CTM Trustee Nominations for 2017

We are seeking candidates to run for Trustee positions during the 12/5/2016 meeting of the Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) Board. If you think you might enjoy serving as a Trustee, please email contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org by October 21st.

UPDATE on Nov 11 — Click here to see the bios of all the candidates for Trustee.

CTM is Clifton’s neighborhood community council. As such, CTM seeks to understand the interests of Clifton residents and to represent those interests with the City of Cincinnati. In addition, CTM supports a wide range of events and projects that help make Clifton a great place to live, work and play. Examples include: Holidays on Ludlow, the Memorial Day Parade, CliftonFest, the Clifton House Tour, and the restoration of the Probasco Fountain.

As a Trustee, you will share your voice and skills regarding community events, beautification projects, and issues related to education, safety, transportation, business development, and housing and zoning. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations such as Uptown Consortium, CCAC, TriHealth, CPBA, Ludlow 21, and Clifton Community Fund.

Trustee Expectations:

  • Serve a 3 year term
  • Attend and participate in monthly CTM meetings
  • Serve on at least one CTM committee
  • Be informed about issues that affect Clifton

If you are interested in becoming a CTM Trustee, please email contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org no later than October 21st.

  • Provide a telephone number if possible. We will email you more information, but would also like to call you to answer any questions you may have.
  • You must have a current CTM Membership at the time of the election. Memberships are available to Clifton residents, Clifton property owners, and operators of businesses in Clifton. For more information about CTM Membership, see http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/products-page/membership/
  • Before the election, you must submit a biographical summary of 200 words or less so that voters can learn about you. We will email you examples from past elections.
  • Please submit your bio by 10/28/2016 so that we can include it in the next Clifton Chronicle newsletter. If that is too soon for you, we will accept bio’s as late as 11/04/2016.

If you’d like to join our energetic, committed committed group of CTM Trustees, please contact us soon.

Clifton Deer Round Two Coming Soon!

Clifton Deer Round Two Coming Soon!

It’s Fall, a time of crisp cool air, leaves turning colors, bringing in the porch furniture, and fencing off the small trees to protect them from rambunctious rutting bucks! To folks working on the Clifton deer project, it means gearing up for the second round of deer sterilizations.

Soon volunteers will be leafleting property owners inside the study area (bordered by Clifton Ave, Ludlow, and I-75), setting up and tending bait stations, readying the field surgical facility, and, of course, asking for donations!

This Fall (2016), we hope to treat last year’s female fawns, the does missed last year, and any new immigrants, with a goal of reaching at least 95% of all does in the study area. Teams of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and volunteers will again work long nights, hoping this year to finish in just three days. Once again, The Humane Society of the United States will be participating in our field operations.

Field operations will be followed by a two week field camera population survey. Close examination of literally thousands of pictures from strategically located cameras will enable our consulting wildlife biologist to estimate with high reliability how many deer are in the study area and, most importantly, how many have immigrated into it over the past year. Thus, the project will have its first empirical data to begin to answer the all-important question of how effective fertility control can be in managing deer populations in open settings like ours. Fingers and toes are crossed!

Again, the capture process will occur at night when deer are active and humans are less so. Like last year, all operations will be coordinated closely with the Cincinnati police. Flyers will be left at houses within the study area providing the dates of the operations and names and phone numbers, including CPD’s, for residents with questions or concerns that might arise before or during the sterilization operations.

Last year went very smoothly and we anticipate this year will also. As previously reported, last year’s field observations, confirmed by the camera survey, showed almost twice as many deer as estimated based on the Parks aerial infrared surveys, making this second year more expensive than originally planned – although our costs are still about 25% lower than last year’s. Right now, the project needs about $15,000 more to meet its Year 2 budget. Grant applications are pending with three foundations, but individual donations remain an important source of our funding.

