Members of the CTM Executive Committe met with the attorneys providing the opinion on the funding proposal for Clifton Market that was approved by the members at the December special meeting. The details of the update are here.
The opinion letter is expected to be received in March.
The CTM Education Committee prepared and transmitted a letter with attachments to the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education (BOE) and Superintendent Mary Ronan on February 4, 2017. This letter was written to summarize the work of the Committee in advance of a “Fact Finding” meeting with some members of the CPS BOE and CPS Administration on February 7, 2017.
The text of the letter in full is below with links for each attachment.
Attn: Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education, Superintendent and all other interested parties:
On September 14, 2015 Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) voted to create an ad-hoc committee made up of both CTM Trustees and community members to focus on education and improving access to quality public education seats. Over the past 15 months, this group has worked on community engagement, coordination and teamwork with other neighborhood groups, and collection and analysis of data related to school-aged children in the Clifton area. The following is a description of the educational access challenges that brought the Education Committee together and some of the specific efforts the committee has engaged in over the past 15 months.
A. Educational Access Challenges in Clifton
In the wake of the change in magnet school enrollment, many families in Clifton are unable to gain access to the only public school located within our neighborhood unless they win a lottery spot at age 3 to Rising Stars Academy. For those families who do not win the lottery during this small window of opportunity, significant barriers exist to gain access to quality public education in our neighborhood. We have heard from community members who are struggling right now to get their own children into KG (see Attachment A). To complicate this problem further, census data indicates while a robust number (approximately 180 children per year), are born in Clifton, CUF and SGV combined, many move out by elementary school years and a concerning number attend private schools with use of vouchers or charter schools (see and also see Attachment B). In the year 2015-16 alone, the cost to the taxpayers for oucher/charter enrollment was $895,000 (this number excludes the cost of transportation) just using data for 45220 (see Attachment C1 Voucher School data, Attachment C2 Voucher Charter Data, and Attachment C3 Charter School data $ 45220). With the change in magnet enrollment policy, we have concern that this number will continue to grow if the current situation does not change. The Clifton neighborhood has been negatively impacted by families moving out of the neighborhood and potential buyers deciding against moving here, as described by the realtor who sells more homes in Clifton than any other (see Attachment D ). We have collected other personal accounts giving insight into why many do not choose the Clifton neighborhood or choose to utilize vouchers or charter schools instead of public education (see Attachment E letter 2 and Attachment E letter 1).
B. Coordination with Neighborhood Groups to Identify a Solution
The Education Committee has engaged with representatives of the CCAC to form the “Working Group,” which is comprised of Fairview parents, and representatives of the CCAC, CTM, CUF Council and Spring Grove Village Council. This group has met regularly toward the goal of identifying positive solutions for our neighborhood. Together, we hope to achieve a two-building solution to gaining school access and maintaining the CCAC as a neighborhood asset. (see Attachment F Signed Joint Statement of Spring Grove Village, CUF and Clifton). As outlined in Attachment J, members of both the Working Group and the CTM Education Committee have identified and visited potential sites. Potential spaces for a permanent location are listed in Attachment J.
C. Community Engagement
Our group’s effort follows a detailed community engagement plan (as seen in Attachment G). Pursuant to this plan, we are continuing to implement many outreach activities, including community forums, door to door contact with neighbors, engagement at public events, contact with neighborhood day care and preschool facilities, identifying supporters to sign petitions and intent to enroll forms, social media advertising, mailings, visits to community groups, businesses and organizations, and play groups for families with young children. The community forums and door to door efforts have resulted in positive community feedback for starting a new school. Additionally, we have identified a growing number of supporters through a petition with 261 current signatures and enrollment forms with 38 current
potential students for a new neighborhood school (see Attachment H). Summaries from all 6 community forums in which this group has participated are described in Attachment I. Considering the connections with potential new families ready to attend the proposed neighborhood school together with a formal commitment from CPS, we expect to gather further support enabling a strong start. In addition, we are optimistic about potential Uptown community partners working with us and being a big part of the school’s success once the project has a CPS commitment.
