Cleveland Council Meeting Highlights (4/25)

Apr 25, 2022

Cleveland (April 25, 2022) – City Council held its regular Monday meeting tonight, both in person in Council Chambers and through live streaming. There will not be a council meeting Monday, May 2, as there is a primary election the following day. The next council meeting is Monday, May 9.

Here are tonight’s highlights:

Council Enters into Agreement with Non-Profit for Public Square Changes: Council approved an agreement between the city and the non-profit Group Plan Commission for construction at Public Square and authorized $1.5 million for the city’s share of the cost of the improvement project, estimated at $3 million.

The city and the Group Plan Commission will work with public and private entities to provide the additional needed funding. The aim of the project is to make the square more accessible to pedestrians. It will change safety measures while improving the aesthetics of the square.

The work will include removing the concrete barriers placed in 2017 and installing crash resistant bollards which are cylinder posts positioned for safety purposes, as well as planters and other items which will address safety concerns while improving the aesthetics of Public Square. Ord. No. 242-2022

Introductions:

Getting Help for Cleveland Businesses: Council introduced three ordinances authorizing the city’s Department of Economic Development to enter into agreements with three non-profit groups – JumpStart Inc., Manufacturing Works and the Urban League – to provide economic development assistance for various businesses in Cleveland.

If approved by council, the city would give JumpStart up to $578,000; Manufacturing Works up to $499,883; and the Urban League up to $350,000.

Selected businesses would use the money for training, planning, workforce development, technical help and general financial assistance. Ord. Nos. 386-2022, 387-2022, 388-2022.

Fare Evasion and Misconduct Change: Legislation that would reduce the penalties for people who evade paying for public transportation and other misconduct including smoking, eating or drinking in prohibited areas, playing music without headphones and spitting, was introduced. The penalties for the misconduct, after passage, will be a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and a fine of $25. No incarceration for this violation would be imposed. However, Cleveland laws do not have authority over the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, a separate state-created entity.

RTA transit police officers currently cite offenders for evading payment of fares under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.41(A), a fourth-degree misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a $250 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. Cleveland can only encourage RTA to cite the new penalties after passage of the legislation.

Currently, RTA gives first-time adult offenders a warning, and second time adult offenders the option of paying a $25 administrative fee to avoid criminal charges. Juvenile offenders receive a written warning for the first offense, and a $25 administrative fee if received within 30 days of the second and subsequent offense. Ord. No. 399-2022