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Posted on: April 15, 2020

Update from Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha R. Briley - April 15, 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought out all kinds of unscrupulous characters trying to scam people out of their stimulus checks. Medicare urges you to stay alert for fraud during the coronavirus national emergency because scammers like to take advantage of people when they’re distracted. Remember that Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance. You can’t be enrolled over the phone unless you called Medicare first. And never, ever give out your Medicare number. Report anything suspicious to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. And learn how to spot fraud.

As I am sure you are aware, this public health crisis will undoubtedly lead to an economic crisis that will significantly impact every level of government, business, organization, and individual in the country. We don’t know yet what that impact will be, but we are already starting to brace for it. The City has instituted a wage freeze, a hiring freeze for most positions, and spending limitations. We also made the difficult decision to lay off 114 seasonal and part-time City team members. The vast majority of those impacted by this decision were working in our recreation programs where, unfortunately, social distancing requirements have eliminated all programming and associated revenue.  The Community Center is closed and it is unlikely those programs will be reinstituted in the next few months. Many of these valued employees have served this City with pride for decades and this was not their fault. We truly hope to be able to welcome them back one day soon.

Most of our revenue sources will be impacted. Income and property tax are our largest source of revenue and there will likely be decreases in both of these areas. We anticipate reductions in other areas, including fees and charges for services, permits and parking collection. I believe we will begin to feel the impact in the 3rd quarter and well into 2021.

Please know, the City continues to perform all essential functions, including our first responders and public works. Working closely with City Council, we will continue to evaluate the fiscal impact of COVID-19 and take appropriate measures to continue providing the best service to our residents and businesses within our budget.

#ClevelandHeightsAllTogether

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