Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Juvenile Diversion and Opportunity

The region has seen an increase in juvenile crime. The CHPD is working hard to keep our neighborhoods safe. Over the last three years alone, we have initiated the Neighborhood Watch Program, Meet you Police every Thursday from 6:00-8:00PM at City Hall, created the Community Response Unit, a bicycle patrol unit, a facebook and twitter presence and many more initiatives.
 
In our ongoing efforts to make Cleveland Heights the safest inner ring suburb in the County, we have now created a juvenile diversion/mentoring program. This program will give at-risk youths the opportunity to change their path from the "wrong road" to a life of positive opportunity. Click on the 60 second video to hear my public comments on this new program.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Councilman Stein's Outstanding Neighbor of the Month Award

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B57X7SCEl0wrandEYkxRLTZjOEU/edit?usp=sharing
Paper version

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Transparency, Taxes and Knowledge


 Click

Click above to use the OpenGov Website

Have you ever wondered how Cleveland Heights spends your tax dollars? Maybe you are curious to know how much tax revenue the city collected last year. Whatever your tax revenue questions may be; now, you can find the answer online. “Cleveland Heights has become the first city in Ohio to offer an interactive online reporting tool that allows residents, elected officials and City staff to explore the City’s financial data in real time.” Cleveland Heights is bringing transparency, understanding and analysis of the City’s annual budget and monthly expenditures to a new level.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Landlords, Renters and Neighborhoods


For too long, some absentee landlords have failed to ensure that the tenants they rent to, are good neighbors. Unfortunately, the housing crisis that began years ago, has made these nuisance landlords and renters more common.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B57X7SCEl0wram1zSl9wc2VmRFk/edit?usp=sharingThis legislation is a new tool, that will be used to encourage landlords to think, not only about their own wallets, but, also consider, the needs and rights of the neighboring community. We want safe and friendly streets throughout our city. This piece of legislation will empower the City to remove a certificate of occupancy from a residence for up to 12 months. That means no renter and no money for the absentee landlord for up to 12 months, if their residence becomes a nuisance to their neighbors.



Those landlords that maintain their properties well and are concerned with the quality of the neighborhood; this legislation will help you. But, to those landlords that do not care about the neighborhood in which they own properties, I say to them, It is time to change your ways! Care about the neighbors and neighborhood that you choose to own rental property. Work to ensure that you rent to only good neighbors and that you maintain your property as befitting a neighborhood you would want to live in yourself.

Do the right thing and “care about the neighborhood”.  If doing the right thing is not motivation enough, then let this legislation serve a convincing incentive.

It is simple; Rent to good neighbors, or lose your privilege to rent in Cleveland Heights.



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Creating a sense of community

In March, I participated in a panel discussion, hosted by FutureHeights, about neighborhood organizing. It was an upbeat evening that highlighted the success of neighborhood groups in the Cain Park and Grant Deming's Forest Hill areas. These two parts of the city are different, and each has its own unique strengths and attributes, but both associations share a love for their neighborhoods and a positive enthusiasm for making them better.

The Cain Park Neighborhood Association (CPNA) meets once a month at City Hall. The neighbors stay in touch throughout the month via their CPNA Facebook page and Nextdoor.com. Members have collaborated with the city to allow leashed dogs in Cain Park, give and get advice about the new Sprinkler Park in Cain Park and plan block parties. The CPNA is currently creating a website to market the Cain Park residential neighborhood to prospective residents.

The Grant Deming’s Forest Hill (GDFH) District neighbors also use Nextdoor.com to communicate neighborhood happenings and plan events. They have collaborated with the city to have the Grant Deming's Forest Hill District of Coventry Village listed in the National Register of Historic Places, spray painted a “Lake Erie Starts Here” stencil on sewer grates in the district, and hosted a community-wide garage sale on June 22. The GDFH neighbors have an active website to market their neighborhood to prospective residents, www.grantdemingneighborhood.org.



