Progressive Voices: As Mayor Mark Mallory and the new City Council are sworn in this week, the city says goodbye to two of its trusted progressive allies, David Crowley and Greg Harris. Crowley was term-limited from running for council again and took ill in his last term, so he deserves a break from public life. Harris, appointed to fill the rest of John Cranley’s council term, finished out of the top nine spots on Nov. 3. Let’s hope both stay involved in civic affairs in some way.
Conservative Policies: With the departure of Crowley and Harris and the return of hard right-winger Charlie Winburn, City Council’s conservative coalition now owns a 5-4 vote margin.
The city faces ongoing budget deficits and the city manager has recommended job cuts, including cuts in the police and fire departments, which the conservatives oppose. It’s now time for the new majority to step up and offer a more inspiring plan than their current “No.”
Roxanne Qualls: Was there any doubt that Mallory would choose Qualls as his vice mayor, now that David Crowley was term-limited out of office? Besides Qualls, council currently contains no one with the gravitas or experience to set aside their emotions and keep a calm head amid heated debates. Qualls, a Democrat who ran as a Charterite, served as mayor throughout most of the 1990s, when the position was mostly ceremonial. We suspect that once Mallory leaves office in four years Qualls will seek a return to the mayor’s office now that it wields some real power.
Football Fans: It’s safe to say local sports fans have never witnessed the glory of simultaneous football excellence from the Bengals and the UC Bearcats. The Bengals beat the Browns Nov. 27 to complete a sweep of all six division games, a first in franchise history. UC beat Illinois Nov. 25 to go 11-0, one win from a perfect regular season and an unprecedented second straight BCS bowl game (likely the Sugar Bowl against an SEC power). The only downer is that the Notre Dame head coaching job is now open and UC’s Brian Kelly is a leading candidate. It would be crushing to see him leave Clifton.