CliftonFest 2018

CliftonFest 2018 happens on Oct 5 evening and all day & night on Saturday, Oct 6. CTM is a proud sponsor of CliftonFest, and we hope that you will attend. There are local vendors selling original works of art, live music, two kids areas (Habanero Parking lot and Diggs Plaza), and chalk artists creating wonderful drawings before your eyes. Ludlow businesses are heavily involved in the event as well. The kick off on Friday evening brings two local bands to Clifton Plaza.

All the details are at CliftonFest.com.

You can volunteer to help on various small tasks throughout the event by clicking here.

CTM Bylaws Proposals for 2018

During the August and September 2018 CTM meetings, Trustees reviewed the recommendations of the Bylaws Committee regarding various proposals to update the CTM Bylaws. During the Sept 2018 meeting, Trustees voted unanimously to accept this recommendations and put the proposed seven significant bylaws changes before the membership for a vote during the December 2018 membership meeting.

The Bylaws Committee report that was includes all the details is below for your review. Please email us at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org with feedback and questions.

CTM BYLAWS COMMITTEE JULY 24 BOARD REPORT: FINAL BYLAWS

Malcolm Montgomery, Bylaws Committee Chair; Adam Balz, Brad Hawes, Kevin Marsh, Frank Miller, Michele Murphy. Advisers: Howard Tolley, Derek Tucker

PROPOSALS
Overview:
CTM last revised its Bylaws in December 2015. The Bylaws Committee held seven meetings between February 27 and July 24, 2018 to consider proposed substantive updates that require approval of the Board and membership as well as minor technical corrections that do not. In addition to the extensive pro bono advice received from two attorneys, the committee adopted language from the Model Bylaws prepared by Invest in Neighborhoods (IIN) and received guidance from the IIN Board President and Executive Director as well as the CTM Treasurer. In order to provide CTM members with the required notice of proposed Bylaws Amendments prior to the December annual meeting, the Board should complete its review no later than the October meeting.

Standing Rules:
When expressly authorized in the Bylaws and state law, the CTM Board can adopt Standing Rules that Trustees can revise and/or suspend without the membership vote required for a Bylaws amendment. In June the committee recommended and the Board approved an extensive Standing Rule on Conflict of Interest authorized in a brief Bylaws provision that requires a super majority to revise and/or suspend — ten of the fifteen Board members. In June the Board also approved an Email Vote Standing Rule that requires unanimous approval for all decisions, a state mandate that the Board may not revise or suspend. The committee has proposed several Bylaws provisions authorizing the Board to make additional standing rules and will recommend three additional standing rules for the Board to adopt no later than the November meeting:
1. Special Electronic Meetings rule
2. Financial Affairs rule that addresses periodic independent review of accounts and
procedures fiscal agency and pass through accounts.
3. Rule for specifying Nominating Committee responsibilities and election procedures

Rationale for Substantive Bylaws Changes
1. Revision of several Bylaws that depart from actual, current practice that should be
continued, such as the Article requiring both a Spring and a Fall member meeting each year,
when only a Fall meeting is convened to elect Trustees.
2. Recommendation of new or revised Bylaws and Standing Rules in order to
a) modify current practices that depart from mandatory state/local law, such as
electronic voting,
b) assure implementation of important Bylaws provisions that have not been
followed such as financial record keeping
c) add provisions based on best practices in financial affairs and the conduct of
business meetings

1. ARTICLE II. OBJECT
The Article II (4) Conflict of Interest policy at p. 2, l. 121 has been removed from the Bylaws and revised as a CTM Standing Rule approved by the Board at its June 4 meeting. The new rule clarifies the meaning of divided loyalty and financial conflict of interest with new text from the IIN Invest in Neighborhoods Model COI Policy and also includes the remaining CTM Bylaws provision on COI from Section 11 of Article V at page 7, line 317.

2. ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP & MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
Annual Membership Meeting. Article IV (4) p. 4, l. 146 provides for a single annual meeting and, following the IIN Model Bylaws approach, establishes a quorum requirement of twelve (12) non-Trustee members and eight (8) Trustees.

Parliamentary Authority Article IV (12). Text moved from Article X to p. 5 l. 234. In order to improve compliance with the Bylaws, applicable law and Roberts Rules, assigns responsibility to the Board Secretary and Chair of the Bylaws Committee for identifying departures. Clarifies the Board’s authority to interpret the Bylaws and to suspend the procedural rules within specified limits. p. 5, l. 239.

3. ARTICLE V. BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND BOARD MEETINGS pp 6-7, l. 244-334.
In accord with state law, proposed amendments authorize the Board to adopt Standing
Rules for both special electronic meetings and email voting. To be accompanied by new Board
approved Standing Rule with detailed procedures. Board duties clarified to include
responsibility for securing formal documents and financial records in a centralized, secure
location.

4. ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS
(4) Treasurer. p. 8, l. 377 Provides for a new financial review of CTM accounts by an independent professional every two years prior to the annual meeting, possibly done by Invest in Neighborhoods at no expense.

