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Mr. Smitherman

By Stephanie Dunlap · September 8th, 2004 · All The News That Fits
Still Waiting: Councilman Christopher Smitherman's office says that the executive director of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Donald Troendle, has agreed to add Princess Gill's name to a waiting list for an incentive transfer. That means she'll be able to move out of the Millvale public housing development where she and her family have been harassed, ostracized, threatened and even shot at since her brother Quentin was killed in April (see ¨A Separate Justice?," issue of Aug. 25-31).

While they wait, members of the Gill family fend for themselves, according to the matriarch, Paulette Gill. For her daughter and Princess' sister, 14-year-old Jasmine, it's come to blows. But Jasmine manages to fend for herself.

¨They catch her outside, they 20 and 22 years old, but they can't do nothing with her," Paulette says. ¨I just don't allow my kids to fight. But when you catch them outside and they don't have a choice, then they got to."

Along with notification about her impending transfer, CMHA sent Princess a bill for $1,000, according to Paulette. The rent CMHA charges is based on income, but the housing authority failed to adjust Princess' rent after she went back to work following the birth of her second child seven months ago.

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Still agitating: Smitherman, he doesn't seem content to leave well enough alone -- that is, leave alone those well enough off to get deals on company stock as an employee perk.

He thinks they should be taxed on those exercised stock options just as Cincinnatians who live paycheck to paycheck, for whom ¨stock options" might as well be Klingon, are taxed. The IRS regards stock options as a form of employee compensation, and, what's more, Cincinnati is the only major city in Ohio to forego taxing exercised stock options, according to Smitherman.

He and Councilman Pat DeWine also proposed cutting the budget for each council member, the mayor's office and the city manager's office by 10 percent.

¨This type of fiscal leadership is necessary and we must shoulder some of the financial responsibility before requesting that any department cut its budget," their motion says.

The proposals come on the heels of the city's announcement that it hasn't collected nearly as much income tax as predicted, so it must reduce this year's spending by $7.8 million.

In a series of increasingly testy memos, City Manager Valerie Lemmie chastised Smitherman for publicly questioning her proposal to cut the fire department's budget.

Reducing her own department's budget by 10 percent would save nearly $176,000; add to that $44,500 from the mayor's office and $90,400 from city council, and the city's savings would equal nearly $311,000.

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Still accepting: Wednesday is the last day to nominate volunteers between the ages of 21 and 40 for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation's 2004 Jacob E. Davis Awards. The foundation is looking to reward young people who demonstrate outstanding service, generosity, focus, creativity and, best of all, ¨limited previous public recognition for volunteer service."

Award winners from each of six categories -- arts and culture, community progress, education, environment, health and human services -- will receive a $2,000 grant for the nonprofit organizations of their choice, as well as that overdue recognition.

Nominate your friend, your inspiration or yourself at www.greatercincinnatifdn.org before the chance slips past.

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Still matching: Speaking of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, tireless activist Gavin Leonard reports that it just awarded his Hip Hop Youth Arts Center a $30,000 matching grant. All he has to do now is finish raising a measly $30,000 for the foundation to match: www.natiyouthcenter.org.

All The News That Fits: Leads, entrails and tales we couldn't get to.


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