POLICE AUDIT: In what might be one of the most overdue actions at City Hall in many years, a Massachusetts-based consulting firm will conduct a comprehensive audit of the Police Department. City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. hired Strategic Policy Partnership to perform the audit over the next three months, at a cost of $61,000, at the urging of newly hired Police Chief James Craig. The firm will examine the department’s organizational structure and its various specialized units. The insular Police Department had resisted scrutiny under previous chiefs, making it difficult to determine whether it was spending its sizable budget wisely and where improvements could be made. This is a prudent move on Dohoney’s part, and could provide useful information for making budget decisions.
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP: Officials representing the area that’s the heart of knee-jerk conservatism in the region are asking the federal government for money.
Township trustees announced they will apply for a federal transportation grant to complete work on an unfinished parking garage located next to Anderson Center on Five Mile Road. The grant, allocated for congestion mitigation and air quality, is administered by the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments. Work on the project stopped about two years ago after foreclosure proceedings were initiated against the developer. Township Trustee Russ Jackson, who supports seeking the grant, is affiliated with the Tea Party. I guess this is a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”
DON MEE CHOI: A graduate of the Cincinnati-based Union Institute & University is one of the recent winners of the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award. Don Mee Choi, a 2003 graduate of the university’s Ph.D. program, won the award for poetry for her first collection, The Morning News is Exciting, which was published last year. Choi now lives in Seattle. Past winners include such now lauded authors as Jonathan Franzen and Terrance Hayes. Candidates for the awards are proposed by about 100 anonymous nominators from across the nation whose experience and vocations give them knowledge about writers in the early phase of their careers. The 10 winners are chosen by a small selection committee of recognized writers and editors.
JEAN SCHMIDT: Everyone’s favorite mean-spirited, know-nothing congresswoman is in trouble again. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an ethics complaint last week against U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township). CREW alleges Schmidt lied in an effort to thwart investigations by the House Ethics Committee into her failure to pay almost $500,000 in legal bills. CREW also asked the FBI to investigate. Earlier this year, the committee cleared Schmidt of violating House rules after she failed to report free legal services she received. Schmidt claimed her lawyers never discussed fees with her and she hadn’t paid the bills because she never received any. But one of her lawyers has since disputed Schmidt’s account. What a crock of Schmidt.