5. ARTICLE VIII. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF TRUSTEES p. 9-10, l. 409-459
Clarifies procedure for selection of 3 Trustees and 2 others as Nominating Committee members and adds language from IIN Model Bylaws specifying non-discrimination in determining eligibility to serve as a Trustee. To be accompanied by new Board approved Standing Rule with detailed procedures.

6. ARTICLE X. FINANCIAL AFFAIRS p. 11, l. 477-502
New article based on current Article V Section 8 with additional provisions from IIN Model Bylaws detailing deposits, authorized expenses, fiscal year, financial review by independent professional and disposition of assets. To be accompanied by new Board approved Standing Rule with detailed procedures.

7. ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS pp. 11-12, l. 504-519.
Two new provisions from IIN Model Bylaws providing for CTM Bylaws review at least once every 3 years and assuring that any invalid Bylaws provision does not eliminate remaining articles that retain full force and effect.

Click here to read the entire bylaws proposal document showing all the above noted changes.

Street Naming Contest

The City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering (DOTE) has offered to have Clifton suggest a name for the connector road between Central Parkway and Hopple Street. See the photo below. The road is indicated by a blue line running between two blue circles. CTM Trustees are holding a naming contest to provide a suggested name to City DOTE. Each entry must list the suggested street name and why it is a good name including any significance. Entry form is below the picture for your use.



Police District 5 HQ Site Selection

The most recent public meeting held by the City Planning & Public Services Departments regarding the site selection for the new District 5 Police HQ was on Thursday, May 24.  This meeting reviewed the process by which the 37 possible site were narrowed to 9 possible sites.  Of the 9 possible sites, 4 sites were noted to have met the highest number of the selection criteria.

These 4 sites are as follows:

  • Central Parkway
  • Dane & Knowlton
  • Hamilton Avenue
  • Kahns-Rhinegeist

The next steps in the site selection process are as follows:

  • Chief of Police and City administration take public input into consideration and make site recommendation to City Manager & Council.
  • Begin property acquisition (Summer 2018)

Following site selection, the City will also form a Community Advisory Group to provide input to the design of the building including art and a public space to uniquely represent all 8 neighborhoods in Police District 5.   The Advisory group will have approximately one meeting a month.  CTM Trustees are hopeful that some Clifton residents will join this Advisory Group.

Please click here to view the full presentation that was given on May 24.  Your CTM Trustees remain open to additional feedback on this process.  Please keep in mind that site selection process is drawing to an end very soon.

 

Entering Year 4 of the Clifton Deer Project

From the CliftonDeer.org Team:

With the sterilization of eight more does last Fall, year 3 of field operations brought the total number of treated deer to 59, or 91% of our total adult female deer population.  Based on field camera counts, the herd within our study area has shrunk by 19% since we started.  This rate of reduction is steady and contrasts sharply with the 30% increase reported by the Parks in the year before we started.  A more detailed Year 3 Field Operations Report can be found on our website here.

Our goal this Fall is to reach 95% by capturing the most elusive does over a series of weekend operations.  In addition to the wile ones who browse happily at our bait sites until just before the darter arrives (never question the intelligence of these critters), we will also be seeking out the “borderland deer” whose territory overlaps with but extends beyond the study area. This should result in more of the benefits of the deer program reaching the streets within the study area closest to Clifton and Ludlow Avenues.

We are happy to report the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has renewed our research permit to continue operations for another two years.  While the numbers from this study, and others around the country, are already showing clear indications sterilization can effectively reduce deer populations in open urban settings, another two years of data will be important to reaching any firm conclusions that might support requests to States for permission to use fertility control as an ongoing urban deer population management tool.

One component of the study, and a critical requirement for the long term viability of sterilization as a management alternative, is making it cost effective.  Obviously, this means comparing sterilization’s effectiveness in reducing deer overabundance to other methods, but it also means finding economically viable ways for communities to implement programs like this one.  To that end, Clifton Deer is in it’s second year of recruiting and training local volunteer veterinary surgeons and a darter-capture specialist.  Transitioning from reliance on expensive out-of-town experts to assumption of these duties by local professionals and volunteers could greatly improve the cost side of the cost effectiveness calculation.

Finally, we are proud to report that as one of the few, and maybe the only citizen initiated and managed fertility control program in the country, CliftonDeer.org was invited by the international Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control to present at a national conference on deer fertility control in New York on May 2nd.  The success of the Clifton project has drawn the attention of experts from around the country.  A video of that conference should soon be available on the Botstiber website at https://www.wildlifefertilitycontrol.org/.

As always, we are grateful for the support of our Clifton neighbors who donate and volunteer their yards and time to make this project possible.  Fundraising for the Fall ’18 operations has begun and your help is needed.  Please consider a tax deductible donation through one of the methods explained on our website at http://cliftondeer.org/donations/.

