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Cleveland City Council passes legislation protecting election workers: Meeting recap

Council also approved a lease with Sherwin-Williams to build a new hangar at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland City Council passed several pieces of legislation during a busy meeting on Monday evening 

Just in time for Election Day, the council approved an ordinance to protect poll workers and their families. The new legislation "prohibits anyone, directly or indirectly, from threatening, intimidating, menacing or harassing an election official or their family member." A violation of the new ordinance constitutes a first degree misdemeanor, with a mandatory prison term of at least three days. 

The other portion of the legislation codifies what’s already in state law that "prohibits loitering, congregating or engaging in election campaigning near polling locations, as well as hindering or delaying an elector from reaching or leaving the polling place." Again, the violation is a first degree misdemeanor, with a mandatory prison term of at least three days. 

Here are some other highlights from Monday:

--Council approved doubling the number of the Crisis Intervention teams and expanding their availability using more than $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. A mental health dispatcher will also be added who will assist with intake of specifically mental health crisis calls, in addition to a senior-level strategist who will operate out of the mayor's office.

--Council has authorized the Bibb administration to seek bids for the design, installation, and operation of solar installations at various city-owned facilities. Installations are required to be at locations not powered by Cleveland Public Power.

--Council approved an agreement from the Cleveland Guardians and Guardians Charities for José Ramírez Ballfield in the Clark/Fulton neighborhood. The Fields for the Future project at Clark Field in partnership with Ramírez and the City of Cleveland was first announced in August. The playing field will be synthetic turf, with the installation of drainage. Approximately 30 trees will be planted. There will be new fencing, new covered dugouts, bullpens, netted backstop, aluminum grandstands to accommodate 200 spectators, and a scoreboard featuring state-of-the-art LED. The Guardians will contract for the $1.5 million worth of improvements, then gift the field to the city.

--Council approved establishing a fund to create a revolving loan pool to provide low interest capital for developers working in Cleveland neighborhoods to renovate vacant or abandoned properties. They also voted to establish a "home repair fund" to provide grants for home repair for structures owned or occupied by households, including small landlords, with income up to 300% Federal Poverty Guidelines, targeting about 600 home repairs in the city with each grant averaging $15,000. 

--Council granted a lease agreement with Sherwin-Williams to build a new corporate hangar facility at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Sherwin-Williams would assume all costs, including design, permits, and construction. The lease agreement will be for at least 30 years.

Credit: Cleveland City Council

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