August 12, 2021

The meeting of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission (County Planning) was called to order by Councilperson Simon at 2:30 p.m. and discussion started.  At 2:45 p.m. when Mayor Byrne joined, roll call showed a quorum was present and the agenda items that required a vote were discussed.

Director Cierebiej opened the meeting with the discussion of the legal opinion regarding conflict of interest that has come to the Commission members attention in the past. Mr. Wesley Kretch from the Cuyahoga County Law Department participated in the meeting to answer any questions. Director Cierebiej announced that she will be sending out a form asking for a list of other Committees, Boards, and Executive Committees that the members currently serve on to help identify any conflicts of interest. Mr. Kretch stated that the legal memorandum did not encompass all scenarios but needs to be weighed as issues arise. The members were advised to be independent and free of undue influence of positions, and otherwise err on the side of caution.

Director Cierebiej reported on the following items:

The Regional Data Book looks at data for the five (5) county Cleveland metropolitan area compared to other metro areas. Input was requested from Team NEO, NOACA along with other organizations for feedback and the information received that provided good insight may change the format and the content of the data book. NOACA had concerns the title that could be confused with their factbook, so County Planning is working on a different title and plan a soft launch in August, 2021.

In the Kudos Corner, Director Cierebiej gave congratulations to Ms. Rachel Novak and Mr. Micah Stryker on their promotions to Senior Planner due to the process of the annual performance review program.  Mr. Stryker will be on parental leave for September and into October 2021 with the Planning Team working on a transition with his projects to cover his work. Ms. Jennifer Karaffa has a new title, she was the Fiscal Officer and is now the Manager of Business Services. Work with PRC is continuing to review all the title and classifications of staff.

Welcome was given to a new intern – Sarah Tengen – who starts August 23rd, is from the University of Cincinnati and will be working through the Fall, 2021. Applications are being reviewed for a new Planner and new Senior Planner with anticipated start dates in September/October 2021. There is a robust pipeline of projects and need for additional capacity and so Ms. Laura Mendez-Ortiz, a current intern has applied for the full-time Planner position, and Ms. Meghan Chaney for the Senior Planner position. Ms. Chaney is currently a consultant for County Planning and is looking to return full-time.

Budget update includes discussion with OBM on the 2022-2023 operational budget.  Director Cierebiej reported that County Planning’s budget was initially cut by over two hundred thousand, but which would be impossible for County Planning to operate effectively. The response for the new biennial budget was required by July 30th. County Planning gave a detailed report advocating to restore the budget for the full amount.  Director Cierebiej also reported that Cuyahoga County IT refreshed the laptops for each staff member, recognizing it was challenging to work remotely with equipment from 2014 and 2017.  The upgrade is appreciated.

County Planning was advised that they may need outside legal counsel, given that some of its revenue generating contracts are with executive agencies. The Cuyahoga County Department of Law feels that there could potentially be a conflict when representing both a non-executive agency and executive agencies. At this time there is no budget appropriation for outside council, but this something that needs to be considered in the future.

The Cuyahoga Greenways plan is picking up funding momentum and partnerships as the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metroparks, NOACA, and Cuyahoga County move the plan forward. Assistance from Commission members was requested for outreach to the mayors about connecting the trails and greenways in their communities. County Planning is helping those communities that are ready to go forward to advance those connections. There has been open conversation with the Department of Public Works to review new road or bridge construction for the possibility of adding bike lanes.

On a motion by Councilperson Simon, seconded by Mayor Sellers, the minutes for the June 10, 2021, meeting minutes were duly adopted by unanimous vote.


Resolution No. 210812-A requesting the approval of Inter-Agency Agreement with Department of Development.
Director Cierebiej gave a brief overview of the request for the Inter-Agency Agreement with Cuyahoga County Department of Development (DOD) for County Planning to provide professional planning services. The scope of services is to collaborate with DOD on a variety of initiatives to support the communities in Cuyahoga County. The value associated with the work is $75,000 and County Planning will provide up to $25,000 worth of in-kind professional planning services, the DOD will pay County Planning up to $50,000 to be effective through July 31, 2022. The scope of services will be flexible as mutually agreed upon and include:

  • Creating a dashboard to track data associated with the 5-year Economic Development Plan.
  • East Cleveland Land Use Strategy.
  • Site Identification and Analysis.
  • General professional planning services assistance.

On a motion by Mayor Sellers, seconded by Mayor Brennan, Resolution No. 210812-A, Inter-Agency Agreement with Department of Development, was duly adopted by unanimous vote.

Resolution No. 210812-B requesting the approval of Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual Addition of Section 6.15- New Remote Work Policy

Director Cierebiej explained that this addition to the Personnel Policies & Procedures manual was in response the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic experience and the way County Planning responded to the remote working environment. The work productivity stayed strong and programs advanced but there was no policy in place for remote work. This will not be a full-time remote work policy but used as needed. This policy has been reviewed by the Law Department and County Human Resources for feedback before finalizing the policy.

On a motion by Mayor Sellers, seconded by Mayor Gammella, Resolution No. 210812-B, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual Addition of Section 6.15, the New Remote Work Policy, was duly adopted by unanimous vote.

No old business

No old business

No requests for public comment.

On a motion by Mayor Brennan, seconded by Councilperson Simon, the meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.


August 12, 2021

Mayor Pamela BobstNo
Mayor Michael Dylan BrennanYes
Councilperson Shontel BrownNo
Mayor Michael ByrneYes
Director Freddie CollierNo
Director Michael DeverNo
Mayor Anthony DiCiccoNo
Mayor Michael GammellaYes
Mayor Michael ProcukYes
Mayor Brad SellersYes
Councilperson Sunny SimonYes