Clifton Town Meeting – CUF Neighborhood Association – Spring Grove Community Council – Clifton Cultural Arts Center – Fairview-Clifton German Language School Parent and Community Representatives
Over the last several months, representatives from Clifton Town Meeting, CUF Neighborhood Association and the Spring Grove Village Community Council have been meeting with community partners from the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and parent and community representatives of the Fairview-Clifton German Language School LSDMC in an effort to develop a comprehensive, unified plan that guarantees quality school access for all residents of the three communities, ensures that Fairview-Clifton German Language School remains a highly rated school and securely maintains CCAC in their current building under the terms of the 2005 lease agreement.
Throughout the past six months our joint goal has been to identify a solution that addresses both the needs of the District and communities and creates a win for all parties. After many weeks and hours of discussion, we have agreed upon a collaborative, inclusive approach that we believe meets that goal:
- Expand classroom space on Fairview’s current location to cover a 3-year increase in kindergarten magnet enrollment with a build-out of the current building and the temporary use of modular classrooms during the build-out;
- Commit and allocate necessary physical, financial and staff resources to ensure that all students at Fairview continue to receive a quality education;
- Scale back enrollment to the pre-expansion level of 100-125 kindergarten magnet students after three years;
- Keep CCAC in the 1906 building under the current lease agreement without possibility of termination until the completion of the lease period, and/or CPS to offer CCAC the option to purchase the property;
- State on all print and electronic documents produced by CTM, CUF or Spring Grove Community Councils that, “The Community Councils of Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village agree that the Clifton Cultural Arts Center must remain in its current building. Plans and designs for a new neighborhood school will be considered only for other locations”;
- Begin a neighborhood school based on an informed community engagement process, for the 2018-19 school year at a temporary location with one grade level, adding another grade level each subsequent year;
- Create a neighborhood school to a suitable size that accommodates the demand of the neighborhoods. Possible sites include: Fairview expansion build-out, Hughes High School Annex or the former Fairview School Annex.
Click here to see the signed version of the Joint Statement of Spring Grove Village, CUF and Clifton
=== PRESS RELEASE ===
Cincinnati – Representatives from Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), CUF (Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview) Neighborhood Association and the Spring Grove Village Community Council (SGV), along with community partners from the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and parent and community representatives of the Fairview-Clifton German Language School Local School Decision Making Committee (LSDMC) will hold a press conference on Monday, August 22, at 5:30 pm at the Cincinnati Public Schools Education Center at 2651 Burnet Avenue in Corryville to release a Joint Statement.
The Joint Statement is the result of months of weekly meetings between these community stakeholder groups who are all deeply engaged and invested in the education, diversity, vibrancy, inclusion, and cohesiveness of our neighborhoods and community institutions.
The solutions presented in the Joint Statement convey the priorities of the communities:
• access to quality education for all children potentially including a new neighborhood school;
• preservation of the high level of educational quality at Fairview-Clifton German Language School in the face of pressure to expand;
• safeguarding of the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, an essential community asset, in its current location.
The collective group, commonly known as the “Working Group,” reflects the interests of thousands of our city’s children, parents, and residents. In early 2016, the Working Group began meeting to address urgent community issues: the challenge of overcrowding at Fairview Clifton German Language School, the threat of losing CCAC, our cultural center and a valued educational partner for CPS schools, including Fairview, and improved access to quality public education for residents of Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village.
Members of the Working Group, joined by dozens of community members, are asking to work collaboratively with the CPS Board of Education and Administration to determine the details and specifics of a practical, long-term strategy, which addresses all of the concerns listed in the Joint Statement. “Stakeholders from many different groups and three distinct neighborhoods have come together and worked hard to develop the comprehensive solution embodied in this Joint Statement,” said Clifton Town Meeting Vice President Malcolm Montgomery. “We believe that together with CPS we can give these children a great education and preserve the cultural center of our neighborhoods and beyond.”
From the City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications
Hello Cincinnati Neighbor,
Each biennial budget cycle, the City of Cincinnati asks for your feedback on the proposed city budget. We continue to offer new and convenient ways to stay engaged with the community and broaden our outreach. The Budget Office, The Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications have collaborated to further enhance communication and engagement strategies throughout the budget process. The main goal of this budget engagement campaign is to keep you informed and engaged throughout the entire process.
