City Of Seven Hills Community Newsletter January—March 2010 Mayor David Bentkowski says tough decisions will be made to balance budget to stall the need for any property tax increase . . . Rising costs and tough economy create challenges costs, but this year, there is these costs keep going up. Fi- Despite the tough economy, we going to be more of an empha- nancially, we are in a lot better are still moving forward with sis on changing things and de- shape than most communities great projects. This year, we are termining what we can live with- around but I am here to tell you repaving East Pleasant Valley out. Keep in mind, most of our that everything is on the table Road and doing massive water- budget is salaries. Our police as far as planning for the fu- line projects on Cherry and Twi- department costs over $2 mil- ture. I don’t want to raise taxes light. Also, in the next couple of lion a year. The fire department and as a city, we haven’t raised years we are full-speed ahead is nearly $1,000,000. The ser- them in a long time. We are on repaving Rockside Road, vice department is over going to make prudent business Hillside Road, Broadview Road, $1,000,000. Just like for your decisions. For example, it costs and our streetscape project. personal home budget, you can us $50,000 a year to keep the These are all projects where we imagine how costs are going up. Calvin Rec. Center open. Per- have secured grants and fund- Think your gas bill is high? haps it is time to close that and Mayor David Bentkowski and the City ing from some agency - and we Imagine heating the Rec. Center force everyone to use our main Council will be spending most of January only have to pay a small share. creating a balanced budget for 2010 and City Hall. Think your fuel Rec. Center. Residents are use Keep in mind, paving on Pleas- costs went up? Imagine gassing to calling City Hall and having a ant Valley or Broadview costs Dear Resident, a fleet of snowplows, police variety of secretaries at their millions, so even our paltry 10% cars, and ambulances. disposal. Perhaps in some Over the last couple of years, share still will cost us hundreds cases it will make sense to we have wisely limited our Every year, insurance costs go of thousands on these projects. have some automated phone spending to make sure things up. In this crazy world, even We can’t say “no” to someone systems that put you in touch didn’t get out of hand with this after we shopped around for giving us 90% of the funding with the person you want. We terrible economy. As a city, we months, we were considered which is why somehow, we have are literally going to review have not laid off any people and lucky our premiums only went to come up with the rest. When every operation and see if we your services have remained up 8%. Isn’t that crazy? Just you see us doing projects like can do it cheaper. Perhaps it top notch. that increase could cost the city this or the new street signs, you will save us money if we pick up an additional $75,000 a year. have to remember that we are Last year, mostly due to reve- our own trash instead of Waste spending someone else’s nue shortfalls because of the Several years ago, our trash Management. The list of pro- money while improving our city. economy, the city dipped into contract went up nearly posed ideas I have come up Some people have trouble its reserves around $700,000. $300,000 A YEAR because of with and will be reviewing with grasping that on one side I am Keep in mind, we have about fuel costs/insurance costs, etc. City Council is long. All you have telling you money is tight, yet $4 million in the bank, but the Thank goodness everyone is to know is that any changes we you see us doing all this work. point is, we don’t want to keep recycling so much with our blue make will be made to help us We have been incredibly suc- relying on it. carts or it would have been avoid having to come to you for cessful moving the city forward even worse. Where do people more money. So, for 2010, my pledge to you while being very frugal with your think we are going to keep find- is that we are going to go Times are tough, people are money. Other cities are amazed ing money to cover this? through every single item in the hurting, and I ask for your sup- by our efforts and residents budget and see how we can do I tell you all of this because you port as I do what I do best - should be proud that even in things cheaper. We always go have to understand we don’t make those tough decisions this economy, we are making through the budget and watch have new money coming in - yet that will protect your money. Seven Hills better. SERVICE DEPARTMENT SNOW PLOWING As begun last winter and with the success we enjoyed both monetarily and environmentally, we will continue with our Salt Sensibility program. Therefore, main roads, intersections, hills, curves and school zones will con- tinue to be salted and plowed throughout snow events. Secondary streets will be plowed as often as possible, but will not be salted except for 200 feet at each intersection. As always, we will never jeopardize our resi- dent’s safety but will be cognizant of continued cost control and environmental effects of the salt. WATER MAIN BREAKS CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Should you notice bubbling or streaming water along Please place your clean tree at curbside for pick up on the roadway or curb area, please call the Cleveland your regular trash day. Trees must be free of all decora- Water Department at 216-664-3060 to report the tions including tinsel, lights and tree bags. The city will break. As a result if you experience brown water, begin the tree recycling program throughout January be- run your cold water in the lowest level of your home ginning the week of January 4, 2010. until it runs clear. Do not run your hot water until the water is clear. Please do not get angry with the city - we are not allowed to “touch” or fix CWD lines. E-mail: email@example.com STREET LIGHT OUTAGES The Illuminating Company has several ways to report a street light outage. You may call their automated outage report- ing line at 1-888-544-4877 or access their website at www.firstenergycorp.com. They will need the closest address, the pole number located on a small metal plate, and what the problem is; damaged pole, broken fixture, light flickering or out. Most repairs take several days at a minimum. If you cannot resolve the issue per an above method, contact Diane in the Service Department at 216-525-6225 and she will handle it for you. DOCUMENT SHRED DAY We will have our next document shred day on Tuesday, April 20th from 2PMto 6PM behind City Hall. Paper to include: accounting ledger paper, adding machine tape, booklets, brochures, copy machine paper, colored paper, computer