ALL INCONVENIENT TRUTH IS LOCAL

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 06/28/2006 - 22:55.
Subject: Cleveland Heights Mayor signs Climate Protection Agreement
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 18:29:29 -0400
millerbowen [at] adelphia [dot] net" />


Hello friends and colleagues in the Heights and beyond,

 

Maybe you have seen the movie (An Inconvenient Truth) or maybe not, but dated as it may seem, I took the “think globally/act locally” idea to heart. I called my mayor to urge him to sign the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement and act on it. The inconvenient truth is that we must all act. Sooner is better than later. As Gore points out, it is already later.

 

I am sending this good news to all of you so that you may celebrate this small victory with us and perhaps if you are not a Heights resident call your own mayor. All the info (and more) is in this link. http://gcbl.org/blog/marc-lefkowitz/cleveland-heights-signs-climate-agreement If you live in the Heights, or even if you don’t please feel free to email a congratulatory note to our mayor and keep an eye out for sign of sustainability around city hall and throughout the city as the mayor and council embark on what it means to reduce our carbon footprint.

 

If you are receiving this and wonder if your mayor has signed, you can go here to find out. http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/default.asp I suggest a courteous call of inquiry before launching a petition campaign, but if you need a petition mechanism, it is all right there. Stop global warming one municipality at a time.

 

Cleveland Heights pledges to be part of the solution. It’s refreshing.

 

Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful summer,

 

Susan Miller


I (buster)  rev'd the above email from Susan and I viewed Mr. Gore's power point - no it's an apple presentation - last week.   The presentation closes with a list of hundreds of Cities and Towns in the USA which are independently endorsing the Kyoto Accord.   Do you think Mr. Bush could speak on any topic with comparable specificity?  If the Federal  government won't support  reducing  carbon emissions, we can  take  action locally. 

Contact your local politicians, please  – we are way overdue…

( categories: )

If the Mayor of Cleveland heights really cares...

If the Mayor of Cleveland Heights is ready to be socially conscious and focus on the environment, ask him to address the following: approximately 155 of his children lead poisoned in his community in 2003 (latest data... data provided by Environmental Health Watch)


Cuyahoga County Municipalities (with 100 or more tests)

Children less than 6 years 2000 Census

Number Tested

Percent of  Children Tested

Children Confirmed
Poisoned

Percent
Confirmed
Poisoned

Estimated
Total

Poisoned**

East Cleveland

2,440

876

36%

151

17%

421

Cleveland City

46,388

16,513

36%

2,025

12%

5,229****

Garfield Hts

2,350

399

17%

20

5%

118

Cleveland Hts

3,695

928

25%

39

4%

155

Lakewood

3,946

890

23%

37

4%

164

Shaker Hts.

2,246

394

18%

13

3%

74

* A blood lead level of 10 mcg/dL or greater (Elevated Blood-Lead Level - EBL) is considered childhood lead poisoning. There is strong evidence of damage well below 10.
** Estimated Total Poisoned assumes the rates of poisoning for tested and non-tested children are the same and applies the Percent Confirmed Poisoned rate (based on children actually tested) to the total population under age 6.
*** Municipalities with fewer than 100 tests performed may produce unreliable estimates.
**** Total of neighborhood estimates (not city average times population).

lead in Cleveland Heights

Norm,
Except for birth and death certificates, the Health Department of Cleveland Heights has a contract the Cuyahoga County Board of Health for other issues or so I was told by the person answering the phones at Cleveland Heights City Hall. I await a return call from the Building Inspector's office. If you have suggestions as to what you think the mayor should do personally, please advise. Have you called Judy Rawson to ask her to sign the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement? What is she doing in her capacity as Mayor of Shaker Heights about the lead issue in Shaker?

shaker climate

Thanks Jeff for adjusting the post. I know you guys are involved in flea abatement, but I hope that you or Martha will find time in the not too distant future to contact your mayors (has Boston's mayor signed? is it Boston proper or another municipality?) to get this issue on to the front burner. This is a teachable moment. NOACA plans a large campaign to involve the entire region on air quality issues which affect climate change, but help from the grassroots is always helpful, too.

BOSTON PRO KYOTO / SHAKER HTS NOT YET

Susan, Pretty cool system http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/default.asp , put in any town's zip code and you'll see if that Town's mayor has pony'd up to carbon reduction. I will write Hon. Mayor Rawson and/or ask to meet to discuss this crucial economic (and environmental) issue.  In order to advance our economy, we can't be using energy from the dark ages. 

I'm planning to ask for Mayor Rawson's resignation

She is poisoning 100s of chldren, just lke the mayor of Cleveland Heights. That is about to stop, but blood of mayors will flow first. You can let your mayor know, he can't hide behind the county... to protect his citizens is why his people elected him, and he failed.

your advice to Mayors

Repeat: If you have suggestions as to what you think the mayor should do personally, please advise.

Let's avoid the bloodshed, please...

What should mayors do? Add lead assessment to frequent inspectio

As I'll post below, Cleveland Heights has mandatory inspections of exteriors of home-owner property every five years, interior and exterior inspections of rental property every three years, and point of sale inspections, and a certificate of occupancy is required for rental units. So, Cleveland Heights property owners are inspected, taxed, regulated and fee'd to death, and still residents are allowed to be lead poisoned and poison themselves and children. Is it so hard to see where there is a problem with the city - actually, criminal liability - in consideration that there are known hazards and solutions to lead poisoning? Residents should sue the city. The city should admit guilt and add inspection for lead hazard conditions to the top of inspector checklists and train inspectors on how to test for lead. If a pre 1978 structure it should be assumed there is lead and should be tested for lead. If lead is present (and testing will look beyond the surface), then the condition of paint inside and outside should be inspected and any hazards remediated - all property including garages, fences and land, should be "lead safe". More on Cleveland Heights' unsafe inspection process, with link to their inspection form, are below and at their low-value website - this unsafe process must be reformed... Certificates of occupancy should only be given to lead safe homes, and people who allow unsafe conditions going forward should be criminally prosecuted. See current failed building inspection processes from the Cleveland Heights website below



Inspectional Services
Rick Wagner, Manager
216-291-5900
rwagner [at] clvhts [dot] com

Inspectional Services is responsible for the inspections of all residential housing as well as all commercial buildings in the city. Inspections are required for the following:

SYSTEMATIC EXTERIOR INSPECTIONS
The exteriors of all owner-occupied single-family homes are inspected on a street-by-street basis on a five-year rotation. The City notifies homeowners by mail several weeks prior to the inspection and sponsors a neighborhood meeting to introduce residents to the single-family inspection program. Properties that had a Point-of-Sale conducted within the preceding five years are not subject to a new exterior inspection. There is no fee for these inspections.

SYSTEMATIC INTERIOR/EXTERIOR INSPECTIONS -
RENTAL PROPERTIES
Single-Family, Two-Family and Multi-Family Rental Properties

These inspections, involving both the interior and exterior of properties, are required every three years. Inspection Services notifies owners when inspections are to be scheduled. For addition information, contact Inspectional Services at 216-291-5900 or houseinspection [at] clvhts [dot] com.

Rental properties are subject to a reinspection fee if violations remain 18 months after the initial inspection. The fee is $50.00 for each reinspection until such time as the property is in compliance.

For an Inspection Checklist, click here.