Thanks to a generous $5,000 challenge grant from The Animal Welfare Institute, now is the perfect time to make your donation! Best for the project (since with no credit card processing fees, 100% goes to the budget) are checks made out to CliftonDeer.org and sent c/o Laurie Briggs, Treasurer at 724 Lafayette Ave.,
Cincinnati, OH 45220. Perhaps an easier way is to donate through our website at
http://cliftondeer.org/donations/. Every dollar you contribute is tax deductible and
goes directly to pay for our out of town wildlife biologist and veterinarian team and
for direct expenses, like corn for bait stations. There are also other “painless” ways to contribute described on that donations page, such as designating CliftonDeer.org as your charity of choice with Kroger.

The support of our friends and neighbors has been and continues to be much appreciated.

If you aren’t following us on Facebook, we invite you to do so at https://www.facebook.com/CliftonDeer.org/

The Team at CliftonDeer.org

New CTM Education Social Media Groups

The CTM Education Committee has launched a new place on Facebook. & NextDoor Clifton regarding guaranteed access to quality public education with a focus on a new neighborhood area school.

Do you live in or near the neighborhoods of Clifton, CUF, Spring Grove Village, or the zip codes 45220 / 45219? Are you are interested or supportive of access to quality education for all children potentially including a new neighborhood school? Is the current school situation confusing, or do you want more information ?

Join this group today! This group is maintained by the Clifton Town Meeting Education Committee as a way to educate and engage with the community. This group welcomes civil discussion and constructive input.

Click here for Facebook group.
Click here for NextDoor group.

The Community Councils of Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village agree that the Clifton Cultural Arts Center must remain in its current building. Plans and designs for a new neighborhood school will be considered only for other locations.

Joint Statement on Education & CCAC to CPS

Working Group

Clifton Town Meeting – CUF Neighborhood Association – Spring Grove Community Council – Clifton Cultural Arts Center – Fairview-Clifton German Language School Parent and Community Representatives

Joint Statement

Over the last several months, representatives from Clifton Town Meeting, CUF Neighborhood Association and the Spring Grove Village Community Council have been meeting with community partners from the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and parent and community representatives of the Fairview-Clifton German Language School LSDMC in an effort to develop a comprehensive, unified plan that guarantees quality school access for all residents of the three communities, ensures that Fairview-Clifton German Language School remains a highly rated school and securely maintains CCAC in their current building under the terms of the 2005 lease agreement.

Throughout the past six months our joint goal has been to identify a solution that addresses both the needs of the District and communities and creates a win for all parties. After many weeks and hours of discussion, we have agreed upon a collaborative, inclusive approach that we believe meets that goal:

  • Expand classroom space on Fairview’s current location to cover a 3-year increase in kindergarten magnet enrollment with a build-out of the current building and the temporary use of modular classrooms during the build-out;
  • Commit and allocate necessary physical, financial and staff resources to ensure that all students at Fairview continue to receive a quality education;
  • Scale back enrollment to the pre-expansion level of 100-125 kindergarten magnet students after three years;
  • Keep CCAC in the 1906 building under the current lease agreement without possibility of termination until the completion of the lease period, and/or CPS to offer CCAC the option to purchase the property;
  • State on all print and electronic documents produced by CTM, CUF or Spring Grove Community Councils that, “The Community Councils of Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village agree that the Clifton Cultural Arts Center must remain in its current building. Plans and designs for a new neighborhood school will be considered only for other locations”;
  • Begin a neighborhood school based on an informed community engagement process, for the 2018-19 school year at a temporary location with one grade level, adding another grade level each subsequent year;
  • Create a neighborhood school to a suitable size that accommodates the demand of the neighborhoods. Possible sites include: Fairview expansion build-out, Hughes High School Annex or the former Fairview School Annex.

Click here to see the signed version of the Joint Statement of Spring Grove Village, CUF and Clifton

=== PRESS RELEASE ===

Cincinnati – Representatives from Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), CUF (Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview) Neighborhood Association and the Spring Grove Village Community Council (SGV), along with community partners from the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and parent and community representatives of the Fairview-Clifton German Language School Local School Decision Making Committee (LSDMC) will hold a press conference on Monday, August 22, at 5:30 pm at the Cincinnati Public Schools Education Center at 2651 Burnet Avenue in Corryville to release a Joint Statement.
The Joint Statement is the result of months of weekly meetings between these community stakeholder groups who are all deeply engaged and invested in the education, diversity, vibrancy, inclusion, and cohesiveness of our neighborhoods and community institutions.