paper, envelopes, manila folders, greeting cards, all types of white paper. Small paper clips and staples do not have to be removed. Materials NOT to be shredded: newspapers, phone books, magazines, binders, books, plastic folders, waxed paper, napkins, Styrofoam of any kind. Infoshred.net will be doing the shredding. You can visit them at http://www.infoshredohio.net STREET PATCHING: The city is constantly patching streets if needed as soon as weather allows. We live in Ohio - you know how this works every year - the plows rip up the patches and we go fill the holes as soon as possible. Welcome to winter! HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WATE & COMPUTER ROUNDUP 2010 DATES: Monday, May 3, 8AM-6PM & Monday, September 20, 8AM-6PM—behind City Hall HOUSEHOLD MATERIAL ACCEPTED: Oil or solvent-based paint, sealers, primers, or coatings (aerosols or liquids) - varnishes, polyurethane, shellacs, paint thinner, mineral spirits, turpentine, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, caustic household cleaners, automotive fluids, motor oil, car batteries, adhesives, roof tan, driveway sealer, kerosene, gasoline, lighter fluid, mercury, fluorescent bulbs. HOUSEHOLD MATERIALS NOT ACCEPTED: Latex paint, explosives, gun powder, ammunition, flares, medical waste, pharmaceuticals, sharps, radioactive waste. DISPOSAL OF LATEX PAINT: The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District does not accept latex paint at the HHW Roundups. Latex paint is com- prised mostly of water and is not a hazardous material. To dispose of latex paint, solidify with sawdust or cat litter and place in your curbside trash. Remove the lid so trash crews know that it is solidified. For more information visit www.cuyahogaswd.org Mayor Pays for this Full-Page Ad to Clarify Story About His Book Dear Resident, interviews and hopefully sooner or later people will realize that Since the day I became mayor, I have had a group of peo- I am the victim and that it is absurd that the police, local me- ple attempting to sabotage, misrepresent and condemn dia, and others allow this type of assault to happen to some- virtually everything I have tried to do in Seven Hills. When one just because they hold office. The good news out of all of you consider that I have simply tried to be a public servant, this is that I have been working with state leaders on tougher help my community, and I make $14,000 a year as mayor, “cyber-stalking and menacing laws” and there will come a day it really is perverse the level of assaults I have had to en- when nameless cowards on the internet are flushed out for dure. You cannot even comprehend what has been done to criminal prosecution. me and you likely know only a fraction of it. In conclusion, yes, my new book, “The Power of the Proclama- Many of you will recall how one of these assailants took a tion” does talk about parts of my body. It’s just words, folks, harmless picture of me in a Superman suit, digitally ma- life will go on. I do it in a funny manner to counteract assaults I nipulated it, and flooded the internet with pictures that have endured for years. The book is only available to adults were a gross invasion of my privacy. The portrayals about that purchase it and the dialogue about my body is just a few my “body” were so intrusive and pronounced that they led sentences out of a 75,000 word book. In my book I purposely to all kinds of off-color comments. I have been labeled a did not explain what my assailants have done to me. Why freak, a farm animal, and much worse that can’t be re- would I give them the sick satisfaction that their actions have peated on these pages. They took my image and put me on harmed me? I am only addressing it now as a result of the offensive and pornographic websites. They printed off “shock” reporting done by local media trying to portray my those pictures of me on those websites - the bogus images book as dirty when it is not. they created - and mailed them to seniors. Good citizens What is really sad about all of this is that the book is a glowing filed police reports to help me yet the police failed in catch- tribute to Seven Hills and I am receiving positive coverage ing the culprits. across the country. I have literally done wonderful interviews in For years, these people have continued to make very dirty Philadelphia, Nashville, New York, and many other places commentary about my body all over the internet and con- where I have been able to discuss how wonderful Seven Hills tinually use the phony images. For four years, I have tried is and put our city on the map for something positive other everything I could think of to make this stop. I have sued . . than our most infamous resident that is always in the news. Of . gone to the police . . . tried to create awareness with Con- course, it is so typical of Cleveland’s disgusting media to be so gressional leaders about the dangers of nameless and tabloid and be the only place trying to trash my efforts. I stand faceless bloggers, etc. This has greatly impacted my liveli- behind my book 110%. Everyone that reads it tells me how hood and my life. It has caused stress and strain and finan- much they enjoyed it and how great a tribute it is to Seven cial loss for me in ways you can’t even imagine and no one Hills. If you haven’t read it, then perhaps you should reserve has helped me - it still continues to this day. making judgment based on local sleaze journalism. Also, I con- tinue to ask you to ponder who keeps assaulting me and who So, after four years of letting these people control the dia- is responsible for the continued attacks on my reputation. For logue and continually harm me with this subject matter, I those of you that have been around city politics, perhaps you made a conscientious decision to address the subject mat- can formulate who I think is responsible. I have made serving ter in my new book. You may not understand my reasons Seven Hills my life and I have made this community better. All I for doing this, but quite frankly, it is not your call to make have ever asked of any of you is to realize there are bad peo- because you are not the person that has been assaulted - I ple always besmirching my name because they have visions of am. Don’t judge me if you don’t know what has been done holding my office. Don’t let negative attacks ruin our efforts. to me. My idea was simple: the whole reason these people keep trying to harm me with this subject matter is because Every time you see a story about me on television or in the they thought it was dirty and they bet that as an elected paper . . . or you read some nasty blog about me . . . just re- official, I could never talk about it - therefore, I could never member that someone with an agenda for me made that call defend myself and they