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Council Meeting Highlights (2/27/23)

Feb 27, 2023

Council Opposes Move to Politicize State Board of Education: Council members Richard S. Starr and Kevin Conwell sponsored a resolution passed by council opposing Senate Bill 1. SB 1 transfers most powers and duties of the State Board of Education to the governor. The State Board of Education is a 19-member, non-partisan body with eleven elected members and eight members appointed by the governor.

SB 1 would remove most of the control over education policy from the Board and give it over to the governor, a move that could very well politicize education policy. Council believes S.B. 1 amounts to a power-grab by the legislature in order to maintain conservative control over Board policies. All Council members unanimously co-sponsored the resolution. Res. No. 205-2023.

Council Supports Medicare for All: Council passed a resolution, sponsored by Councilman Kerry McCormack, supporting Medicare for All and urging the U.S. Congress to enact emergency legislation to provide universal, comprehensive healthcare with zero cost-sharing for patients. Recent polls show that a majority of Americans support Medicare for All.

All Council members unanimously co-sponsored the resolution. “The current COVID-19 pandemic has … severely strained healthcare system, widespread illness, and has taken a profound toll on our communities’ mental health, all of which is placing significant demands on the U.S. healthcare system. Every person in Cleveland, and indeed the United States, deserves high-quality healthcare.” Res. No. 189-2023.

Legislation Introduced:

Two New Mini-pitch Soccer Fields: Legislation was introduced to allow council to accept a donation from the U.S. Soccer Foundation for two mini-pitch soccer fields with sponsor logos, that will include lighting, fencing, goals, benches, ADA-compliant access, and lockable storage at each location. Sponsors for the soccer fields include the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Black Players for Change, the Black Women’s Player Collective, Mosco Lighting, and Adidas. The mini-pitch soccer fields will be installed at the Lonnie Burten Park and at the Halloran Park. This legislation will go to the directors of Public Works, Finance, and Law; then to the Committees on Municipal Services and Properties, and Finance Diversity Equity and Inclusion before a full vote of council. Ord. No. 250-2023.

New Connection to Lakefront Bikeway: Legislation was introduced to accept real estate gift from The NRP Group LLC for property that will be used for planning, designing, and constructing a trail to connect the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway to Herman Park. The county appraised value of the donation at $21,300. Herman Park is located in Ward 15 on Herman Avenue between West 65th and West 58th streets. The legislation will go to the Directors of Capital Projects, City Planning Commission, Finance, and then Law; then to the Committees on Municipal Services and Properties, Development Planning and Sustainability, and Finance Diversity Equity and Inclusion before a full vote of council. Ord. No. 251-2023.

Kia and Hyundai Thefts Surging: Councilman Kris Harsh is sponsoring a resolution calling upon the Bibb administration to follow the lead of Columbus and other cities and file suit against Kia and Hyundai to recover costs incurred by the City associated with the rash of thefts of stolen vehicles. The number of insured Kias and Hyundais stolen in Cuyahoga County jumped more than 233% from October to December, 2022, when 656 cars were stolen in the county. Cleveland alone saw 459 thefts of the two makes of cars in the December, 2022.

Kia and Hyundai failed to equip their vehicles manufactured between 2015- 2021 with industry-standard security features, including engine immobilizers and other anti-theft systems, which could have helped prevent the thefts. The rise in the thefts of Kias and Hyundais has caused the City to expend more resources to investigate the thefts, respond to criminal activity related to the thefts, and assess associated property destruction, all at the increased expense of taxpayers. This legislation will go to the Director of Law before coming to Finance Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee before a full vote of council. Res. No. 257-2023.