Christmas in July: Cleveland City Council Reviews More Than 80 Pieces of Legislation – What You Need to Know

By Gennifer Harding-Gosnell

Cleveland City Council met on July 14 for an all-day session to hear, review, and vote on 89 different resolutions and ordinances affecting businesses and residents across the city. 

The Cleveland Observer has put together a list of all the legislative happenings that are most important to you and our community.

Several big-ticket items were sent to City directors and Council sub-committees to be reviewed and discussed further, including:  

  • The sale of South High School to the City for use as a public safety personnel training center; 
  • Financial support from Cuyahoga County to assist the City’s Environmental Crimes Task Force in combating illegal dumping; 
  • Acceptance of a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to develop the African-American section of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive;
  • An Emergency Rental Assistance Program that would provide more than $16 million in funds for Cleveland residents in need from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan. This money is separate from the $500 million Cleveland has already been granted through the ARPA, which has yet to be allotted. Ward 6 Councilman Blaine Griffin said Council plans “within the next week or so” to schedule a caucus with City Finance Director Sharon Dumas about the $500 million “to get clarification on the proposal by the administration, and we will be caucusing on our request as well.” 

The following pieces of legislation were read for the first time in Council on July 14, and then passed after suspension of the rules. (Legislation typically needs to be read on three separate days):  

  • Funding for The Cleveland Walls! International Mural Program, August 23-28 in Midtown. The expo will feature workshops, free activities, and the placement of over 20 murals all around Midtown;
  • The amendment of the City’s holiday ordinances and codes to include Juneteenth as a paid, exempt-from-work holiday; 
  • Final go-ahead and funding for the development of the ‘Garden Of Eleven Angels’ on Imperial Avenue, a remembrance for the 11 women killed by Anthony Sowell. 

These ordinances were passed by City Council after a second reading: 

  • A “safe passage” ordinance that requires construction zones in Cleveland to provide for adequate pedestrian and disability access of affected sidewalks;
  • The appropriation of property west of E. 75th St. in the Opportunity Corridor to build the new Cleveland Police headquarters;
  • Collaborative funding between the City and the County for the resurfacing of Ivanhoe Road from Euclid Avenue to E. 152nd Street; 
  • Authorization for a collaborative effort between the City and State Health departments to conduct lead inspections in homes with small children; 
  • Approval to sell city-owned properties that will be revitalized as part of the Woodhill Homes East housing development; 
  • Approval of Ordinance No. 457-2021, which Griffin referred to as “one of the most important pieces of legislation I’ve done.” The ordinance offers financial support to homeowners who became at risk of losing their homes when the Buckeye Area Development Corp. dissolved.  

Council’s weekly publication of their activities, The City Record, notes Council received a petition on June 16 to amend the City Charter to make the Cleveland Community Police Commission permanent and to expand the Civilian Police Review Board’s oversight. 

Council President Kevin Kelley told the public via the live-stream of the meeting on YouTube that Council is working on creating a policy for public comment at City Council meetings and expects it will be ready to vote on in Council’s August session.

The ordinances referred for further review will be discussed in City Council sub-committee meetings, whose public sessions are also available via live-streaming on YouTube. Until public comment is implemented, you can make your voice heard on these or other government issues by calling or emailing your council member.       

This article was written with information obtained from Documenters.org, a news service providing coverage of local government meetings, currently operating in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. For more information, visit the City Bureau website.   

 

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