Have you met Doe #32? Still looking healthy and happy at almost 9 years of age, this gentle doe makes her home in the woods and yards around Mt. Storm Park and is often seen with her BFF, 5 year old Doe #7. Both were sterilized during our December 2015 field operations. (Photo Credit: Sally Skillman)

Bob Rack, co-founder of CliftonDeer.org, giving Clifton international exposure at the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control conference in NYC earlier this month.

 

The CliftonDeer.org Team

2018 House Tour Reveal – Herbert A. Faber House

Our second reveal for the 2018 Clifton House Tour is the Herbert A. Faber House, built in 1923.

Built in 1923 for one of the founders of Cincinnati’s own Formica Company, Herbert Alfred Faber, this charming stone house has the feeling of an enlarged English “Cotswold Cottage,” with a low recessed entry alluding to its supposed humble origin, despite considerable actual size. The rough, uneven, deliberately crude stonework is laid with thick, recessed concrete mortar, further perpetuating this pseudo-unassuming effect, all of which lies blanketed under a projecting, undulating roofline and hooded dormers recalling thatched roofs of the English countryside. An impressive chimney-stack accented with slanted stones, pierced by diminutive windows, faces the street, and curved walls at the opposite end of the house lead down to the driveway and garage on the lower level. The Faber residence hugs the hilltop it is perched on, at the summit of a promontory overlooking the wooded ravine’s naturalized setting. While the front façade has few, small windows facing the lane, the house opens to its picturesque location the farther back from the front one gets, with many windows and a projecting viewing-terrace in the rear (its fine new iron railing appears to be inspired by Japanese sword-guards used by Charles R. McIntosh at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland).

The above is just a small portion of what is written in the tour book. Learn more about this home on the Clifton House Tour.

Howell Avenue Development Visioning Report

Background
In spring 2017, the Clifton neighborhood approached the Cincinnati Department of City Planning to assist with facilitating a visioning meeting for a proposed development on Howell Avenue between Ormond and Clifton Avenues. City Planning staff met with Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) representatives and the Gaslight Property development team on a few occasions over the summer and fall of 2017 to discuss the potential project and the visioning meeting.

There are no sketches for this development as of yet, however the development team has proposed that the site will contain approximately 130 apartments, 7,000 square feet of retail space, and 300 parking spaces in a parking garage (half of which would be designated as public parking spaces).

The site is a combination of Commercial Neighborhood-Pedestrian (CN-P) zoning and Single-Family Residential (SF-4) zoning. As such, a zone change would be required for the site and a request for a Planned Development would be the most appropriate zoning given the parameters of the project. Once the development team submits their concept plan and a zone
change request, it would go through a public process that lasts about 4 to 6 months. If the zone change and concept plan were approved, the development team also has to submit a Final Development Plan for the project which requires further public input and review and typically lasts 2 to 3 months long.

Purpose of the Meeting
The purpose of the visioning meeting was to allow everyone an opportunity to discuss their ideas and have open conversations with the development team about their concerns and top priorities for the Howell Avenue Development site before an official zone change and concept plan request is made to the City of Cincinnati.

Summary of the Meeting
On November 8, 2017, Clifton Town Meeting, the Cincinnati Department of City Planning, and Gaslight Property hosted the Howell Avenue Development Visioning Meeting at the Clifton
Recreation Center. 50 people attended the meeting aside from City staff.

The evening began with a brief presentation about the purpose of the meeting, the background of the project, and examples of mixed use development. When shown the examples of mixed use development, attendees were asked to gauge their reactions to the images they were shown, with the emphasis that they may like or not like what they see and to begin to think about their top priorities for the breakout exercises.

After the presentation, attendees were instructed to break out into four groups to participate in the following exercises:
Round Robin and Group Dot Exercise
The facilitator (City Planner) introduced four themes to the group: (1) the use of the building, (2) architectural details/materials of the building, (3) the Clifton Plaza, and (4) landscaping/parking. Each person wrote down their top ideas or concerns on sticky notes, put them on the group theme, and then talked about their idea with the group. After all of the themes were completed, participants were asked to vote within their own group on the top priorities (they were allowed 6 votes total to spread around as they wished among the four themes).

Report Out
Once voting was completed within each group, the facilitators reported out to the entire room and named the top priorities from their group.

Entire Room Dot Exercise
The top priorities from the groups were then available to be voted on by everyone (6 votes per person).

Results from the Meeting
The top priorities from the meeting after all of the voting took place were the following (in order of the most votes):
1. Incorporate CCAC with the development and the Clifton Plaza
2. Design the development to look like the neighborhood
3. Seek out longer term residents
4. Incorporate public art with the Clifton Plaza
5. Set back the building from the street and plant trees on Howell Avenue
6. Put as much of the garage as underground as possible
7. Expand Clifton Plaza
8. Provide for larger apartments (3-4 bedrooms and 2,000+ square feet)
9. LEED Certified
10. Step down the building to the street
11. Incorporate green space along Howell Avenue
12. Minimize parking and traffic on nearby streets
13. Design the development to incorporate both modern and traditional architectural elements
14. Include a rooftop vegetable garden
All of the comments from the group discussions, the number of votes for each item, and the
voting for the top priorities are attached to this summary. Another chart (included with this report) was created that shows comments and recommendations that were made in two or more groups, but perhaps didn’t get enough votes to be included as top priorities for the whole room. Notable ideas that were named in every one of the four groups included the following:
1. Incorporate the CCAC with the development and the Clifton Plaza
2. Provide a functional rooftop (ideas for rooftop uses include: bar, restaurant, terrace, and garden)
3. Provide for larger apartments (3-4 bedrooms with 2,000 + square feet)
4. Incorporate a restaurant with outdoor dining
5. Enhance the lighting and build a water feature at Clifton Plaza
6. Install bike storage (indoors and outdoors) and keep the Red Bikes nearby
7. Conceal the parking garage with greenery or a living wall
8. Design the building with traditional, Tudor architecture in mind as well as use quality materials like brick

