KEVIN FLYNN: We hardily endorse the latest idea from Flynn, the Mount Airy attorney and Charterite who’s making his second run for Cincinnati City Council. Like a few other politicos before him, Flynn proposes that council incumbents forego their usual two-month summer recess and stay in session, working on a plan to avoid the city’s estimated $33 million deficit next year. Last year, even though council knew it faced another deficit, the group took its summer break and let the problem fester until winter, then scrambled to devise a workable budget at the last minute — causing considerable headaches. Some incumbents don’t like the idea. They say it’s because council’s makeup could change after the November election, making the work moot. That’s just so much poppycock and tommyrot. We suspect they really just want extra time to campaign. No matter: Council members make more than $60,000 annually. For that amount, citizens should get more work out of them.
ROBERT MECKLENBORG: The same Republican lawmaker who’s lobbied to impose restrictions on early voting and access to abortion apparently has few limits in his private life. It was revealed last week that the state representative from Green Township, who is married, was arrested in April for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
A sheriff’s deputy stopped him shortly before midnight in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and the lawmaker failed three field sobriety tests. Police records show Mecklenborg also had Viagra in his blood and was arrested with Tiona Roberts, who the Plunderbund website says works for the nearby Concepts Show Girls strip club. So, let’s get this straight: The GOP demanded Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) resign for texting nude photos of himself but has remained silent on Mecklenborg, who actually is charged with a crime. It’s time for him to step aside: We’re sure Green Township Trustee Tracy Winkler is chomping at the bit to replace him.
WENDELL YOUNG: The Democratic councilman is helping drag Cincinnati kicking and screaming into the early 20th century. Young introduced a long overdue proposal to change city law and allow people to hail taxicabs anywhere they’re seen driving downtown, and council approved the measure. Previously, cabs had to congregate at a few designated “taxi stands” and would-be passengers had to know where they could be found. That’s an impediment for tourists and others. Cincinnati’s taxicab laws are overly restrictive and out of date, preventing new taxi businesses from entering the market and discouraging patronage of downtown. More changes are needed, which Young has promised to pursue. A Buckeye Institute report concluded that loosening taxicab rules was one of the most effective methods for encouraging job creation and small business development. This is a no-brainer, and the Chamber and 3CDC should support the effort.
VALERIE LEMMIE: Cincinnati’s ex-city manager, who served here from 2002-05, recently was hired as district director for U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, the Republican who represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District. Lemmie, who was brought to the Queen City by then-Mayor Charlie Luken, was pleasant, erudite and stylish during her tenure here. But she also lacked a big-picture vision of how to move Cincinnati forward and was too deferential to Luken, afraid to present potentially unpopular options to City Council. Further, Lemmie traveled frequently and seemed more concerned about her own professional development than the city’s well-being. By comparison, current City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. typically eschews media attention but is a competent, behind-the-scenes leader who regularly lays out multiple options for council, including ones it often doesn’t want to hear. Lemmie’s career trajectory seems to have gotten off track, making us wonder about her once-bright future.