Regular Council Meeting Minutes from September 13, 2016



SEPTEMBER 13, 2016


The Regular Meeting of the Eastlake City Council was held at Eastlake City Hall, 35150 Lakeshore Boulevard. The Meeting was called to order by Council President Ms. DePledge at approximately 7:­06 p.m.  


The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.



Members of Council in attendance were Mr. Zuren, Mr. Meyers, Mr. Kasunick, Mr. Spotton, Mr. Evers, Mr. Hoefle and Council President Ms. DePledge. Also in attendance was Council Clerk Mrs. Simons.


Those attending from the Administration were Mayor Morley, Fire Chief Whittington, Police Chief Reik, CBO Menn, Service Director Rubertino, City Engineer Gwydir, Finance Director Schindel and Law Director Klammer.


Ms. DePledge: If anyone is recording this meeting as courtesy to the public will you please identify yourself so that the fellow attendees know that it is being recorded.


Kristi Garabrandt from the News-Herald


Bob Spangenberg



Regular Council Meeting –August 23, 2016.

MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting August 23, 2016. Mr. Hoefle seconded.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried. The minutes were approved.

_     _     _       _          _          _          _          _          _          _          _          _          _



Meetings Scheduled

Ms. DePledge: The next Council-as-a-Whole Committee Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The Regular Council meeting will be convened immediately following the adjournment of the Council-as-a-Whole Committee meeting. I don’t know if anybody had an opportunity to you attend the 911 memorial service held on Sunday at the Boulevard of flags at the gazebo. It is always a beautiful service and that is very memorable and very moving. They always remind us of how fortunate we are. With that I would like to thank the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3863, American Legion Post #678, and the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW along with our Service Department and everyone else who contributed to the service. That concludes my report and I am open for questions.



  1. A communication from Finance Director Schindel accepting the amounts and rates determined by the Budget Commission.


Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-As-A-Whole and will be added to this evening’s agenda.


  1. A communication from Finance Director Schindel to enter into a contract with Vitalone’s Services to provide towing services.

    Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-as-a-Whole Committee and will be added to the evening’s agenda.

  2. A communication from Finance Director Schindel to enter into a contract with Classic Ford for the purchase of two Transit Connect Vans.


Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-as-a-Whole Committee and will be added to the evening’s agenda.


  1. A communication from Councilman Zuren regarding video recorders at meetings.

    Ms. DePledge: This was discussed in Council-as-a-Whole Committee and will be referred to the Finance Committee.



Ms. DePledge: A Finance Committee Meeting was held since our last Council Meeting. Mr. Evers?


Mr. Evers: Thank you Madam President. But finance committee did meet on August 30, 2016.  The meeting went for about two and half hours.  In fact it went so long that our record ran out.  We will have to be a little more diligent about that in the future.  I apologize to our Council Clerk. There was a lot of good debate back and forth about reciprocity.  There were a lot of new interests and some programs to be looked at, that have been looked at in the past.  We need to be able to look at them to raise some revenue.  The debate went back and forth and it was long.  I would like to thank everybody that was there in attendance and with that I am open for questions.


Ms. DePledge: are there any questions for Mr. Evers? Mr. Hoefle?


Mr. Hoefle: I would like to advise every one that we will have an Ordinance Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m. The only thing on the agenda will be the continuation of the deer control that we are looking into. Mayor I believe that we have a representative from ODNR who will be there?


Mayor Morley: Yes we have the gentlemen from ODNR that will explain what that different cities and are using for the controlled hunt. The last ordinance meeting that we have council was concerned about the controlled hunt, so we are having someone who is an expert from the state to come and discuss it.

Ms. DePledge: And that is at 6:00 PM on September 20?


Mr. Hoefle: Correct and that concludes my report.


Mr. Evers: Do you want to schedule a Finance Committee meeting on that night also? How long do you intend to for the ordinance committee meeting to go on for?


Mayor Morley: It depends on how many residents. I sent out some information too all of the resident’s that want this done. I’d met this gentleman at Mayors and Managers Meeting and I think that it went about 45 minutes to an hour. It depends on the questions and it depends on our residents. If you are going to talk about the other items and finance or if you want it to you a separate one. We can go all night I do not have an issue with that.


Mr. Hoefle: I did talk to the gentleman and the Mayor did provide me his name. I email him back to state that and my ordinance meeting I would not have any other topics on the agenda for that evening. He was trying to get an idea, so why would ask that if we do have multiple meetings that we hold the ordinance committee meeting first.  So the gentleman can presents his presentation and then the finance committee meeting could follow if we need to have one.

Mr. Evers: I would like to go ahead and schedule a finance committee meeting to follow the ordinance committee meeting.


Ms. DePledge: the announcement in the paper will read that it is immediately following the conclusion of the ordinance meeting, so that we do not have to wait between the meetings.



MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to add Legislation No. 09-13-(01) to this evening’s agenda a Resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission and authorizing the necessary Tax Levies and certifying them to the County Auditor. Mr. Hoefle Second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried Legislation No. 09-13-(01) is added to this evening’s agenda.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to add Legislation No. 09-13-(02) to this evening’s agenda a Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor and Director of Finance to enter into a Contract with Vitalone’s Service., to assume the remainder of the contract, to provide Towing Services on an as-needed basis for the costs as outlined. Mr. Hoefle Second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried Legislation 09-13-(02) is added to this evening’s agenda.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to add Legislation No.09-13-(03) to this evening’s agenda a Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor and Director of Finance to enter into a Contract with Classic Ford, for the purchase of Two (2) Transit Connect Vans, one for sanitary sewer vehicle and one for general purpose, for the total cost of Forty-Eight Thousand Dollars ($48,000.00).  Mr. Hoefle Second.

ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.

Motion carried Legislation 09-13-(03) is added to this evening’s agenda.



Ms. DePledge recognized the public input at this time; she reminded the speakers that there is a 3-minute limit for their comments; all comments are to be directed to the Chair and not include any personalities or individuals.    


Bill Polenchak, 86 Pinehurst, Eastlake

Mr. Polenchak: I am addressing the reciprocity issue. Fostering economic growth is the only way that the city will attain a financial liability, as well as provide relief for our safety forces. It’s inevitable that we do need some type of tax in the short-term and maybe long-term.  However it meets to be done in a manner of equitable for all residents without placing burden on a select group.  Those of us that work outside of the city will be saddled with the burden of that at some, while those who work in the city aren’t.  A worker receiving a full reciprocity now will end up paying an effective tax rate of 3%.  Numbers mentioned about cost the taxpayers were a little bit light based on the median household income, which is about $52,000 in 2010.  It would mean that it is about $520 on the median.  However, one third of the households and Eastlake earn $75,000 a year or more.  That means that a family earning $100,000 a year would pay $1,000 more per year.  It is misleading that lessening reciprocity is common in our area.  According to R.I.T.A’s statistics it is a bow ½ of this city’s key tower district did 100% reciprocity.  Many of those cities that offer last also have tax rates of 1% or less.  This is based on R.I.T.A’s tables.  They recognize that the workers…through higher property values.  They have commenced through taxes, including the small cut that we would receipt, we it contributes to good schools and good demo graphics.  It’s the fairest alternative as a property tax.  It’s the only way that everyone in the city pays their fair share.  Renters pay through property owners raising their rent.  That means for people who get paid under the table or through public assistance we get money from them, and banks are liable for taxes on foreclosed properties.  As for seniors we are all on a fixed income based on wage stagnation and other things.  A lot of seniors have assets and things like that and they are more likely to use our services.  Based on the people that live in my neighborhood there are a lot of older people that use a lot of our rescue services.  It doesn’t mean that how many times we put a levy on the ballot, if we pursue it with the partnership of people who understand through transparency, working with council, and being equitable for all of us.  You find a lot of us would give up 100% support for something like that as well as other things that we have talked about in terms of volunteerism.  Picking some of reciprocity number is probably not the way it to do it or it’s sustainable and we would all benefit from some type of safety levy, or something to get on the ballot as quickly as we could in order to support and help our city.  Thank you.

Ms. DePledge: Thank you for your comments. Is there anybody else wishing to address council this evening?


Ted Beres 36706 Lakehurst Dr., Eastlake

Mr. Beres: first I would like to say how blessed this city is too have the administration that we have. They are hard working, selfless and dedicated and I appreciate each and every one of you. Now this city is facing problems that we haven’t faced before, some are very serious and some are not as serious but problematic. We have a heroin epidemic and we have mounting over doses. We have burglaries, shoplifting that are probably done by people who are heroin addicts and we also have a Wal-Mart. All of these tax our depleted police and fire department. At the last finance committee meeting councilman Zuren wants to try and regain the trust of the people. Being that we have lost that rest of the people because of the albatross on Route 91 called Classic Park. You can call it an albatross that that’s my description. The people’s distrust has a lot more to do with that ballpark. The residents are upset because they have to pay for garbage and the recycling to be picked up. They are upset because the city is not going to come out and suck up and the leaves on their tree-lawn. We also have the economy, which affects people. The other day I was traveling west on Lakeshore Boulevard and as I approached Reeves Road the light was blasting a yellow. That means that people sitting on Reeves Road were stuck. As I proceeded onto Vine Street I sought two of our police officers at a traffic stop. I am thinking about those people who are stuck on Reeves Road wondering where a police officer is to direct traffic. If the state comes in and forces the city to make some more cuts on employees, a lot of people are going to be asking where the police officer is. Where is the ambulance? Where is that fire engine? Why isn’t my street being plowed? I’d known that what the council is dealing with them are conflicts but as the council president said in her report we are on the president’s of financial collapse and that is not a hyperbole. I will say good luck to you and I hope that you can come up with a solution.