Results from the Survey
An online survey was also released on November 16th, 2017 in order to get additional feedback from people who were unable to attend the November 8th meeting. This survey was also printed and copies were left at the Clifton Recreation Center for people to fill out. After the survey closed on November 30th, there were 282 total respondents. Based on their feedback, the top priorities were the following (in order of the most votes):
1. Design the development to fit in/ look like the neighborhood
2. Put as much of the garage underground as possible
3. Encourage longer term residents
4. Set back the building from the street on Howell Avenue and plant streets
5. Incorporate the CCAC with the development and the Clifton Plaza
Other common ideas that were named in the survey included the following:
1. Make parking a priority on the site to increase public parking for the area
2. Incorporate condos as part of the project
3. Limit the height of the building / build within the context of the neighborhood

Click here to review the full report including a copy of the survey results and all of the comments.

Clifton House Tour – 2018

The Clifton House Tour happens every 3 years on Mother’s Day as a special presentation by Clifton Town Meeting (CTM). This year seven homes plus one additional historical location will be available on the tour from 1-5pm. These homes have special architectural features as well as historical stories that visitors learn about on the tour. More details on the homes will be provided during May.

Throughout the tour’s history, the gracious owners of more than 85 Clifton homes have shared this special Sunday with their neighbors. CTM began house tours in the late 1960s and sponsored them throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, taking a hiatus between 1988 and 1997. Since the resumption of the tours, the event has drawn people from all over Cincinnati and has been a great way to spend part of Mother’s Day.

The tour is CTM’s primary fund raising event allowing CTM to reinvest the proceeds back into the community through the various projects and services CTM provides year after year to the neighborhood, such as the publication of the Clifton Chronicle, neighborhood beautification events, support for the Clifton Plaza, and sponsorship of events such as the Memorial Day Parade and Picnic, Lantern Walk, Clifton Fest, and carriage rides for Holidays on Ludlow.

Tour buses provide transportation to the houses on the tour; however, many will walk between some or all locations. The day of the tour is when CTM makes the Tour Guide available that provides the details of which houses are on the tour. The Tour Guide also provides historical information on each house.

Ticket Information

Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at the following Clifton Business District businesses beginning April 17:

  • Ace Hardware
  • Adrian Durban Florist
  • Esquire
  • Gaslight Property Rental Office on Terrace Avenue
  • Habanero
  • Hansa Guild
  • Ludlow Wines
  • Lydia’s on Ludlow
  • Maya
  • Personalities by Leona
  • Skyline Chili
  • United Fidelity Bank
  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center at corner of McAlpin and Clifton Avenues.

Tickets are $20 prior to May 13, and $25 on May 13. This event happens whether sunshine or rain. There are no refunds.

The online store is now closed.  Please purchase tickets on May 13 in person at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center at our check-in tables from 12:30pm – 4:00pm.

Free parking at the following locations:
Clifton Recreation Center – 320 McAlpin Avenue
Fairview-Clifton German Language School – 3689 Clifton Avenue

Numerous volunteer opportunities exist to support this event. Please click here to email CTM to find out how you might volunteer.

CTM Trustee Candidate Q & A

There are ten candidates running to be a CTM Trustee for five seats up for election. Each candidate was offered the chance to answer five questions and make a comment. Replies were limited to 50 words per question/comment. Candidates were not required to reply. The replies are listed below in the order they were received. Voting will occur Monday December 4th at 6PM prior to the usual CTM meeting at 7PM.

Stephanie Gilbreath Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? My areas of experience include non-profit fundraising, event planning, research, writing, print production (magazines), retail business ownership, historic house renovation. My primary committees of interest include Housing & Zoning and Arts & Culture. I am happy to put fundraising and publishing skills to work as needed.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Historically sensitive revitalization of business district.
More respect/cooperation between Clifton special interest groups.
Transparent, communicative, thoughtful school development that accommodates needs/concerns of all stakeholders (households with and without children).
CCAC relocation within Clifton.
Positive PR for Clifton. Too many recent citywide news stories are negative.

