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).
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.
The CTM Arts and Culture Committee is presenting to the community the complete results of the recent Clifton Arts survey. We are excited to receive the community’s input and explore how we might better facilitate art in Clifton based on survey results and the limitations as a committee. Questions in the survey were derived from interviews with a variety of people in the community involved in local public art. The survey was distributed by CTM through their channels and had 146 responses. It is important to note the comments are included in their unaltered form. The comments are not necessarily representative of this committee or any other organization but rather the individual survey participants who wrote them.
As a side note, while the bar graphs are accurate, they can be misleading such as in Question 2. The percentages and vote count might be more representative of examining the data.
The committee is open to community input. Click here to send an email.
CTM Arts and Culture Committee
Peter Block – CTM Sponsor
Sean Mullaney – Committee Chair
John Osterman – Survey Moderator
Click here to read the 11 page survey results.
Click here to read the survey comments.
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.
Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at the following Clifton Business District businesses beginning April 17:
- Ace Hardware
- Adrian Durban Florist
- Gaslight Property Rental Office on Terrace Avenue
- Hansa Guild
- Ludlow Wines
- Lydia’s on Ludlow
- 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.
During CTM’s first Board meeting of the year on Jan 8, Trustees elected the following Officers for the 2018 term:
President – Christine Celsor
Vice President 1 – Pat Borders
Vice President 2 – Joyce Rich
Treasurer – Buddy Goose
Secretary – Kevin Marsh
** Vice President 1 & 2 designations are for order of succession only as per bylaws **
The Board then approved the following CTM Standing and Ad-Hoc Committee Chairpersons as well as Liaison to other organizations.
||Joyce Rich & Gina Marsh
|Website / Social Media
|Housing and Zoning
|Clifton Community LLC
||Christine Celsor & Buddy Goose
|Transportation & Public Safety
|Arts & Culture
|Ad Hoc Committees
|Support the CCAC
|Uptown / NOU
||Buddy Goose, Rama Kasturi
|Invest In Neighborhoods
|Clifton Community Fund
||Gina Marsh, Peter Block
|NSP Approval Committee
||Buddy Goose / Joyce Rich.
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
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.
Clifton Town Meeting Trustees
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
Find CTM in social media on Facebook and Twitter
We are seeking candidates to run for Trustee positions during the 12/4/2017 meeting of the Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) Board. If you think you might enjoy serving as a Trustee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20st.
CTM is Clifton’s neighborhood community council. As such, CTM seeks to understand the interests of Clifton residents and to represent those interests with the City of Cincinnati. In addition, CTM supports a wide range of events and projects that help make Clifton a great place to live, work and play. Examples include: Holidays on Ludlow, the Memorial Day Parade, CliftonFest, the Clifton House Tour, and the restoration of the Probasco Fountain.
As a Trustee, you will share your voice and skills regarding community events, beautification projects, and issues related to education, safety, transportation, business development, and housing and zoning. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations such as Uptown Consortium, CCAC, TriHealth, CPBA, Ludlow 21, and Clifton Community Fund.
- Serve a 3 year term
- Attend and participate in monthly CTM meetings
- Serve on at least one CTM committee
- Be informed about issues that affect Clifton
If you are interested in becoming a CTM Trustee, please email email@example.com no later than October 20st.
- Provide a telephone number if possible. We will email you more information, but would also like to call you to answer any questions you may have.
- You must have a current CTM Membership at the time of the election. Memberships are available to Clifton residents, Clifton property owners, and operators of businesses in Clifton. For more information about CTM Membership, see http://www.cliftoncommunity.org/products-page/membership/
- Before the election, you must submit a biographical summary of 200 words or less so that voters can learn about you. We will email you examples from past elections.
If you’d like to join our energetic, committed committed group of CTM Trustees, please contact us soon.
Notice of Public Meeting and Comment Period
New Location Sought for Cincinnati Burnet Woods Station Retail Services
What: The U.S. Postal Service will discuss plans for a new location for the USPS retail services currently provided at the Burnet Woods Station.
Who: USPS Real Estate Specialist David Wolff
When: Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. **** CTM lead community discussion immediately afterwards ****
Where: Clifton Area Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
The United States Postal Service is considering relocating the retail services from the current Burnet Woods Station, 3408 Ormond St., Cincinnati, OH 45220, to a yet-to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the existing site. If the Postal Service decides to proceed with the relocation, there will be no impact on mail deliveries to Postal customers. David Wolff, USPS Real Estate Specialist, will explain the proposal at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, during a public meeting at the Clifton Area Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220.
Community members may submit written comments regarding the proposal through Wednesday, July 20, 2017.
Please submit written comments to:
David Wolff, Real Estate Specialist
USPS Headquarters Facilities
P.O. Box 27498-1103
Greensboro, NC 27409
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
At the June 5, 2017 CTM Board meeting, Trustees considered the City Manager’s proposed City Budget item to increase parking meter rates from $0.50 per hour up to $1.00 per hour in Clifton. Most neighborhood business districts were proposed to increase only $0.25 per hour to $0.75 per hour in the City Manager’s proposed City Budget.
After review & discussion of the details, Trustees voted to support an increase in parking meter rates of only $0.25 per hour for a total rate of $0.75 per hour. A discussion of the details and the resolution that CTM passed is below.
