Maple Heights Senior Center

Video of November 18, 2015 Maple Heights City Council Meeting

Caucus was at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2015, at the Maple Heights Senior Center.

The meeting started at 7 PM:

Chief & Directors Reports.

THIRD READING:

2015-66 An ordinance enacting Chapter 891 of the Codified Ordinances regarding Municipal Income Tax commencing January 1, 2016 (state mandated code change). (3rd reading)

SECOND READING:

Resolution 2015-72 Authorizing the settlement an Agreed Judgement Entry and Injunction in the case of State Ex Rel John Chapman, et al vs City of Maple Heights (CV-15-839493). (2nd reading)

This OhioWatchDog.org article by Maggie Thurber explains the case in more detail. Briefly, the case was filed because Council was violating the Ohio Open Meetings Act by not keeping minutes of their caucus’ and work sessions and had improperly called an illegal executive session. According to the Ohio Sunshine Law Manual (pages 95-105):

[t]he Open Meetings Act requires that an action for injunction be filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the alleged violation took place.

If the court issues an injunction, the court will order the public body to pay a civil forfeiture of $500 to the person who filed the action. Courts that find that a public body has violated the law on repeated occasions have awarded a $500 civil forfeiture for each violation.


If the court issues an injunction, it will order the public body to pay all court costs and the reasonable attorney fees of the person who filed the action. Courts have discretion to reduce or completely eliminate attorney fees, however, if they find that, (1) based on the state of the law when the violation occurred, a well-informed public body could have reasonably believed it was not violating the law; and (2) it was reasonable for the public body to believe its actions served public policy. If the court does not issue an injunction and deems the lawsuit to have been frivolous, the court will order the person who filed the suit to pay all of the public body’s court costs and reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court. A public body is entitled to attorney fees even when those fees are paid by its insurance company.

There was also a countersuit filed in April on behalf of Council, and voluntarily dismissed in July. Council approved the expenditure at it’s May 6, 2015 meeting. Council could have authorized a settlement at in April and drastically reduced the settlement amount.


2015-74 Zoning code change to section 1286.02 of the Codified Ordinances regarding Institutional/Office zoning districts. According to the legislation a company called AMCLO, Inc desires a zoning change for a located at 14901 Broadway. The property abutts residential properties along Greenhurst Drive. The amendment adds an additional permitted use, “Industrial Uses for those structures that were previously used or designed for  commercial, industrial, or heavy or light industrial uses.” The legislation intends to bypass the Planning and Zoning commission and their public hearing (which require notice to nearby property owners) citing Article XVI of the City Charter which allows council by a 3/4 majority vote to waive the mandatory referral to the Planning and Zoning commission. Section 1268.14 of the Codified ordinances however, requires a notice be sent to nearby property owners by council before council’s public hearing, also.

1268.14  NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS BY COUNCIL   Written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Clerk of Council by first class mail or hand delivery at least ten (10) days before the day of the hearing to all owners of property within such area proposed to be rezoned or redistricted and to the owners of property located within 300 feet in any direction of the area to be rezoned or by the posting of a sign on the property indicating the time and place of the public hearing and the nature of the proposed amendment. Such notice shall be sent to the address of such owners appearing in the records of the County Recorder. The failure to mail or deliver the notification as provided in this Code shall not invalidate any such amendment. The notice shall contain the same information as required of notices published in newspapers as specified in Section 1268.13. (Ord. 2000-128. Passed 12-6-00.)

FIRST READING:                                                                                                         

2015-75   A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO THE RESTATEMENT OF THE WATER SERVICE AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF CLEVELAND WATER DEPARTMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY                                                                                                         

2015-76    A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A CONTRACT WITH GATCHELL GRANT RESOURCES, LLC TO DEVELOP AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR THE 2015 AFG GRANT FOR OPERATIONS AND SAFETY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

2015-77    A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A CONTRACT WITH GATCHELL GRANT RESOURCES, LLC TO DEVELOP AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR THE 2015 AFG GRANT FOR VEHICLE ACQUISITION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

2015-78   A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ACCEPTANCE OF THE FM GLOBAL FIRE PREVENTION GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF $932.00 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

Additionally, approval of Expenditures over $1000 and minutes from the November 4, 2015  Regular meeting are on the agenda.

Mayor and Council Reports.

Video of the meeting will be available here within a few days of the meeting.

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