Michelle Wittrech, 601 Waverly Road, Eastlake

Mrs. Wittrech: I am addressing reciprocity. I have been very vocal in the past and everybody has heard what I have to say. I am going to start this meeting where I left off the last time, which is that I know it is a difficult decision to make. I know that the city is a very important to all of us and I hope that you have the ability to do what is necessary to move this city forward. It is not going to be a popular decision. I am one of the people that is severely affected and by reciprocity. Both my husband and I work outside of the city and it is going to directly affect us. However, looking forward I realize that sometimes the burden has to land on a few to bring things forward to where we can put the burden on many. We have to get this started and with that I will leave it is reciprocity. Back when I approached the city with S.O.S. I was completely against that as the answer. I have had conversations with both the police and fire departments because I didn’t agree with the reciprocity then. I believe that we should get something put on the ballot and we tried. The citizens didn’t listen they didn’t want to try and they didn’t even want to sign our petition to get it on the ballot. For those that think that there is going to be a volunteerism good luck. I will tell you that there really isn’t a lot. We worked tirelessly and hours of about five or six of us at a time. Again it is not the most popular decision to make and I am all for finding other methods to fund the city. Right now we meet the influx of money to find those methods. If that affects me and my husband and a few people for a limited a bout of time, because council has established that they can’t change it to what you have to do to make the city great. The last thing that I want to see is the state to step in. Thank you.


Ed Enyedy, 36580 Garretts Cove Drive, Eastlake

Mr. Enyedy: on reciprocity I would much rather see a levy put forward in front of the citizens. I think that it is a more accurate able solution. I think that it would also make a lot more sense to have the levy rather that it being a general levy to do specific things. Especially for the safety forces I think that there would be a strong support for that. The safety forces do an excellent job and really the whole city does. I think that overall the citizens do support levies just look at the school levies and most of those to pass. Someone mentioned earlier about trust issues within the city and I think that is still a hurtle that hast to be overcome. I am not an accountant but I did try to read over that 2015 audit that was done. I know that one of the things that is out there for many businesses as well as for the city here is talking about retirement benefits and pensions. If I understand it correctly the patch liability for the city is over $10 Million. That is a lot of money. Part of what contributes to that I pursue is the automatic cost of living increase of 3%. It’s the Health Care benefits that were said in there and a number of other things. Retirement benefits and pensions are allotted. You see a lot of companies that sometimes have gone to a 401K plan. I do believe that the city employees hired after 2013 are on such a plan. Let’s face it I think that if we didn’t have the retirement costs in the city budget I think that we would probably be a lot better picture. It’s not to say that the employees here don’t do a job. I think that the city does an excellent job. It is the tough one that is out there retirement and Health Care benefits are very expensive. In sharing that burden is a tough one. As someone who spends $600 a month for my Health Care Insurance and that is just to get a very high deductible it is hard for me to sympathize with some of these other stories. As I was reading through the audit I came across something and I wasn’t clear on it. It talked about a settlement before ODOT and that Eastlake Land development and the settlement had been agreed upon but that payment terms were not disclosed and neither one is a payment plan. I was wondering as to if there is further information on that and what affect is that we didn’t have that as an outstanding liability and what does that put for the position of the city?


Ms. DePledge: Did you want to address that Mr. Klammer?


Mr. Klammer: that lawsuit goes back a number of years. The city had guaranteed a certain development agreement for a business owner. He defaulted the city was liable on that to guarantee. The settlement agreement we worked out with the state of Ohio is that we agreed we a guy that money. There would be no discussion of any payment plan until a number of conditions were met including full staffing as determined by the chiefs of fire and police, and a 20% budget carry over and all types of contusions which would put us in a real pristine financial condition. At that point we would have an opportunity to discuss a payment plan with the state of Ohio. So until those conditions are met, which I don’t think anybody anticipates in a long foreseeable future. The liability isn’t all that significant.


Mr. Enyedy: what was the amount to the settlement?


Mr. Klammer: I would have to look again but I think it was over $1 Million.


Ms. DePledge: just to address some of the issues that you have brought up. We have had several property tax levies on the ballot. It is either nine or eleven and they have all failed. We have tried specific levies for police, fire, serve, and recreation and they have all failed. Our pensions and salaries are all set by our union contracts and they are review. None of our employees have had raises in 10 years and most of the people on staff have taken pay cuts. They are anywhere from 10% to 25%. We have cut and cut staffing. I believe our service department used to be at 48 people now it is down to 12 people.


Mr. Rubertino: it went from 49 to 12.


Miss DePledge: it is a 75% reduction in the workforce over there. Our chief building official has two openings and the pay scale is so low that no one will take the job. Our police chief is having trouble keeping police officers on the force. We are training them and they’re going to other departments because they are more stable and more secure and they’re not going to get laid off or cut if the city goes into fiscal watch. I am almost hesitant to touch base on Chief Whittington because he has a plethora of information that is incredibly valuable. And what I would direct your attention to is our finance committee meeting minutes from August 30, which was a very healthy debate and you will hear both sides of the issue. It is one of the best meetings and I have that on council for 7 years and it was one of the best meetings that I have ever had an opportunity to participate in. I was proud to sit at the table with all of these gentlemen. Those minutes will be posted tomorrow on our city website. It is a great read and I urge you to read it and please come back and share your thoughts with us again.


