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AGENDAS & MINUTES / LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE / 2010:
 
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 Meetings Convened in September 2010:

September 20, 2010: Legislative Committee
AGENDA:

 
The Legislative Committee will meet on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:30 P.M. to continue discussion relative to proposed Ordinance No. 2010-30 which prohibits driving a vehicle while using a mobile communication device by an individual under the age of eighteen years of age, or by an individual without a valid driver's license.
 
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman
 
September 20, 2010: Legislative Committee
MINUTES:

 
The Legislative Committee met Monday, September 20, 2010, at 6:30 P.M. in the City Hall Conference room to further discuss proposed Ordinance 2010-30 regarding Cellular Telephone usage by drivers under the age of 18 while operating a motor vehicle in the City which Council tabled at the September 7th meeting.
 
In attendance were Committee members Councilman Frey, Councilman Schlessel and Councilman Ward. Others in attendance included Councilman Fisher, Councilman Gambatese, Councilman LoPresti, Councilman Marko, Law Director Paul Murphy, Police Chief Rick Porrello and Mayor Cicero.
 
Mr. Murphy had provided the Committee and Council a volume of information with regard to hand-held cell phone usage, laws banning hand-held usage and texting or texting alone and opinions on the efficacy of those efforts. He had also prepared a draft "Amended 2010-30" which included some of the concerns or issues voiced at the last Legislative Committee meeting; such as, making the law applicable to all drivers and not just younger drivers, for the Committee's consideration.
 
Chairman Ward presented information published by the Highway Loss Data Institute which states; "Month to month fluctuations in rates of collision claims in jurisdictions with bans did not change from before to after the laws were enacted. Nor did the patterns change in comparison with trends in jurisdictions that did not have such laws." This paper dealt with the topic of cellphone usage bans only, not texting bans for which a different outcome might be experienced. Our review of data from states where bans have been instituted provides no empirical proof that these bans are indeed effective. It was pointed out that many jurisdictions have enacted laws banning cellphone usage for younger drivers and schoolbus drivers only. Councilman Schlessel commented that, should Council enact the law as originally presented, parents could utilize it as a teaching opportunity on the topic of driving and cellphone usage with their children.
 
Mayor Cicero commented that the State has had "conversations" regarding banning cellphone use while driving in conjunction with its deliberations on the texting ban legislation currently being considered. It was suggested a letter be sent to our State Legislators in this regard to ascertain the direction their legislation is headed and any statistics they are utilizing in their review.
 
It was moved and seconded that a recommendation be made to Council that Ordinance 2010-30 be maintained on table, that a letter be sent to our State Representative and that, once a response is received, the Committee meet again to analyze that response in determining a final recommendation to Council with regard to the disposition of our Legislation.
 
The measure passed with Mr. Frey and Mr. Ward voting yes and Mr. Schlessel voting no.
 
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:12 PM
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman

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September 7, 2010: Legislative Committee
AGENDA:

 
The Legislative Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:15 P.M. to discuss proposed Ordinance No. 2010-30 which prohibits driving a vehicle while using a mobile communication device by an individual under the age of eighteen years of age, or by an individual without a valid driver's license.
 
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman
 
September 7, 2010: Legislative Committee
MINUTES:

 
The Legislative Committee met Tuesday, September 7, 2010, at 7:15 P.M. in the City Hall Conference room to discuss Ordinance 2010-30 regarding Cellular Telephone usage by drivers under the age of 18 while operating a motor vehicle in the City.
 
In attendance were Committee members Councilman Frey, Councilman Schlessel and Councilman Ward. Others in attendance included Councilman Fisher, Councilman Gambatese, Councilman LoPresti, Councilman Marko, Law Director Paul Murphy and Police Chief Rick Porrello. Absent was Mayor Cicero.
 
Councilman Schlessel briefly outlined his purpose for introducing the Legislation, why the Legislation targeted younger teen drivers and some of the concerns that might be addressed with its passage.
 