POINT OF SALE INSPECTIONS
Owners of real estate in Cleveland Heights, including single-family and two-family dwellings, duplexes, apartments, condominiums and commercial properties, are required to obtain a Certificate of Inspection (Point-of-Sale) prior to entering into an agreement to sell a property. Sellers must provide the prospective purchaser with a copy of the original Certificate of Inspection (valid for one year from the date of issuance) and Certificate of Compliance (if available) prior to the execution of a contract of sale. Cost for the Point-of-Sale Inspection is $100.00 for the first unit and $50.00 for each additional unit. For example: a two-family residence would cost $150.00, a four-unit apartment building would cost $250.00.

To download the following (in pdf format) applications, forms, information sheets, checklists, etc., click on the following:

Point of Sale Inspection Application - Call 216-291-5900 for scheduling information.

Acknowledgement Form indicating receipt of a copy of the Certificate of Inspection

Point-of-Sale Information

Point-of-Sale Fact Sheet

Inspection Checklist

Escrow Requirement
Beginning in November 2001, an addendum to the City's existing housing ordinance regarding Point-of-Sale matters established an escrow requirement for major housing violations. Well-maintained homes with only minor violations will not require escrow. The following types of violations, which are considered to be Class 'A' violations and are designated as such on the Point-of-Sale Inspection reports, are of particular concern to the City's vital interest in maintaining property values:

    Exterior:
    • Roof, chimney
    • Paint and all related carpentry repairs )house and garage)
    • Major porch and step repair
    • Downspouts to storm sewers
    • Replacement of deteriorated windows and/or doors
    • Concrete replacement or major repair
    • Dead tree removal
    • Fences

    Interior:

    • Major electrical repair (panel replacement, rewire of basement, etc.)
    • Major plumbing repair (replacement of stacks, fixtures, supply lines, etc.)
    • Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC)
    • Foundation - support post, block wall bowed or collapsed
    • Major breach of ceilings, walls or floors

If major Class A violations noted on a Point-of-Sale Inspection are not corrected prior to the transfer of title, an escrow account must be established and funds must be deposited to pay to correct the violations.

The dollar amount will be determined by Inspectional Services staff, based on the average price of repairs, multiplied by 125% for an average-sized Cleveland Heights home. Your actual cost may be more or less than the required amount. For example, the cost of a new roof for an average Cleveland Heights home is estimated to be $5,000. The escrow requirement, which is 125% of that cost, would be $6,250. The escrow requirement to paint a single-family home would be $5,625.

Property owners have the option of presenting the Inspectional Service office with a copy of the agreement made with their licensed contractor, signed by the prospective buyer for review by the Housing Programs Manager. The City may accept the contract estimate as the escrow requirement. The contractor must be registered and bonded by the City. For a list of registered contractors, click here. In lieu of funds in escrow, a 203K, FNMA or other rehab loan will be accepted after review by the Housing Programs Manager if the loan addresses all the Class A violations.

Funds held in escrow will be disbursed only upon written authorization from the City. The City may authorize partial release if it is determined substantial progress has been made in correcting the violations, and that sufficient funds remain in escrow to correct the remaining violations. For more information concerning the escrow requirement, please call Inspectional Services at 216-291-5900 or email houseinspection [at] clvhts [dot] com.

STEPS TO INSURE A SPEEDY TRANSFER
In order for your property to transfer title, you must submit the following to the division of Inspectional Services:

  1. A copy of the Acknowledgement Form signed by the BUYER of the property.
  2. Title company information, including the full name of the title company and the excrow officer, the address of the title company, the phone number and fax number.
  3. A letter from the title company stating they are holding the required dollar amount in an escrow account (if required).

Following receipt of this information, Inspectional Services will send a letter to the title company releasing your property for transfer. This information is required on ALL property (residential or commercial) transferred in the City of Cleveland Heights regardless of whether the property is in compliance or there is escrow required.

If the property is not released for transfer by Inspectional Services, a summons to court may be issued.

COMMERCIAL INSPECTIONS
Commercial properties require an inspection involving the interior and exterior of the property and are conducted every three years. Inspectional Services notifies the owner of the building when inspections are to take place. For additional information, contact Inspectional Services at 216-291-5900.

COMPLAINT INSPECTIONS
Inspectional Services also investigates complaints about the condition of a Cleveland Heights property. Complaint Inspections are an integral part of the housing program. It is the policy of the Inspectional Services Division to investigate all citizen complaints regarding potential violations of the Housing Code.

ADVISORY INSPECTIONS
Clarification of language or a particular violation may be obtained by calling the Inspectional Services office at 216-291-5900 and speaking with the inspector who conducted the inspection. If additional information is needed, a site inspection may be scheduled with the inspector.

EXTENSION POLICY
While it is preferable that violations be corrected as soon as possible, the city does have an extension policy that provides additional time to those owners making satisfactory progress. When a property owners fails to make the progress necessary to qualify them for an extension of time, the matter may be referred to the Violations Counselor to review. The objective for this process is to determine the reason for non-compliance, to develop a repair plan and to inform owners of the various support services available.

INSPECTOR HOURS
The Inspectional staff is available for questions. Call 216-291-5900, Monday-Friday, 8:30-9:00 am, 11:30 am-12:00 noon, and 4:30-5:00 pm.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
All rental properties in the City of Cleveland Heights require a Certificate of Occupancy every year. Certificates are mailed out in November for the following year and are due by the end of the year. Cost is $50.00 for the first rental unit and $25.00 for each additional rental unit with a maximum fee of $1,000. Certificates of Occupancy not returned by December 31 are subject to a late fee of $25.00 for each month or portion thereof they are late. There is no charge for owner-occupied units in a two-or multi-family dwelling. Commercial rentals must contact the Building Department at 216-291-4900 for information.

What should mayors do? Provide Lead Awareness

A city with a large stock of older homes must provide comprehensive warnings and information about lead poisoning to all residents - renters and owners. Cleveland Heights' website does not provide warnings and information about lead poisoning, even as it encourages home owners to fix-up their property and do-it-yourself. The low value Cleveland Heights website has many links to services and programs for homeowners who need or want to repair their homes, yet the city does not in these sections or the city-affiliated sites they connect to provide lead awareness information... there is mention of a "lead safe program" but no related information.

The section on Housing Preservation posted below that would largely serve owners of older properties, and so be speaking to people who have homes filled with lead hazards, does not address lead in descriptions of home repair loan assistance for exterior painting - not in their "Home Repair Resource Center" website - not on the home page - this is completely ignorant and negligent - every resident who is encouraged to work on their own home without first being warned about the harads of the lead in their homes, and being trained about lead poisoning, will poison themselves, everyone in their homes, and people in their neighborhood. Residents should sue the city of Cleveland Heights and the "Home Repair Resource Center" for creating such a public nuisance, and the city should recognize its guilt and completely replace all of this information and these programs with effective solutions. From the harmful Cleveland Heights website page on Housing Preservation:



Housing Preservation Office
Lori Sanford-Lorenzi, Housing Counselor
216-291-4869
lsanford [at] clvhts [dot] com

The Housing Preservation Office (HPO) offers various programs to assist Cleveland Heights homeowners/residents with violations and repairs to their homes.  For a program summary, click here.

The loans and grants provided through HPO are publicly funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and, as such, require that all participants using these programs have gross incomes at or below the federally established limits based on family size. Applicants must also be owner/occupants (except for the Lead Safe Program). The limits are as follows: Family of 1 - $33,600, family of 2 - $38,400, family of 3 - $43,500, family of 4 - $48,000. Income guidelines are updated each year. And add the following to the paragraph above it. For more information, call 216-291-4869.