The solutions presented in the Joint Statement convey the priorities of the communities:
• access to quality education for all children potentially including a new neighborhood school;
• preservation of the high level of educational quality at Fairview-Clifton German Language School in the face of pressure to expand;
• safeguarding of the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, an essential community asset, in its current location.

The collective group, commonly known as the “Working Group,” reflects the interests of thousands of our city’s children, parents, and residents. In early 2016, the Working Group began meeting to address urgent community issues: the challenge of overcrowding at Fairview Clifton German Language School, the threat of losing CCAC, our cultural center and a valued educational partner for CPS schools, including Fairview, and improved access to quality public education for residents of Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village.

Members of the Working Group, joined by dozens of community members, are asking to work collaboratively with the CPS Board of Education and Administration to determine the details and specifics of a practical, long-term strategy, which addresses all of the concerns listed in the Joint Statement. “Stakeholders from many different groups and three distinct neighborhoods have come together and worked hard to develop the comprehensive solution embodied in this Joint Statement,” said Clifton Town Meeting Vice President Malcolm Montgomery. “We believe that together with CPS we can give these children a great education and preserve the cultural center of our neighborhoods and beyond.”

###

City of Cincinnati Budget Engagement

From the City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications

Hello Cincinnati Neighbor,

Each biennial budget cycle, the City of Cincinnati asks for your feedback on the proposed city budget. We continue to offer new and convenient ways to stay engaged with the community and broaden our outreach. The Budget Office, The Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications have collaborated to further enhance communication and engagement strategies throughout the budget process. The main goal of this budget engagement campaign is to keep you informed and engaged throughout the entire process.

Here are the multiple opportunities to participate in the budget engagement process:

Please visit our website  (http://cincinnati-oh.gov/finance/cincinnati-budget-engagement/) where you will find all of these links and more information about  when and where the sessions and forums are taking place this summer and fall.

We welcome and greatly appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to pass the word along to your neighbors as everyone’s input is important!

Thank you,

City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications

CliftonDeer.org Update

Recap:

The Clifton deer fertility control pilot program is a citizen response to the Cincinnati Parks’ invitation to collaborate on a non-lethal alternative to bow-hunting for reducing overabundant herds in 3 Clifton Neighborhood parks. Operating under a permit granted in 2015 by the Wildlife Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the program involves a three to five year study of deer migration patterns and the efficacy of sterilization for deer population management.

CliftonDeer.org, is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to sponsor, assist, and provide funding for the program.  It builds community support – financial and otherwise – to create an infrastructure of expertise and funding needed to complete the study and to secure the viability of the program on an ongoing basis.

First Year Results:

In December of 2015, project consultant Dr. Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo, Inc. led a team of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and volunteers (including U.C. students, Cliftonites, and U.S. Humane Society personnel) through six nights of field operations in which 41 does were sterilized and tagged and 3 incidental male fawns were tagged and released.  Detailed results of that effort are reported at 2015 Field Operations Report on the project’s website, www.cliftondeer.org.

Two important findings resulted from last Fall’s work.  First, field observations and a post-operations camera survey revealed that the deer population in the study area (bounded by Ludlow Ave., Clifton Ave., and I-75) was much larger than estimated based on the Parks’ aerial infrared population counts—roughly 100 instead of 60. Faced with unexpectedly large numbers, Dr. DeNicola focused his efforts on the mature does who would be likely to reproduce this Spring and planned to target the female fawns in 2016.  Second, despite the unexpectedly large deer population, Dr. DeNicola believes that his team sterilized approximately 86% of the adult doe population within the study area, and that this should be enough to stop herd growth and may begin reductions.

2016 Goals:

This Fall Dr. DeNicola plans to capture and sterilize the few adult does missed last year, new immigrant does, and newly matured female fawns in the study area.  He and his team will also devote extra time to training a local darter and a local veterinarian with the goal that they can eventually carry on the program with less reliance on expensive outside involvement.  Finally, he will conduct a 2-week post-operations field camera population survey.

The dates of field operations have not yet been set, but will most likely occur in December.

