Councilman's Update


Wow! What a crazy winter, so far; snow, rain and freezing temperatures. So much for NO climate change! I grew up on the Northeast side and have never seen such crazy weather. Then again, it’s Winter and it’s Cleveland! 

 So, on that note, please be careful especially for the ice; I have had calls into the office about people falling. I am also very much aware of the ice jams effecting people’s roofs and issues of frozen and broken water pipes. Unless you are experienced or a roofing contractor – DO NOT get up on your roof yourself; it is a clear path to the hospital – if you’re lucky.  If your pipes are frozen – do not use an open flame or torch to thaw the pipes – use a hair dryer or heat gun – thaw them SLOWLY – and be careful.  It you are going to be gone from your home for any length of time, ie days or weeks, shut the water off in the basement or make sure your heat is maintained at a steady temperature. The majority of the homes in the community have forced air furnaces. Keep a heater vent open in the basement to circulate warm air – if possible.  At Home Depot you can purchase foam insulating tubes to wrap your water pipes in the basement, this could greatly help.  Replace furnace filters regularly and try to stay warm.  I promise – Spring is on the way.

 As I have mentioned previously, any snowed in vehicles on your street, which have not been moved, should be called into the 5th District Commander’s office at (216) 623-5505 with all the pertinent information. During the storm of MLK weekend, on one short street in the ward alone, there were seven (7) vehicles completely snowed in.  City plows had a difficult time opening the street and when neighbors started calling my office to complain, when I asked how long have the vehicles been there, the response was “months.”  I asked the callers – why would they wait until the snow was a foot deep and below freezing to call?  The answer was “we knew the owners and didn’t want to cause a problem with our neighbors.” However, now you cannot get out of your own driveway and you are complaining about the condition of the roadway. We cannot have it both ways.  Be proactive.

 We all must do our part to ensure that our streets are passable and maintained.  Just as the City’s Division of Streets has a responsibility to provide snowplowing service, it is up to all of us to set the standard and the tone on our own street.  The snow and cold is not going away any time soon.  So, let’s make sure we are all diligent.  As always, you can call Operation Snowbird at (216) 664-2510 to report bad road conditions and other snow related issues.

 It was an historic day on Thursday, January 24, 2019 for the community. It is not often that you open a new preK-8 elementary school.  However, the new Oliver Hazard Perry School opened to great applause as we welcomed our neighborhood Scholars to the new school. I was there with the Core Team and Staff to see the smiles and the great anticipation of the students walking into the new school for the first time. I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to our community and the East 185th Street corridor. With the construction of O.H. Perry we only have one K-8 elementary school left in the ward that has not been rebuilt; that being, Iowa-Maple in East Glenville. We are working diligently with CMSD and the State to come up with a game plan to rebuild this critical school. Watch for future updates.

 My office has been in receipt of inquiries from property owners in the ward pertaining to their new property tax values that they received from Cuyahoga County. As I have stated– if you believe that your property had been unfairly valued, which affects your tax bill, you should have appealed the new evaluation last year.  However, you can still file an appeal through the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision. You have until April 1st to do so.   If you have any questions please call Cuyahoga County at (216) 443-7195.  

 Are you aware that we are one of the few neighborhoods in the city that has its own community newspaper?  This being our own COLLINWOOD OBSERVER, which has been around since September 2009. I want to continue to encourage local businesses, neighborhood institutions, and above all, our citizens, to support the Observer. We have always had a local newspaper in our community in some form or fashion going back to the late 1890’s. Many of us grew up with the Scoop, the Collinwood Scoop Journal and then the Sun Scoop Journal, before it ceased to exist.  A group of us came together, over a decade ago, with this councilman, and decided that we needed a local newspaper to promote our community. There were people who thought it would never happen and we proved them wrong.  However, in today’s world of high-tech and social media, there are many who believe that print media is a thing of the past.  Well, we hope they are wrong. Those who want to read the Observer on-line may do so by going to Then there is the rest of us who still wish to read the paper with a cup of coffee, sitting comfortably at home or in a local restaurant. Regardless, the Observer is only as good as the information submitted.  We want to promote all the good and positive things happening in the Greater Collinwood community.  Support our paper.

 On a real positive note – legislation was introduced and read into the record of Cleveland City Council by “yours truly” and the City’s Department of Economic Development pertaining to the transfer to the City of Cleveland by CMSD of the historic landmark property known as the Henry W. Longfellow Elementary school site located at East 140th Street and Darley Avenue. It is our intention to redevelop the school site into senior citizen housing to fill a much needed void in this section of our community.  This project is very near and dear to me, personally, and I greatly appreciate the support that we have received from the neighbors around the site. I will keep the community apprised as this effort moves forward.

 As I reported the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation has taken over responsibility for neighborhood programs and services in Ward 8. A new website should be up and running so check them out at  They can be reached at (216) 6383-9772. 

 As always, feel free to call me at the office at (216) 664-4236 or email me at

Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 4:36 PM, 01.30.2019