Here are the multiple opportunities to participate in the budget engagement process:
Please visit our website (http://cincinnati-oh.gov/finance/cincinnati-budget-engagement/) where you will find all of these links and more information about when and where the sessions and forums are taking place this summer and fall.
We welcome and greatly appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to pass the word along to your neighbors as everyone’s input is important!
City of Cincinnati Budget Office, Department of City Planning, and Office of Communications
The Clifton deer fertility control pilot program is a citizen response to the Cincinnati Parks’ invitation to collaborate on a non-lethal alternative to bow-hunting for reducing overabundant herds in 3 Clifton Neighborhood parks. Operating under a permit granted in 2015 by the Wildlife Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the program involves a three to five year study of deer migration patterns and the efficacy of sterilization for deer population management.
CliftonDeer.org, is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to sponsor, assist, and provide funding for the program. It builds community support – financial and otherwise – to create an infrastructure of expertise and funding needed to complete the study and to secure the viability of the program on an ongoing basis.
First Year Results:
In December of 2015, project consultant Dr. Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo, Inc. led a team of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and volunteers (including U.C. students, Cliftonites, and U.S. Humane Society personnel) through six nights of field operations in which 41 does were sterilized and tagged and 3 incidental male fawns were tagged and released. Detailed results of that effort are reported at 2015 Field Operations Report on the project’s website, www.cliftondeer.org.
Two important findings resulted from last Fall’s work. First, field observations and a post-operations camera survey revealed that the deer population in the study area (bounded by Ludlow Ave., Clifton Ave., and I-75) was much larger than estimated based on the Parks’ aerial infrared population counts—roughly 100 instead of 60. Faced with unexpectedly large numbers, Dr. DeNicola focused his efforts on the mature does who would be likely to reproduce this Spring and planned to target the female fawns in 2016. Second, despite the unexpectedly large deer population, Dr. DeNicola believes that his team sterilized approximately 86% of the adult doe population within the study area, and that this should be enough to stop herd growth and may begin reductions.
This Fall Dr. DeNicola plans to capture and sterilize the few adult does missed last year, new immigrant does, and newly matured female fawns in the study area. He and his team will also devote extra time to training a local darter and a local veterinarian with the goal that they can eventually carry on the program with less reliance on expensive outside involvement. Finally, he will conduct a 2-week post-operations field camera population survey.
The dates of field operations have not yet been set, but will most likely occur in December.
With the discovery of nearly twice as many deer as originally estimated from the Parks’ surveys, and the need for more accurate counts, costs of operations this year, while 25% lower than last year, are expected to be higher than originally projected. Funds are being requested from two national and one local foundation. If successful, these grants will cover at least 60% to 80% of this year’s operating expenses, reducing significantly the amount of fundraising that will be required. We should know the status of those grant requests within weeks. As promised last year, no funds will be requested from CTM.
In the meantime, we invite the community to:
Every two years the City asks Community Councils to submit up to three projects for consideration in the new biennial budget process. CTM wants to know what you are interested in our proposing for the new cycle which has a deadline in September. CTM will make a final vote at our Sept 12 Board meeting on what to submit. Please click here to read about prior projects that have occurred city wide as well as guidelines on eligible and ineligible projects.
Please click here to email CTM with your ideas, or bring them in writing to the next CTM meeting.
Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) is your local community council. CTM advocates on behalf of the Clifton community. Issues we have promoted in the past year include supporting the CCAC, seeking high quality public education seats for your children, removing invasive plants from Burnet Woods, more events at Clifton Plaza, reducing the speed limit on McAlpin and Ruther Avenues, more bicycling infrastructure for Clifton, and resolving the noise from the roof of Good Sam hospital. We have worked on zoning variance issues as well as providing community input into the City’s Land Development Code revisions.
