Minutes 10/25/18


Presiding Officer, Mayor Nicholas Molnar called the October 25 regular meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

Present: Mayor Nicholas Molnar, Council President Jan Tulley and Council members’ Shane Barker, Kevin Bilkie, Jessica Brandt and Vini J. Ventura; Law Director Mark Guidetti and Council Clerk Josephine Arceci.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & INVOCATION led by City Chaplin Tom O’Brien, Nordonia Hills American Legion 801.

MINUTES Ms. Tulley moved, Mr. Ventura seconded and motion carried by unanimously on a voice vote to approve to the minutes of the regular meeting of October 11, 2018.


~Tom O’Brien, chaplain, Macedonia resident and member of American Legion Post 801 announced that the American Legion and VFW Post 6768 are hosting an armistice celebration in recognition of the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I as well as the 100th year anniversary of the American Legion.

Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day commemorates the signing of the armistice executed at the

11th hour on the 11th day in the 11th month of the year 1918. Chaplin O’Brien encouraged the public attend the armistice celebration on Sunday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m. in Veterans Memorial Park.

~John Cassmer, Macedonia resident and president of the Longwood Manor Historical Society reported the south patio of the Manor House has been repaired; the original sandstones were reset by volunteers. The cost estimate of the volunteer labor was about $1,000. LMHS plans to use patio for outside gatherings added Mr. Cassmer. During the Wizard of Oz festival Mr. Cassmer said over 200 visitors signed the guest book and enjoyed walking through first floor of the Manor House and learning from LMHS volunteers the history of Colonel Long and his home. Mr. Cassmer thanked Macedonia’s service department for helping get the Manor House ready and in order. Mr. Cassmer announced that the Manor House will open Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday during the months of November and December for the purpose of providing “pop-up sales” of holiday related gift items. Don Davis, the coordinator for Wizard of Oz festival and now a member of the LMHS will be coordinating the pop-ups. LMHS anticipates receiving donations from a portion of sales generated by the pop-ups. Another seasonal event, “Meet and Greet Santa and Ms Claus” is scheduled for Sunday, December 9th. Mr. Cassmer asked regarding the American flag that had been displayed on a flag pole outside the Manor House, if the City would take responsibility for replacing the deteriorated flag. LMHS will provide the 24-hour lighting for the flag he said. Mr. Cassmer is excited he added that the Manor House is finally becoming a part of the community

~Casey Weinstein, Hudson, Ohio resident and member of Hudson City Council announced he is the democratic candidate for representation of the 37th Ohio Congressional District. Mr. Weinstein explained that he is an Air Force veteran, that his wife Amanda is professor at University of Akron and that he has two young daughters. Mr. Weinstein focus he said is policy making, local government funds, infrastructure, first responders, restoring local prioritizations and controlling and investing to strengthen local communities. Mr. Weinstein stated that 90% of the time the elected officials with whom residents interact are local officials. That is important to him and why Mr. Weinstein said his goal is to speak for residents in the 37th District. He would be honored he added to represent Macedonia residents.

Mayor Molnar interjected; frustrating to him and other officials is Ohio’s surplus revenue is over $400,000,000. Macedonia, like so many other communities have lost a substantial amount of local government funds. The lost of these funds has cause a severe impact to Macedonia’s financial base and thus the reason residents are being asked to support an increase in Macedonia’s income tax rate to bring Macedonia financial levels back pre cuts of local government funds..

~Melissa Granke, Macedonia resident and member of Citizens for a Strong Macedonia said the purpose and goal of the citizen group is providing information to residents, to help residents understand what is at stake regarding Issue 20 and the choices that have to be made as a community to keep Macedonia strong.