Mayor Morley: just answer one of the questions and just so you are aware the pension percentages are set by the state. Even if we went into negotiations we cannot ask the union’s to change that.  We are going to start negotiations and October and they have not had a raise in the city for 10 years.  We have to go through negotiations and we may go two an arbitrator or we may not.  Just so you are a player of that too. The pensions are set by the state statutes and there is nothing that we could do about the pensions if we wanted to.  Thank you. 



Mr. Enyedy: Is that for the eligibility ages as well?


Mayor Morley: That is for all the statutes. You can go on the Ohio Revised Codes website and look it up. I don’t know the exact number but you could type in pensions for police, fire and all of the other workers.


Mrs. Schindel: It might be quoted in the audit.


Mayor Morley: On the pages? Okay.


Chief Reik: I was going to wait until the end but with the pension it is Ohio Police and Fire needs to show a thirty year solvency audit. Recently they increased the employee contribution and the ages got bumped up. If you didn’t have fifteen years on instead of what you got hired in. If a guy of fourteen years and in six months to be eligible for retirement at twenty-five years that got changed to thirty years. The minimum age has changed and the deferred retirement option came about nine years ago and that has kept people on. We have to keep showing that the money is there. The only option that the Mayor voted to be transparent would be that we could have a non-civil service department; we could actually make this job less appealing than it already is. The problems that we are having are finding those qualified people to respond to Garrets Cove and Pinehurst and things like that. It is becoming difficult and then when we do hire and train them; which we have done. Those people leave for other agencies; which they are doing. Now the richest communities in the area are getting well trained people off of the backs of your dollars to serve those communities. Then we start all over again with a brand new guy. I can’t put a police officer that is right out of the academy or a fire fighter right out of the academy and put them right out on a squad or into a burgerly call, because they don’t know the job. They know the basics, but there is a lot of training to get a guy seasoned enough to respond the way the people here expect and should expect their police, fire and service to respond.   With both of you and Mrs. Wittrech were nice, we love the inquires and it is important to know what the apples to apples are. Anytime either myself, Fire Chief, Service Director or whoever if you have a specific questions feel free to give us a call and we will sit down with you.


Laurie Davis, 1321 East 351st Street, Eastlake

Ms. Davis: I have emailed all of you regarding the reciprocity credit. I no former knowledge with any of this and my only knowledge of anything, because I don’t have time to read the paper, is through the Community Block watch. Unfortunately my dad reads the paper every day from front to back, but I don’t know any of that stuff. I am totally against reciprocity credit. I work in Mentor and I don’t see that it would be the long foreseeable future for a way to get the money to the city. I do believe that a property tax would be the best way; however, as for volunteerism I am now you’re volunteer. Unfortunately I have only lived here for three years so I have no knowledge of the former Council Members activities and so forth. I put my full faith into you guys. Whatever I can do to help I will walk the streets. We need to make more awareness of what is going on in here. People are not reading the paper obviously, because there would be more people sitting here. I am sure that they are very upset about the reciprocity tax. There are some senior citizens that are upset about a property tax. Nobody is going to be happy. But something needs to be done now. We can’t wait around for the state to come in. I don’t want to see the state come in. We have so many wonderful people here that can get together and make things happen. I don’t understand and I think that it is that people aren’t aware of what is going on. I understand that you guys haven’t gotten a raise. I get a forty cent raise if that every year. I feel for the Police Department. Unfortunately in my past I have been aware that there are no guarantees in employee’s staying where you want them too. There are no guarantees that you could lose your job tomorrow. In closing all that I have to say is if you need me I am here and I will do anything to show my support to Council and to the City of Eastlake.


There was no one else who wished to speak.


LEGISLATION PROPOSED – First number will be 2016-040

08-23-(02)                               ORDINANCE NO.: ___________


Requested by: Administration

Sponsored by: Finance Committee


An Ordinance amending Section 184.06 (A) “Credit For Tax Paid To Other Municipalities,” of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Eastlake, and declaring an emergency.


Ms. DePledge: This will be Placed on First Reading this evening and there will not be a vote. It will be placed on Second Reading at our next regularly scheduled Council Meeting.



09-13-(01)                               RESOLUTION NO.: _____________


Requested by: Finance Director Schindel

Sponsored by: Council


A Resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission and authorizing the necessary Tax Levies and certifying them to the County Auditor, and declaring an emergency.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Spotton second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to adopt. Mr. Spotton second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-040.


09-13-(02)                               RESOLUTION NO.: ___________


Requested by: Administration

Sponsored by: Finance Committee


A Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor and Director of Finance to enter into a Contract with Vitalone’s Service., to assume the remainder of the contract, to provide Towing Services on an as-needed basis for the costs as outlined, and declaring an emergency.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Hoefle second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to adopt. Mr. Hoefle second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-041.


