Bonuses, spending of American Rescue Plan cash, stay sticking level in new Mayfield Heights union contracts

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – The city council did not approve a new contract for the service department on Monday, July 12th, but like previous union deals that also received no approval from the council this year, it will come into effect soon.

The council voted 3-3 (with Council President Diane Snider abstaining because her husband is a police officer) in the vote on the service contract. As negotiated by the city and the departmental union, the new contract provides for a salary increase of 2.5 percent and a one-off bonus in each of the three years (starting retroactively in January). The bonus is 4 percent of each employee’s salaries in 2020. The contract is similar to the contracts signed by police and fire service unions earlier this year. Traditionally, non-union city workers in Mayfield Heights receive the same raise as union workers.

Although the council did not approve the contract approved by the administration, state law provides that the contract with the service department will come into effect within 30 days of the contract being signed.

As it was the fall in May With the contracts for police and fire brigade, city councilor Gayle Teresi was supported by councilors Robert DeJohn and Donald Manno against the service contract. The service department contract is the last to be billed.

“We’re all in favor of everyone getting a raise,” Teresi said when she was contacted on July 15. “Our service department, our fire brigade and our police are great – we are not taking that away. It’s just that when we (council and administration) spoke at the beginning, just before the contracts were approved, it said (workers) would get a lump sum and it came back 2.5 (percent) and a lump sum every year . That wasn’t what we talked about, we either talked about it, or we did.

“If you make $ 80,000 (per year) you will make $ 3,200 more,” she said of the bonus. “But our directors make more than $ 80,000. Some make $ 120,000 or more. “

The city expects $ 1.8 million this year and the same amount as its share of the federal rescue plan (ARP) in 2022. Mayor Anthony DiCicco said the bonus money will be paid thanks to city workers who continued to work during the pandemic. The ARP money can be used to pay for the bonuses that DiCicco said will total around $ 350,000. The bonuses, he said, are only paid once.

Instead of spending the money on bonuses, Teresi would like to see the money spent to help the residents.

“There are many elderly (residents) with permanent home incomes who cannot fix the driveway if they are cited by the building authorities,” she said. “You can’t put a new roof on. You’re from Social Security. They just don’t have the money so why don’t we help them? Let’s just do something for the residents and give our employees 2.5 percent for three years. “

Teresi said it would also help the city help residents modernize their homes.

“And when that elderly person is gone – moves, sold, dies, God forbid – their house would be in better shape to be sold.”

Speaking of the city’s desire to use the ARP money for bonuses, she said, “It’s like a kid in a candy store – you know you get this (ARP) money, so we’ll just spend it.”

The July 12 meeting included residents from Marnell Avenue ask the city for help with their flooded basements. A problem that residents have been discussing with the city administration for several years.

“These people came to the meeting (to make complaints),” Teresi said. “One woman spent $ 63,000 keeping water out of her basement. She waterproofed her entire house. We made Dye testing last March and by now (the city) should have figured it out (flooding problems). So let’s do something for the residents. It’s (ARP) free money, ”Teresi said.

“Let’s take something from the plate. Let’s help the elderly. Let’s help our housing stock or our own home. Let’s fix the sewers. These people cannot sell their houses. Some of them, their insurance company, are no longer taking damage because they have had so many claims. ”Teresi said there are other homes in the area that have also been hit by floods, including those on Ascot and Bellingham streets.

Regarding spending the ARP money, DiCicco said, “We’re still talking about what we’re going to do with it. The sewers, we’ve got to find out what’s going on with the sewers over there. Dan Gerson, our city engineer, found some leaks between the rainwater and the sewer system during the main paint tests. So something needs to be fixed.

“I think it was about $ 300,000 worth of repairs. It’s good. We’ll go ahead and do this, but testing still needs to be done to find out exactly what needs to be done before we invest any money. We intend to fix whatever we find there. This (ARP) money can be used for this. “

DiCicco went on to say that the cash for the employee bonuses can come from the ARP fund or from the city’s general fund.

“We also have money to fix the sewer problems. It’s just a matter of figuring out what needs to be done. It’s not like you can’t do one thing and can’t do the other. We are in a sufficiently good position to carry out the (sewer) repairs and still take care of our employees. “

In other news

More news from the July 12th Council meeting:

– A request for acceptance of bids for Asphalting the entire Woodhawk Drive stayed on the table. DiCicco said it is still unclear whether the surface renewal will happen this year.

– During a full committee meeting on July 12th, the advice was heard from representatives from LevelHEADS Inc., an architectural firm that is working with the urban engineer GPD Group in hiring a site manager for the upcoming community center / pool project on Marsolstrasse. A very early concept of a plan was shown to the council.