could continue to harass me. So, to a newspaper or anonymously made that posting. They don’t after letting them win for four years and trying every other care about Seven Hills, they just care about trying to harm me. option, I finally decided enough was enough and I decided I would think most would want to rally behind the person that to talk about the subject matter directly in my book taking has actually spent his life helping Seven Hills instead of those the “sting” away from them. Now that I talked about it in warped people. I have two years left as mayor and I hope you my book, I marginalized it and have made it immaterial. I will join me in keeping our city progressing in the wonderful successfully took the harm out of their efforts and now if way it has the last six years. And yes, I encourage you to buy they continue to talk about my body . . . who cares . . . I my book at www.poweroftheproclamation.com. Happy New have talked candidly about what they have done to me in Year, Mayor David Bentkowski ENGINEERING PROJECTS IN DESIGN PHASE ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES ◊ EPA Mandated Phases II and III Sanitary Improvement Project ◊ GIS mapping project of City infrastructure (Portions of Broadview Rd and Skyview Dr) ◊ Street tree inventory ◊ Cleveland Water Department—Replacement of waterlines on Starlight Dr and Cherry Ln ◊ Service Department sewer upgrades ◊ Cuyahoga County Engineer—E. Pleasant Valley Road resurfacing ◊ Spray Park UPCOMING DESIGN PROJECTS ◊ 2010 Blanket Service Contract for sewer and roadway repairs ◊ Broadview Road—Paving ◊ Hemlock Creek Watershed Sanitary Sewer Project **RAIN BARREL REMINDER** Rain Barrel owners, please remember to winterize your barrels by DRAINAGE emptying them, disconnecting them and using your winter plug in the diverter. With the fall season ending, please keep your ditches, There are more Rain Barrels available for purchase. swales, culverts, and inlet grates free of debris such that water may properly drain. This property maintenance will If you have any questions, please contact the Engineering Office at minimize standing water and flooding. 216-525-6226. Stream Friendly Snow Removal We are often aware of rainwater and runoff in the summer months. The puddles and mud make it hard to overlook. But stormwater pollution carries on into the winter months as well. In northeast Ohio, snow and ice removal is a fact of life, but the methods we use can have an effect on the health of our streams. Remember, when the ground is frozen, it acts as an impervious surface, and pollu- tion is more likely to run into a nearby stream or storm drain. Below are some simple ideas for keeping your sidewalk and driveway save and keeping stormwater runoff cleaner. Manual snow removal: Even if you are going to salt, remove as much snow as possible first. Break out the shovel, snowblower, and garden hoe. Chemical deicers work best on a thin layer of snow or ice. If you are using a snowblower, be careful with the gas as you fill up the tank. The garden hoe can be used to scrape ice, but shouldn’t be used to chip at the surface—it can chip the concrete. Try adding traction: Instead of getting down to bare surface, consider if there is enough traction in the snow. Small amounts of sand can be used to increase traction, but too much sand will cause problems in the stormwater system. Sand should not be used in ar- eas that drain directly into the stormwater system. More isn’t better: Do you need access to every door of your house, or can you just de-ice the one you use everyday? Does the entire patio need to be bare, or do you just need a path across it to the driveway? The recommended application rate for rock salt is about a cup per square yard. Adding more won’t speed up the melting. Calcium chloride works at one cup per three square yards. Com- bine deicers with scraping, especially in the late afternoon when things are at their warmest. Skip the fertilizer treatment: In the past, people have been advised to use fertilizers or other urea-containing products to de-ice with the theory that it would end up fertilizing the lawn as well. Unfortunately the ground is frozen and the grass is not taking up nutri- ents, so most of that fertilizer runs off in the melt water. Overuse of fertilizer can also burn vegetation, especially conifers and ever- green broadleaf plants such as azalea and rhododendron the next time you remove snow. Be wary of glycol: Many “pet-safe” products contain ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. Both are toxic to aquatic organisms, and ethylene glycol is also toxic to mammals. They both decrease the amount of oxygen in streams, and break down into other poten- tially unsafe chemicals. For more conservation tips, contact the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District at 216-524-6580 or www.cuyahogaswcd.org Dear Friends in our Neighboring Seven Hills Community I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone that has given support to me, my family, as well as my entire staff of employees at Dick Bigelow Chevrolet over what has been a very emo- tional and trying past 6 months in the Chevrolet automobile business. We have received hundreds of letters of support from not only businesses and past customers, but also from schools, organizations, politicians and pri- vate individuals such as yourself. Everyone has been very gracious to us and we really appreciate the support. We have always strived to be a pillar in our community, not only by selling quality Chevrolets and pre- owned vehicles, but also by offering certified technical services whenever the need arrives. We have been in- volved in numerous community functions for many years now including the Seven Hills Festival. It is our belief that there is no better tool than community involvement and service to our customers to show our appre- ciation for keeping us in business for 99 years running. Now, let me talk about what we are looking forward to in the coming year. As of this writing, we are await- ing the recently enacted arbitration process with General Motors to take place. Sometime in January we will receive written notice from Chevrolet as to why we were chosen as one of the Dealers to wind-down, a deci- sion that has never fully been explained to us despite numerous appeals to GM for an explanation. We will then begin the arduous process of arbitration to regain our Dealer Franchise status. Unfortunately, this process may take an additional 180 days. During this time I would like to express to our customers and community that we are still here offering exceptional service along with factory warranty service on any Chevrolet regard- less of where it was purchased. We do not have many new Chevrolets to purchase at this time, but we do have a great