Continuing, Ms. Granke explained that Issue 20 is an increase of Macedonia’s income tax rate by 0.25%. This increase is not effect property taxes. Senior citizens who are on social security, on disability, on unemployment or on pension income will not be affected by the income tax increase. Property taxes will be going down some Ms. Granke stated because of an expiring fire levy. A portion of Issue 20 replaces the revenue generated by the fire levy. Employed residents may or may not realize an increase in their income tax Ms. Granke stated. The reason: the majority of Macedonia’s employed residents work in districts which already have a higher tax rate. This means these residents are already paying the higher tax rate and because Macedonia provides 100% tax credit residents this means taxes paid to the community in which the resident works stays in that community. Macedonia does not receive any of those taxes. In essence then residents are paying the higher tax rate with no benefit to Macedonia. Macedonia has had to do more with less for this reason she added. When examining Issue 20 dollars it is not about raising more revenue for Macedonia to spend more or to expand government she said. Issue 20 is about replacing funds that have been lost. Since 2010 Macedonia has lost about $3 million dollars in local government funds, about $600,000 each year. The expiring fire levy generated about $400,000 annually. These two amounts represent the revenue, $1,000,000 that has to be replaced. Issue 20 is intended to replace this revenue plus add a bit more. The bit more will help provide for equipment and staffing needed to continue maintaining excellent service in Macedonia. As a resident and homeowner raising a family in Macedonia Ms. Granke said Issue 20 means ensuring good quality of life and excellent services for residents. Issue 20 means the service department will have the equipment and manpower it needs to provide for cleaning and maintaining roads, for collecting of leaves, for maintaining Macedonia’s parks so the lawns are mowed, the parks are cleaned and the playing fields are maintained. Issue 20 is meant to help support all the services residents take for granted so Macedonia continues as a good community in which to live and raise a family. Ms. Granke encouraged residents to take the time to learn about Issue 20 through the Citizens for a Strong Macedonia, through Rhonda Hall, Macedonia’s finance director, through Mayor Molnar and Macedonia City Council and though Facebook. Ms. Granke added she also supported and worked on the campaign for Issue 3, the levy changing the income tax rate in order to generate revenue to repair Macedonia’s deteriorating road and make improvements to the Recreation Center. Issue 3 passed and the promises made during the campaign were kept stated Ms. Granke. Dozens of roads have been repaired and the Recreation Center is being expanded and new equipment has been acquired. Ms. Granke added the Recreation Center is also going through a mini facelift which according to Recreation Director Manley the work being performed is providing the highest impact projects as possible for the least amount of dollars. Ms. Granke added, this philosophy, providing the most impactful services with least amount money, being financially careful and responsible has been the mainstay of Macedonia’s government; the Mayor, Council and the directors of each department. Residents must recognize Ms. Granke stated that with the loss of local government funds it is time for the community to make up financial losses. If not, the hard choice, the alternative is a dramatic cut in city services. If residents want Macedonia to remain strong, a city proud to live in, then they must make a small investment to retain quality services. Considering that most residents will not be paying the tax increase. Ms. Granke asked residents to support Issue 10 to keep Macedonia great.

Mayor Molnar thanked Ms. Granke for her dedication and enthusiasm.

