News and Events

CliftonDeer.Org Update

Written by Beth Whelan, for CliftonDeer.Org

CliftonDeer.Org is pleased to report that we have met our $40,000 threshold funding goal and will be launching the program on schedule very soon. A huge thank you to CTM for a matching challenge grant of $2,500 that helped stimulate donations from Clifton residents, and for the suggestion to invite participation by other Clifton organizations, which resulted in a generous grant from the Clifton Community Fund. Our intrepid UC student volunteers recently distributed flyers to all houses within the study area informing residents of what they can expect. If you are in the area bounded by Clifton Ave., Ludlow Ave. and I-75 and have not received one of these flyers, please contact us so we can get one to you.

We’re now focused on establishing bait stations, cleaning the building that will be used as a field surgical center, and preparing volunteers to transport anesthetized deer the nights of the program operations. Finally, we are continuing to look for ways to reduce costs, cover unexpected expenses and put funds toward next year’s costs which are expected to be much smaller than this year’s. One way you can help is to do your Christmas shopping at Ten Thousand Villages in O’Bryonville on November 29th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. CliftonDeer.org will receive 15% of the value of all purchases you make that day if you tell the cashier at checkout that you’re shopping to support CliftonDeer.org. Another is to donate Marriott Rewards points to defer costs for our out of town team. A third is to enroll in Kroger’s Community Rewards Program and select CliftonDeer.org as your charity of choice. If you can help in any of those ways, please contact us through our web site for details.

Thanks again to CTM and our donors and volunteers, especially our bait station volunteers, for your help and support!

2015 Membership Drive

Clifton Town Meeting is your local community council. CTM sponsors many activities and festivals throughout the year for our community including: Memorial Day Parade & Cookout, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest, the House Tour, Golf Outing, Holidays on Ludlow and more. We provide funding for beautification projects such as the new flower pots on Ludlow Avenue and Holiday decorations on Ludlow Avenue. We provide communications including community email Clifton News, website and the Clifton Chronicle. We partner with the Clifton Business and Professional Association (CBPA) to keep the Clifton Plaza operating.

In addition to these great things, we also advocate on behalf of the Clifton community. Issues we have promoted in the past year include the return of a local grocery store, renovation of the Probasco Fountain, more programming at the Clifton Plaza, restarting CTM efforts on Public Safety & Parks, creating Transportation & Education Committees to focus more on these areas, creating a more active and useful Community website, and engaging more in social media on Facebook and Twitter to promote CTM produced and sponsored events.

To support our important community work, we need your generous support. Membership dues are tax deductible and make up the second largest source of income for CTM. Starting or renewing your membership will help us keep Clifton a vibrant, desirable, and fun place to live, work, and play. 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

CTM Proposed Bylaws Changes

CTM Trustees formed an ad-hoc Bylaws Review Committee during the October meeting this year. Various bylaws topics were set for review. During the November CTM meeting, three bylaws changes were proposed and the Trustees voted to put these changes before the membership at the December 7, 2015 meeting. All CTM members who have paid their dues for 2015 are eligible to vote on these changes.  The CTM Bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting provided the amendments have been introduced in writing at a previous CTM meeting and proper notice has been given.

This post summarizes the changes being proposed. The actual language is linked below at the very end. If you have feedback on these changes, feel free to email Trustees.

Click here to read the current CTM Bylaws as revised by the membership during 2010.

Officer Succession

Current bylaws language is not clear on how the President is succeeded if s/he resigns. Trustees encountered this issue during September. This proposed bylaws change creates a very clear succession plan for President and Vice President by ensuring the Vice Presidents are elected with new titles: 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President. The 1st Vice President shall succeed the President. The 2nd Vice President shall succeed the 1st Vice President. In addition, the proposed bylaws changes make it mandatory to immediately replace the Treasurer or Secretary position should a Trustee resign either position.

