Joint Facilities Task Force, Oct. 17, 2019

November 9th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Present: Shaker City’s David Weiss, Tres Roeder; Shaker School District’s Lisa Cremer, David Glasner, Jeff Isaacs; Shaker Library’s Michael Bertsch, Amy Switzer; citizen members Jim Neville, Stephanie Ryberg-Webster

Members Absent: Joyce Braverman, Vicki Elder, Brian Gleisser, Alexandria Nichols, Scott Stephens, Anne Williams

Others Present: Principal Planner Ann Klavora, Planner Cameron Roberts, Linda Lalley (Finance Committee)

Mayor Weiss opened the meeting at 2:05 p.m. with a short update on the City Hall second-floor relocation of the Building and Housing Department. The architects are now planning the office space needs and layout.

Ms. Switzer reported on the main library building status. The second-floor plan is complete and the architect has begun the first-floor plan; the second floor will be closed at year-end so that upgrades can begin.

Mr. Glasner reported that facilities plans are being made for summer 2020 renovations; long-term plans will be complete by the end of this year, and strategic plans will be revisited by the end of March 2020. He added that Fernway construction is on schedule for opening in August 2020.

Ms. Klavora presented the final version of “A Vision for Community Facilities” for approval. She had received multiple comments electronically and had incorporated them. She thanked all members for their diligence and then called for a vote of approval. The vision document was approved without further comment.

Ms. Klavora next presented the draft of a nonbinding administrative resolution formalizing the acceptance of the approved facilities vision plan by City Council. This draft, with any modifications made prior to Nov. 6, will be presented to the City Planning Commission on that date for its approval; it will then proceed for City Council approval on Nov. 18. Ms. Klavora then opened the meeting for discussion of the draft resolution.

Mr. Roeder asked what the term “accepts and supports” meant in terms of taking the specific actions being recommended in the facilities vision plan. Ms. Klavora answered that the resolution was a formal recommendation to City Council by the Joint Facilities Task Force. Mr. Roeder added that he hoped this would lead to action rather than having the document filed away. Mayor Weiss agreed, calling the facilities vision and the resolution a first step to action. He continued that the vision requires more and continuing work and provides some order for the process; many details are yet to be identified, agreed on, and implemented. Dr. Glasner said that it’s was a milestone when three taxing bodies agree on a coordinating facilities vision. Mayor Weiss stated the vision would be open to midcourse changes. Mr. Roeder reminded everyone that there were still three independent facilities planning groups and three different capital plans being followed and forecast into the future; he wanted to know when they would be combined and get tangible coordinated work started. He continued by stating we are moving in the right direction, but the challenge is to show some cooperative projects. Mr. Isaacs suggested that three-six months might be a good target to set for a coordinated project. Mr. Roeder added that the city’s and school district’s populations are declining, reducing their budgets, so this group should take on the difficult questions. Dr. Glasner replied that the school board is not yet looking at the combination of the three bodies in either their long-term or strategic plan. Mayor Weiss said the city would not be taking independent action without consulting the library board or the school board; this task force is a venue for sharing and working together. He continued: there will be many opportunities in the future to consider individual projects in concert with everyone; could the three bodies agree on this before the end of the year? Dr. Glasner and Mr. Bertsch agreed to bring these issues to their respective boards.

Mayor Weiss then offered some specific minor word changes to the draft resolution. Ms. Klavora agreed to make the changes and distribute the new draft electronically for the task force members to approve. No further changes were submitted.

Ms. Klavora then introduced a spreadsheet that had been constructed to inventory all the facilities of the city, the schools, and the library, as well as a list of 30 parameters to be measured for each facility. The spreadsheet included all buildings and parks, but did not yet include sports fields. She then asked the task force members:

  • What information is needed?
    • Do we need to fill in all the data in order to make decisions?
    • Can we move forward without all the details?
    • Do we need to add private schools or religious property?
    • Should the task force bring in consultants from Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State or Case Western to help?

Mr. Neville recommended that the task force could start evaluating projects and prioritizing work without drilling down in detail on every piece of capital. Mayor Weiss added that he was initially hoping for a “30,000-foot view,” but if we say we want another ball field and someone asks how many we have, we need to be able to answer how many and where; but he doesn’t want to drown in details. Ms. Klavora reminded everyone that the task force members need to decide what data is important in order to continue. Mr. Neville stated the group needed to start with near-term goals and the data needed. Ms. Ryberg-Webster remarked that the hours used by each facility owner needed to be measured in order to judge the feasibility of alternate uses, along with a map location of each facility so that adjacency to other city/school/library facilities could be known. Dr. Glasner said that he was concerned about spending resources with no identified use for the data. Mr. Neville recommended the task force start using the existing data in the spreadsheet to identify possible actions, which in turn could highlight any additional data that’s missing or not relevant.

This LWV observer had to leave the meeting at 3 p.m. The meeting adjourned at 3:19 p.m. The official audio for the meeting is available, but of poor quality.

Frank Goforth, LWV observer

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