09-13-(03)                               RESOLUTIN NO.:_____________


Requested by: Administration

Sponsored by: Finance Committee


A Resolution authorizing and directing the Mayor and Director of Finance to enter into a Contract with Classic Ford, for the purchase of Two (2) Transit Connect Vans, one for sanitary sewer vehicle and one for general purpose, for the total cost of Forty-Eight Thousand Dollars ($48,000.00), and declaring an emergency.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to suspend the rules requiring separate readings and reading in full. Mr. Hoefle second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


MOTION: Mr. Evers moved to adopt. Mr. Hoefle second.


ROLL CALL: Yeas unanimous.


Motion carried. Legislation is adopted as Resolution No. 2016-041.



There was no Legislation Pending.



There was no Unfinished Business.



There was no New Business.




Mayor Morley: Thank you Madam President. Welcome everyone to this evening’s meeting. I would also like to thank everyone who was involved in the 911 service. I think that we had about 200 people. The Lieutenants, the Chief’s and I all spoke and working with the VFW and the American Legion it is always a great event. There is going to be a car show at the stadium this Saturday from noon until 3:00 p.m. I have working with the Lake County Port Authority and the Eastlake Port Authority to get a grant to get a floating dock for our kayaks off of Erie Road. There will be no money from the city. Unfortunately the majority of my days have been with people who have not been paying their garbage. We are down to 331 homes and as you Republic has started to shut off service. Between that and the neighbor issues that continue to have with a majority of the residents. Some days my days are just that and today it was garbage day for most of the day. The chief is always working on that along with Mr. Rubertino so a lot of our time is spent on those items. I have also been getting a lot of calls from people saying that their yard waste has not been picked up. I will have it in my next Gazette article that if you are not using a yard bag to please mark you’re can or container to say “yard waste”. I have been getting a ton of calls for the last two weeks. The Ridgewood Drive road will start on September 19th and we are having a meeting with the residents on Friday, September 16th at 6:00 p.m. here at City Hall. On Thursday I, Councilman Zuren and Mrs. Berry will be going to a summit that the Lake County Port Authority puts on in Painesville from noon till 4:00 p.m. We have been made aware of people that work for the Willoughby-Eastlake Schools who work in our city that their taxes are going to Willoughby and they are at 2%. Mrs. Schindel has contacted the school and we are trying to get a list to make sure that the taxes are going to the right places. I attended the Wickliffe Council Meeting last night because I am on the cabinet for United Way and we went there to give a presentation. We were supposed to be first but we ended up being last so I sat at their Council Meeting and Wickliffe is in a little better financial shape then we are, but it mirrors our Council Meeting. After I did the United Way I did say that your meeting mirror’s ours. Wickliffe has about seven or eight more officers than we do with 5,000 less residents and their Police Chief asked for four police officers last night. The Fire Chief asked for four Firemen and the Building Department asked for four people. This is a city that is fully staffed and when you talk to our Chief’s and you look at it and their Director’s said the same thing to their Council last night that you need to put a property tax on and you need to do a levy. All of the surrounding cities even the cities that are doing better financially than we are. Mrs. Schindel sent me something that in Cuyahoga County there are six cities on the ballot for income tax or for general operating levies. We can continue on the route that we are in and I agree…people about my feelings with the reciprocity. I think that we looked at all the different kinds of levies throughout the years. Everyone is saying that backing…we have 35% of the people that back us. Every levy that fails is 65% to 35%. We have to get another 36% on our side. We have tried every levy and if anyone has any thoughts of how we can get a levy passed that would be awesome. Before we went on break I did ask for a Police and Fire Levy and throughout the years nothing has come close. I continue to say that if you go back to 2013 the hot topic was when City Council and we shut the pool down and we went to the people for $1.23 and it failed. A $1.23 per month and we were told that we want a pool and we couldn’t pass a $1.23 per month. We are and I have been since I have been on Council and since being Mayor asking what we need? What do we need to do to get our resident’s more informed? We’ve had meetings and we had five Town Halls were we stood there and didn’t know what would come in for questions. Out of five Town Halls we had 90 people. We continue to talk about the ache that has been and it will be coming up here shortly…that I eliminated the leaf pick up on the curb. Out of everything that has been eliminated the hot topic out of everything. It’s not that you may not get the third ambulance or that the police may not show up, but it is because we punished by taking the leaf pick up away. We took the leaf pick up away because we eliminated five more people in the Service Department. We have talked about this throughout the years. Willowick has their streets plowed well when you have eighteen man crew to a three man crew it will get done a little quicker than ours. It’s not that we are sitting here complaining….I have been telling people to call me to tell me that they will never vote for a levy or will never pass a levy. I’m not upset that they tell me that they won’t pass a levy and what I’ve said in previous meetings is that don’t be upset with me when I have to cut services. A couple people have acknowledged that I’ve never really looked at it that way. That’s the way that you need to look at it. I’m not upset that nothing passes, but we are at a cross roads. If the reciprocity doesn’t go through…I’ve said that we need to put a levy on but if we put a levy on we all need to work together. Everyone that has come to talk tonight says that they will help we need that help. Mrs. Wittrech did try to get a levy put on the ballot last year…as I have said before when you are going to knock on a door and ask for someone to sign a piece of paper to raise your taxes. You’re going to have a tough time doing that. I gave her credit for that but you know what we operate day to day and the Chief’s say that we need to do something and I agree that we need to do something. We need to do it correctly and that is what we’ve been meeting on and we will continue to meet on. That concludes my report and I am open for questions.