D. Data Collection and Analysis
The Education Committee has collected and analyzed data that demonstrates the potential for our neighborhoods to have a unique and successful neighborhood school. Through our community engagement efforts, we have learned that racial, religious and economic diversity is a priority for a new school environment. We have completed extensive research of the old Clifton School and found that this school did include both racial and economic diversity (see Attachment K Cincinnati Magazine Aug 1975-Clifton and Attachment K Cincinnati Magazine Aug 1975-Clifton-school excerpts) into the 70’s and beyond, and that current data (see Attachment L) shows that diversity does exist in our neighborhoods’ population. We welcome and are open to having boundary lines for the new school that are parallel to old lines which included areas of Avondale (see Attachment M) in addition to the neighborhoods of CUF and Spring Grove Village. We have been working together with both CUF and Spring Grove Village since January of 2016 and look forward to engaging Avondale in addition to Rockdale in relevant conversations moving forward.
E. Proposed Solution
The CTM Education Committee proposes both a short-term and long-term plan for creating a new, successful neighborhood elementary school in the Clifton area. We are eager to form an Advisory Steering Committee and partner with CPS for the purpose of working to finalize a temporary and, in time, a permanent location for a new school. In addition to location, we are ready to work with CPS to initiate programming planning and to establish beneficial partnerships. The CTM Education Committee believes it is important to offer a new opportunity to those who are now in the position of having to decide on public vs. private education. Opening both a preschool classroom along with a KG class this Fall (’17-’18) at Rising Stars Academy on Vine Street would meet an immediate need in the Clifton area and provide additional preschool slots for CPS. Growth of the new elementary school could then be executed by adding a grade each year and consequently would not disrupt other existing schools in the area.
Thank you for your consideration of our plans and we hope to work closely together soon.
Clifton Town Meeting Education Committee
At the February, 6, 2017 Board meeting, Clifton Town Meeting Trustees reviewed and passed a statement of inclusion and diversity.
“Clifton is a neighborhood that prides itself on being friendly, welcoming, and diverse. We welcome all people to Clifton, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, nation of origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Clifton Town Meeting stands firmly against all acts of hate, intimidation, and discrimination. We are stronger together.”
After further discussion, Trustees passed a motion to transmit this statement throughout the community to religious & educational institutions as well as municipal offices and businesses.
At a public meeting held by Ludlow 21 LLC on January 19 at the Clifton Rec Center, members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) presented the final report and conclusions from the study which began in March 2016. This study was supported through a grant from Uptown Consortium. The purpose of the TAP was to generate ideas for the redevelopment of the Clifton Merchant Parking Lot, a 1.4 acre site along Ormond and Howell Ave. The discussion focused on identifying the best, most feasible use of the site that at the same time would mesh with the fabric of the existing Clifton Gaslight district.
Everyone should note the report is focused on concepts and possibilities, not final designs and plans. Important stakeholders attended a meeting with the TAP members: Clifton Town Meeting Trustees, Clifton Market Board Members, Clifton Business & Professional Association Officers and members, City of Cincinnati administration, and Uptown Consortium.
The full report is at this link – Final ULI Clifton Merchant Lot TAP Jan 9 2017.
At the January 9, CTM Board meeting, the team that produced CliftonFest 2016 made a report on the event. The entire slide show is attached for your review –
CliftonFest 2016 Summary Report. The conclusion was the event was a great success, and the entire business district saw benefits. The event will move to the new date slot of Fri, Oct 6 evening through all day Sat, Oct 7 for 2017 and beyond.
Deer Project: Year 2
The Clifton deer sterilization project ended its second year of field operations on January 19th with ten new does sterilized, bringing our total to 51, and a bunch of soggy volunteers.
Three nights of operations were originally scheduled for early December but had to be postponed to mid-January because a bumper crop of acorns—deer’s favorite food—reduced the draw of the corn baited sites where darters planned to capture remaining untagged does. A fourth night was added when rain twice forced early termination of activities (unconscious deer are at higher risk of hypothermia when they get wet). Mother Nature rules!