selection of pre-owned vehicles. We have been increasing our pre-owned inventory from about 125 units to about 175 high quality pre-owned cars and trucks. We still offer a high selection of GM vehicles but we have expanded our non-GM line to include a wide range of makes and models. Come in and take a look, I think you will be surprised by the quality selection of vehicles we have to offer. Another change that has taken place is that we have expanded our relationship with Enterprise Rental. En- terprise is now servicing a larger general area than they have in the past, with a larger counter area and fleet of vehicles. They are here at our location for all of your rental needs. Regardless of how the arbitration process turns out, we will still continue to provide service, parts and pre- owned vehicle sales for many years to come. Perhaps General Motors and Chevrolet will look at us and say “99 years and still running, they must be doing something right.” Hopefully then, we’ll be here to walk you around that new Chevrolet once again. Thank you all again for all of your support it has meant much more to me than you may ever realize. Stop in sometime and say hi, I’m usually the one running the snow blower or riding the tractor cutting grass. This has been my home and my community for many years and I plan to stay here for many more. Sincerely, Richard H Bigelow HISTORICAL SOCIETY RECREATION CENTER Here we are again at the beginning of another year. Last year was great! SHHS is thankful for the support of many good people. Mr. Pignatiello and the City of Seven Hills made it possible to become incorporated. Also, the City of Seven Hills made locked storage available to us and we are able to secure items given to the Society. We would like to send a big thank you to Chris Matthews, Donna Camarati and Diane Schneider and to all who work at City Hall. You could again find us at the Senior Fair in May and Home Days in July. Home Days Committee allowed us to share the Information Booth. This year we also participated in Seven Hills’ Fall Fest. Lisa Nemeth at Northcoast Promo- tions made two tables available to us. Our display was women’s history quilts. Carol Wooten and Judy Bigge from Common Threads Quilting Guild joined SHHS at the Fest, bringing not just projects but knowledge, expertise and help- ing hands. We displayed a quilt from every decade from 1880’s to present and many different types of quilts. In March, Mr. Wesley Gaab from the Independence Histori- cal Society joined us to talk about how donations are re- corded and stored. He suggested touring the Historical So- ciety in Hudson. So off we went on our first fieldtrip. Both his presentation and ideas and the trip to Hudson were great. In October, Ruth Bakonyi reviewed the importance of family histories. She demonstrated methods of creating a person memoir and brought examples. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ellen- best shared their experience in tracking genealogy of their families. They also brought information and methods of col- lecting and storing personal history. Mr. Chester Goellner shared what it was like growing up in Seven Hills and other THOMAS W. CORDRICK, DDS life stories. 6285 PEARL RD #29 SHHS meets at City Hall the third Tuesday of each month at PARMA HEIGHTS, OHIO 44131 7PM. We are already in the process of planning 2010 pro- grams and events. As always you are all welcome to come 440-842-5070 and join us, and bring your ideas. It’s a great way to chase away those mid-winter blues. For more information call COSMETIC, RESTORATIVE & IMPLANT DENTISTRY Kathy Patterson at 216-236-6037 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE HOURS BY APPOINTMENT or Joyce Roth at 216-901-9000, email@example.com Richard A. Pignatiello ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW 4141 Rockside Road, Suite 230 Seven Hills, Ohio 44131 216-524-1000 BUILDING DEPARTMENT CONTRACTORS MUST BE REGISTERED C.O. 1123.01—”Contractor” means any firm, individual, copartnership, corporation, association or any other organization, or any combination thereof, who by himself or itself or by or through others constructs, alters, repairs, adds to, subtracts from, reconstructs or remodels any building, structure or appurtenance thereto, or who or which undertakes, offers to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake or submits a bid to do so and whose work requires a permit by these Codified Ordinances. “Contractor” - includes subcontractors and also specialty contractors whose operations as such are the performance of construction work requiring special skill and whose principal contracting business involves the use of specialized building trades or crafts, and whose work requires a permit by these Codified Ordinances. Any property owner in the City requesting more than one building permit within a three year period for the construction of a new dwelling shall be considered a contractor. (Ord. 79-2000) 1123.02—REGISTRATION REQUIRED— (a) No person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association or any other organization, or any combination thereof, shall engage in the business, perform any work which requires a permit or otherwise act in the capacity of a contractor within the City without first being duly registered by the City to perform such work. (b) All contractors are herby required to submit to the Building Department a list of every subcontractor working for them in the City and notify the City of any changes. (Ord. 79-2000) IMPORTANT CITY NUMBERS WII Bowling CITY HALL FRONT OFFICE 216-524-4421 Coming Soon RECREATION CENTER FRONT DESK 216-524-6262 The City of Seven Hills Community MAYOR’S OFFICE/SENIOR SERVICES CHRIS MATTHEWS 216-525-6230 Recreation Center is in the proc- COMMUNITY RELATIONS LISA M. DRAGANIC 216-525-6227 ess of organizing a Senior Wii BUILDING DEPARTMENT MARK MORO—COMMISSIONER 216-524-4427 Bowling League! CLERK—JAYNE ANASTASAKIS 216-525-6221 Wii Bowling is being used all over CLERK—TRICIA JAKUBOWSKI 216-525-6222 the world as entertainment as ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT MARK PAPKE—ENGINEER 216-525-6277 well as exercise. Coming very SECRETARY—DENISE MURTZ 216-525-6226 soon, you and your friends can FINANCE DEPARTMENT PHIL BRETT– DIRECTOR 216-525-6242 join the Wii Bowling CRAZE that JOE HOTCHKISS 216-525-6248 takes the 10lb ball right out of the game! HELEN PEKALA 216-525-6249 LAW DEPARTMENT RICHARD PIGNATIELLO SECRETARY—TERI MATSON 216-525-6237 SERVICE DEPARTMENT BILL BISHILANY—DIRECTOR 216-525-6224 SECRETARY—DIANE SCHNEIDER 216-525-6225 COUNCIL CLERK CAROL SEKERAK 216-525-6235 POLICE NON-EMERGENCY 216-524-3911 FIRE NON-EMERGENCY 216-524-3321 Leagues are being formed NOW. CITY HALL FAX 216-524-0523 Call Chris Matthews at 216-525- 6230 for more details. Mayor David