1 Comment · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In the past few weeks, Cincinnati’s
political scene has been engulfed by debate over the budget, often
prompting testy exchanges between city officials.
by Andy Brownfield
Resolution promises no bus funds used on streetcar
In hopes of quashing rumors, City Council on Wednesday
passed a resolution promising not to use Metro bus money on the
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit authority had voted
Tuesday on an agreement with the city that contained a provision saying
money from the $42 million transit fund that pays for bus operation
can’t be used on the streetcar.
The agreement needs to be signed by the city as well in
order to release millions of dollars in federal grants to help fund the
streetcar. The city has pledged to match those grants with local funds.
SORTA wants to make sure the transit fund isn’t used for that purpose,
but the city wants to have the freedom to use that money on any
At least one council member questioned the necessity of passing the resolution.
Chris Seelbach said that nobody on council or in the city
administration had proposed or would propose using transit money on the
“I don’t understand why we would need a provision in any
contract that would make us not be able to, when nobody’s proposing that
we do it,” he said.
The resolution has no legal standing preventing council
from later coming back and using transit funds for the streetcar, but
Qualls said she hoped it put citizens’ minds at rest regarding their
Mayor Mark Mallory on Monday published an editorial in The
Enquirer promising that the transit money wouldn’t be used for the
He went further on Wednesday and said during council’s
meeting that he as mayor would never approve the use of transit money
for the operation of the streetcar.
Council also passed a one-month budget for SORTA, requiring that they come back next month to pass another one.
Councilman Chris Smitherman accused Mallory of trying to
flex political muscle in the budget to strong-arm SORTA into taking out
the provision disallowing the use of transit funds for the streetcar. He
questioned the timing of passing a SORTA budget the day after the
transit authority voted to prevent transit funds being used for the
Councilman Charlie Winburn — council's sole Republican — walked out of a Budget Committee meeting in advance of the vote.
However Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said it made sense to
pass the one-month budget because it forbid SORTA from using taxpayer
money to sue the city.
City Solicitor John Curp said it was SORTA’s position in
the lawsuit that it should be the one deciding how transit funds are
used, not the city.
by Kevin Osborne
Winburn, Murray will speak after Mallory's speech
In a replay of the Republican kerfuffle after President Obama’s State of the Nation address last year, there will be dueling GOP responses tonight to Mayor Mark Mallory’s State of the City address.The Hamilton County Republican Party sent a press release this afternoon announcing that Amy Murray, an ex-Cincinnati City Council member, would provide the GOP’s formal response to Mallory’s speech.A Democrat, Mallory will give his seventh State of the City address at 6:30 p.m. It will be presented in the Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, located at 650 Walnut St., downtown.After the press release about Murray’s response arrived at 2:55 p.m., however, current City Councilman Charlie Winburn sent a notice from his council office at 3:39 p.m. In the notice, Winburn announced he “will be available to give the Republican response” immediately after the mayor’s speech.Winburn’s release helpfully noted that he is “the only Republican on Cincinnati City Council,” in case anyone wasn’t sure.The concurrent responses are similar to what occurred after Obama’s speech in January 2011. At that time, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was selected to give the GOP’s official response to the address. But U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), then a rising star in the Tea Party movement, decided to give her own response.At the time, House Speaker John Boehner (R-West Chester) called the move "a little unusual." Bachmann’s performance was widely lambasted, as she didn’t look directly at the camera but off to the side, and appeared disconnected and halting during her remarks. Bachmann later sought the GOP’s presidential nomination but dropped out of the race early after several disappointing primary finishes.Murray is a former Procter & Gamble employee who now owns a consulting firm that tries to attract Japanese companies to Cincinnati. The party’s release stated she would give her response immediately following Mallory’s address in the Fifth Third Bank Theater’s lobby at the Aronoff Center.A Hyde Park resident, Murray ran unsuccessfully for Cincinnati City Council in 2009, finishing in 12th place out of 19 candidates. She then was appointed by party leaders in January 2011 to fill the remainder of Councilman Chris Monzel’s term, but lost election in her own right the following November. In that election, Murray again finished 12th, this time out of 22 candidates.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 2, 2011
No one has ever accused Citizens Opposed
to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) of being less than honorable
and forthright. (Wait, no, that’s backwards. It happens all the time,
sorry.) The group best known for arguing from the suburbs that the city
should stop spending money trying to fix its problems today was accused
by a pro-rail group of knowingly making false statements about streetcar
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 21, 2011
People who live on the
streets and have mental problems soon will get some much-needed help.
Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services recently received a
$300,000 grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati to fund a
three-year joint project with the Cincinnati Health Network.
2 Comments · Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Forget about those last-minute summertime picnics, Labor Day fireworks and Halloween hayrides. I wish November would hurry up and arrive. That’s because it’s still 76 days away from the elections for Cincinnati City Council and the level of grandstanding by incumbents already has reached irritating proportions.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
John Boehner today said the government needs to consider trillions of dollars worth of cuts before he will agree to raise the debt limit but no one could tell if he was serious because he was crying and smiling at the same time.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The former Procter & Gamble chairman and CEO, John Pepper, donated a “sizable gift” toward retiring $47 million in construction debt at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Business Courier reported.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Last week's extended soap opera at City Hall about how to fill a $54.7 million deficit in the budget ended anti-climatically, with differing City Council factions temporarily solving the dilemma by resorting to the same sort of tricks they did last year — instead of showing leadership or political courage, the mayor and nine elected council members decided to use $27 million in one-time sources of cash to patch over the immediate problem and approve studies into possible changes that could yield the rest of the savings.
1 Comment · Wednesday, November 24, 2010
People like Phil Burress must live in an alternate reality, full of strange fears and repressed desires, while ignoring the true dangers all around them like soaring unemployment, families that struggle to put food on the table and politicians beholden to corporate interests. Burress, who is president of the anti-gay, anti-pornography, anti-anything-different Citizens for Community Values (CCV), spent the election season trying to convince voters in Bowling Green, Ohio, to repeal the city's two human rights ordinances. His big fear? Men in dresses.