Funding:

With the discovery of nearly twice as many deer as originally estimated from the Parks’ surveys, and the need for more accurate counts, costs of operations this year, while 25% lower than last year, are expected to be higher than originally projected.  Funds are being requested from two national and one local foundation. If successful, these grants will cover at least 60% to 80% of this year’s operating expenses, reducing significantly the amount of fundraising that will be required. We should know the status of those grant requests within weeks.  As promised last year, no funds will be requested from CTM.

In the meantime, we invite the community to:

Community Budget Request Process

Every two years the City asks Community Councils to submit up to three projects for consideration in the new biennial budget process. CTM wants to know what you are interested in our proposing for the new cycle which has a deadline in September. CTM will make a final vote at our Sept 12 Board meeting on what to submit. Please click here to read about prior projects that have occurred city wide as well as guidelines on eligible and ineligible projects.

Please click here to email CTM with your ideas, or bring them in writing to the next CTM meeting.

2016 Membership Drive

Spring 2016

Dear Neighbor,

Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) is your local community council. CTM advocates on behalf of the Clifton community. Issues we have promoted in the past year include supporting the CCAC, seeking high quality public education seats for your children, removing invasive plants from Burnet Woods, more events at Clifton Plaza, reducing the speed limit on McAlpin and Ruther Avenues, more bicycling infrastructure for Clifton, and resolving the noise from the roof of Good Sam hospital. We have worked on zoning variance issues as well as providing community input into the City’s Land Development Code revisions.

CTM also sponsors many activities and festivals throughout the year for our community including: Memorial Day Parade & Cookout, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest, the House Tour, Holidays on Ludlow and more. We provide funding for beautification projects such as the flower pots & holiday decorations on Ludlow Avenue. We provide communications including the community email list, Clifton Community website and the Clifton Chronicle. We partner with the Clifton Business and Professional Assocation (CBPA) to keep the Clifton Plaza operating. To support this important community work, we need your generous support. Membership dues are tax deductible and make up the second largest source of income for CTM. If you paid membership dues sometime in 2015, thank you for your support. Memberships are based on the calendar year, and we need your support again in 2016.

Starting or renewing your membership will help us keep Clifton a vibrant, desirable, and fun place to live, work, and play. CTM also accepts donations, and you can do that at the same time you renew your membership online. You can click here to renew online.

If you wish, you can also use this Membership Form to do a mail in membership renewal.

Thank you for your support.
CTM Membership Committee

Find CTM in social media on Facebook and Twitter

Summer Music Series – Clifton Plaza

The Summer Music Series on Clifton Plaza started May 6. There will be music every Friday and Saturday evening through end of July. There is also beer for sale. Don’t let the roped off area scare you aware – the rope is required by the beer permit. Come out and join your neighbors in the Business District. Check out the full schedule by clicking on the poster photo below.

PlazaMusic2016

Agenda for May 12 Public Meeting with CPS

At 9:45pm, May 11, CTM received a copy of the public meeting agenda to be held by CPS Board of Education in conjunction with Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Fairview-Clifton LSDMC, and CTM. All are invited to this meeting at the CPS Administration building on Burnet Woods. Conference Room 1-A. The meeting duration is scheduled for one hour. There is no time on the agenda for public speaking.

A G E N D A

SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
CPS Board of Education & Clifton Cultural Arts Center
May 12, 2016
4:00 PM

Vision: Cincinnati Public Schools will be a community that ensures equitable access to a world-class education, unleashing the potential of every student.

Mission: We educate all students with rigor and care in a culture of excellence to develop engaged citizens who are prepared for life.