Five Trustee Election Cycle

Current bylaws language does not advise on how to ensure that 5 Trustees are elected each year. The CTM Board is comprised of 15 Trustees.  To have a good balance of veteran and new Trustees, there should be 5 elected each year for full 3 year terms. This balance provides for a more effective Board. This proposed bylaws change create language to ensure that this cycle is preserved when there are more than 5 positions open for election by providing for less than 3 year terms to Trustees who are elected with lowest vote counts.

Nominating Committee Formation and Report

Current bylaws language does not set a deadline on when the Nominating Committee must fully form. The language also has no details on what the Committee’s required report to the Board must contain. If the Nominating Committee is formed too late in the year, it will not have time to properly perform it’s work of finding candidates and preparing for the Fall election of Trustees. This proposed bylaws change sets the August CTM meeting as the latest formation date. The current Board feels that the required Nominating Committee report should have some minimum acceptable standards and details. This proposed bylaws change provides for specific report requirements. This creates a minimum standard for future Nominating Committees to meet.

Proposed Bylaws Language Files

In each of the pdf files linked below, the existing bylaws language is shown first, and the proposed changes for member approval are shown afterwards.  We urge you to read these changes carefully.  If you have feedback on these changes, feel free to email Trustees.

ARTICLE V – Paragraph 2

ARTICLE VI

ARTICLE VIII – Paragraph 1 and 2

 

Bios for CTM Trustee Candidates

Below are the bios for candidates running for CTM Trustee at the upcoming elections on Monday, December 7 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.

Adam Balz

Adam Balz is a native Cincinnatian and a Clifton resident since 2006. He lives on Woolper Avenue with his wife, Michelle, and two children, Benjamin and Emily. Adam has been an active volunteer with CTM—planting flowers, installing holiday decorations, and coordinating the Memorial Day grill out since moving to Clifton. Adam has been a trustee of Clifton Town Meeting since 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Master’s of Public Administration and is a partial owner of the environmental consulting firm Pegasus Technical Services.

Peter Block

I have been living in Clifton for about 12 years, married to Cathy Kramer, a long time resident. For most of my career I was an independent organizational consultant. In the last ten years I’ve worked with governments and communities on creating more citizen engagement. Author of nine books, two focused on building positive community and more connected neighborhoods.

I’m on the Board of Elementz, an Urban Arts Center, and served on Cincinnati Public Radio Board. I helped begin the Economics of Compassion Initiative which is supporting an alternative economy in the city. CTM matters and I would like to support it as trustee. All the issues of safety, zoning, events, the social fabric are important to me. My strongest interest is in the business district. Eleven empty storefronts are too many. We need to understand more fully why this is occurring and how we can co-operatively do something about this.

Ashley Fritz

I have lived in Clifton, on Middleton Avenue, for the past six years with my husband and our two sons. Clifton is a wonderful neighborhood for my family, and I really enjoy the walkability and friendliness of Clifton. However, I have the same concerns as many residents with regards to safety, education, and the continued revitalization of our business district. As a CTM trustee for the past three years, I have helped manage and edit the Clifton Chronicle and have helped organize numerous CTM sponsored events. For this year’s Clifton House Tour, I was the lead volunteer coordinator. I would like to continue my efforts with the Clifton Chronicle and CTM events, as well as collaborating with others in finding new ways to keep Clifton the best neighborhood in Cincinnati.

Erin Hinson

Erin Hinson is a young professional who has resided in Clifton since 2013. In that time, Clifton has become home to her and the place she desires to establish her roots. Erin Hinson is a proud alumni of Xavier University. She is passionate about soccer which has led her to a role as the St. Lawrence youth soccer coach in her spare time and the captain of an intramural soccer team.

When she’s not coaching or playing soccer, Erin has started several successful companies, including one where she works with small and local businesses to increase their online audience and brand. She also co-founded #UnlockCincinnati, a weekly blog for WCPO.com and a tourism-based marketing company centered around bringing awareness and traffic to the abundant local businesses in all of Cincinnati.