A second year field camera population survey is now underway and will soon provide the first empirical data on migration patterns and population numbers and characteristics. One thing we already know is that 41 sterilized does this year did not add new fawns to the population. We also know that all of last year’s tagged does have been seen over the last year in locations close to where they were first darted allowing cautious optimism that the premise of the program and the hypothesis of the study—that does tend to stay in one area, could prove to be true. Close study of the camera photos will also help determine how many new does might have moved into the area.
In addition to the local news coverage you might have seen, the Discovery Channel was here this year filming and interviewing for a national program. Media interest is a good news/bad news situation. While we’re glad and even eager to share what we’re doing and learning, additional observers add more moving parts to an already intense and complex operation. Fortunately, all reporters have been understanding and cooperative for which we sincerely thank them.
Costs of operations this year were around $20,000, about half of last year’s. New volunteer veterinarian surgeons were trained, as was a capture specialist, providing progress toward the goal of developing local expertise that might one day take over the jobs now performed by consultants and greatly reduce ongoing program costs. In the meantime, we are very grateful to the Animal Welfare Institute, The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust, our friend Karyn who gave up her house for a week to the out of town consultants, and to our friends and neighbors whose donations made this year’s work possible.
Finally, observations from neighbors are still valuable. Reports of tagged deer seen outside the study area (bounded by Clifton Ave, I-75, and Ludlow Ave.) are particularly important. Sightings of tagged deer inside the study area, especially of the newly sterilized does–#42 through #52, help us monitor the health and condition of our sterilized animals. And reports of untagged does within the area will help us locate the remaining unsterilized does next year (though bucks are now dropping their antlers making them and young antlerless bucks hard to distinguish from does). Sightings can be reported on the cliftondeer.org website at “report tagged deer.”
It is a pretty good bet that any time you see Doe #24, aged 4.5 years, Doe #23, aged 3.5 years, isn’t far behind. The twosome was spayed together in December 2015 and their bond remains strong to this day. Photo credit: Mark Easterling
Welcome to 2017! We recommend you bookmark this post as below are some key information about Clifton Town Meeting for your use.
Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) has a Board of 15 Trustees. The organization has a set of bylaws that governs its operation and action. http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CTM-Bylaws-Revised-Dec-2015.pdf
Your Trustees for 2017 are as follows:
Eric Urbas – President
Cindy Oakenfull – Vice President 1
Malcolm Montgomery – Vice President 2
Ashley Fritz – Secretary
Shaun McCance – Treasurer
There are many ways to interact, engage, volunteer, and communicate with CTM.
In person options
We have monthly Board meetings. The schedule is set every January at the first Board meeting of the year. Generally, the meetings are on the first Monday of the month from 7-9pm at the Clifton Recreation Center. Exact dates will be posted on the Clifton Community Calendar website page.
You can speak at these meetings on a specific topic or at the end of the meeting. Community members should sign up to speak on an agenda item before the start of the meeting. Not all agenda items will have time reserved for public input. Individual input on agenda items will be no more than two minutes. Community members are able to speak on non-agenda issues during the public questions and concerns agenda item. Individuals with statements are asked to sign in before the start of the meeting. Statements will be no more than three minutes during the questions and concerns agenda item.
Our Committees are always seeking volunteers for specific activities or for longer term participating on the work of the Committee. Your involvement, be it big or small, is welcome and desired.
Events CTM produces or co-sponsors annually:
•Memorial Day Parade & Cook Out
•Holidays on Ludlow
The Clifton House Tour is held every 3 years on Mother’s Day. Next Tour is 2018. Planning always starts in the year prior to the event.
2017 Event Captains
Event – Captain
House Tour – Adam Balz
Memorial Day Parade/Cookout – Nicholas Hollan
Clifton Fest Booth – Joyce Rich
Golf Outing – Eric Urbas
Lantern Walk – Adam Balz
Holidays on Ludlow – Joyce Rich
All events are more successful when we have volunteers from the community to participate in planning or on the day of the event.