“This is a very preliminary (rendering) that we saw,” DiCicco said. “They showed us what they can do. The building may not look like this when it’s built. But I liked the overall layout because the buildings are between the freeway (I-271) and the pool to shield (the pool) from the freeway.

“I think the general layout will stay the same, but now that we have chosen a site manager and set the budgets, we need to know exactly what the building will look like and what amenities we want. ”

The plan is now to demolish the current community center and build the new one a little further west on today’s parking lot. It is not yet known whether the new community center will be a story or two high.

– There were also points for planning and building Sheetz and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers on the Mayland Shopping Center site, which is currently being redeveloped on Mayfield Road.

“They were filed because they both need parking exemptions from the Board of Zoning Appeals,” DiCicco said. “I think it would be better if you go to the zoning board of appeal first so they can make a decision and then the council can act.”

Both companies, DiCicco said, are definitely coming to Mayland. In the case of Sheetz, a gas station that also includes a grocery store and a coffee / sandwich shop, plans have been changed so that the gas pumps cannot be seen from Mayfield Road, but located behind, at the request of local residents the building.

View more messages from Sun Messenger Here.

Mayfield Heights considers utilizing American Rescue Plan cash to offer bonuses to metropolis workers who labored throughout pandemic: Stimulus Watch

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio – A proposal to use federal stimulidollars to provide 4,000 bonuses to Mayfield Heights police officers and firefighters has turned into a potential bonus to all municipal and administrative employees deemed “material” and during the Pandemic worked.

City officials don’t have the money to spend. In fact, they haven’t even been told exactly how much money the city will receive from the American bailout plan over two years. But Estimates from and The Plain Dealer state Mayfield Heights could receive about $ 1.9 million in total.

Finance director Karen Fegan said the city is still considering how to spend its money. However, she confirmed that the proposal to provide bonuses to “all key workers” is being examined. She did not specify which positions are considered important or how many employees it involves, so it is unclear how much bonuses could be paid.

The city initially considered giving $ 4,000 in bonuses paid with American Rescue Plan money only to first responders, in addition to incremental pay increases – paid out of the city’s budget – as in collective agreements with unions, the police, and fire departments and other workers represented, negotiated.

Council members voted on the ordinances to sign the collective agreements during a meeting on May 24, partly due to disagreement over the bonuses and which city servants should receive them. Legislation empowering the mayor to approve the union contracts is back on the council’s agenda on Monday, but it’s unclear whether the agreements include bonuses.

“We talked about a lump sum instead of a percentage every year,” Councilor Gayle Teresi said at the May meeting. “We didn’t know there would be a lump sum and a percentage.”

Teresi said she is in favor of a raise for first responders given their necessary and 24/7 work during the pandemic. However, she was concerned about giving a bonus on top of the raise – especially since she heard city workers say that all employees who worked during the pandemic would receive a bonus, which would be paid in stimulus money.

“Someone who worked at City Hall called and told me everyone was getting a $ 4,000 bonus,” Teresi said. After the meeting, Teresi told a reporter that non-union city workers typically receive a similar raise to union workers, so she wondered who else could get a $ 4,000 bonus.

“Did the mayor (Anthony DiCicco) get it? Will (Finance Director) Ms. Fegan get it? How about some advice? We were there (work and hold meetings) during COVID, “Teresi said a freelancer for Sun Messenger, a sister publication of and The Plain Dealer.

The US Treasury Department has issued guidelines on how local governments can use their American Rescue Plan dollars. One of the proposals is to “provide premium wages for key workers to provide additional support to those who, as a result of their services in critical infrastructure sectors, face and will bear the greatest health risks”.

“I’m in favor of everyone getting a raise, especially the police and fire departments,” Councilor Robert DeJohn said during the May 24 session. “Here’s my problem: as soon as these two units get their raise, they get everyone else in town – everyone else, including the administrative staff. You will all get this lump sum up to the time you raise your salary. “

Councilor Donald Manno joined DeJohn and Teresi in May against the collective agreements. He said council members should receive a raise or bonus for signing raises for other employees.

“Mr. DeJohn said everyone in town gets the raise,” Manno said. “The council doesn’t get it, but we have to sign it for everyone else. We worked through COVID too – not the same way. But fact If you say that everyone in town hall gets a raise or a bonus, what about the advice? Are we stepchildren? Or what’s going on here? “

Finance director Fegan said compensation to the mayor and council will be determined by a regulation that includes a “nested” calculation based on factors such as increases in the general fund and the consumer price index for the previous year. But her statement didn’t seem to deter councilors hoping for a bonus or raise from the money from the American bailout.