Malcolm Montgomery

What sets me apart from the other candidates? Passion and experience!

I would bring to CTM my passion for protecting and enhancing Clifton, my track record of accomplishments, and a seasoned perspective that will complement a Board that has many relatively new trustees.

I am one of a handful of Lifetime CTM Members. I care enough about protecting and enhancing Clifton as the best neighborhood in Cincinnati to have volunteered over a thousand hours for CTM activities. I served as a CTM Trustee twice, with one term starting in 1990 and a second in 2009. I’m proud of the many things I’ve accomplished in the last 25 years collaborating with others to deliver results for Clifton including the following:

– for our younger residents: completed soccer fields at Mount Storm
for beautification: funded landscaping for the recreation center
– for public safety: served as police liaison; funded hidden cameras to catch drug dealers on our side streets; collaborated on excessive traffic on side streets and enforcement of speed limits
– improving CTM meetings: provided and maintained audio visual system enabling the audience to hear speakers and see handouts and computer presentations
– Quality of life and enhancement of property values – chaired CTM housing and zoning committee, testified before zoning commission and city council for a more effective chronic nuisance law, for better zoning laws, for fairness in the enforcement of zoning regulations, and for neighborhood improvements

I have time to get things done. I am retired from UC and perform only occasional pro bono work in my educational technology consulting business.

Sean Mullaney

I am a lifelong Cincinnatian with brief stays in Chicago and Paris. My wife and I have lived in Clifton for 20 years and we have 2 children. My experience in design, business and real estate gives me a broad background to understand the big picture of our neighborhood. We are fortunate to have amazing parks, stunning architecture and a unique business district in Clifton. I would work to utilize and improve these assets to bring more people to live, work and play in Clifton Gaslight.

Cindy Oakenfull

I have been a Clifton resident for over ten years. My wife, Gillian, and I moved here when we were about to start our family. We chose Clifton as we wanted to raise our family in an open-minded dynamic urban environment that also provided the charm of an historic neighborhood. We now have three sons, Jack 9, Ben 6, and Danny 3. I love everything that Clifton has brought to our lives. My family feels connected to the community – its schools, its businesses, its parks, and its people.

Professionally, I’ve served in various management roles for Paramount Parks, Fifth Third Bank, and GE Capital. Each position provided me the opportunity to build distinct corporate business units within Operations, Sales and Marketing. After 16 rewarding years, I left corporate industry for academia, joining the faculty at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, where Gillian is a marketing professor. In my short time at Miami, I have found a passion for preparing today’s students for the challenges of tomorrow’s workforce.

We care deeply about the future of this community as it stands at the core of my family’s experience. Recently, we have recognized our duty to participate in service roles within the community. Gillian has focused on education by serving on the Local School Decision Making Committee (LSDMC) at Fairview German Language School. In turn, I would like to devote my energy and expertise to the development and stewardship of our neighborhood by serving on Clifton Town Meeting Board.

Eric Urbas

CTM Trustee since Jan 2013
CTM President and Website Committee Chair
I have been a Clifton resident for over 8 years. My wife Michelle grew up in Clifton and has been a resident for most of her life. We have two children who know Clifton as their first and only home. We love living here because of the walk-ability, friendly people, and historic character of the neighborhood. It is a privilege working with and now leading this organization. I hope you will consider voting for me to a second term as Trustee. I will continue to focus on things that are positive for Clifton. I enjoy working with our community partners, business district, and the residents. I will also continue to improve the visibility of CTM and the community through the website and social media. Thank you for your consideration.

Seth Walsh

Seth T. Walsh moved to Clifton after graduating from Xavier University in 2013. He has since fallen in love with the walkable neighborhood and business district, and the friendly and welcoming community. This inspired him to co-found #UnlockCincinnati, a weekly blog for WCPO and a tourism-based marketing company to promote small business in Cincinnati, but also to start his career in community development, bringing the lively energy evident in Clifton to other neighborhoods.