CTM also sponsors many activities and festivals throughout the year for our community including: Memorial Day Parade & Cookout, Lantern Walk, CliftonFest, the House Tour, Holidays on Ludlow and more. We provide funding for beautification projects such as the flower pots & holiday decorations on Ludlow Avenue. We provide communications including the community email list, Clifton Community website and the Clifton Chronicle. We partner with the Clifton Business and Professional Assocation (CBPA) to keep the Clifton Plaza operating. To support this important community work, we need your generous support. Membership dues are tax deductible and make up the second largest source of income for CTM. If you paid membership dues sometime in 2015, thank you for your support. Memberships are based on the calendar year, and we need your support again in 2016.
Starting or renewing your membership will help us keep Clifton a vibrant, desirable, and fun place to live, work, and play. CTM also accepts donations, and you can do that at the same time you renew your membership online. You can click here to renew online.
If you wish, you can also use this Membership Form to do a mail in membership renewal.
Thank you for your support.
CTM Membership Committee
Find CTM in social media on Facebook and Twitter
The Esquire Theatre is holding free movies for kids again this summer. Every Monday and Wednesday. Doors open at 9:45am and movie starts at 10:30am.
Lots of cool kid flicks that parents or child sitters will likely have fun watching also. Click here for the details. Check the poster below.
The Summer Music Series on Clifton Plaza started May 6. There will be music every Friday and Saturday evening through end of July. There is also beer for sale. Don’t let the roped off area scare you aware – the rope is required by the beer permit. Come out and join your neighbors in the Business District. Check out the full schedule by clicking on the poster photo below.
At 9:45pm, May 11, CTM received a copy of the public meeting agenda to be held by CPS Board of Education in conjunction with Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Fairview-Clifton LSDMC, and CTM. All are invited to this meeting at the CPS Administration building on Burnet Woods. Conference Room 1-A. The meeting duration is scheduled for one hour. There is no time on the agenda for public speaking.
A G E N D A
SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
CPS Board of Education & Clifton Cultural Arts Center
May 12, 2016
Vision: Cincinnati Public Schools will be a community that ensures equitable access to a world-class education, unleashing the potential of every student.
Mission: We educate all students with rigor and care in a culture of excellence to develop engaged citizens who are prepared for life.
A. CALL TO ORDER
1. Pledge to Flag
2. Roll Call
C. Vision 2020 – Strengthening Neighborhood Schools – Mary Ronan, Superintendent; Laura Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent
D. Lead agency & CLC definitions – Julie Doppler, CLC Coordinator
(Brainbox at Fairview School site)
E. Proposed outcomes – Ericka Copeland-Dansby, CPS Board President
· Carriage House
· Shared Space Agreement
F. Response to zoning issues – Bill Moehring, Interim Chief Operations Officer
G. Other issues
Office of the Board Members
May 12, 2016
1. Cultivate a robust and inclusive network of engaged parents, community and other stakeholders that work together to build safe, vibrant schools at the center of safe, vibrant communities (GREAT COMMUNITIES);
2. Support the creation of highly engaging learning environments in which every child, every day, engages in an ideal balance between rigorous learning opportunities relevant to our dynamic world, and at the same time enjoys the focused concern of caring adults (GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS);
3. Provide for expanded learning opportunities and choices for all students that reflect a shared concern for the whole child and demonstrate appreciation for every student as a unique individual (GREAT LEARNING CHOICES);
4. Enable the recruitment, growth, and advancement of distinguished professionals committed to serving diverse students with a high regard for equity, and in a manner characterized by rigor, innovation, and accountability (GREAT PEOPLE); and
5. Ensure that all operations, and resources of every type, are equitably distributed, and singularly and systemically focused on high academic achievement for all students (GREAT SYSTEMS).
CTM Trustees voted on May 2 to notify CPS of flaws in the survey that CPS sent to Clifton-area families during April. The full letter is detailed below.
May 9, 2016
Ericka Copeland-Dansby, President Cincinnati Board of Education
Mary Ronan, Superintendent Cincinnati Public Schools
Melanie Bates, Vice President CPS BOE
Eve Bolton, Member CPS BOE
Carolyn Jones, Member CPS BOE
Daniel Minera, Member CPS BOE
A. Chris Nelms, Member CPS BOE
Dear President Copeland-Dansby, Superintendent Ronan, and Members of the Board of Education,
I am writing to you on behalf of Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) regarding the recent survey sent to some of our residents by Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). Based on recent comments by Superintendent Ronan we understand the intention is to use these survey results for making decisions related to a neighborhood school for Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village. We believe this survey to be incapable of providing any meaningful information on which to base decisions about a neighborhood school.
