Highland Heights Residents Commission to revise the charter; tickets available for the Spring Parade

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Mayor Chuck Brunello, Jr. has convened a Charter Review Commission to review and make possible changes to what appears to be the city’s constitution.

The Commission met for the first time on January 26 and heard from Brunello and legal director Tim Paluf on the rules and procedures to be followed. Board chair Ann D’Amico said the board and administration have yet to make any suggestions to the commission as to what specific elements of the charter they would like to review.

“We’re going to have a committee of the whole (city council) meeting to discuss what we’d like them to look at, probably in two weeks,” D’Amico said.

The commission may also determine and pursue changes it deems prudent for the city.

Brunello named residents Michael Barber, Lisa Benedetti, Ken Godnavec, Tammy Kloss, Jim Meola, Phil Piccus, René Polin and Phillip Tripi to the Commission. Brunello originally appointed Mayfield School Board member Al Hess to the Commission, but it was determined that Hess needed to be replaced because he sits on another city committee and residents are only allowed to sit on one one committee at a time. Polin was named Hess’s replacement on the Commission.

The Commission will then meet at 7 p.m. on February 9 at the Highland Heights Town Hall, 5827 Highland Road. At this meeting, it will choose its president and its secretary.

“They will then begin their process of deliberation and deepening the charter, which is not that big,” Brunello said. “But like any other charter, I will have the opportunity to bring something to the table, as will the council and department heads, and any thoughts that they (the Commission) have as a group, they will do the same. But I haven’t reviewed anything yet or suggested anything.

If the Commission makes suggestions for changes to the charter, the council will then have to approve putting the changes on the ballot for the residents to decide.

The Highland Heights Charter states that a Board of Review must be formed every five to six years. A Charter Review Commission last met in 2017, and before that, in 2011.

Tickets now available for the fashion show

D’Amico, who is the city council’s representative to Highland Heights Seniors, said the organization will hold its second Afternoon Tea & Fashion Show at 1 p.m. on April 24 at the Highland Heights Community Center, next to the hotel in city. Although sponsored by Highland Heights Seniors, the event is for people of all ages living in any community.

Holders of local officers will be among those modeling men’s and women’s fashion. “So far we have Mayor Brunello, (Lyndhurst) Mayor (Patrick) Ward and (Lyndhurst Municipal Court) Judge (Dominic) Coletta,” D’Amico said. “It’s going to be very nice. It really is.

The men will wear Jos’ clothes. A. Bank in Legacy Village, and the women (model names have yet to be announced), clothes by J. Jill of Beachwood Place.

Due to the pandemic, the event did not take place in 2021. Two years ago, the first fashion show took place at StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights.

“Initially I thought we would have 40 people (attending in 2021), and we ended up with 110,” D’Amico said. “It worked very well. I had downtown judges and I had Mayor Brunello’s wife, Mayor (Georgine) Welo (of South Euclid), Mayor (Brenda) Bodnar (of Mayfield Village), Mayor Ward’s wife and the wife of Judge Coletta, and Judge (Gayle) Williams-Byers of South Euclid (City Court). It was really a huge success. »

D’Amico said the event is a fundraiser for Highland Heights Seniors. “(The organization does) meals for our seniors – we did this last spring, November and December – where we offer a meal prepared by LaVera (Party Center/Catering) for pick up, take out,” said she declared. “We subsidized the cost for our residents, so that helps subsidize some of the cost. And we give out snacks at concerts around town, things like that.

Tickets for the April 24 tea and fashion show are $40 per person and $25 per person for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling Mary Velotta at City Hall at 440-461-2440, then pressing 0 for the operator.

New garbage collection contract

The city’s contract with garbage collection company Kimble Recycling & Waste Disposal expires at the end of June. Brunello said he had been in contact with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District so that bidders could be solicited for a new contract.

The expiration is a five-year deal with Kimble that also included two one-year extensions, bringing the total to seven years.

“Pretty much the same service (Kimble) provides Mayfield Village they provide to us,” Brunello said.

Speaking about Kimble’s performance at Highland Heights, Brunello said: “Like everyone else in the world, Kimble is struggling to find staff. There is nothing new that we are going to look for (in a new contract). They’ve been pretty good, for the most part, but they’re starting to see the effects of what’s happening in the United States.

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