Councilor Michael Ballistrea said he did not know why some of his colleagues were confused. He said notes he took during an earlier meeting suggested Fegan said some of the American bailout money would “most likely” be used for bonuses.

“So that was checked and it was always on the table that this should be done as far as I was concerned,” Ballistrea said.

Stimulus Watch is a public service journalism project run by and The Plain Dealer to track federal grants reaching Northeast Ohio through the US rescue plan. Read more

Lin-Manuel Miranda responds to In The Heights ‘colorism’ criticisms | Leisure

Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized after criticizing the “colorism” in his new film “In The Heights”.

The 41-year-old star co-wrote the musical after which the film was adapted, and has now responded publicly after some critics raised concerns about a lack of representation for the Afro-Latin population of the Washington Heights neighborhood.

On social media, he said in a statement: “I started writing ‘In The Heights’ because I didn’t feel like I was being seen. And for the last 20 years I wanted – ALL – to feel seen.

“I see the discussion of Afro-Latino representation in our film this weekend and it’s clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community feel under-represented in it, especially among the lead characters.

“I can hear the pain and frustration with the colorism of still feeling unseen in the feedback.

“I hear that without enough dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work gets out of the community that we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy.”

Lin-Manuel said the team “missed” and thanked people for “raising” their concerns.

He continued: “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we came up short. I’m really sorry.

“I’m learning from the feedback, thank you for bringing it up, and I’m listening.”

The star, who plays Piragüero in the film and also acts as a producer after writing the music for the original Broadway show, noted that he is still very proud of the film, despite acknowledging the need “for our shortcomings to be responsible “.

He added, “I try to both give space to the incredible pride in the film we made and to be responsible for our shortcomings.

“Thank you for your honest feedback. I promise to get better on my future projects, and I am dedicated to the learning and development that everyone must do to ensure we honor our diverse and vibrant community.”

Leisure Information Roundup: Field Workplace: ‘Within the Heights’ Disappoints With $11 Million Opening Weekend; Actor Ned Beatty has died at age 83 – media

The following is a summary of the latest entertainment news.

Box Office: In the Heights disappoints with $ 11 million opening weekend

“In the Heights”, the acclaimed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Mirandas Broadway show, didn’t hit all the right notes on its box office debut. The Warner Bros. Film generated a decrease of $ 11.4 million from 3,456 US Theaters in the first four days of release, below expectations for the weekend, which suggested the film would hit $ 20 million. “In the Heights” also opened up HBO max, the streaming service from the studio’s parent company WarnerMediaeven though the company didn’t report its digital viewership.

actor Ned Beatty died at the age of 83 – media

Hollywood actor Ned Beatty, known for roles in films liberation, Superman and Network, died at the age of 83, media reports said on Sunday. The Oscar-nominated actor died of natural causes in his The angel at home, told his daughter Blossom Beatty The Hollywood Reporter. His agency Shelter Entertainment Group later confirmed the news to other media outlets.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Leisure Information Roundup: Joyful ‘Within the Heights’ is love letter to Latinos in U.S.; Warner Bros. plans anime film in ‘Lord of the Rings’ collection and extra

The following is a summary of the latest entertainment news.

Joyful ‘In the Heights’ is a love letter to Latinos in U.S

It took 13 years to get from the stage to the big screen, but In the Heights is throwing a party and wants everyone to join in. Opening in theaters on Thursday and streaming on HBO max, Hollywood’s greatest Latino film in decades, tells the stories of the dreams and challenges of the largely immigrant community in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

Warner Bros. plans anime film in ‘Lord of the Rings’ series

The Warner bros. The film studio will produce an anime feature film set in the world of JRR Tolkien’s popular “Lord of the Rings” books, officials said Thursday. “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” tells the story of a legendary battle that Middle earth in the years leading up to the events in the 2001 film “The Lord of the Rings”, a statement from the studio said. The new film will explore the fortress of Helms Deep and show the king of Rohan, helmet Hammer hand.

Kim Kardashian doesn’t regret the end of the reality series’ Keeping Up ”

After 14 years of drama, fashion, and family, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the television series that Kim Kardashian and the familiar names of their siblings, bowed on Thursday with hugs, tears and gratitude. “I regret nothing. That was the best decade and a half of my life. ” Kim Kardashian says in the final.

One minute with: Boy George turns 60, new music and biopic

Culture Club front man Boy George is looking for an actor to play him in a new music biopic set to begin filming this summer. The British Singer, who will turn 60 next week, launched the social media call for auditions in April for the film “Karma Chameleon,” based on one of the band’s 1980s hits.