Seth is the Executive Director of the Sedamsville Community Development Corporation, a tiny neighborhood just west of downtown, and is the Project Director/Associate Director for the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati (CDC Association). He proudly serves on the WCPO editorial board, the WCPO Community Advisory Board, is a board member for UpSpring, and is a founding member of the local Global Shapers chapter. In his spare time, Seth is working on completing a goal of reading one book on every U.S. President.

Call for NSP Project Suggestions

Every year, CTM receives money from the City as part of the Neighborhood Support Program (NSP) for directed project(s). For the current City fiscal year July 2015 – June 2016, we will receive $6,800. In order to select the projects, we hold a vote of all residents who attend the meeting. You do not have to be a member of CTM to vote on NSP projects. We will vote at the December membership meeting, Monday, December 7.

We need project suggestions from you now so that we can publicize them before the December vote. There are a guidelines for what cannot qualify. Ineligible activities and expenses include:

  • Direct social services such as emergency food and housing assistance.
  • Routine operating expenses of the Community Council such as rent, utilities, building maintenance, repair, and equipment rental, except for Community Council expenses of a Community Council phone service and post office box not to exceed $1000 per contract year.
  • The purchase of office supplies to support the ongoing operations of the Community Council.
  • Food expense, with the exception of fund raising resale purposes, limited to $1,500 per contract year.
  • Entertainment, other than events widely promoted for general attendance by the residents of the community.
  • Hiring an NSP Manager.
  • NSP compensation for Project Coordinators and other contractors for performing routine office duties or conducting activities unrelated to those of the Community Council.
  • Direct cash awards to individuals or groups
  • A Community Council using NSP funds to purchase advertising that appears in its own NSP subsidized publications.
  • Activities that duplicate government services which are currently available within the neighborhood.
  • Hiring of Community Council officers or their immediate family members, with the exception of minor children who may not earn more than $500 per year from NSP employment.
  • Use of NSP funds to endorse or promote political candidates.
  • Activities that fail to serve any public purpose.

Everything else is a possibility!

Now is your chance to suggest something. The more details (what, when, cost details) you put into your suggestion, the more likely voters will understand it…and then possibly vote for it. An absolute must is that we can implement the project and finish spending before end of June 2016; otherwise, we lose the money. Send your suggestions to us here. We will publicize the project suggestions just before Thanksgiving holidays. Our hope is that anyone making a project suggestion will come to the December meeting to answer any questions before everyone votes.

You can read more about the City’s NSP program here.

Clifton Zoning Map Draft #2 Public Review 10/22/2015

There will be a review of the 2nd draft of the proposed Zoning Map for Clifton on October 22nd, 6:30PM at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Clifton. Details for this event are in the calendar. This meeting and input received will support the creation of a letter from CTM as requested by the City Planning Department as part of the Zoning Map review process.

You can view a comparison of Clifton’s Proposed Zoning Map and the Current Zoning Map here.

You can view all the community proposed and existing zoning map comparisons here.

We encourage you to review the areas that interest you and provide input or concerns at the public meeting or directly to the city through the City Planning Department feedback form (at bottom of page) .

Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Going through life with limited vision can be very challenging. The Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) is ready to help with those challenges, bringing independence back into one’s life. CABVI is the only private, not-for-profit organization in our community that provides services to help improve the quality of life and independence for those with vision loss. Those services include, but are not limited to, rehabilitation, providing employment and access to technology. Their certified instructors work with young children all the way to elderly adults and are committed to helping them find a comfortable, independent lifestyle that works.

The African American community is more prone to vision loss due to our high rates in diseases like diabetes, cataracts and sickle cell anemia when left untreated. Macular degeneration and glaucoma are other eye conditions that are commonly found in seniors and can lead to blindness. In 2012, the National Federation of the Blind reported that African Americans make up 2.9% (1,117,000) of the vision loss community, holding the second leading spot for ethnicities.

