October 17, 2022

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Public Commenters (31 min)
Walter Collins   Pamela M. Pinkney-Butts  Rosie Palfy  Council member Rebecca Maurer (on behalf of Cleveland Public Power IBEW members) 

Walter Collins

Blaine Griffin: Walter Collins please acknowledge your time. We'll start off with Walter Collins from Ward 5 and he's here to talk about Veterans Day and he represents Rid-All veterans programs and he is not being paid by anyone. Please acknowledge your time sir.

Oh yes, thank you very much. Again my name is Walter Collins. I'm the veteran representative with the Rid-All Green Partnership and we working with our veterans in the community. Previously I was here complaining about the city did not have a program for our veterans. Since that time, speaking with the mayor, mayor senior advisor Angela Woodson, we not only have been working and talking, we've been meeting on a regular basis dealing with Veterans Day and also a Veterans Day program to carry on from the Veterans Day celebration.

I'm not going to get involved in the naming of, the but they're bringing in power people to help us get our program started and I would like to thank not only the mayor and their staff but also Councilman Starr for supporting us in this program. Now it's up to the local councilman. I need your support now because we're going to be going into the community and we need input from the community just like we need to give input and information to the community.

Part of the Veterans that we're addressing are veterans that are not the not involved in the VA (Veterans Administration) program at all.

So what we're trying to do is address those veterans before they have to go to the VA hospital or before they end up in Veterans Court. So this is I'm asking you is, when they come to you, when they want to come into the community, when they need input from the community when we address in our Veterans issue, please work with the city. They are trying to put together something that will help our Veterans and not only on Veterans Day but each and every day. They put a team together at Ed Parish, uh. If you see any of them in the hallway or out in the community give input input into what could possibly help our vets. We're dealing with a big crisis within the next four or five years. Over a one million Veterans going to be released without a reduction in force. So we really need to address it. The ones we have talked about particularly is the one with invisible injuries. We have many of them here in our community they're not involved with the VA. They haven't been diagnosed with PTSD or concerned with attempting suicide. So we need to have programs proactive. It's the va's responsibility to help us after we've been injured, after we've been hurt, after we've been wounded. It's the community's responsibility to have proactive programs for our Veterans. Thank you.

3:35 Permalink

Pamela M. Pinkney-Butts

Griffin: next we have Pamela M. Pinkney from Cleveland. She's here to talk about violence and fear and she's representing PAPP Ministries and she is not being paid by anyone. Please acknowledge, Mrs. Pinkney.

Reverend Pinkney -- I'm not married to anybody.

Griffin: I'm just putting you down as what you put on the sheet. I wanted to start with a song but I'm not feeling that right now. And the reason I'm not feeling that right now is because when I speak publicly, and when I go to the Cleveland Police for a police report, they call the mental health people on me to not give me a police report.

Last Wednesday at 3:54 p.m., I got a phone call from Murtis Taylor, a mental health agency, with the police in the background, trying to bait me over to the Fourth District so I couldn't vote. And council president this happens every federal-based election. I'm tired of the Cleveland Police bothering me Mayor Bibb and council president. They have been retaliating against me because they violated my protection order and I lost everything. I never come down here being disrespectful to anyone.

I don't break laws, I'm a a law upholder. I'm a retired probation officer. And because the Cleveland Police violated my protection order 20 some years ago, I lost my children and everything I own. And they're still bothering me. I didn't come down here to argue with anybody. And the woman that stands in the back of the room, I have a problem with that council president. Because Cleveland Police have been stalking me and bothering me and harassing me. They have literally beat me up and dragged me down the street calling me a mentally ill one. First of all mentally ill -- and one what? I came down here because I had wanted to talk to you about some things I would like to see in legislation. We don't need more police. The police need to be policed. I would like to see some rights for we heterosexual people because mine have been violated for years. So I know other people have. When I asked about that before, another group came behind and got rights. Nobody disciplines the police. They're people. I need to see prayer put back in the school system. No prayer, no power, and we're losing our children and our families. I want to see the Christian flag on these buildings because God established this nation.

God builds up a nation and God tears, and he will destroy one. Homosexuality and sexual perversions are an abomination to God, and I stand as a Christian to say I want some Christian heterosexual rights in the city, and in this country.

Griffin: Time Council president please look into what I asked you about. I did write you a letter and I wrote the mayor a letter, too about the Cleveland Police. Still bothering me 20 years later. Thank you.