Committees and Chairpersons for 2017
Committee – Chairperson
Beautification – Adam Balz
Business – Peter Block
Chronicle – Ashley Fritz
Website / Social Media – Shaun McCance
Membership – Kevin Marsh
Housing and Zoning – Christine Celsor
Nominating – Ashley Fritz
Public Safety – Kevin Marsh
Clifton Community LLC – Eric Urbas & Shaun McCance
Transportation – Seth Maney
Parks – Rama Kasturi
Education – Nicholas Hollan
Ad Hoc Committees
Fundraising – Brad Hawse
By-Laws – Malcolm Montgomery
Save the CCAC – Malcolm Montgomery
Uptown / NOU – Joyce Rich
Invest In Neighborhoods – Shaun McCance
TriHealth – Brad Hawse
Clifton Community Fun – Eric Urbas
CPBA – Peter Block
Ludlow 21 – Joyce Rich
Clifton Market – Rama Kasturi
UC Health – Brad Hawse
Some of our Committees hold public engagement / discussion meetings to gather input on specific topics. These are announced in advance by email and put onto social media channels.
Emails to CTM
CTM has multiple emails that you can use to convey information, concerns, questions, etc:
•Our primary email is contactctm@Cliftoncommunity.org. This email is monitored daily. Your email is forwarded to the most appropriate person or Committee for response. When in doubt, use this email for all purposes.
•Financial matter to address with our Treasurer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
•Matters dealing with Housing & Zoning, you can email the Committee directly at email@example.com
•Matters related to the Education Committee, you can email the Committee Chair directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
•Submit an article / photo for the Clifton Chronicle or wish to place an ad, you can email email@example.com
Emails from CTM
CTM has a subscriber, opt-in, email list that is used to send information & announcements related to Clifton. We never sell or share this list, and we do not email you constantly. 3-5 emails a month including the monthly CTM meeting agenda. You can opt-in at this link: http://eepurl.com/bemMm5
The Education Committee has has a subscriber, opt-in, email list that is in use for topics related only to guaranteed access to quality education and the current effort to create a neighborhood area public school. We never share or sell this list, and we do not email you constantly. You can opt-in a this link: http://eepurl.com/bR8pAn
Clifton Community Website
CTM maintains the Clifton Community website at http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/ This website contains a variety of news, calendar, public safety links, prior CTM meeting minutes, Clifton Chronicle issues, links to institutions & businesses in Clifton, and much more. There are links on the website to submit questions / concerns directly to CTM.
The Clifton Community Calendar has a moderated submission link that you can use to create entries for community events on the calendar. http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/calendar/
CTM operates various social media accounts:
•Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CliftonTownMeeting
•Twitter account – https://twitter.com/cliftontownmeet @cliftontownmeet
•NextDoor Clifton account – https://clifton.nextdoor.com/login
•The Education Committee has a Facebook Group called “Citizens For Clifton Area Neighborhood School” https://www.facebook.com/groups/1165996130112593/
Social media “likes”, shares & retweets do not imply Board positions or agreement. We like to promote Clifton related events for the good of the community.
We accept mail at PO Box 20042, Cincinnati, OH 45220. This is the slowest way to contact us.
Our organization is always seeking the financial support of the community through a variety of membership options. You can start or renew a membership online at http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/products-page/membership/ We run a more detailed membership drive effort each year as well describing the benefits of being a member.
Thank you. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you.
CTM Trustee elections were held on December 5, 2016. Members cast 108 ballots. Trustees elected were Kevin Marsh, Joyce Rich, Christine Celsor, Seth Maney, and Brad Hawse.
CTM President Eric Urbas thanked all candidates who ran for election, and he also expressed gratitude for the service of departing Trustees Ben Pantoja, Erin Hinson, and Adam Hyland.