~Cathy Loya, 9186 N. Bedford Road, stated, “I re-approached Macedonia City Council in January 2015 regarding stormwater issues on my property. That year, Council approved a storm water study of the Ledge and North Bedford area to be done by the then City engineers. In January 2016 that study was completed and completely ignored by this City. NEORSD stepped in and took over our stormwater issue. They started their own study of the entire Indian Creek area and its tributaries, thus, starting the process of studying the situation all over again. NEORSD came to our property in the early summer, late May/early June of 2016 to do a property walk-through. They have been to our property since then to collect more information. They began their Storm Water Master Plan in 2016 and this study is yet to be completed. After months and months of delays for various reasons, I understand that the closing date for this Master Plan is supposed to be November 2018. I will be following up with Ms. Webb at NEORSD in a few days. Calendar year 2018 has been pretty reasonable with rainfall and we have had no readily-visible serious issues. Issues that cannot be seen such as structural damage to our home are always present. We have sustained serious flooding to our basement in the past with the maximum intake of water in June of 2006 when our basement filled up with approximately 8 feet of water. In February of 2011, we had half that amount of water in our basement. We continue to see flooding to our property when significant rain events occur. The tributary that runs through our property simply cannot manage the amount of water being forced its way from upstream. We are the holding area for this water until it can flow under North Bedford Road and into Indian Creek. Mr. Mayor, I hope that you can still recall the amount of water seen in our area when you visited our property in July of 2017. We have seen this amount of water in the past and no doubt we will see that amount of water again in the future. We continue to see serious erosion to our property along with erosion to our retaining wall installed on our property prior to our ownership. We saw the upgrade of our flood plain status just about 8 years ago to an AE Flood Zone requiring flood insurance. This past summer we saw an 18% increase to our flood insurance rates as I indicated to Council months ago that this would be happening. Our rates will continue to increase annually at a 15% to 18% rate until FEMA determines we are paying the appropriate amount. In my opinion, all we do is continue to pay for stormwater issues to our property, issues that we did not create, issues that we did not ask to have and issues that we cannot do anything about. About 10 years ago now, my husband and I were members of the DSCC Stormwater Committee. NEORSD approached our committee about instituting a stormwater fee/tax. Fast forward and we all know that this fee/tax is real and that we have been paying it several years now and yet Summit County still has no representation on their Board. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the money collected by NEORSD is not additional annual revenue for the City of Macedonia. I think of NEORSD as a holding tank for our money. Seventyfive percent of which is put into NEORSD’s kitty for their designated projects throughout their service area which is mainly Cuyahoga County. If NEORSD were to do anything concerning my property, funds from this 75% kitty would be used. The City of Macedonia in the past said that they will not do anything for our property because “fixes” required are too expensive. Through the court settlement several years ago with cities like Macedonia, NEORSD agreed that a 25% kitty would be established to hold collected money for community use. This is what makes up the Community Cost Share Program. So, of the 100% I pay, 75% goes to the NEORSD kitty and 25% goes to the Community Cost Share Program kitty. I think of the 25% kitty or Community Cost Share Program as our collected money being held hostage by NEORSD. This money can only be obtained for stormwater projects after jumping through several hoops prior to NEORSD letting it go. First, the City of Macedonia would have to identify a stormwater issue and then come up with a plan to fix it. This plan would have to first be approved by NEORSD. Included in this plan, the City of Macedonia would have to show that funding is available to pay for the project. Once NEORSD gives their blessing of the plan, the project can be completed at the expense of the City of Macedonia and then and only then does NEORSD relinquish money from the 25% kitty to be reimbursed to the City of Macedonia for said project. Again, the NEORSD Community Cost Sharing Program cannot be looked at as additional annual revenue because it is not. Again, this is how I understand the NEORSD Community Cost Sharing Program. If something has changed, I apologize for mis-speaking and would like to be updated on the changes. In closing, as I have stated in the past, NEORSD is not the City of Macedonia’s savor when it comes to fixing infrastructure as it relates to stormwater management. Outside of the Community Cost Sharing Program, I am very skeptical of NEORSD approving any sort of construction project in Summit County – the City of Macedonia – and particularly of benefit to my property on North Bedford Road. Stormwater issues in the Ledge and North Bedford area have been known about for decades and have continued to be ignored. Maybe one day this will all change, but I won’t be holding my breath.”

Mayor Molnar informed Ms. Loya that today, he, Law Director Guidetti and City Engineer Joe Gigliotti met with officials of NEORSD. The result of the meeting: NEORSD officials confirmed in 2019 physical steps will be taken to resolve the flooding issue in the area of Ledge and N. Bedford Road and the Loya property. The officials spoke of several options to rectify the issue but at this time the Mayor said he is not privy to which option will be utilized.

Council President Tulley interjected that she has continually been calling Mayor Molnar about the Loya property in frustration patricianly after reading Doan Creek has been dredge or actually seeing NEORSD crews dredging one of the Shaker Lakes.