Another very important resource for Cleveland Heights homeowners is the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a non-profit organization established to maintain and strengthen the houses of Cleveland Heights. The City of Cleveland Heights encourages homeowners to utilize the various housing assistance programs offered through HRRC. In addition to HRRC's loan programs for repair projects up to $10,000, the organization also provides 'do-it-yourself' repair assistance and a Resource Library that provides repair guidelines as well as information on contractors that have done work for other Cleveland Heights homeowners. For more information, visit the HRRC programs website or call 216-381-6100.

What should mayors do? Require lead certified work

Cleveland Heights does not require a permit for interior and exterior painting when they should require that only lead certified painters and contractors are allowed to do any painting in the city, and the city should provide a directory of lead certified painters and contractors and deny all others permits to do any work in the city. From their website: " In general, permits are required for most construction activities except minor repairs, exterior/interior painting, gutters and downspout installations." Home owners who want to paint anything in Cleveland Heights dating before 1978, including furniture, should be required to be lead certified themselves, first. Instead, Cleveland Heights encourages home owners to "do-it-yourself" without any protection for them, their families and neighbors. That is completely irresponsible building department is well documented at their website and below:



Building
Anthony Carbone, Building
Commissioner/Chief Building Official
216-291-4900

The Division of Building works closely with residents and contractors to ensure safety and quality in new construction and repairs. By issuing permits, examining plans and monitoring construction throughout the city, Building promotes a structurally sound and architecturally pleasing environment. Of importance are building permits, which protect residents from sub-standard materials and improper building methods. They also help maintain standards in building design. Building permits are required for the following:

  • to demolish, alter, or make major repairs to any existing building structure, or any portion of that structure
  • building any new structure/addition
  • Plans for new structures or exterior design changes must be approved by the Architectural Board of Review before a permit can be issued.
  • New roof coverings, window replacements, new siding (except for small areas of replacement), decks, new steps (or rebuilding steps)
  • any electrical (other than minor violation corrections), plumbing, heating, air conditioning work
  • any concrete or asphalt work involving replacement or asphalt resurfacing, or any paving work (brick walks, etc.)
  • grading or regarding yard areas

In general, permits are required for most construction activities except minor repairs, exterior/interior painting, gutters and downspout installations. Please be sure you or your contractor check with the Division of Building BEFORE starting ANY repair or construction work. Call 216-291-4900. It is the homeowner's responsibility, ultimately, to see that permits are obtained. Either the contractor or the homeowner may purchase the permits from the Building Department in City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. Permit hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 10:00 am and 1:00 to 2:00 pm. If your work is being contracted, the contractor must obtain the permit(s) - this can be made clear in your contract. Permits must be posted during the period of construction.

NOTE: If a permit is not obtained, a Stop-Work Order or Violation Notice will be issued, fees will double and a court summons may be issued for non-compliance for repeat offenders.

The following information sheets/policy bulletins (in pdf format) may be downloaded:

Architectural Board of Review Rules of Procedure w/ sample drawings
Decks / Sample Drawings
Steps / Stairways / Drawing
New Garage Information / Catch Basin Drawing
Porch Railings
New Roofing Regulations / Chimney Flashing Information
Vinyl / Synthetic Siding
Window and Shutter Replacement

Contractors
Contractors must be registered with the City of Cleveland Heights. Since the term 'contractor' includes 'sub-contractors,' they cannot legally work under a 'homeowner' permit unless they are doing work for which a permit is not required (i.e., floor tile work under the homeowner's bathroom remodel permit). Registration protects you by requiring the contractor to provide liability insurance and a bond to ensure fiscal responsibility, the completion of your project, and code-conforming work. Homeowners need not be registered to obtain a permit to personally perform work upon their established residence, provided that it is a single-, two- or three-family property. They may not, however, make any connection to a public utility system (sewer or water line hook-ups). For a list of registered contractors, click here.

Contractor Registration/Bond Forms
The forms/information sheets listed below may be downloaded.

Please note: The Bond Form must be submitted to your insurance company and filled out with the required signatures. The Bond Form must be signed by the owner of the business and the originals submitted along with a Certificate of Liability Insurance, for contractor registration.

Requirements for Obtaining a Contractor’s Registration (2 pages)
Contractor Registration Application (2 pages)
Contractor’s Bond Form (2 pages)
Insurance Endorsement

Inspections
Inspections are a part of the permit process. All work for which a permit is required must be inspected to ensure it meets code. Electrical, plumbing and heating work must be inspected prior to enclosure in walls, floors or ceilings. It is also a good idea to have the final inspection made before final payment to a contractor. As the homeowner, you can set up the appointment for inspection by calling the Building Department at 216-291-4900, Monday through Friday, 8:00-10:00 am and 1:00-2:00.

All construction debris must be removed from the premises and taken to an appropriate landfill. The City's Public Works Department will NOT pick up construction debris. This should be a part of your contract. If doing your own work, check the Yellow Pages under 'Landfills' or 'Rubbish and Garbage Removal' and make appropriate arrangements for disposal or debris.

Business Occupancy
Premises are inspected when occupancy changes. Call the Division of Building at 216-291-4900 for a business occupancy permit. After application, contact the Division of Inspectional Services at 216-291-5900 for a Business Maintenance inspection.

What should mayors do? Update ordinances

In addition to requiring lead safe building inspection, and requiring lead certified painters, contractors and homeowners, and requring permits of painting, Cleveland Heights should update its ordinances on painting (which is now largely irrelevant, as no permit or inspection is required, but will be relevant if permits are required to paint). The current ordinances, which seem to date back 12 years to 1992, barely mention lead and then only regarding when it is allowable to use abrasive paint removal. Here is all I can find that at all addresses lead and painting in Cleveland Heights, from where they have their ordinances posted online, which are inadequate (see related links in left frame or do search for lead and paint):

1333.03  REGULATIONS FOR REMOVAL OF PAINT, STAIN OR SIMILAR COATINGS.

     All operations for the removal of paint, stain or similar coatings from the exterior surface of a structure, including hand scraping, and all high pressure and other similar exterior cleaning operations shall be performed in accordance with the following regulations:

     (a)     Tarping or other solid cover shall be used in such manner as to contain and collect any removed coatings or residue from the operation and to insure that residue will not fall on neighboring property.

     (b)     High pressure cleaning and other wet methods which generate a large volume of water shall utilize mesh fabric allowing water to drain yet capture paint chips.  The maximum size opening in such fabric shall not exceed four (4) square millimeters.

     (c)     In the event that any removed coating or residue inadvertently falls upon unprotected premises, the person or firm performing operations shall thoroughly clean up these areas and restore them to their original condition to the satisfaction of the Building Commissioner.

     (d)     All vents, windows and other openings through which dust might enter the premises upon which the work is being performed shall be closed or covered to prevent infiltration.

     (e)     No such operation shall take place during rains, snow falls or when wind speeds exceed twenty (20) miles per hour or in other conditions determined to be unsafe by the Building Commissioner.

     (f)     All removed coatings and residue shall be collected at the end of each workday and stored in such a manner so as to be fully contained.  At the conclusion of removal operations, all such materials shall be properly disposed of off-site in accordance with then-existing Federal and State law governing the disposal of such materials.

     (g)     Any chemical paint or stain removal compounds approved by the Building Commissioner shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and as set forth in this chapter.