CABVI encourages people who are experiencing sight loss to seek help through one of their many services. Regular eye exams are important and can help with early detection of the mentioned diseases plus heart disease and strokes. Services are based on ability to pay, and other funding is available.

Today CABVI helps nearly 5000 people each year through all services. Vision aids and special computer training help clients live active lives. CABVI also makes news and information accessible through its Radio Reading Services with around-the-clock broadcasts and Personalized Talking Print voice mailsystem.

For more information on how the CABVI can help you or a loved one, contact them at 513-221-8558 or www.cincyblind.org.

CTM Education Committee – Special Meeting October 7th at 7PM.

Clifton town meeting is hosting a special meeting to discuss recents changes to the magnet school enrollment process which will affect all Clifton residents is some way. The meeting will take place October 7th at 7PM in the Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220.You may have also received a mailing about the meeting. The contact person from CTM for the meeting is Nicholas Hollan.

Link to Clifton Community Calendar Event

Facebook Event Link

 

 

CTM Trustee Nominations for 2016

Do you have an interest in serving Clifton and its residents? Would you like to participate in helping to guide the happenings in Clifton? Do you feel there is a leadership role in Clifton you can fill?

Being a board member of Clifton Town Meeting is a good answer for these questions. Elections for CTM will be held at the regular December meeting. Nominations are due by the end of October. If you or someone you know is interested in being part of CTM, please reach out to any Trustee or email CTM directly at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org.

Being a Trustee is rewarding and informative, please consider running in the upcoming election.

 

 

Third Annual Golf Outing

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The CTM 3rd Annual Golf Outing was held on August 22. It was a great day for golfing, and 80 golfers worked the Avon Fields Golf Course. CTM is grateful for the sponsors of this event. Check them out in all the pictures. We will be adding more along with some results of the event […]

CTM Considers Funding for Clifton Deer Project

This coming Monday, 9/14/15, Clifton Town Meeting will be evaluating a proposed one time donation of $5,000 to the Clifton Deer Fertility Control Pilot Program. Because this is a relatively large unbudgeted expense, we wanted to provide the community with some background information and invite residents to attend our 9/14/15 Monthly Board Meeting at 7 pm at the Clifton Recreation Center. The agenda will include this and other topics such as formation of a new CTM committee to respond to the CPS decision regarding Magnet School enrollment and an update on resolving concerns related to noise from the air conditioning units at Good Samaritan Hospital. If you are unable to attend our meeting, please consider sending your comments to us at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org. We recognize that not everyone will be able to speak on Sept 14 and some may not be able to attend.

Events Leading To This Funding Request
Last fall, the Cincinnati Park Board concluded that, to protect the health of the forests, they needed to reduce the population of deer in three of Clifton’s Parks: Mt. Storm, Rawson Woods, and Edgewood Preserve. At the August and the October CTM Board Meetings, the Park Board proposed starting a program to use certified bow hunters to “cull” the deer herds in the Clifton Parks in the fall of 2014.

Although some residents felt they should accept the Park Board’s opinion that this was their best option, many other residents protested, collected petitions and in October eventually persuaded the Park Board to cancel the bow hunting plans for 2014. The Park Board, however, said that there still was a need to control the deer. They said they could support a non-lethal alternative approach under these circumstances:
1. The non-lethal deer management program would need to be a research project approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
2. CTM would need to vote in favor of the research project proposal so that the Parks would have some evidence of Clifton community support.
3. The project would need to be privately funded.
4. All city, state, and federal approvals and permits would need to be complete by June 15, 2015.

Two alternative approaches were presented to CTM: a sterilization program and a contraception program. CTM narrowly voted in favor of the sterilization program on 2/2/2015. Here is a link to their website: http://cliftondeer.org/donations/. At the time of this vote, we did NOT expect to provide any funding or resources for the project. We were only stating a preference at the request of the Park Board so that they could request ODNR approval for one and only one approach.