Much discussion ensued and many comments were made about enforcement challenges that might arise if this became law. It was pointed out that this would be another "unique to Lyndhurst" law and that it would be far more logical for the State to finally step up and create a single standard for the use of cellular or other hand-held devices by drivers that would apply in all cities instead of the patchwork of regulations that currently apply. Currently Lyndhurst has a texting ban and South Euclid has an overall ban on cell use while driving. Mr. Murphy pointed out that the "uniqueness of laws" from City to City really is the essence of Home Rule and is how we can address the important concerns of our community quickly and effectively.
 
Chief Porrello was asked how many citations have been issued in response to the City's "no texting" Ordinance which was passed last year to which he replied, "none". Mr. Marko indicated he notices distracted drivers of all ages operating poorly not just younger drivers.
 
Chief Porrello referenced recommendations by the Governors' Highway Safety Association with regard to cell phone usage, one specifically stating:
 
"Ban all non-emergency cell phone usage for new drivers, as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing Law, as well as for School Bus Drivers. The GHSA does not support handheld cell phone bans as there is conflicting data on the issue."
 
Mr. Fisher stated he would like to see a law which would apply to drivers of all ages not just young teens and wondered if it should not be made a secondary instead of primary offense. Mr. Gambatese strongly suggested signage be installed at the City entrances regarding our Ordinance banning text messaging and, if any other rules are adopted those as well.
 
Councilman Frey made a Motion that the Committee recommend to Council the Ordinance be tabled to allow the Law Director time to research wording that would make the law applicable to all ages. The motion was seconded by Mr. Schlessel and was accepted unanimously by all committee members. Mr. Murphy will prepare a Draft in advance of the next Council Meeting and will attempt to gather statistics from states that have overall bans with regard to their efficacy and enforcement. The Committee will meet to discuss the draft wording and those findings prior to the next Council meeting on September 20th.
 
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 PM
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman

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 Meetings Convened in March 2010:

March 10, 2010: Legislative Committee
AGENDA:

 
The Legislative Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 7:30 P.M. to discuss commercial vehicle parking regulations.
 
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman
 
March 10, 2010: Legislative Committee
MINUTES:

 
The Legislative Committee met Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 7:30 PM. Present were committee members Frey, Schlessel and Ward. Also present were Council members Fisher and Gambatese, Law Director Paul Murphy, Building Commissioner Kunz, Board of Zoning Appeals Members Bader, Kolich and Warren. Council Member LoPresti attended remotely via telephone. The purpose of this meeting was to examine the City's Commercial Vehicle Parking regulations within the Residential District as outlined in Section 452.11 of the Codified Ordinances.
 
The Board of Zoning Appeals, through their past Chairman David Bader, had communicated to Council a desire to sit down and review the regulations due to the cases that had been coming before the Board as well as to establish a common understanding of how the existing regulations should be applied and whether or not said regulations should be changed.
 
Mr. Ward and Mr. Bader had copies of the current Lyndhurst Ordinance as well as copies of the regulations from all of the surrounding Communities - Beachwood, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid, Richmond Heights, Highland Heights, Mayfield Heights and Mayfield Village. The regulations are quite similar, some verbatim, to Lyndhurst's.
 
The participants discussed, candidly, our Ordinance; how it is enforced, the challenges of the economy and the changes in the dynamic of the working environments today versus 1964 when our Ordinance was drafted. It was noted that many vehicles used commercially today are the same as, if not smaller than, many of the vehicles our residents maintain for personal use. There was discussion as to how any broad relaxation of the current standard, no matter how it is applied, might negatively impact the character of our neighborhoods and the valuable input our BZA and neighborhoods have under the currently worded regulations.
 
Mr. Bader indicated that he had seen, in one or more of the comparable regulations, that some communities regulate the size of commercial vehicle (such as ton or smaller) that can be parked in the residential district - even if said vehicle is parked within a garage structure. He felt that, should any re-working of our Ordinance be considered, clearly defining the types, sizes and attachments allowable would be necessary. Mr. Bader will look through the various Ordinances again and contact some of the other Cities' Building Commissioners that he knows to see how others are applying the regulations that we have studied.
 
While the Committee members see little benefit, based upon this evening's discussion, to re-wording the current Ordinance Mr. Bader and Mr. Ward will exchange information about Mr. Bader's findings which Mr. Ward will bring back to the Committee if he and Mr. Bader feel further discussion would be warranted.
 
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
 
Patrick A. Ward,
Chairman

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