Presented by Clifton Town Meeting and the Clifton Business Association, “Holidays on Ludlow” will take place on Friday, December 2nd from 6 – 9 PM in Clifton’s gaslight business district on Ludlow Avenue. This annual, free, family fun event includes the UC Bearcat Band leading the DAAP Light -Up Parade, Santa arriving via a firetruck and the outstanding horse drawn carriage rides. Music on the plaza will feature the Cincinnati Bethel Choir, the Mt. Lookout Brass and a French Horn Ensemble. Strolling carolers made up of the Smooth Transitions Barbershop Quartet and the United Methodist choir will be entertaining holiday revelers as they take advantage of the many merchant and restaurant specials or while checking out the Ludlow 21 Pop-Up Shop. Complimentary refreshments, cookies, candy, popcorn, and warm cider, will help nudge you along the avenue. Children’s activities include story hour by Eric (Clifton’s favorite librarian), crafts sponsored by CCAC, Ernie the balloon elf at Leona’s on Ludlow and free photos with Santa sponsored by Cincinnati EyeCare Team. Don’t forget to stop by Petey’s Pet Stop & the Howell Avenue Pet Clinic located on Howell Ave. to get a photo of your pet with Santa and further enjoy complimentary refreshments.
Below are the bios for candidates running for CTM Trustee at the upcoming elections on Monday, December 5 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.
Christine Celsor is an urban planner, an artist and mother of two young daughters. She works for the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Planning + Design + Construction and has over 10 years of professional planning experience. She holds a Master of Community Planning from UC as well as a Master of Arts in Art History from Indiana University. Her urban planning experience includes:
• Reviewing new residential and commercial developments for consistency with city and county plans, zoning regulations and design guidelines
• Transportation planning, with a focus on multi-modal transportation options including bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure
• Working with planners from the City of Cincinnati and neighborhood groups in CUF and Corryville to develop an implementation plan for improving safety, quality of life and transportation options, and to guide new development
• Promoting multi-cultural/ethnic relationships by organizing “Dinner in the Park” with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and giving a presentation at UC’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference
• Using Geographic Information Systems software for analysis and map design
• Volunteer work as a Precinct Executive for the Hamilton County Central Democratic Committee.
I have lived in Clifton with my fiance, Ryan, for three years and we have loved every minute of it! I have been involved in our Clifton community since we first moved in. Whether helping to activate our public spaces with live music, movies and beverages on “Big Nights” for the last two years as a founding member of Ludlow21, helping the Honeysuckle Hit Squad in Burnett Woods, or helping hang holiday decorations on Ludlow, I have a passion for serving my community to make it a fun, beautiful, safe place to live.
I graduated in 2009 with an Urban Planning degree from DAAP and have experience in fundraising, zoning, non-profits and leadership development. I hope to serve as a CTM trustee and assure that Clifton continues to be one of the premier neighborhoods in Cincinnati.
Adam E. Hyland
“It has been a great honor to serve Clifton as a CTM Trustee for the past three years. I am excited about the opportunity to continue this important work and to keep tackling the big issues that face our community. Clifton’s future is bright because our foundation is built on a strong legacy of community involvement. We are a vibrant community because the residents are willing to stand up and participant in defining our neighborhood’s future while respecting the history that makes it great.”
Adam has served two years as a CTM Vice President and three years as the Chair of the Housing & Zoning Committee. Additionally he serves on the Business, Website, and Transportation Committees. Adam is the founder and principal of EccaNova, Digital Strategic Advertising and the President of the Board for Clifton Market. He is a fourth generation resident of Clifton and lives on Loraine Avenue with his wife, Marta, and son, Henry.
Adam has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, DAAP; he specializes in the areas of economic development, policy planning, zoning review and urban design. He studied at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam School of Geography and at the Harvard Business School.