There were no further questions of Mayor Morley


FIRE CHIEF – Ted Whittington

Chief Whittington: Thank you Madam President. Again thank you for spending some time and letting Danny’s family come in and be a part of the ceremony. It is a big to do for them and I know that when it is formal like that and they can take pictures it is a big to do. The only thing that I will add to the conversation and I know that I have been pretty out spoken and I think that finally we have a topic that seems to inspire some of the residents to come in. It is the first time in the last ten years that we have actually seen more than the same group of people to show up. I do appreciate it. I noticed some of the comments that are genuinely good comments and I think that and I am cautious about especially with some of the resident’s…again eight in a half years as chief and I have been in the city for eighteen years. I think that they need to know that this is the last ditch. I support the credit reduction and reciprocity I feel that it is a last ditch. We’ve have really reached out and I know that Chief Reik and I have with the levies. With the income tax but with the individual tax levies that we went out and worked every day meeting people, talking to groups and I have always tried to be a part of that solution. Everything has just failed and with Mrs. Wittrech’s work should say a lot because she was a volunteer that represented. That was the point she represented non-administration, elected officials, police or fire, and she had people slamming the door to sign the petition to put the levy out. It kind of gives you the mentality so for everybody in the audience I think that as you go through your check list of things that you think the city should have done. I would almost…so to check without telling you that we have done just about everything that we can. I just think that it is important that as we talk about this in the next couple of meetings. My support of it is that I know it’s a last ditch effort. I don’t know what else we can do. I just thought that it was important to talk about that. I am open for questions.


There were no further questions of Chief Whittington



Chief Reik: A little add on for the lady for 354th Street. The good thing right now is that there is a lot of information out there and the bad things now is that there is a lot of information out there. It’s all filtered through NBC, Block Watch or the Eastlake Police. All of us put our spin on whatever we are reporting intentionally or not. It seems like the crazy stuff is what catches fire and it gets out there more than anything. I won’t speak for Chief Whittington but when we have gotten out in a lot of the neighborhoods and explain like a property tax. When we told people that this is what you’re paying to us and this is what you’re paying everywhere else. Once the saw everything and got I know that we picked up some support. We have that 35-40% that we can count on. We got out and as you get over that 50% and the one new idea that I came up with after the school levy. This is what I would encourage for the gentleman on Pinehurst and Sandyknowl is that people don’t want to listen to politicians. That is just human nature and they might listen to Administration, Police, Fire, Service Director or the Building Director. If you guys…they are definitely going to listen to you. If you guys coordinate with us we will come out to your house. If you get ten, twelve or fifteen neighbor together and they can ask what ever kind of questions. We will come there and explain the side that we are seeing and how nineteen years for him and twenty-four for me as to how we got to this spot. Maybe with you guys inviting your neighbor’s rather than having us knocking on their doors. That is what they are going there to do is to get the information. By spreading the word through them…we may not convince anyone but at least we know that the information is out there. We are not afraid to talk to the people who don’t agree with us. Actually I think that is what we have been looking for, because at least then people are voting with the right information that is out there. I am probably going to come up with an article that will hopefully be in the next Gazette about the heroin thing that is all over.   Just off hand we have had seven deaths this year. Whether that is high or low within Lake County I am not sure. A lot could be accredited to not only the quality of our Fire Department but the location of it. When you look at a lot of other places with where our Fire Department is located within the city. We have a pretty good response time regardless of how many calls that we have and with how crazy it gets. Plus a few officers are trained with the Nar can, which has saved some people in addition to that. I will try to get the numbers out there. How many people will read them in the Gazette it’s impossible to really know that. But if anyone wants those numbers all you have to do is ask and we can get you the numbers. If you talk to your neighbor’s about how heroin is hitting Eastlake. There is no purse way to tell you but I would say that about 85% of our service calls are heroin related. Whether it’s burgerly or a theft from Wal-Mart or any other store it’s all related somehow. That is where a lot of our work is going. We tax the county to get their help when we can, but as Mr. Rubertino is down from 49 and I am down from 38 to 22 officers. You just can’t do…you can tell me that your neighbor’s dealing but if I’m responding or the guys are responding to traffic accidents…other people who have already overdosed. I can’t set up a guy on surveillance across the street from me to handle that problem. I think that we are still making some really good arrests and good investigation with what we have. We don’t have what I think the city deserves to have for a city this size when you compare it to our surrounding neighbors. Anytime you can give me a call and I will be open to set something up.


There were no further questions of Chief Reik.



Mr. Menn: Just to let you know that there will be a BZA Meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. and there will be another one on September 28th. There will be a Planning Commission Meeting on September, 22 at 7:00 p.m.


