WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 12.19.2012
 
 
qualls

Morning News and Stuff

Qualls to push for federal gun regulations, UC to renovate Nippert, company rigs bid process

Metal detectors could come back to City Hall, but local legislators can’t do much more regarding local gun control. Still, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and other City Council members will begin pushing for more federal regulations on guns starting today. President Barack Obama is already beginning to drum up support for more regulations on guns, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. He also wants to close a loophole that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without background checks. At the state level, a new bill loosening gun regulations in Ohio is facing criticism. The bill will make it easier to store firearms in cars and allows them for the first time in parking garages under the Ohio Statehouse and a nearby office tower. Gov. John Kasich said he will sign the bill.The University of Cincinnati is launching a fundraising effort for the renovation of Nippert Stadium. The project could cost as much as $70 million. The university wants to offset as much of the cost as possible to build premium seating, with the possibility of 28 new luxury boxes and more than 1,400 premium seats being added. Goals could change based on demand and fundraising efforts.A Cincinnati-based company and its top executive have pleaded guilty to circumventing Ohio’s competitive bid process. The actions cost Ohio taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The company circumvented the competitive process by submitting multiple bids on road jobs under different names, creating the illusion of competition. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible candidate for the presidency in 2016, will headline a Hamilton County GOP event. He will be a featured speaker next month at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club's annual pancake breakfast.The Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy failed to follow its own compensation policies, resulting in improper over-payments of $2,325, according to Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost.Top state officials will begin pushing and outlining school safety efforts in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. State Impact Ohio has a fantastic infographic showing the growth of charter schools in Ohio. In the Cincinnati urban district, charter schools now host 6,642 students.A new state policy will automatically refund businesses when they’ve overpaid their taxes. The first round of the policy will refund businesses in Ohio $13 million.The animal takeover continues. Due to the effects of climate change, some animals are moving into cities. On the bright side, animals can be pretty cute. Here is a dog flipping over its food, and here are cats locked in deadly combat against a printer.
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 12.05.2012
 
 
quinlivan

Council Approves Resolution Asking for Fracking Control

Cincinnati asks state to overturn law preventing cities from regulating oil and gas drilling

Cincinnati City Council continued its effort to prevent a controversial method of drilling for oil and gas by passing a resolution on Wednesday asking the state to allow the city to make its own regulatory laws. The resolution expresses council’s dissatisfaction with the Ohio Legislature for granting “special privileges to the oil and natural gas industry” and asks it to repeal any laws that pre-empt local control over drilling. The resolution targets the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” which uses chemically-laced water to free up natural gas trapped in shale formations underneath Ohio. Fracking opponents worry that the chemicals used in the fluid — which companies aren’t required to disclose — can be toxic to people and animals. Prior to the council vote, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan held a news conference on the steps of City Hall. “I believe local officials should have a say on all matters related to potentially hazardous activities such as fracking,” Quinlivan said in an emailed statement. “I urge my colleagues to send a strong message to the Ohio Governor, the Ohio Legislature, and Cincinnati residents by passing this resolution.”  A 2004 state law puts regulation of oil and gas drilling under the state’s purview, preventing municipalities from regulating drilling on their land. Copies of the resolution will be sent to Gov. John Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly elected from the Cincinnati area. The resolution comes after Ohio recently lifted a moratorium on new injection wells, which shoot wastewater deep underground for storage.  There had been a temporary ban on new wells almost a year ago after seismologists said an injection was to blame for 11 earthquakes around the Youngstown area. City council in August passed an ordinance to band injection wells within city limits. Because the injection well ban doesn’t mention drilling, council hoped it wouldn’t clash with the state law preventing local regulation of oil and gas drilling.
 
 
by German Lopez 12.05.2012
Posted In: 2013 Election, News, Energy, Mayor, Budget, Fracking at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
qualls

Morning News and Stuff

Qualls to run for mayor, city budget proposal raises taxes, local fracking control demanded

