A screenshot of Commissioner of Parking Facilities Kim Johnson and Director of Public Works Frank Williams speaking at the Cleveland City Council Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee meeting on September 18th 2023.
Commissioner of Parking Facilities Kim Johnson and Director of Public Works Frank Williams. Credit: Image captured from Cleveland City Council YouTube by Documenter Christina Easter

Covered by Documenters Carolyn Cooper (notes) and Christina Easter (live-tweet thread)

Parking prices going up

Cleveland residents and visitors will soon see pricier parking. Cleveland City Council’s Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee advanced legislation to raise maximum rates at some city-owned lots. That includes the Muni Lot, a popular spot for tailgating before Browns games.

City Council passed the legislation later that night (it had held the proposal in August). One sticking point was the proposed pricing at parking meters: A range between $1 and $8 per hour. Some council members said that range may suit downtown but not Cleveland’s neighborhoods. In this meeting, the committee voted to cap the cost at $5 per hour for meters outside downtown.

What’s the chatter?

 Some residents have asked why they can’t send public chat messages on City Council’s YouTube page, according to Council Member Brian Kazy. Va’Kedia Stiggers, council staff, said council doesn’t allow comments on the livestreams of meetings “because of some of the comments that people were leaving.” Stiggers said people can post comments to TV 20’s Facebook pageCity Council’s Facebook page, and City Council’s X (Twitter) account.

Left wondering

The parking rates discussion and the exchange about online comments stuck with Documenter Carolyn Cooper. She asked, “Will residents with disabilities be offered certain spaces and discounted parking rates? Will the council eventually allow live questions and public comments–via social media or livestream–for elderly and disabled residents who cannot attend meetings in person?”

Court grant

The committee OK’d legislation for a $200,000 grant from the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. It is for the Cleveland Municipal Courts’ specialized dockets. They include the:  

  • Veterans Docket (led by Judge Charles Patton Jr.)
  • Human Trafficking Docket (led by Judge Marilyn Cassidy)
  • Drug Court Docket (led by Judge Lauren Moore)
  • Mental Health Docket (led by Judge Suzan Sweeney)

Each docket receives $45,000 to $55,000 of the grant money, said Court Administrator Russell Brown III. The court has used the money for client services and treatment, Brown added.

A request for data

The committee approved an amendment proposed by Council Member Mike Polensek. It requires that council receive a quarterly report on the demographics of people served by this grant, organized by city ward. 

Curious about the parking rates plans? Check out the city’s presentation. Interested in sending Cleveland City Council a public comment online? You can do that on its website.

Read more from Documenter Carolyn Cooper:

Read the live-tweet thread from Documenter Christina Easter:

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Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.