          (Ord. 68-1992.  Passed 8-3-92.)

What should mayors do? Prepare for litigation

All residents of Cleveland Heights, and especially lead poison victims of Cleveland Heights' public nuisance of lead contamination resulting from neglect by Cleveland Heights leadership to recognize a known health crisis and respond adequately with public information and known practices to protect the community and residents from lead poisoning should sue the city of Cleveland Heights. I recommend they start by contacting CRWU Law School graduate and leading lead litigator Robert McConnell at Motley Rice, which just won a public nuisance case against the lead and paint industry in Rhode Island and is litigating over lead poisoning in 26 states, soon to be 27 including Ohio. The city should admit it made a mistake and prepare to pay perhaps $100,000,000, and should proceed to contact Motley Rice to join in the litigation against the lead and paint industry. The party to contact at the city of Cleveland Heights, who should also already be party to a suit in Ohio against the lead and paint industry, defended by Jones Day, is the Cleveland Heights law director, John Gibbon, found and characterized at the Cleveland Heights website and below:



Law Department
John Gibbon, Law Director
216-291-5775
Fax: 216-291-3731
nwirtz [at] clvhts [dot] com

The Cleveland Heights Law Department represents the City in all criminal prosecutions and civil litigation; acts as legal advisor and counsel to the City Manager, City Council and all City offices, employees, departments, boards and commissions; and prepares legislation at Council's request.

Good to see Mayor Brewer taking lead on lead for Ohio

I'm am so excited today to see Mayor Brewer of East Cleveland moving forward with Motley Rice and local counsel to pursue paint companies for their role creating a public nuisance of lead poisoning... I've had lots of interaction with East Cleveland leaders regarding lead poisoning and am thrilled to see the city being the most progressive in the state, apparently to be followed by many others and eventually the state itself (27th in the country, I believe).

Disrupt IT

What should mayors do? Care about public safety

The city of Cleveland Heights clearly has a large public safety force, including building inspectors, police and fire staff, all of whom seem to have significant time on their hands. Every public safety worker should be trained to find lead hazards and instructed to assist with addressing this crisis, just as they would be called upon to assist of 155 residents were drowning or being raped. The same expectation should apply to anyone paid a dollar of Cleveland Heights taxpayer money - from schol teachers to administrators to the mayor. A description of the city public safety forces and their supposed role in the community is found on the Cleveland Heights website here, and below:



Department of Public Safety
Robert C. Downey, City Manager, Director of Public Safety
216-291-3737
citymanager [at] clvhts [dot] com

Public safety - through the Divisions of Police and Fire - is a high priority for the City of Cleveland Heights. Our safety forces are committed to providing the residents of Cleveland Heights with superior service. In addition, in order to maintain existing commercial building stock, provide for safety, and ensure high standards in new construction, the City administers comprehensive building programs through the Division of Building.

What should mayors do? Know 155 poisoned is emergency

The city of Cleveland Heights went to the effort on their website to "prepare" residents for an emergency, like another blackout, but doesn't acknowledge residents live in emergency - crisis - conditions every day. This shows a lack of connection with reality among city leadership. Leaders clearly need to be trained about lead so they will understand the crisis - or they should be ofrced to move their families to lead contaminated Cleveland Heights apartments and homes, if they truly don't think lead matter. here is what Cleveland Heights recommends residents do to prepare for power failure, really highlighting the failure of city leadership to have a grip on reality, found on their website here:



Emergency Preparedness

When the power went out in August 2003, were you prepared? That blackout affected 50 million people over a 9,300-square-mile area from New England to Michigan and southeastern Canada. A few years ago, a particularly vicious winter storm knocked out power ­ and heat ­ to many Cleveland Heights homes for almost a week. While we don't have to worry about hurricanes in our area like our friends in Florida, we know we are not immune to natural disasters. A winter storm could confine your family at home. A tornado could cut off basic services ­ gas, water, electricity and telephones ­ for days. And in today's world, it is important for all of us to be prepared in the case of an emergency. There are things that you can do now to make sure your family is prepared.

Prepare a Kit
Prepare a kit of emergency supplies that will allow you and your family to survive comfortably for at least three days in the event an emergency happens. Think about items that you might need if you had to stay in the same place for up to three days. The kit should include basic items like water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlights and a first aid kit.

    Water and Food
    • Keep a three-day supply of water on hand ­ a gallon of water per person per day ­ for drinking and sanitation. Use bottled water or store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
    • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
    • Include food items like canned meats, fruits, juices, soups and vegetables; protein bars; peanut butter; dried fruit; nuts; staples; non-perishable, pasteurized milk; and comfort/stress foods (cookies, hard candy, etc). You might also want to include vitamins.
    • Pack a manual can opener.
    • Include paper plates, cups, napkins and towels, and plastic eating utensils.

    First Aid
    Most households have a first aid kit on hand. If you do not, you may want to assemble one. Include:

    • Latex or other sterile gloves
    • Sterile dressings
    • Cleansing agent/soap, antibiotic towelettes
    • Antibiotic ointment and burn ointment to prevent infection
    • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
    • Eye wash solution
    • Thermometer
    • Prescription medications you take every day, such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers (rotate medicines to account for expiration dates)
    • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies;
    • Scissors and tweezers
    • Non-prescription drugs like pain relievers, antacids, laxatives, etc.

    Additional Items for Your Kit

    • Battery-operated radio
    • Battery-operated flashlights
      (Do NOT use candles or open flame for emergency lighting.)
    • Extra batteries
    • Moist towelettes
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
    • Baby or children's items, such as diapers and formula
    • Items for the elderly if needed
    • Garbage bags
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Cell phone (with a charger for the car)
    • Two-way radio or walkie-talkies
    • Identification for each family member
    • Glow stick
    • Cash (If the power is out, ATMs may not be working. It may also be a good idea to have some small bills on hand, as merchants may not be able to make change.)
    • Important family documents

Make a Plan
Your family may not be together if disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Draw up a Family Communications Plan (click here for a pdf version) and include the following:

  • Out-of-state contact person, phone number and email for this contact ­ it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.

  • Have a list of the following information for each family member and keep it up-to-date:
    • name
    • date of birth
    • important medical information
    • phone/walkie-talkie
  • Where to go in an emergency ­ write down where your family spends the most time: work, school and other places you frequent. Include:
    • address
    • phone number,
    • a neighborhood meeting place and
    • a regional meeting place for home, school and places you frequent.
  • The name, telephone, policy number, etc. for your:
    • doctors
    • pharmacist
    • medical insurance
    • homeowners/rental insurance
    • other useful phone numbers
  • Each family member should carry an abbreviated copy of your Family Communications Plan, which should include:
    • contact name and telephone
    • out-of-town contact name and telephone
    • neighborhood meeting place and telephone
    • emergency phone numbers (9-1-1 for emergencies)
    • other important phone numbers and information.
  • Important Family Documents
    Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:

    • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
    • Passports, Social Security cards, immunization records
    • Bank account numbers
    • Credit card account numbers and companies
    • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
    • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

    Utilities
    It is a good idea to locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main for your home. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off, and teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. Remember, turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged or if you are instructed to do so. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on.

    Be Informed
    Visit the following web sites to find out about different emergencies and how to prepare for them:

    U. S. Department of Homeland Security ­ download a Family Communications Plan

    American Red Cross ­ purchase ready-made emergency preparedness kits online.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency ­ offers 'Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness,' a comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness

    HOPE Coalition America ­ download a free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, a simple tool to help Americans minimize the financial impact of a natural disaster or national emergency, and a companion document, the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide.

