CTM appoints new trustee, elects officers, establishes committees and committee chairs

Clifton Town meeting trustees appointed Mindi Rich to fill a board vacancy during its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. Rich fills a seat that remained open after a community member elected in November 2023 resigned before his term began. The one-year appointment will end in December 2024.

Prior to being appointed, Rich shared the following candidate’s statement:

My family returned to Clifton in the summer of 2022. My husband, three daughters and I are thrilled to be back in this wonderful gem of a neighborhood! I have always enjoyed keeping busy by volunteering within the community in one way or another. For several years I assisted in coordinating the Clifton Child Study Group – something I am still very active in today. I have also assisted in organizing CliftonFest in past years – creating a space to raise funds for the Clifton Area Neighborhood School and The Amazing Race. In 2017, I worked with the City of Cincinnati and DOTE to have a crosswalk installed at the intersection of Glenmary and Brookline. In 2022, I once again reached out to the community to request its support in having a 3 Way Stop installed within that very same intersection. Thanks to the support of CTM and the Transportation/Public Safety Committee and to the efforts of DOTE – the 3 Way Stop has been installed – enabling pedestrians and motorists alike to have a safer experience while traveling through this intersection. Needless to say – I am a doer. I enjoy working with others and helping create a community and neighborhood that is welcoming, inclusive and safe for all. With all this said, I would truly appreciate the opportunity to serve as a Clifton Town Meeting Trustee.

New officers elected by CTM trustees

The CTM board selected the following trustees to serve on the executive committee:

  • Steve Goodin, President
  • Mindi Rich, Vice President 1
  • Nick Gregg, Vice President 2
  • Gerald Checco, Treasurer
  • Barry Gee, Secretary

Existing committees continue, new committees created, chairs selected

After hearing community feedback about the proposed elimination of CTM’s Housing and Zoning Committee as well as its Parks Committee, trustees sustained both.

The Housing and Zoning Committee will continue and those interested in volunteering on the committee should reach out to CTM by emailing the new committee chair, Rachel Wells, at rachel_wells@cliftoncommunity.org.

The Parks Committee will re-evaluate its status following additional outreach to further assess interest in committee participation or, in lieu of a CTM committee, the role of a CTM liaison to the Cincinnati Parks sanctioned Burnet Woods and Mt. Storm/Dunore Park parks advisory committees. If you have an opinion or wish to volunteer to serve on a CTM Parks Committee, email committee chair Rachel Wells at rachel_wells@cliftoncommunity.org.

The CTM Board of Trustees also created several new committees and selected chairs and co-chairs for each new and continuing committee. If you are interested in volunteering with any of the committees, please email contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org.

CommitteeChair
Public SafetyTim Noonan
Arts & CultureJoyce Rich
Caretaking & BeautificationJayme Ritter (Chair)
Nestor Melnyk, Gerald Checco, Jan Checco (Co-Chairs)
ChronicleJan Checco (Chair)
Leah Kottyan, Mindi Rich (Co-Chairs)
CommunicationFD Harper (Chair)
EventsBarry Gee (Chair)
Leah Kottyan, Jan Checco, Gerald Checco (Co-Chairs)
FinanceGerald Checco (Chair)
Tim Noonan (Co-Chair)
GovernanceNick Gregg
Housing & ZoningRachel Wells
Membership & NominatingTim Noonan
ParksRachel Wells
TransportationJustin Ogilby
Neighborhood Support ProgramGerald Checco
Welcome & ConnectMindi Rich (Chair)
Gerald Checco, FD Harper, Nestor Melnyk (Co-Chairs)
Clifton SoccerMindi Rich
Clifton BoundariesMary Pat Lienhart

New liaisons were also selected:

Organization or InitiativeLiaison
Uptown ConsortiumSteve Goodin
Invest in NeighborhoodsGerald Checco
Clifton Community FundGerald Checco
Clifton Business AssociationJan Checco and Genet Singh
Neighborhoods of UptownRachel Wells
Golf OutingJohn Whedon

A liaison role to TriHealth was eliminated.

CTM Board of Trustees will meet in a hybrid meeting on Monday, Sep 11, 2023 at 7 pm

The public is welcome to attend. Public input on CTM agenda items will be heard after Trustee discussion is complete.  Community members wishing to address the Board on an agenda item should sign up to speak at least 24 hours before start of the meeting by completing this Google form or with an email request directed to the president at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org. Individual input on agenda items will last no more than two minutes.

