City Council on Nov. 14 accepted City Manager Milton Dohoney’s resignation, setting the stage for the end of more than seven years of service that fostered Cincinnati’s nationally recognized economic turnaround, the $133 million streetcar project and the controversial parking plan.
The request comes just one day after Mayor-elect John Cranley announced Dohoney’s resignation. Cranley says he will appoint an interim city manager once Dohoney officially steps down on Dec. 1 and then begin a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.
For the year following his resignation, Dohoney will receive $255,000 in severance pay — the same as his current annual salary — and health benefits through the city.
The extra costs will go to an already-strained operating budget, which has been structurally imbalanced since 2001. Council members acknowledged they had to accept the resignation in the aftermath of the Nov. 5 election, but some said they were unhappy with the behind-the-scenes approach Cranley took to finalize Dohoney’s leave. Others praised Dohoney’s work for the city, which lasted through both the Great Recession and the beginnings of Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati’s economic revitalization.
Cranley and Dohoney differ on both the streetcar project and parking plan, which would have outsourced the city’s parking meters, lots and garages to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority and private operators. Cranley opposes and plans to do away with both policies, while Dohoney helped establish both.
If the streetcar goes the way of the parking plan, Cranley will effectively unravel two major milestones of Dohoney’s seven years of service.