    What should mayors do? Be Global - Act Local

    The city of Cleveland Heights has a large number of committees - several dealing with property issues - yet there is not a mention of lead in any of their descriptions and there is not a committee that would seem appropriate to address the lead crisis in Cleveland Heights, so a committee should be formed, and committee members should participate in all regional lead eradication initiatives at a fully engaged level, including with all subcommittees of Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) and Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead (CCOAL), and the city should provide funding for CCOAL to establish an outreach center and provide programming in Cleveland Heights to educate all community leaders, city-paid workers, healthcare workers, social workers, teachers and and residents at all connected with Cleveland Heights, and city leader and staff participation should be required. CCOAL should be contracted to provide additionals services I'll specify elsewhere. The committees that do exist for Cleveland Heights are, from their website:



    CLEVELAND HEIGHTS BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
    We present the following information on Cleveland Heights boards, commissions and committees to keep you informed on the workings of the City government and to encourage your involvement. As positions become available, Council actively seeks residents for membership on the various boards and commissions. If there is an area where you feel your expertise, interest or experience would be of value, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk of Council's Office at 216-291-3925 or click here for an application/biographical form.

    Check the Calendar of Events for meeting dates, times and locations.

    Administrative Services Commission
    Comprised of seven members appointed by Council for four-year terms, this commission monitors and reviews Council policies concerning equal opportunities to all persons employed by or contracting with the City, or appointed to positions by City Council, without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or handicap.

    Apartment Renovation Rebate Program Partnership Committee (ARRP)
    An apartment improvement program partnership committee, consisting of rental apartment owners, representatives of tenant associations, Cleveland area lenders, and citizens of Cleveland Heights. The committee evaluates loan applications and makes recommendations to the City concerning comprehensive improvement programs for multi-family rental properties with five suites or more. The purpose of the program is to curb deterioration of older housing stock and assist in the maintenance and improvement of low- to moderate-income neighborhoods within the city through CDBG funds.

    Architectural Board of Review
    Consists of three members and one alternate (registered architects who have been actively engaged in the general practice of architecture in the state of Ohio for not less than 10 years) appointed by Council for three-year terms. This board reviews design, use of materials, etc., for all new buildings and remodeling projects to ensure they comply with city and state building codes.

    Board of Zoning Appeals
    Five residents, appointed by Council for four-year terms, hear citizen requests for zoning variances from regulations pertaining to signs, yard regulations, lot width requirements, off-street parking requirements, fences, etc. The board hears appeals concerning Housing, Zoning and Business Maintenance Codes.

    Cable Television Commission
    The commission consists of five residents appointed by Council for four-year terms. The members hear complaints of subscribers, review rate change requests, monitor public access channels and make findings and recommendations to Council to resolve complaints and violations.

      Residents with complaints about the cable service: First and foremost, try to resolve any problems directly with your cable provider (Adelphia). When you do make contact with your provider, be sure to keep a log of your conversation (the date you contacted them, the name of the person you talked to, and what action would be taken to resolve the problem). After contacting your provider, if you are still not satisfied, you may file a complaint with the City's Cable Television Commission. Click here to download a complaint form. For additional information, call the Cleveland Heights Law Department at 216-291-4314.

    Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)
    Consists of 22 residents, ten of who represent and reside within the neighborhood districts of the city and twelve who represent the community as at-large members. The committee provides a means for the community to obtain information on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, assists in the evaluation and preparation of the CDBG yearly application, participates in monitoring the implementation of the CDBG program, and reviews the City's annual CDBG budget.

    Civil Service Commission
    This commission, which meets as needed, consists of three members, plus a staff attorney, appointed by the City Manager and confirmed by Council. The commission prepares and administers tests for hiring and promoting civil service employees in the police and fire divisions.

    Commission on Aging
    This commission is comprised of 13 members. Permanent non-voting members shall be the City Manager, or his designated representative, and the Chairman of the Council Committee on Community Relations and Recreation or a designated member of that Committee. Voting members shall be appointed by Council. Nine members shall be Cleveland Heights residents, at least seven of whom shall be 60 years of age or older. The remaining two members need not be Cleveland Heights residents; however, at least one of the non-resident members shall have some expertise in some aspect of gerontology. No voting member shall be appointed to serve for more than eight consecutive years.

    Community Improvement Awards Committee
    The CIA Committee consists of nine members (three appointed by Council, three appointed by the City Manager and three appointed by the Heights Community Congress). The committee provides awards for residents who have improved or consistently maintained their property.

    Fair Housing Board
    Consists of three residents and one alternate who are not holding public office at the municipal, county, state or federal level, nor are employed by any real estate company or lending institution. The board investigates and reviews discrimination complaints concerning unlawful housing practices, and recommends, when necessary, educational and other programs designed to promote fair housing practices. No member shall be appointed and serve for more than six consecutive years.

    Financial Institutions Advisory Committee (FIAC)
    FIAC includes, among others, members of the financial community. The committee reviews and examines policies and practices of financial institutions in the Greater Cleveland community as they affect the goals of this program, and to recommend changes if necessary. It also recommends depository policies for City, and works with financial institutions to promote investment and reinvestment in this community.

    Landmark Commission
    This commission consists of five members who have been residents of the city for at least five years prior to their appointments by Council for three-year terms. Usually meets the third Tuesday of the month, 5:30 pm at the Cleveland Heights Historical Center at Superior Schoolhouse (corner Euclid Heights Boulevard and Superior Road) but may be subject to change. Call 216-291-4878 for agenda and meeting place or see Calendar of Events. The Landmark Commission designates landmarks in the city in order to preserve, protect and perpetuate places, buildings, structures, works of art, etc., having a special historical, community or aesthetic interest or value.

    Planning Commission
    Seven voting members, who are residents, are appointed by Council for six-year terms. They make recommendations to Council and the City Manager on matters affecting the physical development of the City.

    Recreation Advisory Board
    Comprised of 11 residents, eight of who are residents appointed by Council for five-year terms, with a maximum of ten consecutive years. This board acts in an advisory and consultative capacity to Council in the area of recreation.

    What should mayors do? Obey child health laws

    Cleveland Heights contracts health services from Cuyahoga County, at Cleveland Heights City Hall, but in describing health programs on their website they do not mention lead screening. The law requires lead screening of all children in all zip codes where there are large numbers of elevated blood levels of lead, and where rsidents live in pre-1978 homes and apartments, and for families recieving public assistance - everyone in Cleveland Heights - three times - at ages 1, 2 and 3. Yet data shows only 25% of Cleveland Heights children are tested, meaning 75% never know they are lead poisoned, and the data on lead poison rates in Cleveland Heights is flawed. This is the fault, in part, of Cleveland Heights leadership for not adequately informing families living in Cleveland Heights that such screening is required, and not pursuing those doctors and families that break this law. That he city provides some public health information, without providing this public health information, is negligent. Being so far from compliance, the city should require and pay for lead screening of every man, woman and child in Cleveland Heights so those who are lead poisoned may correct the dangers in their environemnts, seek medical treatment, and be provided with mental health support, especially in area dayacare and schools. The worthless Cleveland Public Health information on their website is here and below:



    Health Services
    216-291-3501

    Through a contract with the City of Cleveland Heights, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health provides health services for Cleveland Heights residents, including well-child and MMR clinics at City Hall, senior blood pressure screenings at City Hall and the Senior Activity Center, and a flu shot program for seniors.