Please understand that we do not like having to address this problem after the fact, or in public. We regret that we can find no other recourse to prevent the misuse of the survey data. This could have been avoided had we not been shut out of the process:
• Prior to the distribution of the survey, several of our Trustees conveyed concerns to CPS about its questions
• On March 23, the Superintendent agreed to send us the final version with April 15 the due date for comments
• At our April 4 board meeting, President Copeland-Dansby presented a new version of the survey for our review and comment
• We sent it to several experts who found serious problems and offered to work with your survey people, to which Superintendent Ronan agreed (April 11)
• But on April 13, the Superintendent told us we were too late and that the survey had been sent out – without letting us see this new version, and prior to the due date for comments, and inexplicably contrary to her express agreement not two days earlier.
• Since then, our experts have evaluated this new version and are unanimous in finding it unreliable if not misleading. Their complete reviews and credentials are attached.
Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We campaign for school levies, raise money for schools, volunteer time and resources to enrich students’ experiences, and are passionate about the value of education for all children. Part of that support includes taking responsibility for helping head off problems we see coming. We tried to head off the survey problem: we warned the Administration that the survey was flawed, but it was sent out anyway. Now we are alerting you that if the survey results are used, they will only lead to bad decisions. That is one very important issue, yet there is a bigger one underlying it, and that is the exclusion of CTM from the planning process. We were led to expect that collaboration would be welcome, but I am sad to report that our experience has not borne this out. What do we need to do to achieve this mutual goal?
At this time, there is a unique opportunity to have a process with strong participation from the community. The need to address the overcrowding at Fairview-Clifton German Language School, the desire to save the CCAC, and the need to provide reliable access to excellent education have inspired our community to work together toward the best outcome possible. Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We want to be partners with you and bring our passion, creativity, and all our other resources together to create outstanding educational opportunities for all children in Clifton and beyond.
As previously expressed in motions of our Board and communications from our Trustees, we want to collaborate with CPS to develop a process that includes our participation and involvement in the proposals for Clifton. Please let us work with you to develop this process.
President, Clifton Town Meeting
*** Click Evaluation of April 2016 CPS Survey by Research Professionals to read the analysis referenced in the letter. ***
The Uptown Consortium has launched a buy local campaign to drive customers to local businesses. The YourUptown Campaign will spotlight businesses and events in Uptown through a new web site and bi-monthly email blasts. Buying local means your money goes directly into the community to support its growth and sustainability. It makes the community more vibrant and attractive to even more local businesses. Sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter for exclusive Uptown offers, events and hidden gems! YourUptown.com is the best resource for shopping local in the Uptown Cincinnati neighborhoods. Sign up here: http://youruptown.com/sign-up/. Support our Uptown businesses and have a great time doing it! It’s time to Sign “UP”!
Clifton Town Meeting Trustees unanimously passed the following resolution at the CTM meeting on Monday, April 4 after listening to substantial feedback from many Clifton residents and others who utilize the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
Resolution by Clifton Town Meeting to Preserve Clifton Cultural Arts Center and to Seek Guaranteed Access to Quality Public School Education
Whereas Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) finds Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) to be an essential asset to the schoolchildren and adult citizens of Clifton, Uptown and beyond, and
Whereas CTM finds access for Clifton schoolchildren to quality public school educational opportunities to be essential
Therefore, be it resolved:
That CTM respectfully requests Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) not terminate the 2005 lease agreement with CCAC which would result in the loss of this essential asset to Clifton, Fairview-Clifton German Language School, Uptown and the Cincinnati community-at-large, and
That CTM respectfully requests to be an active partner with CPS in assessing demand for various educational alternative among residents of Clifton and the entire 45220 zip code with the shared goal of achieving guaranteed access to high quality public school education, and
That CTM respectfully requests CPS to join with all community stakeholders including, but not limited to, CTM, Fairview-Clifton German Language School administrators, faculty and staff, LSDMC, CCAC, and CUF in an effort to build strong partnerships that lead to creative solutions to the current and future educational challenges of this community and beyond.