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? I love the unique character of Clifton. I now have the time and energy available to serve the community and skills to put to use. My family and I benefit every day from living here and I believe in giving back.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? Clifton is made up of singles, couples, families with children of all ages, renters, homeowners, business owners, young, old and everyone in between. It is vital that CTM recognize and represent needs and priorities of all these demographics (especially when they clash) when making decisions or communicating with the City.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? At the Merchant’s Lot planning meeting, I was pleased that the city and developers began the process with community input. Our business district needs updating to maintain Clifton’s reputation as one of Cincinnati’s premier neighborhoods and attract homebuyers, shoppers and vibrant businesses to our neighborhood.

Optional Comment: I hope you will consider me when you vote for CTM Trustees. It would be an honor and a pleasure to serve all of Clifton’s residents. Happiest of holidays (whichever you choose to celebrate) to you and yours.

Sean Hare Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? As an urban planner I have experience in community organization, outreach, and the technical aspects of city living. I also have experience in design and mural creation. I would be interested in the Transportation, Parks, Public Art, Housing and Zoning, and the Beautification committees.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Helping to shape a resilient and sustainable future for the neighborhood
Public art development
Creating a proper response to new development in Clifton
Promoting a more bike friendly and accessible neighborhood
Promoting placemaking to enhance the unique-ness of Clifton even more

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? When I moved here, in 2015, I fell in love with the character and people of this neighborhood which welcomed me so graciously. I am young and looking to get involved in my community, and feel I would bring fresh perspective to an organization like CTM.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? I would care most about creating a vibrant future for our community. I feel that working with the future generations of Clifton residents in mind is crucial to being a Trustee and I would work to make sure that our actions are forward thinking.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I see these developments as opportunities for enhancing Clifton as a community. Through new public spaces, retail opportunities, and new residents, I feel that Clifton is a great community that could be made even better through these projects and the input of our great residents in guiding these projects.

Optional Comment: I feel my professional background would help our community greatly during these times of change and my younger perspective would help in providing a voice to members of Clifton who tend to not be involved in CTM. I look forward to serving you all. Thank you.

Micah Ovadia Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? My bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications and master’s degree in Public Relations will be helpful in communicating initiatives to the public and soliciting feedback. The Website/Social Media committee would be an ideal fit for my skill set. I am also interested in the proposed Art and Culture Committee.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Support Howell Development Project
Support creation of Entertainment District
Find home for CCAC
Address problem of increasing graffiti
Encourage installation of public art

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? As the owner of a business in Clifton, I have a vested interest in the economic, aesthetic and social well-being of our community. As a Trustee, I would have an opportunity to positively impact these areas and cultivate an atmosphere welcoming not only to business, but to residents, as well.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? I would care most not about a single particular issue, but about the potential impact our decisions as a whole might have on our community and its residents. Helping to shape the future of an historic neighborhood is an awesome responsibility. Open communication and transparency with the public is key.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I am excited about new development in Clifton, particularly with regard to the Clifton Merchants Lot. An influx of residents will contribute to the vitality of the area and stimulate economic growth. I am, however, adamant that the project must respect the needs and wishes of our community.

Optional Comment: This is an exciting period for Clifton. With new projects in the works and in the pipeline, it is important that public input and involvement is solicited. With your support, I will strive to address the requirements and concerns of our community and solidify a prosperous future for Clifton.

Buddy Goose Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? I am a doer, I find talking incessantly about an issue to the detriment of getting anything done to be incredibly frustrating. I will push to get things done. I think the committees; business, events and beautification are my interests.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Community engagement – find a way to get more neighbor involvement.
Neighborhood business support – revitalize AND SUPPORT our business district.
Community school -critical to attracting new home owners.
Healing division – get over the divisive rhetoric from the formation of Clifton Market
Beautification-keep our neighborhood beautiful

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? Our community is the best neighborhood in Cincinnati. However, the number of neighbors that are actively involved in our community is small. I see the same people over and over involved in community events. I want to encourage involvement and foster communication.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? Finding ways to increase neighbor involvement and to support our business district.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I favor development in our community. The Merchants’ Lot development is the type of progressive thinking we need to maintain our neighborhood vibrancy. The community input sought shows the level of commitment to our community we look for from a developer.

Optional Comment: A key to attracting new home buyers and new businesses is keeping our neighborhood a vibrant place. The Ludlow Business District is crucial. Let’s all work to visit and support all of our local businesses.

Vince Metzger Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? Public Safety and Education. I live and work in Clifton and work with a diverse group of people and try understand everyone’s needs. That may not sound like a skill but too many people only look at things from their perspective.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Neighborhood unity – We need to stand together so we can move forward.
Education – Clifton is undergoing a major change and we need all of Clifton’s schools to be successful.
Keeping CCAC and Clifton Market in Clifton
New Development
Public Safety

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? As someone who intends to reside in this neighborhood for 30+ years, I care deeply about Clifton and what happens here, I would like to be more involved in the political process and moving us forward in a positive way.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? My aim is to put forth a positive energy focused on showing the neighborhood of Clifton and the city of Cincinnati that our residents are positive, productive and intelligent and that we can work together in a civil and peaceful manner.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I’m excited about new development in Clifton. While Clifton has a lot to offer its residents and neighbors, I think some new business and residences are an exciting change. Adding new assets and keeping the existing ones can only make Clifton better.

