chief DeMuth said Solon (not a private operator) administers its jail, described medical services Solon provides, and indicated satisfaction with “the product we get from them.”

Action: Approved, referred to Finance and Administration Committee and City Council.

Waiving of Competitive Bidding for Temporary Shoring of Transfer Station. Director Speese explained that the Service Center Transfer Station (built in 1970, rehabilitated in the 1990s) needed emergency repairs in 2017 to fix substantial cracks in the concrete floor. Shaker talked to six vendors, but only one was available to install temporary shoring at a rental of $11,400 per year. The city wants to leave the temporary shoring in place until full repairs are done—they are planned as part of the 2020 capital budget.

Action: Approved, referred to Council.

Deer Management, Culling Contract. Chief DeMuth sought approval of a contract with a company run by a former police officer to cull deer according to parameters from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. Ms. Williams chaired the Shaker Heights Deer Task Force that studied the impact of the overabundance of deer, with much community input. Ms. Williams, Mr. Brady, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Gruber all commented that a majority of citizens requested culling, and that residents from all over city wanted relief from deer overabundance. During the first two years of culling, two specially assigned police officers set trail cameras at bait sites on public land and “humanely harvested” a quota of 40 deer; venison was donated to the Cleveland/Akron Food Bank. Outsourcing the cull program to a retired Shaker officer would result in savings. This former officer has experience with hunting, knows Shaker well, and for safety uses a drone with infrared to spot deer as well as people. Discussion focused on the potential use of private property. Mr. Gruber said most communities culling allow hunting on private property, and some Shaker residents have requested it. There was discussion about non-residential versus residential properties, how to obtain consent from adjacent property owners, lot size, and the importance to hunters of using “high ground.” Mayor Weiss indicated he expects public review and comment.

Action: Approved, referred to Finance and Administration Committee and to City Council.

Additional information:

Ms. Moore adjourned the meeting at 9:15 a.m.

Annette Tucker Sutherland

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