Ludlow 21 LLC has organized a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) through the Urban Land Institute (ULI). CTM along with other community stakeholders were invited to attend the meeting on March 16. Below is a summary of the invitation. Attached here is a presentation about the ULI TAP process made by Ludlow 21 at their most recent public forum event on February 23, 2016. On March 7, the CTM Board voted to send three Trustees to participate as invited: Malcolm Montgomery, Cindy Oakenfull, and Peter Block.
Dear Clifton Town Meeting,
Since last Spring, Ludlow 21 has been discussing the possibility of working with the Urban Land Institute’s local branch to conduct what they refer to as a “TAP” (Technical Assistance Panel) to assess the viability of development options at the Merchant’s Lot on Howell. We had the Urban Land Institute present at the Spring Ludlow 21 Public Meeting to introduce the concept. Most recently we announced the beginning of the TAP at a Ludlow 21 Public Meeting on February 23rd. I have attached that powerpoint for your reference.
For years there has been discussion about the possibility of developing the surface lot as it is far from the “highest and best use” in an urban environment. As early as 1994 an possibly before, the site was mentioned in the Ludlow Avenue 1994 Plan which was endorsed by all the stakeholder groups at the time. The Plan at that time introduced a stepped back design of structured parking and a new library on the top floor. The discussions have yet to produce results and in some cases, more actionable development plans have been presented and not been well received by some in the community. It is with this history in mind that Ludlow 21 saw an opportunity to engage the Urban Land Institute’s technical expertise.
As a group, Ludlow 21 feels that the development of this under-utilized piece of land is critical to the long term viability of our businesses and the district as a whole. It represents an opportunity to change the dynamic by: 1) adding parking ; 2) adding density in the form of more shoppers ; and 3) potentially adding a new product that Clifton currently lacks whether that be apartments, condos, or office space. A common thread amongst successful urban business districts has been and continues to be density. As a community and as a business district, we have a tremendous amount to offer but we need to constantly reassess and improve or risk stagnating and falling behind.
The benefit we see in this exercise is the ability to bridge the gap between community desires and market realities in the hopes of finding common ground. The nature of the TAP is to engage professionals on a volunteer basis to assess the land use issue (in this case a potential development site) and provide market insight into what is and is not viable or under what conditions it might become viable. The TAP will bring professionals in construction, development, retail, housing, financing, and public policy to the table with the goal of providing the community with an analysis of the site’s possibilities.
As a group, Ludlow 21 acknowledges the important role the Merchant Lot plays in the parking needs of the business district and so we want to be clear that any future development of that lot must include a public parking component comparable to, if not greater than, the current number of available parking spaces. Furthermore, the income from the parking lot provides its owner, the Clifton Business & Professional Association, with a very valuable revenue stream which it uses to fund important efforts such as additional police patrols, sidewalk cleaning, etc. Any plan should account for the desire to maintain these resources or somehow account for that function.
Fundamentally, the goal of this effort is to provide the community with an assessment of the site without the pressure of having to respond to an actual actionable development proposal where the community is simply being asked to support a fully developed plan. Ideally, the TAP report will give the community and its varied stakeholders a guiding hand in assessing any future development proposal. That feedback from the stakeholders would then be grounded in market realities AS WELL AS community desires thereby providing for the positive and effective exchange of ideas and solutions.
We have scheduled the TAP to take place at the Clifton Library on Wednesday March 16th from 11:30am – 6 pm
. As an important stakeholder in the community, we would like to invite 2 or 3 people from Clifton Town Meeting to sit in on the meeting so that the Panel can make use of your knowledge of the community and take into account your perspective when developing their plan. The meeting will involve introductions and preliminary sharing of information, a site visit, a working session and then a “debriefing” at Arlin’s afterwards. Afterwards, the Panel will compile findings and draft a report within 6-12 weeks which will be shared with all the stakeholders and presented publicly shortly after issuance. If you could let us know who you can have attend, that would be wonderful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.