Bentkowski’s Office Honorable Mayor David Bentkowski Mayor Bentkowski is at Chris Matthews—Mayor’s Assistant City Hall various times throughout the week. Business Hours: 8:30 AM—4:30PM—Monday—Friday Much of his time is spent Direct Line: 216-525-6230 out in the city or at meet- firstname.lastname@example.org ings outside of City Hall. Any messages or informa- tion can be left with his Special Thanks to Mrs. Barbara Bentkowski Executive Assistant Chris Matthews for immediate Did you ever look around the city and wonder who does all the decorat- attention. ing? Whether it is the Rec Center, street signs, flowers in front of build- ings . . . pretty much everywhere you look, it was decorated by the Contact the Mayor: mayor’s mother, Barbara. She does it for free and personally buys or makes a lot of the decorations. “Mrs. B” just loves to keep Seven Hills 216-901-0269 (Home) beautiful and you can learn how she makes a lot of her items by watching 216-789-7525 (Cell) her every Weds. on the mayor’s cable show, Around Town, on Cox 45. e-mail: email@example.com CITY COORDINATOR Lisa M. Draganic UPCOMING CITY EVENTS: Business Hours: 7:30 AM—1:00PM HOME DAYS MEETING: THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2010 - 6 P.M. Monday—Friday CITY HALL CLOSED: Direct Line: 216-525-6227 firstname.lastname@example.org PRESIDENT’S DAY—MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2010 2010 GARAGE SALE DATES A BIGGER AND BETTER HOME DAYS IN 2010 Its never too early to start thinking about Home Days! This year Home Days will be held on July 23, 24, 25. Ask anyone around: Seven Hills Home Days is April 22-24 now one of the PREMIER Community Festivals in Cuyahoga County. The goal is to keep getting even BIGGER and BETTER. There is no way this can hap- May 27-29 pen without the generous time and efforts given by the volunteers of the June 10-12 (City wide sale) Seven Hills Home Days Committee. WE NEED YOU. July 15-17 The 2010 Home Days Committee will begin meeting soon August 19-21 to plan for this year’s festivities. . If you would like to par- ticipate in the committee or book your booth please call September 23-25 Lisa Draganic @ 216-525-6227 October 21-23 SENIOR CITIZEN COORDINATOR THANK YOU to ALL residents, Businesses, Schools, Churches and Organizations! You have once again exceeded my expecta- tions and came through for the Salvation Army. Along with the hugely successful collections from the Seven Hills Fall Fest and VFW Christmas Party Silent Auction, you have donated your time and efforts to fill a record breaking 340 hours of bone chilling bell ringing this season! This year we teamed up with Broadview Heights Human Services to fill volunteer time at K-Mart as well as Walgreens to raise over $7000 in donations. As you may or may not know, because we filled the hours with volunteers from the community, the collections will be made available for our friends and neighbors in need locally. Please help support your local businesses that support our effort and The Salvation Army; Walgreens and K-Mart. The staff and management were extremely helpful and even allowed us to ring INSIDE the store to avoid the cold weather. In addition, the Yuletide Hunger Program helped support a record number of participants from all four surrounding communi- ties. Food, paper products, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items were collected from the schools, businesses and residents and distributed to needy families in this 27th year of the program. Many of the participants were also helped by the Adopt-A-Family program which helps make the children’s Christmas a little brighter in these tough economic times. Seven Hills business Longbow Research went above and beyond while adopting seven children and donated over $1000 in gift cards to give back to the community. It’s never too early to plan ahead for next years campaign! Sign up your family, church or school group, business, organization or yourself to fill a full day or several hours of bell ringing, adopt a family or start a food collection. There is an ongoing food- bank at city hall which is in need of restocking. Please consider dropping off your canned goods or picking up a few extra items the next time you go grocery shopping. If you are in need of assistance or would like to volunteer or learn more about any of these programs please feel free to call me at 216-525-6230. SENIOR ADVISORY BOARD SCHEDULE The Senior Advisory Board has been meeting for several months and has made some great strides. Any Senior Advo- Cars have changed. So have traffic rules, driving conditions, and cate is welcome to attend the meetings, resident or not. Be- the roads you travel every day. Some drivers age 50-plus have low are the scheduled dates for 2010. Meetings are held in never looked back since they got their first license, but even the the Community Room in Seven Hills City Hall at 10:00 A.M. on most experienced benefit from brushing up on their driving skills. the 4th Tuesday of each month. Below is the list of meeting dates: You can expect to learn current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques, and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s Jan 26, Feb 23, March 23, April 27, May 25, June 22, July increasingly challenging driving environment. You’ll learn adjust- NO MEETING, Aug 24, Sept 28, Oct 26, Nov 23, Dec —NO ments to accommodate common age-related changes in vision, MEETING hearing, and reaction time. You will learn the following: How to mini- mize the effects of dangerous blind spots—how to maintain the AARP Tax Assistance proper following distance behind another car—the safest ways to change lanes and make turns at busy intersections—proper use of The AARP will once again be providing tax assistance at safety belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes, and new technologies used Seven Hills City Hall. Assistance will be provided starting in cars—ways to monitor your own and others’ driving skills and on Feb1, 2010 and extending until April 15, 2010. capabilities—the effects of medications on driving—the importance of eliminating distractions, such as eating, smoking, and cell phone Representatives will be available Mon., Tues., Thurs., and use. Fri. from 8:00A.M.