Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Municipal Services & Properties Committee Meeting - Administration Responses 10.2015

The following memo and attachments detail responses to questions raised in a recent Municipal Services and Properties Committee Meeting of Cleveland City Council.  The information pertains to street maintenance, crack sealing, pot hole repair and snow plowing.

Public Works Service Zones map - Ward 14

Click on the image for a larger view.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

PUBLIC NOTICE: NOV 4 presentations of catalytic community projects - La Villa Hispana; Dream Neighborhood & W 25 St Initiative

Please see below the invitation letter and flyer for this important community event.

Stay tuned for additional information about these projects and the presentation materials that will be shared on November 4th.

Please RSVP to Keisha Gonzalez, Bilingual Community Organizer, (216) 961-9073 x204 or by November 1st, 2015.


Acompáñanos para una cena y discusión de tres proyectos comunitarios vitales que están en proceso en nuestros vecindarios!

Miércoles, 04 de noviembre 2015
6:00-7:00 PM Inscripción, Cena y Redes· 7:00-9:00 PM Presentaciones y Preguntas
Lincoln West High School (3202 West 30th Street, Cleveland, OH 44109)

Por favor de RSVP a Keisha Gonzalez, Organizadora Comunitario
al (216) 961-9073 x204 o

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cleveland Council approves proposal for Charter Amendment aimed at increasing diversity of workforce, changes required by DOJ agreement

Cleveland City Council passed on Wednesday an ordinance that proposes changes to the City's hiring practices. Ordinance Number 842-15 passed as an emergency ordinance -

"Authorizing the submission to the electors of the City of Cleveland of a proposal to amend Sections 131 and 133 of the Charter of the City of Cleveland relating to civil service appointments and promotions wherever practicable."

A copy of the ordinance is provided below.

In discussion in a Committee of the Whole council President Kelley offered an amendment that was passed that limited the proposed changes to the hiring of new employees and not that of promotions.

The initial Ordinance would of required the certification of ten of the top ranked applicants for both hiring and promotions.  The Charter currently requires that the top three applicants for both hires and promotions be certified and used for selection of awards.  If accepted by Cleveland voters, the new Charter amendment would increase the number of top candidates for hire from three to ten but would retain the top number of candidates for promotions at three.

Several Council members (Cummins, Polensek & J. Johnson) questioned the need for the amendment that would maintain the rule of three for promotions  Council members Polensek and Cummins voted no on the amendment that then passed.  In the vote in Chambers later in the afternoon, the measure passed 16 to 1 with Cummins casting the Nay vote.

Between the Committee of the Whole and the council meeting in Chambers, Councilman Cummins shared with colleagues an alternative for selecting top ranked candidates for hiring or promotion, by using a category rating instead of a purely numerical ranking of individuals.  Category ratings are used by federal agencies and qualify candidates in categories such as:
  • Superior = 98 - 100
  • Best Qualified =  90 - 97
  • Well Qualified - 85 - 89
  • Qualified = 70 – 84
In Committee Cummins argued that if the City truly wants to be more inclusive and ensure greater diversity that the rule of three should be replaced for both hiring and promotions and that a category rating system would be useful in certifying the most qualified list of candidates from which a hiring officer could make a decision for an award.

Although it was argued by some Council members that by increasing the pool of qualified candidates to select from in the initial hiring would have an affect on increasing diversity, Cummins pointed out that it would take on average 7 to 12 years before the City could anticipate seeing more diversity in higher ranking supervisory positions and in effect the ordinance that passed will likely maintain the status quo for at least that period of time if accepted by voters.

Diversity numbers for Cleveland's Division of Police, as reported by ideastream®

The changes are driven by a requirement within the City of Cleveland and Department of Justice Consent Decree Agreement that states (pages 70):
  • (300) "To maintain high-level, quality service, ensure officer safety and accountability, and promote constitutional, effective policing, CDP will review and revise as necessary its recruitment and hiring program to ensure that CDP successfully attracts and hires diverse group of qualified individuals.  [ands]
  • (301) The Mayor will work with the City Council to develop an ordinance to place a Charter Amendment on the ballot that would give the appointing authority greater flexibility in the selection of candidates from the certified eligibility list for the CDP."