Trustees were aware that the City Council Neighborhoods Committee reviewed this matter in detail on May 30, 2017. You can watch a video of this meeting by clicking here. You can read the presentation that was shared on May 30 by the Department of Community & Economic Development: Impacts of Parking-Related Items in City Manager’s Proposed Budget
Here are some key points that Trustees considered prior to voting:
- the Department of Community & Economic Development stated on May 30 that they have not obtained community or business district feedback on the parking meter rate changes;
- the Department of Community & Economic Development stated on May 30 an industry standard that for every 1% increase in parking rate there is a range of 0.1% to 0.4% potential demand decrease for parking;
- the noted industry standard would indicate a potential 20-80% decrease in parking demand in Clifton based on the proposed 200% increase in parking rates;
- the City’s paid contractor for the parking meter systems, Conduent, has recommended a $0.25 / hr increase to $0.75 / hr for parking meter rates in Clifton. This contract collects and analyzes parking meter system data in order to make recommendations;
- CTM made a request to Director of the city’s parking division, Dan Fortinberry, for the data related to the increases in Clifton. He advised the following, “I do not have the report in presentation form as of today. However, I can tell you that the Clifton area has a significantly higher paid utilization and occupancy rate than the other neighborhoods where metered spaces are located. I will get back to you when the information is ready to be released.”;
- Clifton has a very high paid utilization of metered parking and raising rates some will create more turnover in those spaces as opposed to people tying up those spaces for long periods of time;
- City Council will vote on a final budget during the month of June so any delay by CTM could result in having no input to the process on this topic;
- The Treasurer of the Clifton Business & Professional Association (CBPA) stated to CTM on June 5 that while the CBPA likes the rates where they are today, they would support a rate increase that is equally applied to all business districts.
Below is the resolution that CTM approved and will send to City Council, City Manager, and the Mayor of Cincinnati:
Resolution Supporting $0.25 per Hour Parking Meter Rate Increases in Clifton
Whereas the City Manager and the Mayor have proposed a budget for fiscal year 2018 and beyond that increases parking meter rates from $0.50 to $1.00 per hour in the Clifton Neighborhood;
Whereas the Department of Community & Economic Development has stated on May 30 that they have not obtained community or business district feedback on the parking meter rate changes;
Whereas the Department of Community & Economic Development has stated on May 30 an industry standard that for every 1% increase in parking rate there is a range of 0.1% to 0.4% potential demand decrease for parking;
Whereas the noted industry standard would indicate a potential 20-80% decrease in parking demand in Clifton based on the proposed 200% increase in parking rates;
Whereas the City’s paid contractor for the parking meter systems, Conduent, has recommended a $0.25 / hr increase to $0.75 / hr for parking meter rates in Clifton;
Clifton Town Meeting resolves that we support a $0.25 / hr increase in parking meters in the Clifton neighborhood as recommended by the City’s professional contractor, Conduent. CTM does not want a parking meter rate change to cause significant negative impact on our neighborhood especially not our business district. CTM believes further analysis of the impacts on Clifton would be required before increases above $0.25 / hr are implemented.
June 5, 2017
Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) is your neighborhood community council and serves all of the residents and businesses in the Clifton neighborhood. CTM hosts numerous events throughout the year with the hope of connecting businesses with their local customers, bringing together residents for family fun and celebration, and to provide opportunities to explore our neighborhood’s culture and history in new ways.
We are looking for community partners to help us to fulfill these goals. Financial partners are needed to assure that our community events are able to continue and to be successful. We would love to discuss ways to give our presenting sponsors access to our attendees in fun and engaging ways. We just can’t do it without Clifton community partners like you!
If you are interested in connecting with us and sponsoring one of our events or beautification efforts, we would love to talk more. For more information, please contact Brad Hawse by clicking here for email or call him at at 513-55one-3nine00.
Lantern Walk: November 11, 2017
Holiday’s on Ludlow: December 2, 2017
Flower Pots on Ludlow: Throughout Spring, Summer and Fall
Memorial Day Parade and Cookout: May 28, 2018
Presenting Level Sponsors will be included on all digital, social media and paper marketing materials, will be mentioned during any news or media coverage, and receive a Clifton Community Partner framed certificate to show your customers your support for our community.
Community Level Sponsors will receive recognition on digital marketing and social media materials and receive a Clifton Community Partner Certificate to show your customers your support for our community.
Memorial Day Parade and Cookout
Over 150 participants in the annual parade and cookout. This tradition celebrates the Memorial Day holiday with a parade, picnic in Mt. Storm Park with Hotdogs, Hamburgers and entertainment. It serves as a great Kick-off to summer in Clifton and a great sponsorship opportunity!
Presenting Level Sponsor: $500
Community Level Sponsor: $100
17th Annual – Clifton Lantern Walk
Inspired by the old German story that children carried lanterns on a very dark night as they searched for and found Saint Martin’s lost donkey, this great event partners with the Fairview German Language Elementary School.
Presenting Level Sponsor: $250
Community Level Sponsor: $100
Holidays on Ludlow
A yearly Tradition on Ludlow Avenue! Hundreds of residents and visitors from around Cincinnati come to Clifton to Kick-off the Holiday Season with Carriage Rides, Carolers and other Holiday Music, Hot Cocoa and Holiday Light Displays.
Presenting Level Sponsor: $1000
Community Level Sponsor: $100
Flower Pot Sponsor
These flower pots placed throughout Ludlow Avenue add to the vibrancy of our business district. They are watered each week and receive 3 plantings per year. Help us keep Ludlow Beautiful!
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