A Message from Mayor Charlie Cleves

As promised, the number one project on our agenda every day is the FEMA hillside slippage retention wall project that impacts homes on or adjacent to Taylor, Bonnie Leslie, North and South Sherry streets. After many meetings involving up to four or five engineers, we have finally completed the Phase I submission to FEMA. This is a complex undertaking with many moving parts. This involved an analysis of costs related to the construction of the walls’ systems, design, grading, easements, staging areas, earth removal and management, coordination of effort with utilities and homeowners, and more. We have submitted the final figures ahead of the deadline of March 31 to the FEMA office. Now, the ball is in their court. (I’ve been watching too much March Madness. Go Cats!). We are concerned about our neighbors, their homes as well as our taxpayers’, too. There is a fine balance. We have to focus on the resources made available to the City by FEMA and work within the confines of the dollars made available for the project. We’re moving forward the best we can, but at least Phase I is submitted. Click Here to read more from Mayor Cleves about the FEMA Project.

 

Short Term Rentals
We are making progress on our short term rental regulations. The short term rentals involve companies like Airbnb, VRBO and others that involve owners of houses who rent them for short terms on the internet. We worry about traffic, noise, safety and disruption to neighbors. Short term rentals are the way of the world now as a result of the internet’s influence on society, so we have to deal with it. I appreciate the information and help I am receiving from Anna Stevens and others. While we only have eight places registered within our city, we found at least six more advertising on the internet as Airbnb’s in Bellevue. There currently are regulations in place, but they are not being followed. City Attorney Dave Fessler has researched the issue and is drafting a new ordinance. We want the regulations to be as simple and as effective that they can be. We want the owners and manager of the short term rentals to respect the community and not allow disruption. It is a violation of regulations to register as a rental apartment if you are a short term rental. I will let you know what the responsibility of the short term rental property owners will be as we move to get a new ordinance in place. Owners will have to register their business properly and follow all of the rules that pertain to this type of rental property. We will be monitoring sites like VRBO, Home Away, Flipkey, Airbnb and any others we can identify that advertise this activity. The ultimate goal is compliance, a clean and safe city, and respect for our neighbors.

Trees are a Community Asset

Bellevue is a proud city with trees. It has a history of nurturing trees. Did you know we have a Tree Commission? Did you know it was not engaged and active? Well, it is now. It’s just one of more than just a few City “efforts” that were not being addressed. There are other city agencies that are being fired up and activated. More to come on that later. Celebrate Arbor Day with the Bellevue Tree Commission. They’ll be announcing ways to get involved in building a better tree canopy in Bellevue and how that contributes to a better Bellevue today and for the future.

Tree of Success

We are trying to grow a Tree of Success in Bellevue based on honesty, effort, communication, team work, dedication, respect, accountability, transparency, trust, listening and engagement. These are the attributes identified in our visioning sessions early-on by our staff and Council members. We will grow this tree with thoughtfulness, carefully with energy and effort. Please help us along the way.

 

Be Part of Bellevue’s Sesquicentennial!
We just held the first public meeting for the 150th anniversary of Bellevue. It’s also called the Sesquicentennial Celebration, but Frank can’t pronounce it so we call it the 150th for him. Ryan Salzman can say it because he’s been through that celebration in his home state. He brags about being about to articulate the word. Maybe Ryan can give Frank some lessons. It was amazing how many people showed up for the meeting even though U.K. was playing that evening in the NCAA tournament. Poor planning on my part when I set a meeting date 15 days prior to game time. Shauna Kruse stepped forward to be the Council representative to the Committee for the event. Shauna, Marcy Ackerson, Julie Fischer and Casey Gilmore comprise the A Team that will plan and manage the celebration. The “event” will be a series of happenings over a few months. We have a lot of good ideas, but as you know making ideas become a reality poses challenges. Casey is an event planner at the Party Source. She is a former co-owner of Cincy Events Management. Julie and Marcie have been working on the project since last year. There will be a grand event dinner for the grand finale of our Sesquicentennial Celebration. Cathi Ege and Karen Brunner are excited to chair this event. The opening event is still one year away so there is plenty of time to volunteer and make this celebration memorable. Please email the Mayor Cleves at CCleves@bellevueky.org know if you want to get involved.

 

Bellevue Code Enforcement
We’re still working on obtaining the services of a full time code inspector. Frank Warnock has interviewed several good candidates. We want to be prudent and careful as this is an important role for the City. Our part-time temporary Code Enforcement Inspector, Jim Ediger, is doing a good job filling in while we look for a full time inspector. Jim has responded to and corrected numerous code issues in his short tenure. We must have a City that is clean and safe. If you have code violation concerns in your neighborhood please call us at 431-8888 or use the city’s feedback form.