-3:00P.M. by appointment ONLY. Ap- pointments can be made in person at any of the three The classroom course costs only $12 for AARP members and $14 Parma Libraries. Phone appointments will not be taken. for non-members and you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your agent for After Feb 1, appointments can be made in person at Seven details. Hills City Hall with the AARP aides. Please call Chris Matthews to register for the AARP Driver Safety Seven Hills City Hall cannot make appointments as the Program by Monday, February 1, 2010 at 216-525-6230. schedule is maintained by AARP. SEVEN HILLS CITY COUNCIL A MESSAGE FROM SEVEN HILLS CITY COUNCIL The last few years have been good for economic development in Seven Hills. Our commercial corridor along Broadview Road has never been more active. New structures have been built from the Aldi’s Center, to Panera’s, the Auburn Professional Building, and the Taleris Credit Union. At the north end of town, new townhouses and high end single family homes have been constructed. But even with all the positive news, 2010 will still hold many challenges for Seven Hills. We have looked for creative ways to cut costs. This past year Council held a department-by-department, line-by-line, budget review, the first ever such project in our city’s history. This allowed us to trim the budget for 2009. All cities must provide the basic services that would be impossible to provide for ourselves individually. We choose to live in Seven Hills because of the services, the quality of life and the sense of community it brings to our lives. The cost of everything continues to climb. Employee compensation and healthcare increases place further pressure on the budget. We also face more demands on the service side from unfunded state and federal mandates and stricter compliance standards. Current economic pressures are forcing all cities to examine alternatives to spread some of their costs. To save money, most municipalities are involved in one or more formal service-sharing arrangements with a neighboring community. Regionalism may be a popular theory to save money that goes through periods of heightened interest when budgets are tight. But there is a better alternative. Local control enhances local choice, allows cities to provide better services, and assures lo- cal residents more voice in their own self-government. Competition is good even among communities. Citizens can choose to live in the city that best fits their preferences. Competi- tion forces cities to provide public service at the most efficient level. Instead of regionalizing, arrangements between cities can accomplish common goals or provide a service while achieving effi- cient and effective service delivery. For example Seven Hills shares its 9-1-1 dispatching, our fire department has mutual aid agreements, etc. By these arrangements, we can achieve economies of scale and provide a greater level of resources while retaining local control and local democratic voice. We may face challenges but we also hold the key to solving these issues—economic development, energy efficiency, a moti- vated workforce, and even cost sharing, where reasonable, that does not reduce local response and control over local issues. As President Truman said “A pessimist makes difficulties from his opportunities, but an optimist makes opportunities from his difficulties.” From all of your Council Representatives, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season and a joyous 2010. PARMA HOSPITAL HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION RENAISSANCE BALL The Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation was established in 1987 in order to support Parma Hospital in meeting medical, health and well being bare through philanthropy and community involvement. The Foundation understands that caring for community health is a holis- tic process that neither begins nor ends with the Hospital. For this reason it works to extend the philosophy of comprehensive health care within and beyond the hospital, fulfilling unmet needs and supporting innovation. The Foundation raised nearly $2.5 million to build Seasons of Life Residential which has gently cared for thousands of people and their families. The Foundation also raised $300,00 to help establish the Tri-C Nursing School at Parma Hospital. This service has helped several Parma Hospital employees realize their dream of becoming registered nurses who care for people in this community. The Foundation also provides community grants to support the mission focus areas of: Quality and Dignity of life services, Medical Care and Health Services for the Underserved, the Education of current and future health care workers and students and Cancer Research. One of the ways the Foundation raises funds is through special events like the Renaissance Ball, known for its dramatic themes and aes- thetic motifs, is scheduled for March 6, 2010. Guests will be treated to an exciting and active engagement while they support the Founda- tion’s mission. For more information about Casino Royale: an Elegant, Monte Carlo evening, contact the Foundation at 440-743-4279. FIRE DEPARTMENT The members of the Seven Hills Fire Department would like to take a moment and wish all residents a very happy and most importantly a healthy and safe 2010. The topic for this issue will be regarding safety in your home. Whether you are a single person or family, young or old, you spend the majority of your time in your castle which is commonly referred to as your home. From time to time, we all become complacent with regard to keeping our home safe and sound. The following items are suggestions you may find beneficial. Your home heating system should be checked yearly by a heating and cooling contractor that you are comfortable dealing with. Furnace filters need to be checked for efficiency and if your system is capable of using a high tech filter, install one. A new filter works wonders in helping to ease the high build up of dust that often occurs during the winter months. Clean up your basement if you have trash or other combustibles near your heating system. If you burn wood in your fireplace, make sure the wood is seasoned and have your chimney cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Several chimney fires occur each year and burn for some time prior to detection causing massive fires and damage within the walls. Make sure the flue is open prior to starting the fire; this common error can cause smoke damage inside your home. Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate a fire. Doing so may cause the fire to erupt uncontrollably, severely burning you and possibly causing a house fire. Once the fire is out NEVER discard hot ashes inside or near the home outside of the dwelling. Within the last two months, careless fires occurred in the wooded areas behind homes causing damage. This careless mistake could cause the woods to ignite and burn down your or your neighbor’s home. Take the extra few seconds to dispose of the hot ash properly. If you power should unexpectedly go out, never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. This not only is a safety hazard, but it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes. If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Many of our homes were built during a time period of less electrical use, thus amperage for the specific lines in your home may not be able to accommodate the new use for electronic gadgets. If your fuse or breaker constantly blows or trips, your electrical line is being overused and can cause a massive fire. If you are using an extension cord, be sure to have the necessary rating to carry an amp load. A good rule of thumb is to use an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord. You should avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water. Finally, make sure you have a properly functioning carbon monoxide (CO) detector and smoke detectors on every level of your home. Take the time once every month to test the units so the detectors can effectively alert you if the need should arise. Many of the detectors and alarms are designed to sound before symptoms appear. This was required so that people would have time to react while they were still clear-headed. Remember CO is a color- less, odorless gas and your fire department has a special meter to detect any abnormal problems and we are all cross trained in their use. Remember to practice a home escape plan and involve any family members that live with you. If you have young children or are watching children during the day or night, be sure to keep toys that are small and can fit in the mouth of the youngsters under strict supervision. You would be surprised how a small item could compromise the airway of a young person. Keep all cosmetics or home cleaning chemicals away from the toddlers as they most often like to explore and have a curiosity level that is unbelievable. As always, the members of the Seven Hills Fire Department are proud to serve you the resident. We aim to treat each person as a special customer and should you need to call on us for our services, please feel free to do so. Once again, wishing you and your family and friends the very best for 2010. A Message from Law Director Richard A. Pignatiello The Seven Hills Recreation Center Roof and the Legal Proceedings to Recover the Taxpayers Money During the fall 2009 election cycle, much was written about the lawsuit or purported lack of lawsuit regarding the repairs of the Seven Hills Recreation Center. Generally, it is not a good idea to discuss the details of pending legal actions in a manner that makes these details pub- lic, and in fact you’ll find that I have said very little that has been published in the City Council meeting minutes regarding this topic for that very reason. However, because of the sheer volume of information reported as facts over these past few months, I wanted to share with you the status of the City’s pursuit for financial recovery to the extent that I am allowed to do so by law. BACKGROUND Seven Hills residents voted to build a community recreation center. Seven Hills entered into an agreement with Brandstetter Carroll who would plan and design the Seven Hills Recreation Center. Once the design was completed, the contract to build the center went out for competitive bid. The bid to build the recreation center was awarded to R. P. Carbone, a general contractor. Construction was completed, and the Recreation Center opened in 2003. Moisture-related problems were experienced and in 2007, the City retained Construction Resources, Inc (“CRI”) to investigate and analyze the Center and make recommendations. CRI did a study and issued a report concluding that the roof and some related construction details were irreparably damaged and needed to be replaced. The City also retained Wheaton & Sprague (an engineering firm) to review CRI’s analysis. Wheaton & Sprague confirmed the problems and irreparable damage and agreed that the City should replace the roof and decking as well as other related repair and replacement work. In the fall of 2007, the City bid out the contract to repair the roof. Wilhelm Roofing was the low bidder and was awarded the contract to repair and replace the roof. Repairs were completed in the spring of 2008, but some incidental repairs were continuing through 2008. THE CITY’S CLAIM If only this situation could be resolved as easily and as quickly as an episode of Law & Order. By the early summer of 2008, the repairs were being completed and the repair contracts were coming to a close. Then, prior to the City filing any proceedings, in September of 2008, the general contractor Carbone (who built the recreation center and hired the subcontractors) filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. It would not have mattered if the City had filed legal proceedings earlier as they would not have concluded before Carbone’s bankruptcy filing and any proceedings would have automatically been put on hold (stayed) if filed before the bankruptcy filing. The City timely filed a claim in the bankruptcy proceedings and requested that the Court allow it to pursue its claim outside of bankruptcy proceedings so that it could pursue both Carbone and the architect in one legal proceeding. Just recently, the City received word from the Bankruptcy Court that we have won the right to proceed with our claims. Carbone’s construction contract included a mandatory arbitration clause. In addition, it also requires mediation before an arbitration can proceed. With the help of a mediator, the parties attempt to agree to a resolution. If unsuccessful, the next step is arbitration which may be conducted by a retired judge. These clauses are industry standard in large construction projects nationwide. Is it a lawsuit? Mediation? Arbitration? What is important to remember that no matter what technical legal language is used to describe the City’s efforts to recover your tax dollars, they are all legal proceedings being used to attempt to recover you tax dollars. We are in the process of negotiating “one big arbitration” with all parties involved in this matter. In addition to the architect and the general contractor, there may be two or three sub-contractors with potential liability. If all goes as planned we hope to resolve this matter in the Spring 2010. My family and I wish for each of you a happy, healthy New Year. Respectfully submitted, Richard A. Pignatiello Law Director NEW CITY HALL HOURS Effective February 1, 2010 all City offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of the Service Department will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. POLICE DEPARTMENT SNOW ON THE SIDEWALKS A SAFETY HAZARD FOR STUDENTS Throughout the winter season, it may become very difficult for students who walk to and from school to navigate through high accumulation of snow. If you are a homeowner within close proximity to one of our neighborhood schools, you are asked to help mitigate this hazard by doing your best to have your sidewalks cleared. Some children will resort to walking in one of Seven Hills