    Immunization clinics are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9:00-11:30 am in the Health Department office on the upper level of City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. Appointments are required, and can be made by calling the County Board of Health Nursing Division at 216-201-2000 (the County will provide current price information to callers).

    Senior citizen blood pressure clinics are free of charge and held four times a month, including: the first and third Monday of each month at the Senior Activity Center (located in the Community Center at One Monticello Boulevard), and the first and third Wednesday of each month in the Health Department. Both clinics take place from 1:00-3:00 pm. No appointments necessary.

    For questions pertaining to environment health concerns, including rodent and mosquito control, call the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at 216-201-2000 or visit www.ccbh.net.

    What should mayors do? Warn future residents

    The city of Cleveland Heights has extensive services for relocating families to the city, yet does not warn prospective resdients of the public nuisance ther of lead, the high level of lead poisoning there, the negative impact that has on the ability of residents to get good public educations, the safety risks that causes, and the certain defects in most property in Cleveland Heights due to most property being significantly pre-1987 and so likely to contain lead, and that the city does not care about this, which is evident at the relocation section of their website and below:



    Cleveland Heights Housing Service
    40 Severance Circle
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
    Home Buying: (216) 291-5959
    Rental Relocation: (216) 291-5784
    heightshousing [at] clvhts [dot] com

    --> Cleveland Heights Housing Service Offers Free Services!
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio is a place you can call home - and the Cleveland Heights Housing Service can help you find the perfect dwelling! If an apartment or condo suits your needs, the Housing Service can help! Is a ranch or split-level more your style? Perhaps your tastes lean toward an Arts and Crafts bungalow or stately Tudor. If new construction is what you want, how about a modern new townhome? Cleveland Heights has them and the Heights Housing Service can help you find them!

    The Cleveland Heights Housing Service offers several FREE programs that make buying, selling, or renting a property in our city easier:

    1. Home buying services
    2. Rental Information
    3. Personalized tours
    4. Promotional materials
    5. Information on mortgage loan programs

    To request a packet of information, contact the Heights Housing Service at 216-291-5959 or email heightshousing [at] clvhts [dot] com.

    What should mayors do? Warn historic property has lead

    Cleveland Heights puts great effort into exploiting the fact is has a huge stock of historic property but makes no mention of the risk in those properties of lead, encouraging people to but and renovate these properties without proper precautions - especially troubling as there are no other safety nets for property owners. Lower, middle and upper class property owners very frequently poison their own families undertaking highly dangerous, even very minor home improvement projects like sanding and painting a door - they must be warned of the dangers and protected from misinformation by the city, as the city is failing to protect the residents. In addition to all the other changes listed in this posting that the city must make, it must infomr all residents of the dangers in their himes - door to door and onliine and in all public buildings and schools and social places - they must do the opposite of what they have done for all time up to now - the failure is again reflected on their website here and below:



    'Your Old House' - pdf version

    YOUR OLD HOUSE

    Discovering when your house was built and the people who called it 'home'

    So, you're wondering just how to get started finding out about your home's history? The following information will provide you with the places in which to find documentation to complete a house history. Make sure that you have the exact property address and your permanent parcel number handy. You can get the permanent parcel number from your deed by contacting the Cuyahoga County Auditor (216-443-7092).

    It is also helpful to find your property's original parcel or lot number. This can be found on your deed, current permanent parcel number maps and historic plat maps, or by calling the City's kodonnell [at] clvhts [dot] com, 216-291-4885.

    It is high recommended that you call the places listed below prior to setting out to do research. Many keep unusual hours and several are closed on the weekends.

    Cleveland Heights City Hall
    40 Severance Circle
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    216-291-4878

    Building Permits
    City Hall is a great starting point. Original Building Permits are available for many homes built after 1913. These dated permits give you the names of the owner, builder and architect, if one was involved. Additional structural information is included; however, they do not include floor plans. In order to obtain this information, contact the kodonnell [at] clvhts [dot] com at 216-291-4885. Information may also be given for permanent parcel number, original development name, and original lot number.

    Maps
    The Planning Department at City Hall has plat maps from 1898, 1912, 1914, 1920 and 1941 available for reference. These maps have original parcel numbers and show the 'footprint' of all buildings, so you can see if your house had been constructed at any of the above given dates.

    Cuyahoga County Archives
    2905 Franklin Avenue, Ohio City
    216-443-7250

    (appointment needed; closed Tuesdays)

    Maps
    The County Archives are a wealth of information, if you ask the right questions. Ask to be taken to the room at the southwest corner of the building and look at the 'big maps.' They are well organized and Cleveland Heights maps have the City's name clearly labeled on the spine. There is a map index on the first page of each of the volumes. These maps show the various owners of the property and when they acquired the property. This will give you a list of people who have owned the property and perhaps lived in the house. Note: It is helpful to know your property's original lot/parcel number when looking at these maps.

    Tax Records
    Another way to pinpoint the date of your home's construction is to review tax records, which are listed by the owner's name. Once you have a list of owners, you can look their names up in the tax records. Your property's value would have jumped dramatically in the year after your home was constructed.

    City Directories
    These are the equivalent of today's phone books. However, in addition to the person's name and address, his or her occupation was also listed. So once you get the names and dates from the map, start looking those names up in the City Directory. Cross check to be sure that these property owners actually lived at your house and what exactly they did for a living.

      (This can be fascinating: a chauffeur may have had a small house but a very large garage; a bricklayer would have constructed a small house, but made of brick; a shipbuilder may have used ship-lap siding on his home; etc. Once you find out what these people did, some of the idiosyncrasies of your house may begin to become clear!)

    The number of City Directories here is limited, but other research facilities have paper copies or microfilm copies of these books. After 1930, the 'reverse look-up' portion of City Directories allows you to look up your address and see who lived there at the time.

    Photos on Building Cards
    These are tax assessor's cards and often have a 1950s-era photo of your house on them. Ask for the Building Cards for your house (you must have the address and the permanent parcel number). These help to see what your house looked like before windows or siding materials were changed. They are a great guide if you'd like to restore your home to its original appearance. The cards also indicate building materials and dimensions so that you can see what portions of your house were added later.

    Cleveland Public Library
    325 Superior Avenue NE
    Cleveland, Ohio
    216-623-2800

    Photo Archive
    Cleveland Public Library has a wealth of information. The Photo Archive has a whole box of photos for Cleveland Heights; however, you must wade through them in hopes of maybe finding a photo of your house (Warning: odds are very slim!). If you don't find a picture of your house, the time will be well spent - you'll love seeing all the old photos of our community!

    Necrology Index
    Once you have discovered the names of the property owners, you can find out more about them by looking through the library's Necrology Index.

    Post-1975 obituaries are found in the Cleveland News Index.

    Maps
    Go to the Library's map room and look around. Most important to look at are the plat maps and Sanborn maps, which are on microfilm. These fire insurance maps show a footprint of the building much like the plat maps available at Cleveland Heights City Hall. They are also available through CPL's online databases in the history/geography section, though are a bit difficult to navigate.

    Miscellaneous
    The library has some old issues of the Plain Dealer on microfilm. There is also a newspaper clipping file which is arranged by heading. These are best for overall history of an area, rather than of a specific property. You might also like to look at their selection of old books and periodicals containing house plans, construction and decorating tips, as well as old architectural magazines, old Society magazines and Sears Roebuck catalogs from the early 1900s and beyond. If there is an original architect found in your home, the Fine Arts Division keeps architect files.