In addition to the specific language in the Consent decree regarding providing greater flexibility for hiring, the agreement also sets forth criteria that will need to be used in annual performance evaluations for police (pages 72-73):

The annual performance evaluation will be augmented to
include an assessment of:
  1. community engagement and communication with the public as appropriate to assignment;
  2. use of communi ty and problem-oriented policing and problem-solving strategies as appropriate to assignment;
  3. de-escalation strategies;
  4. techniques for dealing with individuals in crisis;
  5. civilian commendations and complaints;
  6. disciplinary actions;
  7. compliance with policy;
  8. safety (e.g., officer safety standards and vehicle operations);
  9. training;
  10. report writing; and
  11. decision-making skills.

And, for promotions -

In determining whether the officer is likely to be effective and appropriate for the
position to which he or she is being considered for promotion, the appointing authority
will consider the following factors, where relevant:
  1. effective use of community and problem-oriented policing strategics;
  2. the number and circumstances of uses of force;
  3. an officer's service as an FTO or Field Training Sergeant;
  4. disciplinary record;
  5. problem-solving skill s;
  6. interpersonal skills;
  7. support for departmental integrity measures; and
  8. pending disciplinary process.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Cleveland Police Commission - Application Process and Notice of August 3rd Public Meeting

The Selection Panel for the Community Police Commission appointed by Mayor Frank G. Jackson will hold its second public meeting, Monday, August 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the offices of Hispanic Alliance, 3110 w. 25th St. Cleveland, OH 44109.

For more information about the Commission Selection Panel and Community Police Commission (CPC), see the CPC website.  Application for the 10-member positions being appointed are due by August 6th, 2015.

English and Spanish Public Notices
for the meeting being held August 3rd, 2015.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cleveland City Council passes Ordinance 928-15 repealing and enacting new Sec. 411.05 regarding Parades

The following legislation was heard and passed today by Cleveland City Council under a Committee of the Whole, and then under an emergency passage with a suspension of the rules.  The vote passed 12 yeas, 4 nays (B Cummins, TJ Dow, J Johnson, Z Reed), 1 absent (B Kazy).

The Mayor's Administration in committee gave testimony that the Department of Law sought to improve on the clarity of the laws concerning parades, as "parade" was not sufficiently defined in Section 411.05.  There were statements that since December as related to protests, there have been questions by attorneys and other interested parties about the laws pertaining parades, and that for the last month the Administrations has worked to improve and introduce this legislation.

Although the intentions as stated seem legitimate and the end result of the ordinance appears balanced, in particular the exceptions made for not requiring permits for use of sidewalks, crosswalks.. as well as impromptu demonstrations, providing at least an 8-hour prior notice of a parade.

Nonetheless, I voted no on the Ordinance due to the process by which the Administration did not include Council in any deliberations on the amendment prior to introduction, and that the committee process was not utilized in the Ordinance being introduced in a summer session and passed under emergency.

As I stated in Committee and in Council Chambers: Passage of such an ordinance, although intended to help clarify the laws regarding permits and regulations for "parades", when passed without substantive debate and discourse with Cleveland City Council, or members of the public and organizations that have shown active interest in participating in police reform, has an impact of increasing the divide between the City and residents and organizations working for reform.  It injurs and widens the gap in communications, relations, and trust.  And, from this point forward there must be a proactive stance from the Administration for inclusion, participation and transparency when seeking to amend the City's charter and ordinances.

In a discussion with Safety Director McGrath after the Committee he indicated a willingness to engage in direct dialogue with activists and members of organizations working towards police reform as well as a willingness to participate in future Council Committee meetings to further amend and improve ordinances such as 411.05.

The new Section 411.05 establishes definitions as well as exemptions (411.05.f.) in requirements for obtaining a permit for the following two types of parades or activities:

The full text of Ordinance 928-15 is as follows, in addition to the executive summary utilized in the Committee hearing.