Two people that most readers have never heard of before were the deciding factor last week about who became the latest member of Cincinnati City Council, in a process that's left a bad taste in the mouth of many voters. The pair in question was Miles Lindahl and Dawn Jackson — Councilwoman Laketa Cole's chief of staff and council aide, respectively — and when Wendell Young agreed to keep them on, Cole selected him as her replacement.
For the last few weeks, prominent leaders in the local Democratic Party have been privately talking about a dispute between Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and first-time council candidate Tony Fischer that could have serious consequences for Fischer's campaign. Well-connected sources at City Hall and within the Democratic Party say Mallory and Fischer recently had a stern confrontation during a meeting of the party's slate of candidates for City Council. Mallory told Fischer (a one-time political protege of sorts) not to mention Mallory's name or use the mayor's image on Fischer's Web site or in any campaign literature.
Some Cincinnati officials are saying a controversial move last year to yank a longtime contract from a private company is now hampering the effectiveness of the city's network of neighborhood councils. A perfect storm combination of leadership infighting, a struggling economy, City Council's decision to move control of funding in-house and the ensuing bumpy transition has caused concern for the future of the neighborhood groups.
Gov. Ted Strickland proposed an additional 50 percent cut in the state's Public Library Fund, the primary funding source for libraries. If approved by lawmakers, the local results would be catastrophic for Hamilton County.