A conservative organization is threatening more legal action to stop the city’s plans to lease its parking meters, lots and garages to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.
In a July 17 letter to the city solicitor, the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) claimed that the city manager made “significant and material” changes to the lease agreement after City Council approved the deal in March, which the letter states exceeds the city manager’s authority.
The letter notes that the city changed the original June 30 deadline for issuing bonds that will finance the deal to a less specific 90-day period that will kick in once the agreement is in full effect, in addition to adding sections that allow the Port to review and potentially terminate the lease within 75 days.
The changes were made after another legal challenge delayed the lease’s implementation.
The letter asks City Solicitor John Curp to review the allegations and sue the city. If he doesn’t, COAST would gain the legal standing necessary under Ohio law to sue the city by itself. “The law requires that before a lawyer can sue the city and ask taxpayers to pay his fees he must send a letter of this type,” Curp explained in an email.
Curp also wrote that the city will review the allegations and respond within a month.
“Today’s letter is an attempt to comply with part of the legal process that would allow the authors to claim attorneys fees from taxpayers,” he wrote. “The Law Department will review the issues raised, attempt to engage the authors constructively and respond appropriately.”