It will soon be official. Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls will announce her mayoral campaign on Thursday at 10 a.m. Qualls has already announced her candidacy and platform on her website. Qualls will be joined by term-limited Mayor Mark Mallory, which could indicate support from the popular mayor. Right now, Qualls’ only known opponent is former Democratic city councilman John Cranley, who has spoken out against the streetcar project Qualls supports. As part of City Manager Milton Dohoney’s budget proposal, anyone who lives in Cincinnati but works elsewhere could lose a tax credit. The budget proposal also eliminates the property tax rollback and moves to privatize the city’s parking services, which Dohoney says is necessary if the city wants to avoid 344 layoffs. The mayor and City Council must approve Dohoney’s budget before it becomes law. City Council is set to vote on the budget on Dec. 14. Public hearings for the budget proposal will be held in City Hall Thursday at 6 p.m. and in the Corryville Recreation Center Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Vice Mayor Qualls and Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan are pushing a resolution that demands local control over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” activity. But the resolution will have no legal weight, so the state will retain full control over fracking operations even if the resolution is passed. Qualls and Quinlivan will also hold a press conference today at 1:15 p.m. at City Hall to discuss problems with fracking, which has come under fire by environmentalist groups due to concerns about air pollution and water contamination caused during the drilling-and-disposal process. Greater Cincinnati hospitals had mixed results in a new round of scores from Washington, D.C.-based Leapfrog Group. In an effort to comply with cost cutting, the Hamilton County recorder is eliminating Friday office hours. The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments is looking for feedback for the Tristate’s transportation and economic plans. This year’s drought is coming to an end in a lot of places, but not southwest Ohio. The Ohio Senate passed a concussion bill that forces student athletes to be taken off the field as soon as symptoms of a concussion are detected. As the state government pushes regulations or even an outright ban on Internet cafes, one state legislator is suggesting putting the issue on the ballot. State officials argue unregulated Internet cafes are “ripe for organized crime” and money laundering. An Ohio House committee is set to vote on the issue today. If passed, the bill will likely put Internet cafes that use sweepstakes machines out of business. Ohio Gov. John Kasich could be preparing for a 2016 campaign. Kasich was caught privately courting Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who spent millions on Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney’s failed campaigns for the presidency. The early meetup shows how valued super PAC funders are to modern political campaigns. State Democrats criticized the meeting, saying it was Kasich “actively positioning to be the next Ohio darling of the special interests.” Ohio Sen. Rob Portman had a bit of trouble giving a speech on the federal debt yesterday. Hecklers repeatedly interrupted Portman, a Republican, as he tried to speak. The final protesters were escorted out of the room as they chanted, “We’re going to grow, not slow, the economy.” Portman says his plan is to promote growth. But both Democrats and Republicans will raise taxes on the lower and middle classes, according to a calculator from The Washington Post. Tax hikes and spending cuts are typically bad ideas during a slow economy. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner is facing the wrath of his tea party comrades. The far right wing of the Republican Party is apparently furious Boehner purged rebellious conservative legislators out of House committees and proposed $800 billion in new revenue in his “fiscal cliff” plan to President Barack Obama.To help combat fatigue at space stations, NASA is changing a few light bulbs. Does this dog really love or really hate baths? You decide:
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 12.04.2012
 
 
qualls

Qualls to Announce 2013 Mayoral Run

Mayor Mallory to join Qualls in official campaign kickoff

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls will be formally announcing her run for the top spot in Cincinnati on Thursday. Qualls’ campaign site has been up for some time already, and the vice mayor’s team had a meeting with political writers and bloggers on Nov. 26. The vice mayor will be joined by current term-limited Mayor Mark Mallory, implying his support for her mayoral run. The event is taking place at 10 a.m. at Core Clay, Inc., a small women-owned business in Walnut Hills. Qualls, who is endorsed by both the Democratic Party and Charter Committee, previously served as mayor from 1993-1999 after serving in Cincinnati City Council from 1991-1993. She returned to council in 2007. Former city councilman John Cranley, also a Democrat, is also running for mayor. Cranley served on council between 2001 and 2007. His campaign will officially launch in January and former mayor Charlie Luken will serve as the honorary chair. Republican Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners President Greg Hartmann is also considering a run for mayor, but hasn’t made a formal announcement. Cincinnati has an open mayoral primary, which means that the top two vote-getters will run against each other in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
 