Optional Comment: I pledge to always treat others with respect and talk through differences in a way that identifies things that we can agree on. My votes and resolution proposals will be clearly defined and reasonable.

Gina Marsh Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? I have a strong understanding of ways to revitalize our business district from my experience with the Ludlow 21 Working Group and Clifton 20/20. As an attorney and executive director for a nonprofit, I can help implement improved governance of CTM. I prefer the Business District and Bylaws Committees.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Implementing recommendations of the Ludlow 21 report to improve the business district.
Ensuring meaningful community engagement in business district development.
Ensuring success of the new neighborhood school.
Ensuring Clifton is proactive on City decisions affecting the neighborhood.
Improving governance and maintaining professionalism on the board.

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? I would like to use my skills and experience to enhance the positive impact that CTM brings to the community and to improve CTM’s reputation as a collaborative and inclusive organization. CTM should be a welcoming forum where residents feel comfortable expressing their viewpoints on issues of concern.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? The business district will likely undergo significant changes over the next few years, including a large-scale mixed-use development on the Merchant’s Lot. The top priority for me will be helping to ensure that these improvements respect the unique character of Clifton and allow for meaningful engagement from residents.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I believe the proposed development could offer many benefits, including a new, much-needed housing option for Clifton residents, additional parking, and more customers for our small businesses on Ludlow Avenue. It will help our business district and our neighborhood remain competitive with others in the City.

Rama Kasturi Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? I am a research scientist by training and have used my grant writing expertise to garner funds for various community projects. I have developed fundraising expertise through my work with the Clifton Market. I am Chair of the Parks Committee, and work closely with the Beautification Committee on Sustainability issues.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Improve programming in our parks
Help green our Business District
Advocate for more support by residents of our community-funded grocery store
Better showcase Clifton’s diversity
Further civility by fostering formal conversations about our shared values as people irrespective of our diversity and differences of opinion

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? I am seeking a second term as a CTM trustee. I would like to have the opportunity to finish what I have started in terms of the projects as Chair of the Parks Committee and my collaborative efforts on other community-related projects such as beautification, sustainability, Clifton House Tour etc.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? Ensuring that CTM reaches out to all residents of Clifton, represents the views of a multitude of Cliftonites, and engages with other organizations in and around Clifton.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I support any development that is community-supported, fits well with the historic character of our Gaslight district, and makes Clifton more attractive as a walkable and livable residential community.

Optional Comment: I am happy to have had the opportunity to serve the Clifton community both as a CTM trustee and Clifton Market board member. I look forward to continuing to work with Cincinnati Parks and community partners to keep Clifton green and sustainable.

Shaun McCance Response:

Q1 What special skills would you bring to the board and what committees would you want to serve on? I work in open source technology. The work I do involves community organizing and event planning as much as it does technology. For CTM,
I’ve served on event committees, the web committee, and the executive committee as treasurer.

Q2 What are your top 5 priorities for Clifton?

Growing our business district without sacrificing its character.
Keeping Clifton walkable and accessible.
Maintaining green space.
Improving recreational facilities.
Holding regular events that bring people together.

Q3 Why are you running to be a Trustee? I’ve enjoyed serving on CTM for the last three years. I think I’ve made a positive impact on the neighborhood, and I’ve made good friends along the way.

Q4 What would you care most about as a trustee? We’re all neighbors. It’s important that we’re able to be civil, friendly, and productive even when we don’t all agree.

Q5 What is your opinion on new development in Clifton such as with the Clifton Merchants Lot? I’m in favor of new development in general, but we need to ensure it maintains the character of the neighborhood and doesn’t push out the local family businesses that define Clifton.

Click here to read the bios that candidates submitted earlier in November.

Two candidates did not reply. We hope you found this helpful in making your decision for who will be CTM Trustees.
Thank You,
Clifton Town Meeting Trustees

Bios for CTM Trustee Candidates – 2017

Below are the bios for candidates running for CTM Trustee at the upcoming elections on Monday, December 4 from 6-7pm. Elections will be held at the Clifton Recreation Center on the 2nd floor in the large meeting room. The Rec Center is universally accessible to all. Take the elevator or the stairs to the 2nd floor.

There are 10 candidates vying for 5 open positions during this election.  Your voting is important!

Voting by proxy is prohibited in the CTM bylaws. You must be present to vote. It takes only a few minutes.
You can pay your membership current prior to voting in advance or at the night of elections.

In addition to the bios below, please come back to click here and candidates’ answers to recent questions posed by the CTM Trustees.

Patrick Borders

Hi my name is Patrick Borders. My wife, Helen Adams, and I both grew up here in Clifton. We raised our kids Tommy (Chicago) and Claire (Los Angeles) in Helen’s childhood home on Bryant Avenue. I have quite a bit of experience serving on boards of non-profit and neighborhood organizations. In the 1990s I served eight years as the vice president of The New School’s parent board. In the early and mid-2000s I held several terms on CTM, including one as secretary and two as president. I am also a founding member of the Clifton Cultural Art Center’s board.