Councilor Brandt commended Ms. Loya for continually being proactive regarding her property.

~Karen Bartolozzi, Driftwood Lane, asked residents to support Issue 20.


ORD. NO. 107 -2018 (Culvers Restaurant PP#33-12849)







PURSUANT TO OHIO REVISED CODE SECTIONS 5709.40, 5709.42 AND 5709.43 was offered by

Ms. Brandt and moved Council waive the requirement that it be read by title on three different days, instructing the Clerk to read it by title only for its second and third readings Second by Mr. Bilkie carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Ms. Brandt moved, Mr. Ventura seconded, motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to adopt ORD. NO. 107-2018 and post according to law. ORD. NO. 107-2018 declared adopted.

ORD. NO. 108 -2018 ( KFC Restaurant PP #33-03809)







PURSUANT TO OHIO REVISED CODE SECTIONS 5709.40, 5709.42 AND 5709.43 was offered by

Mr. Bilkie and moved Council waive the requirement that it be read by title on three different days, instructing the Clerk to read it by title only for its second and third readings Second by Ms. Brandt carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Mr. Bilkie moved, Mr. Ventura seconded, motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to adopt ORD. NO. 108-2018 and post according to law. ORD. NO. 108-2018 declared adopted.

ORD. NO. 109 -2018


and moved Council waive the requirement that it be read by title on three different days, instructing the Clerk to read it by title only for all three readings Second by Ms. Tulley carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Mr. Barker moved, Ms. Tulley seconded, motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to adopt ORD. NO. 109-2018 and post according to law. ORD. NO. 109-2018 declared adopted.

Relative to ORD.NO.109-2018, Mr. Niro thanked the Mayor and Council for his appointment.

ORD. NO. 110 -2018



Council waive the requirement that it be read by title on three different days, instructing the Clerk to read it by title only for all three readings. Second by Mr. Ventura carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Ms. Brandt moved, Mr. Ventura seconded, motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to adopt ORD. NO. 110-2018 and post according to law. ORD. NO. 110-2018 declared adopted.

Relative to ORD. NO. 110-2018, Mayor Molnar stated he has received several inquiries why the City would precede with this project in light of Issue 20, particularly if voters do not support it. The reason Mayor explained is that the majority of the cost of the lightening is being funded by a NOPEC grant. The remainder of the cost is coming from funds generated from Windmill Lakes Golf Center (located north side of Longwood) as these funds can only be used to fund park projects. The other reason is timing; the process/paperwork relative to the grant has to be initiated this year the Mayor added. Enhancing and illuminating fields is not only a long overdue improvement the upgrades will provide revenue the Mayor added.

Council President Tulley interjected NOPEC is the acronym for Northeast Ohio Power and Energy Council. NOPEC was created years ago for the purpose of finding and providing energy a lower cost for consumers through aggregation. Since NOPEC has been successful NOPEC gives money back to the its members by way of energy grants.


Mr. Ventura moved, Mr. Barker seconded and motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to add to the




Mr. Ventura moved, Mr. Barker seconded and motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to suspend the 48-Rule relative to RES.NO. 111-2018.

Mr. Ventura offered RES.NO. 111-2018 and moved Council waive the requirement that it be read by title on three different days, instructing the Clerk to read it by title only for all three readings. Second by Mr. Bilkie carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Mr. Ventura moved, Mr. Barker seconded, motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to adopt RES. NO. 111-2018 and post according to law. RES. NO. 111-2018 declared adopted.