On 5/11/2015, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for the program. The Clifton Deer Project started fundraising immediately but they apparently underestimated the challenge of raising $40,000 prior to starting the program in November. Most of the cost is in the first year ($40,000 versus $5,000 or less in subsequent years) because of the experience of their contractor, White Buffalo, indicating that the most effective approach may be to sterilize 95% of the does in the first year of the program. This is actually the research goal that they presented to ODNR: to prove that a program that sterilizes 95% of the does in the first year will effectively reduce deer population in a park system as is found in Clifton that is partially isolated from surrounding forests. For this $40,000 goal, the Clifton Deer Project has raised over $12,000 so far and just received a $20,000 grant from the Humane Society.

Although the Project is still fundraising, this leaves them about $9,000 short of the funding they need to start this program in November. Due to this unexpected shortfall, they are asking CTM to provide a $5,000 matching grant. If they can then get others to donate a matching $5,000, they will have enough money to pay White Buffalo to sterilize most of the does this year.

Arguments For and Against the Funding

    Arguments for the funding

1. The Clifton Deer Project is the only option available this fall/winter to get deer population under control. The number of does in these parks grew from 30 to 40 just since last fall. There is not enough time to switch to bow hunting or to start a new process to gain ODNR approval for the other major non-lethal option of contraception. If you believe the Park Board, getting the deer population under control benefits the ecology of the parks. Also, it reduces collisions between automobiles and deer, reduces the risk of Lyme diseases, and reduces damage to household gardens.
2. The Project is innovative. If successful, it could lead to an ODNR approved option for every neighborhood in Ohio to address deer population issues without hunting. Maryland became the first state to approve this wildlife management technique after a similar study by the same contractor who would lead the work in Clifton, and, if Ohio follows Maryland, non-lethal deer management options could spread.
3. The Humane Society sponsorship is good PR for Clifton. This huge organization is featuring this Clifton project in their national campaign to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.
4. Animals do feel pain. If we can address ecological needs with less pain and suffering, why not do so?
5. The project is close to raising what it needs, but the November deadline is approaching. With CTM’s contribution and additional fundraising by the Project, they are likely to succeed.
6. This project is relatively affordable for CTM. We have some annual expenses ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. A $5,000 one-time expense is relatively affordable. Also, CTM’s $80,000 cash balance is much more than most community councils, and there are many who feel we should be looking for opportunities to use this money on worthy projects.
7. If this program is NOT funded for 2015, costs are likely to increase along with damage to the ecology in the parks by the time we get to 2016. The population of does grew from 30 to 40 in just one year from 2014 to 2015. This caused the budget for the first year to grow from $30,000 to $40,000. This would be likely to increase further if the Deer Project can’t raise enough funds to start the program in 2015.

    Arguments against the funding

1. When we approved this program in February, we were not told we might be asked to provide any funding. The Clifton Deer Project may not have anticipated the challenges of fundraising, but this is still an unpleasant, unexpected outcome for CTM.
2. What is the “will of the people”? This is a tough question to answer because many Clifton are not aware of all the plusses and minuses of this issue. Also, it may be impossible to get majority support for ANY one option because at all the CTM meetings involving this topic some people were advocated bow hunting, others advocated contraception, and a third group advocated this sterilization project. Everyone was passionate and everyone disagreed. Another complication is that one could argue that people living near these parks are more directly affected by the Project and should somehow have more say.
3. Will costs after year 1 exceed current projections? The Clifton Deer Project expects to use sources other than CTM for all funds in years 2-5. They project annual costs in years 2-5 because this study aims to complete 95% of the sterilizations in year 1. But this IS a research project and nothing is certain.
4. Also, although this contractor has had success in similar projects elsewhere, given that it is a research project, there is no guarantee that it will effectively reduce the deer population.