I became a Clifton resident this year after buying a home on Clifton Avenue near Greendale. When I started looking to purchase a house, Clifton was at the top of my list. Before moving to Clifton, I lived in Over-the-Rhine for four years and served as Vice President of the OTR Community Council for over three years. Professionally, I am the Vice President of OTR-based real estate development company Urban Sites and think my experience in development will make me an asset to the Clifton Town Meeting board. I am civic-minded and take a sincere interest in the health of our neighborhood. Clifton’s gas-lit, tree-lined streets, independent business district, beautiful homes and greenspaces, diverse population, strong schools, cultural amenities, and walkability are treasures that require keen stewardship. Despite its many strengths, Clifton is not without its challenges. Increasing competition from other neighborhoods means we must find new ways to improve the quality of life of our neighborhood and strengthen the existing assets that give Clifton its charm.
I am honored to call Clifton home and wish to contribute to its legacy as one of the best neighborhoods in the city to live, work, shop, eat, and raise a family.
In this past three years as a trustee, I have served on the Nominating, Transportation, Public Safety, Website / Social Media, Education, Membership, and Business District committees. The last two years I have also served as secretary. I also help implement events such as the Memorial Day Parade/BBQ, CliftonFest, Neighborhood Games, and Holidays on Ludlow. If you are a subscriber to the CTM email list, you get an email from me 3-4 times a month with Clifton News and the monthly meeting agenda.
My family and I have lived in Clifton for 11 years, and we love its charm and diversity. We also own a rental property in Clifton. We are invested in the long-term success of all of Clifton—our parks, our walkable and diverse business district, and our strong sense of community.
If re-elected, I will continue working on safety, education and transportation issues in our neighborhood as well as improving communications. I will also continue to increase the transparency and effectiveness of CTM so that it can amplify the voice and concerns of all residents and business owners.
I have been a Clifton resident for 10 years, and I was previously a resident of Clifton Heights. My wife Sharon and I live on Wood Avenue with our two children, both of whom attend Fairview and have only known Clifton as home. We love living in Clifton because of its many amenities within walking distance, the friendliness of our neighbors, and the character of the neighborhood. I look forward to the opportunity to get more involved in the community.
In my professional life I am a partner at Robbins, Kelly, Patterson & Tucker, a law firm of 24 lawyers and 50 total employees located downtown. As a business owner and a professional advisor, I understand the issues that local businesses face. In addition to my leadership roles at my firm, I have been on the Board of Directors of Visionaries & Voices, a non-profit arts organization located in Northside, and I am an active member of several professional organizations. I believe the legal expertise I have acquired through 16 years of practice, and my community and charitable work, provides a unique and valuable foundation to address issues CTM faces and its constituents’ needs.
I come again to ask for your vote. For those of you who do not know me, I can tell you that I am a long time resident of Clifton, a dog, food and wine lover, a retiree with salt and pepper hair and a woman who wants Clifton to thrive.
My trusteeship with Clifton Town Meeting has helped to bring over $125,000 of grant money into our community. Physically, this money has resulted in new parking way-finding signs, including the large lighted parking pylon identifying the Merchants Lot and the colorful awnings with LED lighting on Telford. I have served two terms as Vice President of Clifton Town Meeting. Past and current projects that I have assisted with or led include: Façade Improvement Program, Bronze Plaques Remediation, Holidays on Ludlow, the CTM Golf Outing, Clifton Branding/Logo project, the Clifton House Tour, the Deer Ad Hoc Committee, Probasco Fountain Ad Hoc Committee, The Fundraising Committee, Business Committee and Events Committee. Please don’t stop me now. Vote for me, Joyce Rich.
To celebrate Halloween this year, the Clifton Business District will again host “Ludloween” on Monday, October 31 from 5-7 pm. Along with spooky decorations, there will be lots of trick-or-treat candy for kids. These event is especially young kid friendly. Participating businesses are as follows:
The Clifton Library
Gaslight Gourmet Cookies
Lentz and Company
Clifton Natural Foods
Petey’s Pet Stop
Grill of India
In response to recent accidents at the intersection of Lafayette and Clifton, this week, Vice Mayor Mann introduced the attached motion in Council asking the City to conduct a review and report on the safety of Clifton & Lafayette. The motion passed and the City will provide the report shortly.