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News: What a Year

And Mark Mallory has only another 1,095 days to go

By Gregory Flannery · November 29th, 2006 · News
Jim Fugett

It's hard to believe it's only been a year. To tell the truth, it hasn't -- it's just been 363 days so far. But Friday will mark the first anniversary of Mark Mallory's term as mayor.

Few officeholders have arrived on the scene with expectations as high as those that awaited Mallory. You wouldn't know it now, but Cincinnati was in crisis Dec. 1, 2005. By the time the moribund Luken administration had come to an end, the city was widely seen as dying.

The number of homicides had soared. People who had the means left the city for the surrounding suburbs. Restaurants and clubs closed.

Then Mallory took the oath of office and began a vibrant year of change. It's hard to name his top 9 accomplishments. Damned hard. But he shouldn't have to do it on his own, not after all he's accomplished so far.

1. Mallory restores decorum to municipal government, riding in a motorcade with his family from City Hall to an inaugural celebration at Cincinnati Museum Center.

2. Mallory restores citizen access to municipal government, removing metal detectors from the lobby in City Hall.

3. Mallory shows support for the police department by having one of its officers accompany him wherever he goes, no matter the overtime cost, including a trip to Pittsburgh to watch a Cincinnati Bengals game. Mallory is the only Cincinnati official to attend, with or without bodyguards.

4. Mallory shows Cincinnati is both young and professional by creating the Mayor's Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet.

5. Mallory decides the city should listen to young people and creates the Youth Council, made up of young people.

6. Mallory builds regional cooperation by donning a helmet and safety gear and climbing the Purple People Bridge with the mayor of Newport. He is the only Cincinnati official to climb this or any other bridge in tandem with an equivalent official from a bordering state.

7. Mallory encourages alternative transportation by proclaiming Cincinnati Safe Boating Week.

8. Mallory overcomes outdated negative perceptions of Cincinnati by highlighting its population growth. Yes, that's right. Many had said Cincinnati was on the decline. Mallory told the world that, on the contrary, new evidence showed the city had grown by 27 residents in the past decade -- an influx of more than two dozen people.

9. Mallory got tough on crime, like a latter-day Gideon trumpeting his message on 20 billboards throughout the city. He didn't hold back, either. The billboards declare: "Mayor Mallory says, 'Stop the Violence!' " And that's the kind of mayor he's been so far. ©



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