Relative to RES. NO. 111-2018, Mayor Molnar explained this resolution is a requirement of the Summit County CDBG grant Macedonia received to improve and upgrade the senior center. In addition, pursuant to grant stipulation the City has to act upon the grant before the year’s end.


~~~Ms. Tulley moved, Mr. Bilkie seconded and motion carried unanimously on a voice vote to cancel the regular meeting of November 22, 2018 in observance of Thanksgiving.



~ Mayor Molnar reported as much as possible is being done to provide information about Issue

20. Levy information has been posted in various venues: in the Nordonia NewsLeader, in

NordoniaHillsnews.com, on Macedonia’s website, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, in hand-outs and in mailers. The Mayor encouraged residents who may need more information or who have additional questions about Issue 20 to contact him, any member of Council, any department head or any member of Citizens for a Strong Macedonia. The Mayor announced that a Townhall regarding Issue 20 is being held Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Station 1 (Macedonia fire station).

~The Mayor asked residents to support Issue 20 and to have confidence in city officials regarding Issue 20.

~ Mayor Molnar announced he challenged Mayor Ted Yates of the city of Twinsburg to friendly football rivalry relative to the Nordonia Knights’ last game of the regular season with the Twinsburg Tigers. If the Knights win tomorrow evening Mayor Molnar stated Mayor Yates will wear a city of Macedonia shirt all day Monday. It the Tigers win Mayor Molnar said he will begrudgingly wear a Twinsburg city shirt.


Parks & Recreation Commisson Councilor Brandt announced the next regular meeting of the P&RC is Wednesday, November 7th at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Recreation Center.


Service Department Director Hnottavange thanked Council for approving Ordinance No. 110-2018 as improving and lightening the field is well overdue. Mr. Hnottavange reported the leaf collection program begins Monday, October 29. The last day of pick-up is Monday, November 26. Leaves will not be collected after this date. After this date residents will be responsible for discarding their leaves which can be left in bags with their weekly refuse collection. Residents were reminded how and where leaves should be piled for city collection. The same information as well as the day a crew will be on a particular street can be viewed on the city’s website.

Building Commissioner

Engineer Mr. Gigliotti reiterated that today’s meeting with NEORSD officials was upbeat, positive and productive as Mayor Molnar reported. Weather permitting Mr. Gigliotti anticipates this year’s road program to be completed in the next several weeks or so.

Recreation Department Mayor Molnar mentioned Director Manley was excused from attending this evening’s meeting.

Finance Department Director Hall reiterated that Issue 20 has does not affect pensions, social security or retirement benefits. Ms. Hall reminded residents that if they are eligible they may apply for a .25% refund on their income taxes which essentially provides them a net tax rate of 2.25%. Ms. Hall reminded residents too that the 1 mill fire property tax levy expiring at the end of 2018 reduces property tax revenue by about $400,000 annually.

Fire Department Chief Black announced the Macedonia Firefighter Association Annual

Halloween Party is Sunday, October 26 from 4-6 p.m. The party is at Station 1. Traditional trick or treat night is Wednesday, October 31 from 6-8 p.m., and the Firefighters Association’s annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast is Sunday November 4 from 8 to 1 p.m.

Police Department Chief Golden was not present during the latter part of the meeting.

Law Department Law Director Guidetti had no report.

Unfinished business Council President Tulley echoed Director Hnottavange’s reminder about how and where leaves should be piled for purposes of collection. Regarding another matter Ms. Tulley said when her family moved to Macedonia in 1966, Macedonia was considered rural by most standards. There were a few subdivisions and there was not the lane miles to maintain and plow that there are today. There were no city parks then either to maintain, neither Sugarbush nor Longwood. Fast forward over 50-years later and much has changed. Macedonia has grown and improved. Macedonia has many more subdivisions, many more lane miles and two parks to maintain. The time is now to ensure Macedonia continues to move forward in the 21st century Ms. Tulley stated. Ms. Tulley asked how many residents drive a car on a daily basis that is over 25-years old. Excluding historical vehicles driven only occasionally, who puts faith in driving a 25-year vehicle Ms. Tully wondered. The same can be said for Macedonia’s aerial ladder fire truck that is over 25-years old. The time is now to consider the cost of replacing a vitally important piece of equipment. Please consider this Ms. Tulley asked and vote yes on Issue 20.