    Cleveland Heights Main Library
    2345 Lee Road
    Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    216-932-3600

    There are clipping files here on various topics and a reference selection of several local history books. The Sun Press is also on microfilm starting in 1922. It has gone by various names over the years (Cleveland Heights Dispatch, Heights Press), but look under Sun Press in the microfilm drawer.

    City Directories are available in the Reference Area, though some may need to be obtained from the Reference Librarian. Years available are 1922-1942; odd years 1947-1951; 1953-1974; 1976; 1978-79; 1997 to present. (Reverse look-up begins about 1930.)

    Cleveland State University Library
    1860 E. 22nd Street
    Cleveland, Ohio
    216-687-5300

    Call 216-687-2449 for appointment; limited hours. The Cleveland Press clipping file is arranged by topic. You can look up names of people, places or events and search out a file. Many reference materials and interesting photos of Greater Cleveland can be found through:

    Western Reserve Historical Society
    10825 East Boulevard (University Circle)
    Cleveland, Ohio
    216-721-5722

    (Fee for non-members)

    There is wealth of information available at the Western Reserve Historical Society. These include a detailed photo archive, historic postcards, historic maps, books on Cleveland history, City Directories on microfilm, personal papers of prominent Clevelanders, architects' files, census data and most importantly, the Women's Civic Club of Cleveland Heights' manuscripts. There are many memoirs and interesting historical clippings and facts within this large box of information. The manuscript includes more general Cleveland Heights history, as opposed to specific information on residences.

    Cuyahoga County Recorder
    1219 Ontario, Room 216 - 2nd Floor
    Cleveland, Ohio
    216-443-7318

    Bring photo identification.

    Here you can look up the deed history of your property. It is time consuming and tedious work; however, much easier if you have first gotten most of the names and dates from the County Archives maps. You can consult the Grantor/Grantee Index for the names in any given year. This will then refer you to the deed number. Deeds pre-1946 are on microfilm; those post-1946 are on LandTrac database available in the office. If you would like a more detailed description of the process, call the Cleveland Heights Planning and Development Department at 216-291-4885.

    Case Western Reserve University, Kelvin Smith Library
    11055 Euclid Avenue
    Cleveland, Ohio
    216-368-3506

    This library has an interesting archive, the Plain Dealer on microfilm (if you don't want to go downtown), Cleveland history books, Special Collections, etc. There are also old plan books, and old architectural, decorating and construction books and periodicals. This is another good place to look for general local information. CWRU also has the Encyclopedia of Cleveland Heights on its web site.

    For additional information on completing a house history, contact the City's kodonnell [at] clvhts [dot] com (216-291-4885).

    What should mayors do? Get better vision

    Cleveland Heights went through an extensive visioning process in 1999 that failed to recognize the heath crisis of lead poisoning in the city so was clearly a falure. The only mention of lead that I saw in the full Visioning report was that some of the siding has ead, and that may lead residents to put up unsightly vinyl siding - no guidence is provided to help with remediation, nor is there reference to the public health issues caused by lead throughout old buildings, nor the impact on education and safety, which are key themes of the vision. All this is especially troubling as Huron Hospital President Gus Kious MD was co-chair of the visioning committee. They must revision, with new eyes and new leadership - the flawed is on their website and summarized and linked below and it falied to save over 500 children from lead poisoning since then:



    THE CLEVELAND HEIGHTS VISIONING PROCESS
    Our Community Creating a Vision for Our Future
    In October, 1999, Cleveland Heights Council began a visioning process to determine priorities that would guide our community into the future. After an application process, Council selected 25 residents (including two students) to form the Visioning Committee. The committee, with the assistance of PKG Consultants, worked for eighteen months reviewing data, attending town meetings, forming task forces and formulating six key themes for the Vision. The Vision document was presented to Council in October 2001. A summary of the document, sent to all Cleveland Heights households in November 2001, offered an overview of the Visioning Committee's final recommendations. In March 2002, City Council formally adopted the Visioning Committee's report 'as a guide to assist the City in meeting its stated Mission and Goals' (Resolution No. 40-2002). Cleveland Heights Council divided the Visioning recommendations and ideas into the six Committees of Council. In October 2002, a Visioning update meeting was held. The Mayor and Council discussed initiatives, answered questions, and heard comments from residents. Updates are printed in FOCUS and on this web site.

    Visioning Update
    The Visioning Report recommendations and ideas continued to be addressed by the Committees of Council. Some of the initiatives being implemented are:

    Beautification of neighborhoods, parks and greenspaces:

    1. Hanging flower baskets and plantings are placed each summer around the city - in Cain Park, in front of City Hall and the Community Center.
    2. Thousands of bulbs are planted each fall.
    3. Perennial beds have been planted throughout the city.
    4. New entrance signs are planned for major intersections in the city and have already been installed at all Parks.

    Capital projects to ensure the viability of our infrastructure:

    1. Renovations were made to Cumberland Pool, Denison Park, the Cain Park amphitheater and Fire Station #2.
    2. Forest Hill Park parking lots were repaved and improved lighting has been installed in City parking lots.
    3. The City rebuilt the ring road (Severance Circle) and provided pedestrian amenities around Severance Town Center (i.e., bike lanes, benches).
    4. Parking was added to the Community Center.
    5. Major street projects (i.e. Euclid Heights Boulevard, Meadowbrook, Fairmount Boulevard) have been started or are scheduled to begin.

    Supporting our youth:

    1. Council and the School Board continue to meet to discuss common goals.
    2. Intergenerational programming with senior residents and youth continue.
    3. Community Center programming continues to expand (i.e., soccer, karate, middle school activity nights).
    4. The promotion of the Youth Scholarship Fund has expanded both to raiser scholarship funds and to distribute funds to youth.

    Civic vitality:

    1. Programming for seniors continues to be increased (book clubs, discussion groups, etc.).
    2. A successful senior health fair was held in 2002, followed by senior forums each year on a variety of subjects.
    3. One-floor housing information is provided by the Heights Housing Service to all interested seniors.

    Promoting an arts environment:

    1. Almost 100 Heights artists have submitted information for an arts registry to be compiled.
    2. Collaborations in the arts resulted in more public art and concerts.
    3. A page in FOCUS Magazine is devoted to the arts in our city.

    Improving the quality of life:

    1. To address noise problems, a new noise ordinance was passed in 2002 to hold landlords accountable for disturbances from their tenants; the ordinance has been expanded to add nuisances and to provide for the option to bill landlords for tenant behavior.
    2. Community Relations staff are working closely with Housing Inspections on neighborhood issues.
    3. A Tenant Handbook has been prepared and distributed to all new renters.

    New construction and revitalization of existing housing stock and commercial districts:

    1. New townhome and condo developments are progressing throughout the city.
    2. City staff continues to work on attracting new business to the community. Updated marketing materials are being used.
    3. The old JCC site will become a residential development.

    Zoning Code Review:

    1. Revisions to the Zoning Code make approval for outdoor dining, fencing, bike racks and home occupations more efficient.
    2. Other Zoning Code changes continue to be under consideration.