Community members may speak on non-agenda issues during the public questions and concerns period at the end of the meeting. Individuals with statements are asked to sign in before the start of the meeting. Such statements should last not more than two minutes and are invited during the public questions and concerns period. Email your request to speak (specify the topic), or to request an agenda item at the next meeting to contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org.

Agenda

Hybrid meeting

Join in-person: Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue  
Join Remotelyhttps://meet.google.com/tao-fyqq-sxn

StartTimeTopicTopic Lead
7:000WelcomePresident Gerald Checco
7:001Moment of silence in remembrance of 9-11 
7:012Roll Call/ Appr.  August meeting minutesSecretary Barry
7:0310Presentation Strategies to End HomelessnessKevin Finn, CEO SEH
7:132Treasurer ReportTreasurer Tim
7:1515Police ReportP.O. Shawn Dent
7:3010Fire House Report 
7:405CRC ReportCollin Fitzpatrick
7:4510Clifton LibraryJeanne Strauss de Groote
7:555Neighborhood School CANS Report – Back to School – Food Pantry updateJulia Bonfield
8:005Update Diggs Plaza ad hoc committeeGerald
    
8:0530Bylaws Report Motion 2Mary Pat & Nick
8:3510Description of Boundaries Motion 3Mary Pat
8:455Elections – ReportGerald
8:505Letter for approval: Request about recurring encampment at Burnet Woods follow up Motion 4President Gerald Checco
8:555Transportation Comm. Report & Motion 1Justin Ogilby
9:005Community Questions/ConcernsPresident
9:055Thanks- Giving 
9:10 Adjournment – Next meeting 10/2/23 at 6:30 PM – Candidates nightPresident

MOTIONS

#Sponsor 
1TransportationTo allow the Transportation Committee to apply on behalf of CTM for a study grant concerning Clifton Avenue, grantor being KCB
2BylawsTo put the changes of bylaws for a vote of the membership in November
3BylawsTo create a boundaries committee, including members of neighboring community councils to review, northeast and south boundaries of Clifton to reconcile description in bylaws and City recognized neighborhoods.
Letters
4PresidentEncampment in Burnet Woods – Follow up

CTM Board of Trustees will meet in a hybrid meeting on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023 at 7 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend. Public input on CTM agenda items will be heard after Trustee discussion is complete.  Community members wishing to address the Board on an agenda item should sign up to speak at least 24 hours before start of the meeting by completing this Google form or with an email request directed to the president at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org. Individual input on agenda items will last no more than two minutes.

Community members may speak on non-agenda issues during the public questions and concerns period at the end of the meeting. Individuals with statements are asked to sign in before the start of the meeting. Such statements should last not more than two minutes and are invited during the public questions and concerns period. Email your request to speak (specify the topic), or to request an agenda item at the next meeting to contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org.

Agenda

Join in-person: Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue  
Join Remotely: https://meet.google.com/tao-fyqq-sxn

Agenda

Join in-person: Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue

Join remotely: Via Google Meets

Start TimeTopicTopic Lead
7 p.m.WelcomePres. Checco
7:01Roll Call/Approval of Meeting MinutesSec. Gee
7:03Treasurer ReportTreas. Noonan
7:05Police ReportP.O. Shawn Dent
7:20Fire House Report
7:25Clifton Recreation Center ReportDirector Fitzpatrick
7:30Clifton Library ReportDirector Strauss de Groute
7:40Clifton Area Neighborhood School (CANS) ReportJulia Bonfield
7:45Strader Grant – Creation of Ad Hoc Committee (Motion 1)Pres. Checco
7:50Mural at pedestrian crossing Middleton/McAlpin Budget Request (Motion 2)Trustees Roller & Ogilby
7:55Letters for approval
– Request for Municipal Code Change (Motion 3)
– Request for elimination of car fee for police details (motion 4)
-Request to evaluate bus station on Clifton South on Ludlow (motion 5)
– Request about recurring encampment at Burnet Woods (motion 6)
Pres. Checco
8:05Nominating Committee UpdatesPres. Checco, Sec. Gee, Trustee Lienhart
8:10Bylaws review updateTrustees Lienhart & Gregg
8:20House Tour as an event to fund a neighborhood festival
8:25Discussion about “Candidates Night”Pres. Checco
8:30Committee ReportsVarious
8:50Liaison Roll CallVarious
8:55Community Questions & ConcernsPres. Checco
9:05Thanks Giving
9:10Adjournment – Next Meeting 9/11/2023Pres. Checco