Councilor Barker stated that as the somewhat newest member of Council he vividly recalls during his first term the serious financial situation Macedonia faced in 2010 which required employees to be laid off including police officers. A legitimate function of government Mr. Barker said is to ask taxpayers to a support a tax increase to as to avoid the same unfortunate circumstance. With that in Mr. Barker asked resident to support Issue 20. Mr. Barker added he has worked with citizen groups in the past and they tend to be powerful and effective. The group Citizens for Strong a Macedonia is the same are to be commended for their action and enthusiasm.

Councilor Ventura said to residents that the tax increase is a quality of life issue. A good quality of life is not possible with substandard services or merchandise. The cost of services and merchandise has increased in the last 10-years. What cost $100 ten years ago does not still cost $100. The same holds true regarding the cost of city services. Mr. Ventura’s opined Macedonia sets the bar for the Nordonia Hills area. To maintain that high standard, to maintain a good quality of life requires additional revenue and for that reason he supports Issue 20 and urged residents to do as well.

Councilor Bilkie reminded residents that many Macedonians are entitled to apply for a tax refund which essentially means their tax rate is 2.25% has Director Hall indicated. Some residents who live on private streets in planned unit developments complain Mr. Bilkie said that streets do not get plowed so why should they support the levy. The fact is residents in planned unit developments still use city streets and thus the reason they should support the levy. If the levy fails Mr. Bilkie said many services important to the public will have to be eliminated such as the leaf collection program, senior snow plowing, senior gutter cleaning and the subsidy to senior refuse collection as well as the free table and chair program. Safety services will be impacted too. Hindered will be the ability to replace the fire aerial truck and emergency vehicles, police cruisers and replacing the mandated 911 emergency service. Hindered as well will be staffing needs in service, fire, police and dispatch. Quality services Mr. Bilkie added benefit every residents and the value of every home. Supporting Issue 20 maintains and helps improve

Macedonia. Folks speaking negatively about Issue 20 are not providing the whole truth Mr. Bilkie added.

Councilor Brandt stated in 2015, prior to her election to Council she was a member of the Future Growth Committee. A committee delegated to address the future growth and redevelopment of Macedonia. During committee discussions Ms. Brandt questioned why certain improvements have not been made and the answer was always the same, the city just does not have the money. As a resident who has grown up in Macedonia Ms. Brandt said she has always been “jazzed up about Macedonia” so she asked why a levy hasn’t been put forward to address the City’s financial needs. Now as a member of Council, she and fellow members of Council and the Mayor are working together diligently to keep Macedonia moving forward by recouping the loss in state funding the local government funds that have shrunk dramatically over the year. It is a testimony to Council and the Mayor that they have been able to run the City with the current revenue Ms. Brandt stated. Residents sometime are under the misconception Ms. Brandt added that asking for additional revenue is a frivolous request. Issue 20 is not a frivolous request. Revenue generated by the increasing the income tax rate is intended to replace the loss in local government funds in the amount of $600,000 annually. The rate increase is intended to help replace the 1 mill fire levy that rolls off the property tax duplicate at the end of 2018. The 1 mill property levy generated about $400,000 each year. The City cannot continue to deny itself because of lost funds Ms. Brandt stated. It’s now up to “us” the residents to make up the difference in the loss of these funds. Issue 20 is simply asking residents to take on the responsibility of making the City whole again Ms. Brandt stated. The right answer for residents and their neighbors Ms Brandt added is to vote yes on Issue 20.

New business None.

Executive Session

At 8:25 p.m., Ms. Tulley moved, Mr. Barker second to adjourn into Executive Session pursuant to R.C.§ 121.22 (G)(3)&(4) concerning pending or imminent court action and concerning review of negotiation or bargaining sessions with employees’ terms and conditions of employment.

Roll calls: Ayes: Barker, Bilkie, Brandt, Tulley and Ventura

Nays: None

The motion carried.

At 9:07 p.m. Council reconvened to its regular meeting and there being no further business Council adjourned by majority on a voice vote at 9:08 p.m.


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