House It Going?
I pulled data from the 2010 Census to compare Maple Heights to other inner-ring suburbs in the Cleveland Metro with similar (+/-6,000 persons) sized populations. I have included data such as size of city in square miles, total population, homeowner population, renter population, housing units: total, occupied, vacant, rented or owner occupied.
|E. Cleveland||Brook Park||Parma Hts||S. Euclid||Maple Hts||Shaker Hts||Garfeild Hts|
|Size (sq. mi.)||3.1||7.5||4.2||4.7||5.1||6.3||7.3|
|2010 Population||17,843||19,212||20,718||22,295||23, 138||28,448||28,730|
There is a lot of talk of “bad landlords/renters” ruining Maple. If you were just to look at Maple and East Cleveland, which is the only city to have more rentals than owner occupied units, you might believe that talk. But, Maple isn’t next after East Cleveland (44%) on the list for most rentals, it is actually Parma Hts (38%), Shaker (32%), Garfield (25%) and THEN Maple (23%). However, the type of rental units/renters seems to vary because if you look at renters as a percentage of the population, East Cleveland (61%) is first, followed by Maple (29%), Garfield (28%), South Euclid (22%), Parma Hts (19%) THEN Shaker (15%). In conclusion, while Maple has a smaller percentage of rental units there are more people in them. Perhaps Maple’s rentals are filled with families while Shaker’s house young professionals and empty nesters.
I would also like to bring to your attention Maple’s saturation of vacant homes (13%), it is less than half of East Cleveland (34%), and only 2% higher than Shaker (11%).
I have begun to wonder if it is not so much the people in the homes but our inability to enforce city’s ordinances that have led to the degeneration of our housing stock and the value therein. Some would say we “cannot afford to enforce these ordinances”… but perchance by enforcing the laws that we have revenue would be generated in the form of permits, fees and increased property value.
|East Cleveland||Brook Park||Parma Hts||S. Euclid||Maple Hts||Shaker Hts||Garfeild Hts|
|mayor||$ 40,000.00||$ 110,905.00||$ 66,178.00||$ 91,029.00||$102,293.12*||$ 75,000.00||$ 85,000.00|
|council president||$ 6,000.00||$ 16,693.00||$ 12,489.00||$ 15,000|
|council member||$ 4,500.00||$ 15,325.00||$ 10,823.00||$ 10,950.00||$ 12,000||$ 9,000.00||$ 15,125.00|
In 2010 the median household income for Maple residents was $38,000. After looking over employee pay rates for the City of Maple Heights, it appears that the majority of employees have not had a pay raise since 2010. The exception to this appeared to be Fire Fighters and Police who were promoted and a few other city employees who took on additional responsibilities. Very few employee’s made less than $38,000. Those who do, work in the service and recreation departments and our last remaining building inspector.
Over the summer City Council legislated itself a pay cut, effective January 2014, of almost $1,000 annually. Still, their $12,000 (and $15,000 for Council President) salary brings them in above many cities of similar size who have larger annual budgets.
Council also reduced the Mayor’s $100,000 salary to $80,000 effective in January 2016. (Elected officials salaries cannot be cut during their term of office, unless they are voluntary.) Notably, only Brook Park’s Mayor is paid more than Maple, yet all cities (except maybe East Cleveland) have larger revenue. In June of 2011 Shaker Heights’ council voted to keep their Mayor’s pay at $75,000 for another 4 years citing “fiscal responsibility” and “credibility” with the residents. (See more here.)
If the public servants of Maple Heights wants to show their residents they care, maybe the first place they should start is by taking a voluntary pay cut? A 25% pay cut would save $50,000. Even so, the Mayor would still be making much more than the median household in Maple Heights.
Spring is coming to Maple and hopefully the rain will cause her to blossom once again, not be washed away in a mudslide. As residents we need to prepare for the rain. Please come out on March 13, 2014 from 6:30-8pm to the Senior Center where City Council is hosting an informational session about the City’s Financial State.