There were no questions of Mr. Menn.



Mr. Rubertino: Good evening everybody. Just a couple of things to touch base on and we are close to being at the end of catch basin repairs for this year. We are still about eighteen critical basins short of being completed. I am going to try and find a way that we can continue to get those ones that are dangerous to the public to get taken care of this year if possible. The hot box will be going out here short to do some hot box repairs in the areas that we can. We are doing some hog outs on 338th Street today it was the second so far and we will continue to do that and move forward. Thank you for the authorization on the vans. You will find that they will help us out a lot. These are things that we haven’t received in many, many, many years. Equipment is at an all-time low with rust buckets. We are spending a fortune in money to keep trucks that are falling apart on a daily basis on our roads. As we get these vans in the future we do need heavy trucks to do the plowing and the hauling. Our front end loader is dilapidated and we are at a stage where it is almost totally unsafe to put an employee in that vehicle. Our employees are dedicated and they work hard every day and they are going to use that equipment as safe as they can for as long as we have to do it. Everything that is going on with reciprocity and tax levies and as everyone here knows without me dwelling on it. We have been there many, many times and it just isn’t working here. We continue to have these conversations that bring raises into it. As the Chief’s will attest as well as me, raises aren’t our priority. Taking care of the residents of this community is our priority. I have been here 25 years and I think that it shows itself that is what I am here to do. That is what our workers are here to do. Although the raises haven’t been there for ten years that is not what we are here for. It always seems to come out that there is a raise. Everybody is worried about us getting raises or the employee’s getting raises. Are they doing raises and should they get them? I absolutely believe 100% yes. That is not what this is about. It is about providing our resident’s with the equipment, the police and fire personnel, service personnel, and the twenty hour snow storms that we get. That put the guys on the road and to not tell you that we can’t get to your road for three days. Everything that is out there is vital for us across the board. That is it and I appreciate it and I am open for questions. Chief Whittington is the best. You can never follow him. I have the same thought process.


Ms. DePledge: One of his best is documented in our August 30 meeting minutes. I cannot stress enough the conversation that night was just phenomenal. The information in that meeting was phenomenal. I hope that everybody has an opportunity to read study and digest what was transpired that night. It was great.  

There were no further questions of Mr. Rubertino.



Mr. Gwydir: Thank you Madam President Members of Council and Mayor. As the Mayor noted that we will be having a resident meeting on Friday evening for Ridgewood Drive. We are doing some preliminary work down there and getting it ready. The major construction will begin on September 19th. It is an OPWC grant job where 50% of the money for that project is coming to the city from the state. I will be coming up to Council requesting legislation for our final application for this next round of OPWC grant money. With that I am open for questions.


Ms. DePledge: You said that the meeting was on Friday for Ridgewood Drive?


Mr. Gwydir: It will be here at 6:00 p.m.


There were no questions of Mr. Gwydir.


FINANCE DIRECTOR – Carol-Ann Schindel

Mrs. Schindel: Thank you. R.I.T.A sent out approximately 1,600 letters today. They were actually administrative subpoenas, because originally…in the middle of the summer they sent out about 2,400 letters. The people that did not respond and the people that did not take the time to call them or get back to them are now getting this formal letter. R.I.T.A will be set up here in the building the first week of October. I think that it is around the 8th but I will get back to you with an exact date. They are sent up to be in the building if anyone has not filed or if anyone gets the letter and did file please contact R.I.T.A immediately. They want to get this fixed and they want to get it resolved. They feel that it is their duty to collect the funds on our behalf and they are taking every procedure possible to collect the funds.    


There were no questions of Mrs. Schindel.


LAW DIRECTOR – Randy Klammer

Mr. Klammer: Thank you Madam President Members of Council and Mayor. God bless the city. The only thing that I would make a comment on as far as the levy debate, and just to remind everybody is that we hear often that the levy. You should pursue a levy instead of reciprocity as though they are substitutes. I know that most of the residents understand that, but I suspect that there are some that read the minutes and some might not. They are not substitutes in the sense that of course one needs to go to the vote of the people. And should it fail for whatever the reason might be. The cities condition is still the same so gather that they are not substitutes in the sense that the city controls the reciprocity. Council can make a judgement decision that’s what’s best for the city. Proposing that we try a levy might be a supplement might be some other type of benefit to the city. But it’s not a substitute as long as the residents understand that process is totally different. Resident’s should also remember I love when people volunteer to Council to help them talk about the levy, but remember too that Council and the Mayor are handicapped in their official capacities to advocate for levies. Because we can’t spend any city money to advocate for a levy and we can’t use City Hall to organize for a levy, and you can’t use city emails to send around emails to organize for a levy. You can’t do any of those things, because the city can’t take a position advocating for or against a levy. They can only do what we have always done in the past. Of course organize amongst themselves at some other place in their communities. Officially by having the Town Halls that they routinely had over and over again to share the information with residents. So in a sense residents might expect a lot more for the city than the city can provide as direct advocacy for a levy. As long as the citizens understand in that regard that may provide some comfort. I know that one resident caught me on the way out and was asking about some numbers that I think were discussed at the last Finance Committee Meeting. I promised him that I would at least make that mentioned to you so that maybe you could have the appropriate director address that or put it on the agenda for the next meeting.


