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Will "greening" the Cleveland Heights City Hall parking lot help our city economically or attract new residents?

Will $250,000 in "greening" and "retrofitting" the City Hall parking lot help us economically or attract new residents?

Will “greening” City Hall’s parking lot attract new residents or help our businesses?

According to a Sun News article published on Cleveland.com 10/6/12, Mayor Ed Kelley plans to spend $250,000 of the city’s money to “retrofit” the City Hall parking lot to make it “greener”.

At the September 19, 2012 meeting of the Cleveland Heights City Council, council members unanimously passed a resolution to pay Behnke Associates $4850.00 plus expenses to develop this plan. The resolution was passed as “an emergency”. (Passing legislation as an emergency reduces citizen input and prohibits citizens being able to use a referendum–please consider asking council not to pass such large ticket items as emergencies.)

Council also hopes to raise additional funds from grants to add trees and plants to the parking lot. Sources of possible additional funds include: Ohio EPA and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Small Scale Demonstration Grants.

Spending $250,000 of city money to retrofit a parking lot did not sound like a good idea to me. But I thought maybe the parking lot was in really bad shape and needed to be replaced anyway. So I drove over to City Hall and drove around the parking lot to see for myself. It seemed fine to me. It’s not in perfect condition, it has a few holes that should be patched. But it is not a road.

It’s a parking lot.

Most of us are in the same boat. We have friends and family unemployed or underemployed, our property values have declined dramatically but our property tax rates are increasing. We can anticipate further property tax increases to pay for the CH-UH School District facilities master plan; a bond issue is in the works for the Nov 2013 ballot.

By all means, let’s spruce the city up and make it greener. But let’s do it in a way that will make our city appealing to residents and businesses and help our economy. There are many places around town that need better stormwater management, but plantings and pocket wetlands should be built in places that will help connect neighborhoods and business districts, or make biking and walking to University Circle a safer and more pleasant experience.

Please go drive through the city hall parking lot and judge for yourself whether or not this $250,000 expenditure is worthwhile. Some proposals and plans are complicated; this one is not. You can trust your own judgment on this issue.

Do you think “greening” City Hall’s parking lot will attract new residents or help our businesses?

If you agree that city council should use $250,000 of our tax dollars, not on a parking lot, but to do something that will help people and our economy and our city’s future, please contact them and let them know how you feel.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

michaelschwartz October 23, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Well said. On this issue you have my support. The arrogance of the Heights City Council is disgraceful. Is it any wonder that the city continues its death spiral? And that is exactly what it is. Between this blatant waste of taxpayer money, the tax abatement fiasco on Lee/Meadowbrook, or their rigged appointment of the the new council person, this is what you get with the Democratic machine. Connect the dots: Democrats controlling CH city hall and the accelerating decline of this once proud suburb.
Garry Kanter October 23, 2012 at 01:33 AM
There's no rhyme or reason to council's actions and spending. What did they compare *this* idea to, in order to decide this was a better - the best - idea? It's like whatever their fortune cookie says, that's what they push for and pass. Lousy job of Representative Governing. Nonexistent, really.
Garry Kanter October 23, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Let's work together to keep those bad things from happening. Being as council isn't part of the solution, I see them as the problem.
michaelschwartz October 23, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Garry, it will never happen as the Democrats have carte blanche in this city. The citizenry never raises a peep about any of this. Look at all the Obama/Brown signs plastered all over. The sheeple take any directive hook, line, and sinker. And don't get me started on te Heights schools--another bastion of no accountability highly paid teacher union controlled happy talk while the system goes down the drain.
Garry Kanter October 23, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Let's take it one bite at a time. Five council members will run for election in 2013. We have 13 months to figure something out. We only fail if we don't try, or we quit.

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