Motions

# – SponsorMotion
1 – Pres. CheccoTo create an ad-hoc committee regarding safety improvements at Digg’s Plaza
2 – Trustees Roller & OgilbyTo approve a $400 donation for the creation of a mural on pedestrian crossing on Middleton, just north of McAlpin
3 – Pres. CheccoLetter – Change request to municipal code for panhandling near an entrance of a facility
4 – Pres. CheccoLetter – Eliminate car fees from police details cost
5 – Pres. CheccoLetter – Evaluate bus station on Clifton Ave south of Ludlow
6 – Pres. CheccoLetter – Safety in Burnet Woods

Chronicle highlights Clifton’s walkability

The Summer 2023 Clifton Chronicle highlights the neighborhood’s walkability.

The Summer 2023 edition of the Clifton Chronicle, the quarterly newsletter of Clifton Town Meeting, is dedicated to Clifton’s walkability and engaging environment. Of course, these traits are the result of much hard work by neighbors past and present to improve pedestrian safety and preserve Clifton’s historic features, greenspaces and small-business district.

Check out the latest Clifton Chronicle to find guided hikes through parks and by stunning neighborhood gardens as well as news on upcoming events and more.

Adolph Strauch: Great Garden Design in Clifton & Beyond

By Steve Schuckman

This article was first published in the Summer 2022 Clifton Chronicle.

Adloph Strauch and his family are buried at Spring Grove on an island in the lake near the entrance to the cemetery.

A chance meeting in London in 1851 began a relationship that shaped the way we experience parks and gardens in Cincinnati. Robert Bonner Bowler (owner of a Clifton estate that became Mt. Storm Park) was visiting the World Exposition at London’s Crystal Palace when he met Adolph Strauch, a Prussian gardener. During their garden tour conversation, Bowler invited Strauch to visit him in Cincinnatiif he was ever in America. Not long after, Strauch indeed did visit America. While waiting to change trains in Cincinnati for a cross-country trip, he recalled Bowler’s offer. He visited Bowler, who in turn invited him to stay to design the landscape of his estate. The master gardener decided that Cincinnati would be his new home, and the restas they sayis history.

Strauch (1822-1883) had studied in Vienna and worked at the Schonbrunn Palace gardens. The form and beauty he introduced at Bowler’s estate was noticed, and many wealthy Cincinnati residents contracted Strauch to redesign their own properties. It seemed everyone wanted a Strauch design, which eliminated fences and created flowing landscapes of lawns with stands of trees that framed views. He designed the grounds of Henry Probasco’s estate at Oakwood and George Schoenberger’s estate at Scarlet Oaks, among others. Though these landscapes are long gone, Probasco’s house remains on West Cliff Drive, and Schoenberger’s remains at Scarlet Oaks. 

Just three years after settling in Cincinnati in 1851, Strauch was hired to redesign and redefine the landscape in Spring Grove Cemetery, where he later became superintendent in 1859. His hand can be seen in the winding roads, lakes, the groupings of plantings, and his open lawn design, which became a model for other “garden” cemeteries that followed. He eliminated fencing and railings between plots to create a free-flowing design of space that he called a “landscape lawn plan,” introducing plants from around the world. He also designed other important cemeteries, including Forest Lawn in Buffalo and Oak Woods in Chicago. While still working at Spring Grove, Strauch became superintendent of parks (1871-1875) and designed Eden Park and Burnet Woods. 

Due in large part to Strauch’s work, Clifton became known as a garden spot of America, and our hilltop community took on the look of a single large park. An 1875 publication described Clifton as “…hill, dale, lawn, ravine, field and forest, interspersed with bright evergreens and shrubbery, blossom with shady nooks and sunny glades in which nestle the roomy, cool verandas and graveled walks of the fine homes of Clifton.” Strauch talked of his own designs as expressing “cheerfulness, luxuriance of growth, shade, solitude and repose amid scenery designed to imitate rural nature.” Other than the “Temple of Love” – an elegant domed landmark that covers the cistern over a reservoir that watered the gardens and greenhouses of the Bowler estate – little remains of Strauch’s landscape design there today. A recent effort to rejuvenate the park’s landscaping is inspired by the precepts of Strauch’s work.