Ms. DePledge: Are they talking about numbers for the expenses or what repairs?


Mr. Klammer: You remember the discussion that we had at the Finance Committee about all of the capital needs, expenses and budget…those numbers and I know that they are out there. They have been discussed on a number of different occasions.


Ms. DePledge: In that meeting the Service Director Rubertino was able to literally identify over a million dollars of repairs and improvements to our city just in the minutes alone.


Mr. Klammer: I just promised the resident that I would raise it to you. They caught me on the way out.


Ms. DePledge: Again I would but we will provide the minutes to whoever that resident is. All of that information is in there and we do have another list that was circulated today. It is incomplete but just for the record for tonight. Some of the things that were identified are replacement of Safer Grant, training and supply, increase fire, building department hires of two, police hires of two, R.I.T.A short falls of $85,000.00. If we could get an Economic Development Director and we don’t have anything in here for city Beautification or for Parks and Recreation. They are big goose eggs and we’re not even considering that at this point. Along with a phone system for City Hall, City Hall roof, roof for the Fire Department, roof for the Service garage, catch basin repairs and street repairs. If we did a Mayor’s Court the startup cost we would need funding for that, Taft heating and cooling, Taft parking lot needs to be replaced, a new loader, new tow motor, two four wheel drive pick up ¾ ton trucks, skidster, and two five ton truck. I believe that is to help with our snow plowing and you can correct me if I am wrong. We need part-time employees, software updates, new servers, 911 phone systems and it severely outdated, Police heating and HVAC, Police range improvements, jail heating and air conditioning, bay door, police header over the bay doors. This is just a list put together of improvements and we don’t have all of the costs for everything. My guess is that we haven’t really looked at all of the costs for everything, because we never had any money to do any of these things that we need to do. We have always been trying to balance the budget and keep everything together with tape and spit and whatever else we can fashion to keep it together. Things are really starting to fall apart. So for the record those are items that need to be approved and costs can be assessed to them. I am sure that they in excess of $2 Million. With that are there any comments based on mine or Mr. Klammer’s comments?


Mr. Klammer: The last thing from a legal stand point I would remind the resident’s the minutes that Council again is doing this on three readings. A lot of time you will see that Council will pass they will wave three readings legislation is topically move’s through a three reading process. Unless it is waved and on important issues they always have gone to three readings. You will have heard tonight that the discussion of the reciprocity indicated that it would be the first meeting. So it will be heard again open to the public at two more meetings. This is something that Council has always done in my fifteen years that I have been here. When important issues especially of taxation of finances come before the board and just from a legal stand point that is all that I have to add.


Ms. DePledge: Topically with any housekeeping issues things that we see on a yearly basis or things that we have to approve regularly is that they come in and we only read them one time and approve them and pass them. Because we see them year after year something like reciprocity is really an anomaly and it is something that is very important and something that everybody wants to consider. We want to take as much time as we can to get the information out to the public and give the public an opportunity to be heard. It isn’t anything that we are rushing through or that we are pressing through. We are going a full three readings on it and again it is because we recognize that it’s sensitive and it’s not popular and it is not an easy decision for anybody sitting up here tonight. Mr. Evers?


Mr. Evers: I would the resident to now know that in working with the Administration the Police and Fire Chief’s the Eastlake Community Center and EPAL Center is now a fully recognized Red Cross Heating and Cooling Center. We are also a back up to meals on wheels. Anytime the lights or the power goes out and it is going to stay out if we have power the Chief’s will get the word out. They will spread the word and EPAL will get the call and the Community Center will be open no matter what time or what day. Again I would like to thank the three of them for making this possible.


Ms. DePledge: Mr. Hoefle?


Mr. Hoefle: Mayor I don’t know if you wanted to touch on the nice donation that we received from EZPOLE for the Police and the Fire Departments and EPAL as well.


Chief Reik: EZPOLE on 363th and we posted it on Facebook…they donated to the Fire Chief and I a flagpole. A thin blue line and a thin red line pole and flag. And a bracket mounted pole and flag for each fire fighter, paramedic and police officer to have at their house. I have said this before over the last couple of months with all of the craziness. Especially law enforcement but it has also touched the fire service that we’ve seen more people come up to us and show their verbal support, delivering cookies or pizza and everything that you can think of. Kids bringing in cards and we have always had support since 911 but it has been overwhelming. To have a company like that looking for nothing other than dropping them off. We didn’t ask for the News-Herald to be there or any of the news channels they just wanted to do. We obviously did post as a public thank you. I know that both departments are working on some other things. It is really over whelming to get that type of recognition.


There were no questions of Mr. Klammer.



The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:15 p.m.



           ­­­­­­­­­­                                                            __________________________________________


APPROVED: ______________________



ATTEST: ______________________________________



Back to top