3:40 Permalink

Rosie Palfy

Griffin: Rosie Palfy is here from Parma and she's here to talk about Cleveland Police Crisis Intervention Program and the Consent Decree and she's representing the City of Cleveland Mental Health Response Advisory Committee and she is not being paid by anyone. Ms. Palfy, please watch your time.

Thank you, President Griffin. Can I ask you how the clock works when it goes to Yellow? Griffin: OK. When it goes to yellpw that means that you need to start to wrap it up and then when it hits red that means that you're out of time.

OK. Thank you.

My name is Rosie Palfy. I'm here to talk about the City of Cleveland Mental Health Response Advisory Committee. It was created as one of the mandates of the (Consent Decree) settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland in 2015 and it is the only element of reform that is not included under the [Community] Police Commission. In September 2015, the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Alcohol Drug Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County to create and run a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee also known as MHRAC.

At the time I was a member of the County Office of Homeless Services Advisory Board so you're probably wondering why a Cleveland resident is part of this committee. So anyway we had a lot of success the first few years, and despite the party line about how great everything's going, it really isn't. With the Charter Amendment I cannot envision that the voters wanted everything but crisis intervention to be included with that. If you read the amendment language it will say it says somewhere "to include but not limited to" so I am asking the city to create a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee. Take the one we already have and let the city staff it. The city and the Adams board cancel meetings at their convenience. And one of the most disturbing things that I've seen happen last week, at a special meeting that a council member attended, um, and and he made a public comment -- it was about St Vincent Charity Medical Center closing their psychiatric emergency room. We aren't kept in the loop about things, like we weren't told that there's a proposal to expand the co-responder program we should have been making recommendations. So I asked why haven't we been told what's happening with St. Vincent's and how this could affect Crisis Intervention because I have police officers asking me questions. And the CEO of the ADAMHS Board said that that wasn't part of our purview and that this was between St. Vincent's, the ADAMHS board and the community. Well if this is supposed to be a community committee, how are we not included and he also said that this isn't specifically mentioned in the Consent Decree. I cannot understand why anything dealing with Crisis Intervention isn't on the table. We understand we're an advisory committee and people can tear up our recommendations and throw them in the garbage but at this point they're obstructing our efforts to do our work. Thank you, thank you.

4:03 Permalink

Council member Rebecca Maurer (on behalf of Cleveland Public Power IBEW members)

Griffin: I have councilwoman Rebecca Maurer. Councilwoman Rebecca Maurer.

Hi. Thank you. Council president and good evening. I want to reiterate your welcome to IBEW Local 39. The work that you all do is so critical to our neighborhoods. You are literally keeping the lights on. There's there's nothing more important so let's give them a round of applause Thank you.

You know, we know that public comment is a new feature for the city, um, and it's an important feature. I think all of us here see it used to great effect every single week. There was a bit of a hiccup and you all weren't able to sign up in time, and I offered to read to read their statement. Um so this is on behalf of Bill Crearis, a lineman at Cleveland Public Power. Bill if you could wave. Thank you, he's the business manager for the local 39 and he writes, "I'm gathered with our members to bring awareness to major issues in Cleveland Public Power that includes: staffing bucket trucks, line trucks tools and materials. Over the past five years we have had too many employees leave. Employees retiring is unavoidable and plays a part. But the majority of our members leave looking for fair wages in a better work environment. As our workforce thins to an all-time low, it is mandatory that we address this for the sake of our customers and remaining employees. As of today we have 9 day linemen working 8 to 4:30 serving nearly 80,000 customers. A total of five installers from the meter lab, doing daily reports and bringing in new customers. Three low tension linemen covering every street light in the city. Five cable splicers to repair underground cable. Worst of all we have 9 employees out of 12 on our "trouble swing shift" which means that there are 3 openings on that shift that make sure there are no down wires or poles in dangerous conditions. They are first responders to every issue, on a 24/7 schedule, no matter the weather or holiday. This shortage in staffing is unacceptable. Problems are easy to come by and solutions are not. We are here today with solutions if the city is willing to listen. Our goal is to repair Cleveland Public Power and aim for better service for our customers. Thank you for giving a moment to speak and the members say that they look forward to meeting and answering any other questions. Thank you all for taking the time to listen. Thank you for being here

2:19 Permalink