Actor Riz Ahmed leads to an offer to change the path Muslims seen in movies

British actor Rice Ahmed Thursday started an effort to improve the path Muslims are portrayed in films after a study shows they are barely seen and portrayed in a negative light when they appear. Ahmed, the “Sound of Metal” star and the first Muslim to get a best actor Oscar Nomination said the blueprint for Muslim Inclusion would provide funding and mentoring for Muslim Storyteller in the early stages of her career.

Placido Domingo honored in Spain after harassment allegations

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo was honored with an award at Madrid’s Teatro Real on Thursday, the day after receiving a standing ovation for his first performance in his home country since a union said he routinely molested women. Spain last year, Domingo’s planned performances in publicly funded theaters were canceled while the singer withdrew from shows after an investigation by the American Guild of Musical Artists found he had behaved inappropriately towards female performers.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

‘Within the Heights’ makes use of bold sequences, however operating time turns into bloated | Leisure

In his first film since the smash hit “Crazy Rich Asians”, director Jon M. Chu brings his Broadway hit “In the Heights” to the screen with Tony award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda.

If you like your musicals flashy, long and chaotic, “In the Heights” will surely satisfy the missing item at the box office. A film about dreams, culture and family, Miranda and Chu incorporate some of the actors from the Broadway production and new faces to create an eclectic cinematic experience.

Anthony Ramos from “A Star is Born” and “Hamilton” take the lead here. He channeled some of John Leguizamo into singing and charisma. Olga Merediz repeats her Tony nominated performance and almost steals the film with limited screen time. Some of the actors work better than others, but the movie’s biggest downside is the running time, which drags on after the 90 minute mark.

“The best days of my life,” Usnavi (Ramos) says every morning, staring at the photos of him and his father in the Dominican Republic. Usnavi dreams of returning to his Caribbean island and rebuilding his father’s bar, which has now been in ruins.

This decision is not easy, he has built a life in the heights, his Abuela, Claudia (Merediz) was like a mother and half a block for him. The girl of his dreams visits the family’s own bodega every day, where he gives Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) a free coffee, but he does not confess his love. With his finances finally to get one step closer to his dream, it would also mean giving up on someone else.

If you know what Sing-Talking is, In the Heights will start right away. Most dialogues are sung and not spoken in addition to the musical numbers. Some of the numbers occur in simple settings as you might expect: a salon or the bodega. Others, however, are more like cinematic flash dance sequences; like in a public swimming pool or in the middle of the street.

No spectacle here will convert someone who doesn’t like musicals, this is not a game changer like “Moulin Rouge” or “Chicago”. Which is a nice way to say that there is no real award potential here.

“In the Heights” strives for great moments, but is always a bit shy of blowing you off the theater seat, and a theater is certainly the place where you should see such spectacles.

Some of the scenes lean further towards the imagination than seems necessary in view of the subject matter. As in most musicals, there are elements of love and relationship scattered among different characters, but the film is strongest when it advocates culture, diversity, and heritage. Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asian’s” was also an ensemble with romantic elements, colorful interludes and a long running time, “In the Heights” is both more ambitious and bloated.

“In the Heights” will hit theaters on June 11th.

Final thought: While “In the Heights” is ambitious with memorable musical sequences, its running time might leave some a bit exhausted.

Dustin Chase is a film critic and associate editor for Texas Art & Film, based in Galveston. visit

Dine in RnB Vibes model Thursdays at BTOPSpot in Sheridan Heights

If you fancy dining to R&B music, go to Montgomery’s on Thursdays BTOPSpot is the place to be.

Called RnB Vibes, it’s a night from 6pm to 10pm hosted by Idarious Uppi Bennett and his wife Ronda.

“We’ve been together for a long time, so we can work well together. I come in and hang up for her and play the music. We think it’s R&B, ”said Idarious. “People come in, have a good time, and eat.”

It’s a family restaurant with a full breakfast menu, plus lunch and dinner options, including sandwiches, wings, cooked salad steak, salmon, and desserts. BTOPSpot has been run by Idarious’ father James Bobby Bennet at 2645 Forbes Drive in Sheridan Heights for a little over a year.

“We do a blues deal on Sundays (4pm to 10pm),” said James.

On the first Tuesday of the month, the poetry will flow with a night of the spoken word.

“Some people come in and sing a little when they can sing,” Idarious said. “It just keeps a good mood.”

For more information visit or call 334-593-0149.

“Come on and have a look and see what you think about it,” said Idarious. “It’s a good place to be.”

Together with the restaurant, the Bennetts own a landscaping company, BTOPS landscaping.

“That’s the part that I run for my father,” said Idarious. “I’ve been working for him for about 20 years. He did it before I was born. ”

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at