    Preservation of existing housing:

    1. The City has contracted with the Cleveland Restoration Society of assist homeowners in preserving the historic nature of their houses.
    2. The Euclid Golf and Ambler Heights historic districts have been listed on the National Register of Historic places.
    3. A historic preservation database will be established at the Superior Schoolhouse.
    4. Residents are being advised about Cuyahoga County's low-interest loan programs for historic preservation.
    5. Free Schoolhouse lectures on history and preservation topics are presented on a regular basis.

    Traffic calming:

    1. 'Street prints' were installed in a pilot project on Scarborough to slow traffic.
    2. Installation of street prints on crosswalks in merchant areas is also being considered.

    Customer-driven City services:

    1. 160 City employees underwent customer-service training.
    2. Council has taken Visioning recommendations into consideration when making appointments to boards and commissions.
    3. All employees are advised monthly on customer services issues.
    4. All City letters will be reviewed to be made more customer service-oriented.

    For a copy of the Visioning Summary, click here.

    For a copy of the full Visioning Report, click here.

    For more information, contact Julie Alandt at 216-291-5811 or email jalandt [at] clvhts [dot] com.

    What should mayors do? Truly care or resign

    When I hosted former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist at the Excellence Roundtable (thanks to KSU's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative), I asked him how he was able to address lead poisoning in that old, industrial, struggling city so much more effectively than we do in Northeast Ohio. He confided that his son was diagnosed with lead poisoning, so he took a personal interest and really cared about the problem and victims. So my first expectation of all mayors is they take a personal interest in the problem and care about the victims.

    It is too late to avoid the bloodshed for all the lead poison victims, and for their families and for society, so I am not inclined to protect ineffective and ignorant public officials now. In Shaker Heights, in particular, they have very poor lead awareness and I attribute much of that to the fact the Mayor is married to a senior partner at Jones Day, which is the law firm for the lead and paint industry - this is too great a conflict of interest to be acceptable, under the circumstances, and she should remove herself so a new leader may address this crisis in my community... more to come on Shaker.

    In Cleveland Heights, like in Shaker Heights, they have a high degree of lead saturation, very high percentage of old, deteriorating housing stock and poor public awareness and inspection practices, and the entire community suffers. Now, the leaders of failing communities must go.

    To learn why, grab your mayor and bring him along, and join me next Thursday morning at the lead poison clinic at MetroHealth to share the pain and panic of parents whose kids have been diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels - join me to feel the pain firsthand.

    Then bring the mayor and join me at the meetings with parents of lead poisoned victims at Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead (CCOAL) and speak with Robin Brown and other parents about her experiences as a parent of a lead poison victim, and you will see that the 100s of children poisoned by lead in Cleveland Heights have already had their blood shed - or more accurately poisoned.

    Bring the mayor and take the four days of training about lead provided by CCOAL for concerned citizens.

    Have him join you to become activist with the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) to force action against lead poisoning at all levels across the community.

    Walk the streets of lead poison afflicted communities for the next many years getting the message out to all the people living in all the contaminated properties.

    So many good things to do to make a difference, but all require serious commitments to learning and doing. Help in raising and reallocating over $1,000,000,000s of funding and spending toward effective eradication, redevelopment, testing, healthcare, counselling, moving families, changing government, workforce development, property ownership revisioning, code and enforcement change, outreach and advocacy, and fiscal responsibility, and in replacing community leaders who do not care about the health of children and their community.

    But first, ask yourself why your community leaders have allowed this crisis in your community? Multiply the 155 lead poison victims in Cleveland Heights, per year, times the average number of people in their families and you have a better estimate of lives directly impacted... say 600 per year - multiply that times the number of years your mayor has ruled and you know how many lives have been directly harmed under his leadership - add to that all the children who go to school with the lead poisoned children and so are facing more disruptive learning environments - all the children in the Cleveland Heights public schools, and daycare, and private schools if they do not test for IQ - and accept they are all victims too, as well as all the taxpayers who pay for this defective system. Add all the citizens of Cleveland Heights who are victims of crime and violent behavior from any of the generations of lead poison victims, and the cost of increased police protection, enforcement, and “justice” and you know a bit about the social cost of your lead poisoning in your community. Add diminished property values from all of this, and that is more of the cost to property owners there. Then add in what you don't know – the lost income potential of all those people – the mental anguish of all they touch, or strikc – the dispution they will cause others they ever know – the cost for chelation and other medical treatment and counselling, if the victims are fortunate enough to to be identified and get any special needs attention at all.

    I'll get into more details when I have more time - I have lots of details - but for now, please understand that around 155 lives were directly ruined in Cleveland Heights this year because your city leadership and visionaries and residents don't care, and know that is not any better than if the kids were beaten in their heads with clubs. Blood is being shed in 100s of houses in Cleveland Heights right now - and all night every night - and all day tomorrow – 24X7 everyday.

    So, if your mayor doesn't want to resign then make him truly care about the lead poison victims and truly care yourself, not just about your small, affluent town but about the entire region, because lead in particular and toxic pollution in general is the primary reason for our failing schools, economy and society here in Northeast Ohio. Let me know if you want to join me next Thursday at MetroHealth and meet with representatives CCOAL at any time and I'll make the arrangements. I appreciate your interest in this and your community - together, we can actually solve the problem there, if your community leaders will begin to care.

    Milwaukee's city site is best practices example for NEO?

    It seems that if Milwaukee can make headway with a program, we might, too, here in Northeast Ohio, but we will need the teaching tools. By the way, though it may seem as you visit many parts of Cleveland Heights -- an affluent town, you should know that more than half of the children who attend the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools are living at or below the poverty line. Cleveland Heights has long welcomed families who have moved here from less affluent communities and school districts. The history of how our school district has struggled to keep up with in and out migration is oft on the minds of the residents. No community can claim perfection, but it seems that your efforts to inform and by informing reform local lead related activities are just what is needed.

    With education programs for our leaders coming out of Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead (CCOAL) and Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC), I would expect that we will have teachable moments arriving soon. I look forward to hearing more about the public education messages and programs that will bring this issue to the forefront of the discussion here in Northeast Ohio. It seems that this should be an issue raised among all the communities and perhaps be a practice area along with air quality, water quality and transportation planning at NOACA so the information can reach regionally.

    If you have a document like this one http://www.city.milwaukee.gov/display/router.asp?docid=2828 that we can ask local municipalities to publish on their sites, that is a start, but a public education plan and a plan for review of ordinances is in order and will take more work on the part of city governments.
    Like Milwaukee, we can do it. I agree that prevention is not only more humane, but also more cost effective.

    Have you done this kind of indepth review of the municipal lead programs for all the Northeast Ohio towns? How does the Cuyahoga County lead safe program measure up? Cleveland Heights partners with them as does Lakewood and Shaker.

    With formation of GCLAC, Northeast Ohio is leader

    There is signfificant work being done on all fronts that I mention in this post, by the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCALC), and Cleveland. Lakewood and East Cleveland are working on new ordinances, codes and enforcement (internally and with the County and GCLAC and CCOAL) so Cleveland Heights doesn't need to reinvent any wheels - just take the problem seriously. Rather, some inner ring suburbs are trying to ignore the problem, probably because they fear awareness among homeowners will harm property values (who wants to own a dangerous property). Also, because liability is now being determined in courts, city governemnts are surely avoiding any apparent exposure. All that is wrong, as is hiding behind the apron strings of the County. Cleveland Heighs leaders now know exactly what they need to do, assuming you shared this posting with them, so every day they wait to act will be more lives on their souls. Spread the word at the top and arrange a meeting with the right people - you know the leaders and I know the right people.