For the past 27 years I have worked at Multi Packaging Solutions – I sell packaging to pharmaceutical companies. I work from home, but I travel quite extensively. I’m also an instructor at World Peace Yoga on Ludlow.

If elected I’d like to work on supporting and improving our business district, help with fundraising, and pretty much help out with whatever needs arise. I appreciate your consideration.

Stephanie Gilbreath

Hello, neighbors. I’m Stephanie Gilbreath. My husband and I have lived in Cincinnati for 18 years, the last eight of them in Clifton. I am a former small business (retail) owner, mom of two teens, wife of a tech entrepreneur, and chief-general contractor/renovator of our home. My volunteer experience includes years of organizing and chairing fundraising efforts at The New School Montessori, foster work with Cincinnati Lab Rescue, and recently, petition work with Fair Districts/Fair Elections. I am a proud resident of Greendale Avenue and supporter of CCAC. We were attracted to Clifton for the beautiful houses, tree-lined streets, downtown proximity, walkability, and most of all, interesting and diverse residents.

I believe it is possible and important to make improvements to Clifton while maintaining its character in a collaborative and respectful manner, hearing and respecting every voice. A revitalized business district, environmentally and historically sensitive school development, vibrant arts center, and traffic calming are not mutually exclusive prospects; while challenging they are part of the overall goal of keeping Clifton a great place to live for our population in all stages of life.

If you’ve been thinking the same, I would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

Buddy Goose

I am a retired Chemistry teacher and have lived in Clifton for the last 11 years on Bishop Street.

Both Mary Rita and I have been active in the Clifton community from the beginning, taking part in many volunteer activities. I am a former CTM Trustee and currently a trustee of CliftonFest where I spend much of my free time in the summer organizing this neighborhood festival.

In the last few years I’ve noticed a division in our community that has left bad feelings and mistrust in the neighborhood that I love. Clifton is the Premier Cincinnati Neighborhood and we need to bring the schism together to go forward.

Our business district has seen a downturn due to the popularity of OTR and the Banks. We need to find ways to revitalize and reinvent this critical part of our neighborhood. A vibrant and welcoming business district is critical to attracting prospective buyers and businesses to our neighborhood. We must look to ourselves to champion development without destroying our village-like neighborhood character.

These things; increasing neighbor involvement, healing neighborhood divisions, revitalizing our business district and working to improve our families’ ways of life will be my priorities as a trustee of Clifton Town Meeting.

Sean Hare

I moved to Cincinnati in 2015 and have always lived in Clifton during my time here. I fell in love with Clifton because it reminded me of the neighborhood I grew up in in Rochester, NY. I have looked at moving around in Cincinnati but no place seemed to offer me what Clifton does.

I recently got my Master’s Degree in Community Planning from the UC and I work as an Urban Planner and Designer with MKSK. I feel that my educational and professional background would allow me to provide meaningful insights into the issues our neighborhood is facing in the coming years, namely, the merchant lot development, the CCAC relocation, and the neighborhood school creation.

I believe I would bring a positive energy to CTM and would provide a different perspective to the community. I am a young professional, recent UC grad, and a renter, which are all populations crucial to the future of our neighborhood. My intentions would be to promote equity and inclusivity with decisions and changes taking place within Clifton and would be proud to represent this community that has welcomed me so graciously in such a short time.

Rama Kasturi

My name is Rama Kasturi and I am seeking your support to serve you in a second term as CTM trustee.

I have lived in Clifton with my family for the past 18 years. A Biophysical Chemist by training, I worked at P&G for three years and at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine for 20 years. I served for three years on the Clifton Market Board.

As CTM Parks Committee Chair, I have led four teams of UC student volunteers in clean-up efforts at Burnet Woods, Mt. Storm Park, and District 5 and surrounding areas. I have fostered dialogue between TriHealth, Cincinnati Parks and CTM to facilitate better use of Burnet Woods. My Parks Committee is working with Cincinnati Parks Operations to support Burnet Woods trail maintenance, plant and maintain flower beds in Mt. Storm and Dunore Parks, and engage the new parks’ director to ensure that Clifton parks get necessary attention and support.

I’m involved in “green” efforts in our business district and neighborhood, and I will continue my efforts to showcase and celebrate the diversity of Clifton.

If re-elected, I will continue my quest to do as much good as possible for Clifton.

Gina Marsh

I am running as trustee for Clifton Town Meeting because I would like to help maximize efforts to enhance our business district, and to ensure these improvements respect the unique character of Clifton and allow for meaningful engagement from residents. I believe that implementing additional recommendations from the Ludlow 21 report will ensure our business district remains one of the best in the city. The success of the Clifton Market is important to that vision.

My professional experience includes over 10 years working for the City of Cincinnati, serving as an attorney for multiple city departments and leading a city council office. I currently serve as the executive director for a nonprofit. I would like to use my experience and knowledge to improve CTM’s collaborations with city departments, and to ensure we have strong relationships with city officials.