very busy streets because the sidewalks aren't cleared. This is very dangerous. For this reason we are asking all residents to do what they can to ensure the safety of our children. Please also be aware that C.O. 521.06 requires you to remove snow and ice from your tree lawn and C.O. 311.01 pro- hibits you from placing snow or ice onto a street or alley or obstructing or covering a fire hydrant. However, it is legal to operate powered snow removal equipment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The entire ordinance can be viewed at www.sevenhillsohio.org REMINDER TO ALL RESIDENTS Keep all vehicles that are parked in your driveway locked and remove all valuables (for example: purses, wallets, GPS units, etc.) each night. From time to time, we do experience thefts from unlocked vehicles and many of these thefts can be prevented by simply locking your vehicles each night. PARKING HOURS REGULATED ORDINANCE: 351.11 (a) No person, operator or owner shall park or permit a vehicle to remain on the roadway portion of any street or highway in the City between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., except emergency vehicles, vehicles being used by physicians on emergency calls and vehi- cles being used in connection with street improvement or the stringing, laying, repair or maintenance of utility facilities in or above the street area, provided that per- mission for such parking shall have first been procured from the Chief of Police. MONDAY—JANUARY 25TH—CITY HALL COMMUNITY ROOMS—(2 sessions) 10-11A.M. AND 7-8P.M. Are you a Veteran, Son or Daughter of a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a Veteran? Then please join us for “Discovering Your War- time Veterans Benefits,” hosted by The City of Seven Hills and The American Association for Wartime Veterans. This important and educational seminar is focused on the potential benefits frequently overlooked by Veterans and/or their surviving spouses. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity. Veterans, spouses and families of Veterans are all welcome. There are many misunderstandings with this benefit. Some common misunderstood statements include: “To get this benefit… the vet must have suffered an injury, been wounded or died during service? WRONG the vet must have been in battle? WRONG the vet must have served during the whole war? WRONG The vet or spouse must be out of money? WRONG The vet must be living in a nursing home or assisted living? WRONG The vet can’t be getting a military pension? WRONG The vet is receiving a partial VA disability and cannot qualify? WRONG Come join us and learn about these valuable benefits that may assist with the increasing cost of health care. Refreshments provided by Home Helpers. Please call Chris Matthews at 216-525-6230 to reserve your spot at this valuable seminar. Children of Vets are especially encouraged to come and learn about how they might be able to help their parents stay in their homes. SEVEN HILLS HORSESHOE CLUB The Seven Hills Horseshoe Club, es- tablished in 1971, ended another successful season with its annual awards banquet at Pipers Three Res- taurant. Over 30 members from three divisions completed the ‘09 season with awards presented to the follow- ing winners: Denny Szczepaniak: 1st half winner – A league. Wally Blackburn: 2nd half winner—A league. Jim Lenzotti: 1st and 2nd half winner –B league. Den- nis Dejak: 1st half winner—C league. Chuck Gick: 2nd half winner—C league and inter-league doubles tour- nament winner Paul Varga: inter- league singles tournament winner, Tom Tucker: inter-league single tour- nament runner-up, Roy Walkowiak: inter-league doubles tournament win- ner and Bo Craddock: most improved. League play for the 2010 season be- gins the week of April 26. For more information or to join, contact Denny Szczepaniak at 440-845-3112 or Club President John Dougherty at 216-447-1061. PART TIME POSITION AVAILABLE AT CITY HALL Seven Hills City Hall is filling an immediate opening for a Floater position. This position requires basic computer skills, good cus- tomer service presence as well as flexibility in scheduling. The Floater covers City Hall staff for vacations and sick days in each department as well as special projects and events. Most days will be scheduled in advance although there will be last min- ute call-ins as well. If you are someone who would like to work, but does not have to have regular weekly hours, please contact Chris Matthews for an interview at 216-525-6230 DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR “DO NOT KNOCK” YET? If you haven't already signed up through www.sevenhillsohio.org, please use the registration form below and return to City Hall. Do Not Knock stickers are available at City Hall after you have turned in your registration form. If you have signed up on-line or by mail and would like a sticker, please visit City Hall front desk during regular business hours Monday-Friday, 8:00A.M.-4:30P.M. (Stickers will NOT be mailed unless you are a homebound resident.) HEAP - HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM What is Regular HEAP? The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Service (OCS). It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating. If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit will depend on federal funding levels, how many people live with you, total household income and the primary fuel you use to heat your home. In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor). Eligibility Requirements: You may apply for HEAP from September 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a notification letter informing you whether or not you are eligible for billing assistance. The total household income guidelines listed below: Size of Household Total Household Income Twelve Months 1 up to $18,952.50 2 $25,497.50 3 $32,042.50 4 $38,587.50 5 $45,132.50 6 $51,677.50 7 $58,222.50 8 $64,767.50 A household applying for HEAP must report total gross household income for the past 12 months for all members, except wage or sal- ary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years old. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance. If you and/or your family qualifies for the Home Energy Assistance Program and would like to fill out an application, you can obtain one from City Hall’s front office or online at http://development.ohio.gov/cdd/ocs/heap.htm where you can see a link to print out your own application. Senior Coordinator Chris Matthews and his staff would be happy to assist you in filling out your application. Please call for appointment at 216-525-6230. What you will need to apply: proof of citizenship (Birth Certificate), signed application, proof of income, copies of utility bills.
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