A. CALL TO ORDER

1. Pledge to Flag
2. Roll Call

NEW BUSINESS

B. Introductions
C. Vision 2020 – Strengthening Neighborhood Schools – Mary Ronan, Superintendent; Laura Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent
D. Lead agency & CLC definitions – Julie Doppler, CLC Coordinator
(Brainbox at Fairview School site)

E. Proposed outcomes – Ericka Copeland-Dansby, CPS Board President
· Carriage House
· Shared Space Agreement

F. Response to zoning issues – Bill Moehring, Interim Chief Operations Officer
G. Other issues
H. Adjournment

Office of the Board Members

May 12, 2016

Strategic Goals

1. Cultivate a robust and inclusive network of engaged parents, community and other stakeholders that work together to build safe, vibrant schools at the center of safe, vibrant communities (GREAT COMMUNITIES);

2. Support the creation of highly engaging learning environments in which every child, every day, engages in an ideal balance between rigorous learning opportunities relevant to our dynamic world, and at the same time enjoys the focused concern of caring adults (GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS);

3. Provide for expanded learning opportunities and choices for all students that reflect a shared concern for the whole child and demonstrate appreciation for every student as a unique individual (GREAT LEARNING CHOICES);

4. Enable the recruitment, growth, and advancement of distinguished professionals committed to serving diverse students with a high regard for equity, and in a manner characterized by rigor, innovation, and accountability (GREAT PEOPLE); and

5. Ensure that all operations, and resources of every type, are equitably distributed, and singularly and systemically focused on high academic achievement for all students (GREAT SYSTEMS).

CTM Notifies CPS of Flawed Survey

CTM Trustees voted on May 2 to notify CPS of flaws in the survey that CPS sent to Clifton-area families during April. The full letter is detailed below.

May 9, 2016

Ericka Copeland-Dansby, President Cincinnati Board of Education
Mary Ronan, Superintendent Cincinnati Public Schools
Melanie Bates, Vice President CPS BOE
Eve Bolton, Member CPS BOE
Carolyn Jones, Member CPS BOE
Daniel Minera, Member CPS BOE
A. Chris Nelms, Member CPS BOE

Dear President Copeland-Dansby, Superintendent Ronan, and Members of the Board of Education,

I am writing to you on behalf of Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) regarding the recent survey sent to some of our residents by Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). Based on recent comments by Superintendent Ronan we understand the intention is to use these survey results for making decisions related to a neighborhood school for Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village. We believe this survey to be incapable of providing any meaningful information on which to base decisions about a neighborhood school.
Please understand that we do not like having to address this problem after the fact, or in public. We regret that we can find no other recourse to prevent the misuse of the survey data. This could have been avoided had we not been shut out of the process:

• Prior to the distribution of the survey, several of our Trustees conveyed concerns to CPS about its questions
• On March 23, the Superintendent agreed to send us the final version with April 15 the due date for comments
• At our April 4 board meeting, President Copeland-Dansby presented a new version of the survey for our review and comment
• We sent it to several experts who found serious problems and offered to work with your survey people, to which Superintendent Ronan agreed (April 11)
• But on April 13, the Superintendent told us we were too late and that the survey had been sent out – without letting us see this new version, and prior to the due date for comments, and inexplicably contrary to her express agreement not two days earlier.
• Since then, our experts have evaluated this new version and are unanimous in finding it unreliable if not misleading. Their complete reviews and credentials are attached.

Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We campaign for school levies, raise money for schools, volunteer time and resources to enrich students’ experiences, and are passionate about the value of education for all children. Part of that support includes taking responsibility for helping head off problems we see coming. We tried to head off the survey problem: we warned the Administration that the survey was flawed, but it was sent out anyway. Now we are alerting you that if the survey results are used, they will only lead to bad decisions. That is one very important issue, yet there is a bigger one underlying it, and that is the exclusion of CTM from the planning process. We were led to expect that collaboration would be welcome, but I am sad to report that our experience has not borne this out. What do we need to do to achieve this mutual goal?

At this time, there is a unique opportunity to have a process with strong participation from the community. The need to address the overcrowding at Fairview-Clifton German Language School, the desire to save the CCAC, and the need to provide reliable access to excellent education have inspired our community to work together toward the best outcome possible. Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We want to be partners with you and bring our passion, creativity, and all our other resources together to create outstanding educational opportunities for all children in Clifton and beyond.

As previously expressed in motions of our Board and communications from our Trustees, we want to collaborate with CPS to develop a process that includes our participation and involvement in the proposals for Clifton. Please let us work with you to develop this process.

Sincerely,

Eric Urbas
President, Clifton Town Meeting

*** Click Evaluation of April 2016 CPS Survey by Research Professionals to read the analysis referenced in the letter. ***