These street associations are making a difference. Does your street or neighborhood have an active association? If you would like to become involved and help improve your neighborhood, the city would like to work with you. For information about creating a street association, please contact the Community Relations Department at 216-291-2323 or comrel@clvhts.com.

A new option to collaborate with the city and our police department is the neighborhood watch program. Cleveland Heights is a safe city because we have an excellent police department. Nevertheless, throughout the country there has been an increase in crime because of the recession and housing crisis. Neighborhoods are safer with an alert and engaged neighborhood watch program. If you are interested in more information about creating a Neighborhood Watch Program for your street, contact the Cleveland Heights Police Department’s Community Response Team at 216-291-4225 or myp@clvhts.com.


Whether your neighborhood wants to establish a street association to strengthen your street’s sense of community, or start a neighborhood watch program to increase safety, now is the time to become involved.

Published in the HeightsObserver 7-1-2013

The North Coventry Triangle

For many area residents, Coventry Village is the hip place for great nightlife, unique stores, fabulous restaurants, and interesting, historical places to live and work. Unfortunately, the North Coventry area of the neighborhood does not conjure up these positive thoughts.

The North Coventry triangle extends into East Cleveland, bordered on the north by Forest Hills Park, on the east by the Community Center, and on the south by Mayfield Road and the prosperity of Coventry Village. This neighborhood has many vacant homes and apartment buildings. Property values are depressed, and there is an increased level of crime activity. The area north of Mayfield Road has long been a source of concern for the City of Cleveland Heights.

At the March 18 meeting, City Council began to implement a plan of action for the North Coventry neighborhood. With a unanimous vote of Council, five blighted properties were declared public nuisances. In the coming weeks, those properties will be demolished and replaced with green spaces. This is only the first round of demolitions, as additional rounds will be forthcoming.

Demolition of vacant housing is nothing new in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis. What is unique about this project is that it is being implemented because of collaboration between the City of Cleveland Heights, the Cuyahoga Land Bank, and the City of East Cleveland. This collaboration is supported by grants from former County Prosecutor Bill Mason’s office and another grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The County Prosecutors office awarded Cleveland Heights $100,000 and East Cleveland $1 million from Delinquent Tax Assessment Collections, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office awarded Cleveland Heights an additional $100,000 and East Cleveland $1 million from settlement money from the banks as the result of predatory lending practices.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is acting as the repository for the combined $2.2 million dollars. In addition, they are currently in the process of identifying problem properties on the East Cleveland side of North Coventry and will carry out the demolitions. Most of the properties that will be coming down are multifamily homes and large apartment buildings. I believe that this project will have a transformative effect for this neighborhood.


With the amenities of Coventry Village just South of Mayfield Road, the close proximity to University Circle and the beauty of Forest Hills Park, North Coventry, in the near future, should be able to attract and retain good neighbors. I hope that this summer will be a defining point in expanding the vibrancy and success of Coventry Village to the benefit all of Cleveland Heights.

Published in the HeightsObserver 4-30-2013 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pick-N-Pay, Cuyahoga Land Bank and Noble Road

On Friday March 29, 2013 the Cuyahoga Land Bank in collaboration with Cleveland Heights, demolished the old Pick-N-Pay supermarket (more recently, a Medic Drugstore). This location is north of Mayfield Road on Noble. In the coming months, City Council will begin a process to consider development opportunities for this space. I believe this site has the potential to be an exciting development opportunity for the Noble Road district. 

I am standing next to Rick Wagner (Cleveland Heights' Housing Director) and Susanna Niermann-O'Neil (Cleveland Heights' Acting City Manager). Also pictured, Councilperson Cheryl Stephens, Janine Boyd and three children (my sons).
Cleveland Heights elected officials with Cuyahoga Land Bank representatives (and 4 of my sons).

My son, demolishing. Every boys dream come true!

I am standing next to Cuyahoga Land Bank President, Gus Frangos and Councilperson Janine Boyd.