My family and I have lived in Clifton for 12 years. During that time, I have served as a CTM trustee and participated in groups focused on improving our business district such as Ludlow 21. If elected, I will be a strong, collaborative, and enthusiastic leader on CTM who is focused on ensuring our neighborhood remains progressive and attractive to new families.

Shaun McCance

I have served the last three years as a CTM trustee. For the last two years, I have served as treasurer and improved our accounting practices. As a trustee, I’ve helped organize events such as the Memorial Day Picnic and Holidays on Ludlow. I’ve been active in Clifton outside of CTM as well. I was one of the founding organizers of Clifton Market, and I spearheaded the creation of Ludloween.

Professionally, I help build contributor communities around open source software. I have served four terms on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization dedicated to software freedom and digital rights, including one term as president and two as treasurer. I have extensive experience building volunteer communities and coordinating events.

I love Clifton because it is friendly, walkable and full of passionate people. I believe CTM should invest more money and effort into improving our local and family-friendly business district to keep up with Cincinnati’s urban renewal.

Vince Metzger

Hello, my name is Vince Metzger, and I’d like to be your CTM Trustee. My wife and I moved to Clifton three years ago and have two sons who were born in Clifton. While relatively new to Clifton we love living here—the neighborhood feel, walkability and the business district.

I grew up in Fairfax and have lived almost all of my life in Greater Cincinnati, and local issues have always been an interest of mine. I have been involved in local issues since I was in my teens, volunteering on the local fire department and working countless hours
on fundraisers.

More recently, I have worked as an emergency room physician at TriHealth, mostly at Good Samaritan, for the past 10 years. As a member of my group’s board we have addressed how to adapt to the ever-changing environment of health care and still focus on
what we believe in.

Clifton is undergoing a lot of changes right now; helping us keep our identity while adapting to change is what I hope to do as a trustee.

Micah Ovadia

I have proudly called Clifton my home during several periods of my life, and have enjoyed the unique character and vibrancy for which the area is known. When it came time to establish my business, The Whole Bowl Cincinnati, I specifically targeted Clifton as my location of choice.

The community has been very welcoming to my establishment, and now I would like to give back. As a Clifton business owner, I have a keen interest in issues that affect the well-being of our community. Given the opportunity to serve as a CTM Trustee, I will be placed in a unique position to contribute to the management of these issues.

My bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications and master’s degree in Public Relations affords me the opportunity to help advance community engagement initiatives, as well as contribute in areas of marketing and advertising. My background in Web design and development would prove useful in our digital arena.

I’ve held Web Designer/Developer positions at Cardinal Solutions, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Cincinnati.com and Time Warner Cable, and was employed in The Cincinnati Enquirer marketing department.

It would be both an honor and a privilege to serve as a CTM Trustee.

Jonny Shen

I became a Clifton resident this summer, and I feel lucky, because it’s my favorite place. I grew up moving between central Ohio, Southern Russia, northern Indiana, and Philadelphia. But silly as it may sound, I always had a dream to move to Cincinnati. In 2015, after finishing college in Philadelphia, I made my dream a reality. I first discovered Clifton because I had an interest in the Esquire Theatre. Two and a half years later, I’m now very happy to be a Clifton resident and to be entering my second year as General Manager at the Esquire (after a year and a half of part- time Esquire work while I was employed downtown at the Kroger HQ).

In my role at the Esquire, I’ve enjoyed becoming acquainted with the top-notch community members, organizers and business owners, who make up this neighborhood. I believe that Clifton has a natural charm and character to it that other neighborhoods have to bend over backwards to try to manufacture. There’s a beauty, a simplicity, and a richness to Clifton. I’m enthusiastic about this neighborhood, and I’m excited to invest energy into it as I continue to get to know it better.

Clifton Area Neighborhood School Visioning

On the evening of October 24, representatives from CTM, CANS Advisory Group, Cincinnati Public Schools, and the Clifton Recreation Center convened a public forum to gather input and have discussion.  The purpose of the meeting was to build consensus recommendations of the collective community in the re-establishment of school operations at the Clifton School, including use of the Rawson property. All community members and those interested in the re-establishment of the school were welcomed to attend.

Greg Otis from AIA facilitated the event.

Click here to see the presentation that happened during the event.

Following the meeting, feedback from the community was collected and shared with Greg Otis in order that he could prepare a final report on the community engagement process. Please click here to read the final report. During January 2018, this report has been provided to Cincinnati Public Schools Administration and the Clifton Recreation Center.

Below a photo of the nice turnout we had for the discussions. Thank you to all who attended.

2017 Membership Drive

Fall 2017

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 recent past include supporting the CCAC & Clifton Market, seeking high quality public education seats for your children through a new neighborhood school, 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 getting a traffic light & crosswalk installed at Brookline & Clifton Ave. 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 2016, thank you for your support. Memberships are based on the calendar year, and we need your support again in 2017. We accept dues in arrears all year long with no penalty.

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

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