 
by Andy Brownfield 08.31.2012
 
 
city hall

City Council Cancels First Half of September Meetings

DNC causes first week's cancellations, Council to resume Sept. 19

After taking a two-month summer break — with a week for some committee hearings and a council meeting — Cincinnati City Council has canceled its meetings for the first half of September. The council meetings for Sept. 6 and 12 have been canceled, along with all committee meetings for the first week of September and the Job Growth Committee meeting for Sept. 10. Jason Barron, spokesman for Mayor Mark Mallory, said the council meetings were canceled due to the Democratic National Convention, which is occurring in the first week of September. Barron said many of the Democratic officials in the city are delegates to the convention. Asked why the City Council meeting was canceled for the second week of September, Barron said he didn’t know.Council did meet once in August, where they approved a ballot measure to lengthen council terms from two to four years, as well as a plan to undo the sale of the Blue Ash airport. All of the committee meetings for the week of the DNC were canceled as well. Strategic Growth Committee chairwoman Laure Quinlivan is not a delegate to the convention, but is attending, an aide said. Council members Roxanne Qualls and Cecil Thomas, who chair the Budget and Finance and Public Safety Committees respectively, did not respond to CityBeat’s requests for comment as of Friday afternoon. A special meeting of the Rules and Government Operations Committee is meeting on Sept. 10 — the first committee meeting after the summer break. An aide to committee chairman Wendell Young says the committee is meeting to receive a report from a task force charged with recommending ways to put grocery stores in so-called “food deserts” — neighborhoods where fresh food isn’t readily available. The Livable Communities Committee and Major Transportation & Infrastructure Sub-committee are meeting during the second week of September, but the first full council meeting isn’t until the 19th. Council still has a few big-ticket items it is expected to deal with this year, including proposed budget cuts from City Manager Milton Dohoney (expected to be laid out in November) and the approval of a new city plan, which shifts development emphasis from downtown and Over-the-Rhine to the city’s other 50 neighborhoods. More on that plan here. 
 
 

What's Next for the Charter Committee?

Cincinnati's de-facto third party fights to preserve a historical mission

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 1, 2012
It’s something purely Cincinnati with a long-standing place in local political history, and many Cincinnatians aren’t even aware of it.   

Four More Years

City Council to determine which proposal for four-year terms voters will see in November

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Cincinnati voters will decide in November whether their City Council members will serve four-year terms instead of the current two-year ones — councilors just haven’t decided which proposal to send to voters.   

Commissioners Hear Arguments for Fully Funding Social Services

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The message at a July 18 County Commission public hearing: Don’t reduce funding for mental health and senior services.  
by Andy Brownfield 07.18.2012
at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
qualls

Commissioners Asked to Fully Fund Senior Services

Lack of levy increase would reduce funding

The message at a Wednesday County Commission public hearing: Don’t reduce funding for mental health and senior services. The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners must determine the levy amounts by Aug. 8. Last week the county’s Tax Levy Review Committee determined that the levies that fund services such as Meals on Wheels, home care and counseling for 30,000 county residents should remain at their current rate — an effective cut to their funding. Property owners currently pay $77.70 in taxes from the levy on a $100,000 home. Maintaining the current levy would represent a reduction in funding because of declining property values. Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls urged commissioners to make sure senior services were fully funded. “When families have to make the choice between caregiving and work, that some families, without this levy fully funded, would have to choose not to work in order to provide care,” Qualls said. “That is a terrible choice to put families in the midst of.” Doris VanLouit, who has been a member of the Sycamore Senior Center for more than 10 years and volunteered at the front desk, told commissioners that many seniors depend on the services funded by the levy. “Sometimes the Meals on Wheels drivers are the only folks that these shut-ins see all week long,” VanLouit said. “And transportation to the center is so vital because I see them come in … on walkers and canes, and this is the only social atmosphere that they get all week.” The Tax Levy Review Committee recommended that the agencies receiving funding from the levies find areas to cut and operate more efficiently. In a letter to the Board of County Commissioners, the committee said it tried to balance the needs of the service recipients with the ability of taxpayers to take on additional burden. The Enquirer reported that committee member Dan Unger during a Monday board meeting said the committee was trying to protect “people who invest in housing and choose to live here.” Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Chairman Thomas Gableman said creating efficiencies might not be possible. Gableman said over the last 5 years there has been a 10 percent decrease in levy revenue, while there’s been a 16 percent increase in clients served over that same period. He said the board has implemented nearly $4 million in cuts over the last year. “We operate at 2.3 percent administrative cost. When the Tax Levy Review Committee talks about increase in efficiencies, we’ve gone through that exercise over and over again — there are no further cuts in administrative costs,” Gableman said. “When we start talking about cuts, it will be in services.” Pat Tribbe, Mental Health Board president and CEO, said it would only require an additional $6 per year in property taxes to keep the board’s funding level. The Board of County Commissioners plans to have two more public hearings on the levies before they vote — at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 1.  Ultimately it is up to Hamilton County voters in November to approve or strike down the levies.
 
 

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