WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 09.18.2012
Posted In: Budget, News, Government, Spending at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hartmann to Mallory: Cooperate

Commissioner asks mayor to live up to county-city collaboration promises

In contrast to the partisan gridlock at the federal level, Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, sent a letter to Mayor Mark Mallory, a Democrat, today asking the mayor to commit to earlier promises to boost collaboration between Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. “I am writing to express my disappointment in the lack of progress of the City-County Shared Services Committee that we originally announced in October 2011,” Hartmann wrote. “Despite numerous attempts by my office and County Administration to make progress with the Committee, it appears you have abandoned your commitment to this important initiative.” The committee was meant to increase collaboration between the city and county to bring together important county and city leaders and make government services more streamlined and competitive. According the letter, the county expected to “eliminate any duplicative services, overlapping departmental functions and competing initiatives with the City.” With the county and city both facing budget shortfalls in the face of the Great Recession, Hartmann says the increased collaboration would help ease tight budgets. The Hamilton County commissioners are currently going through meetings with department heads to see what can and needs to be cut from county services to make up for what is projected to be a $20 million budget shortfall. But the committee never came to be. Hartmann claims his office tried to contact Mallory again and again, but he never received a response. The county even set aside $100,000 for a promised joint review of city and county operations, and the Cincinnati Business Committee did as well. Mallory pledged to devote $100,000 to the effort in a letter to the Ohio Department of Development, but “the follow-up legislation by the City Council never occurred,” Hartmann wrote. The commissioner even specified some ideas to the City Manager’s Office in February. The three areas covered: improved collaboration on purchasing, countywide fire hydrant maintenance and improved collaboration on economic development. The ideas never made it past discussion.Jason Barron, spokesperson for Mallory, could not immediately comment on the letter. This story will be updated if a comment becomes available.The full letter, along with the attached letter from Mallory:Open publication - Free publishing - More cincinnati
 
 
by German Lopez 09.11.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, News, Economy, Education at 09:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
obama

Morning News and Stuff

President Barack Obama will visit Cincinnati Monday. No details were given for the event. Last time Obama was in Cincinnati, he held a town hall meeting to tout his support for small businesses and the LGBT community. Ohio is considered a vital swing state for the presidential election, and it’s widely considered a must-win for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. However, after the Democratic National Convention, aggregate polling at FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics hugely favors Obama, establishing many paths for the Democrat to clinch the presidency. Obama could lose Ohio, Virginia and Florida and still win the election, which shows how many options he has to victory.A new index lists Cincinnati’s economy as one of the strongest in the nation. The On Numbers Economic Index ranked Cincinnati No. 15 out of 102 metro areas with a score of 67.65. Oklahoma City was No. 1 with a score of 91.04. Cincinnati also touts a lower unemployment rate than the U.S. and state average. The area’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July in comparison to the state’s 7.4 percent unadjusted rate and the country’s 8.6 percent unadjusted rate.The 2013 Hamilton County budget process is “challenging,” says Commissioner Greg Hartmann. He says the county is dealing with a $200 million budget instead of the $300 million budget of six years ago, which is presenting new problems. Hamilton County Sheriff Si Leis said budget cuts could lead to up to 500 jail bed cuts. CityBeat previously covered the county commissioners’ inability to tackle challenging budget issues — sometimes at the cost of the taxpayer. State Auditor Dave Yost says his investigation into attendance fraud at Ohio schools could last well into the year. The investigation, which began after Lockland Schools in Hamilton County were found of attendance fraud, is slowed down by the state’s data-reporting system, according to Yost. Schools may falsely alter their attendance reports to improve grades in the state report card.Secretary of State Jon Husted has been sued again. This time he’s being sued by the Democratic Montgomery County election officials he fired. The officials tried to expand in-person early voting hours in Montgomery County to include weekend voting, but the move violated Husted’s call for uniform hours across the state.The Ohio EPA will host a workshop in Cincinnati on Sept. 25. The workshop will focus on the Ohio Clean Fund and other tools and incentives to help individuals and groups embrace clean energy.For the first time since December, Ohio's tax collections were lower than expected. The state was $43 million below estimates in August.Eighteen percent of Ohio mortgages are underwater, according to a new survey.A study found wind power could meet the world’s energy needs. Wind currently supplies 4.1 percent of the United States’ energy needs. Obama greatly boosted the production of wind energy with tax credits. Romney vowed to repeal the tax credits in a brief moment of substance.
 
 

Harris Drops Out of County Race

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A Democrat who was challenging Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann in this fall’s election has left the race due to work commitments.   
by Kevin Osborne 03.13.2012
 
 
greg harris

Harris Drops Out of Commission Race

Job will take him out of state often

A Democrat who was challenging Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann in this fall’s election has left the race due to work commitments.Greg Harris, a West Sider who is a former Cincinnati city councilman, said Monday night that a contract awarded to his educational consulting firm means he will be spending a large amount of time outside of the region. Harris’ firm, New Governance Group, recently was awarded a major contract with a nonprofit group in Delaware that seeks to improve public education in that state.“When I filed (to run for commissioner), I filed in all sincerity,” Harris said. “It was before I got this contract.”He added, “I feel bad. This was a race I really wanted to run in, but with all the traveling, I’m not equipped to give it the time it deserves.”Harris, 40, announced his candidacy in early December, when he filed paperwork to run against Hartmann, a Republican incumbent who is seeking his second term.The Hamilton County Democratic Party now will be able to select a replacement for Harris on the Nov. 6 ballot.Harris was appointed in January 2009 to Cincinnati City Council to fill the unexpired term of John Cranley, who was facing term limits. But Harris lost in an election that November, finishing 10th in balloting for the nine-member group, missing the final spot by about 3,400 votes. During his brief term, Harris angered the city’s police and firefighter unions by suggesting changes that he said would improve efficiency and reduce costs.Through his consulting firm, Harris had served as public policy advisor for Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation, a national education philanthropy that seeds educational practices and policy reforms.An Illinois native, Harris moved to the region in 1993 to attend graduate school at Miami University in Oxford. He stayed here after graduation and served from 2000-05 as executive director of Citizens for Civic Renewal, a nonprofit public advocacy group that promotes good government, volunteerism and civic involvement.Harris ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) twice, in 2002 and 2004. He also was prepared to challenge Hartmann for the Hamilton County Commission seat in 2008 until Democratic Party leaders cut a deal with the GOP and asked Harris to step aside and let Hartmann run unopposed. A reluctant Harris complied.
 
 
by Kevin Osborne 02.13.2012
 
 
osama1

Morning News and Stuff

The wife of an Israeli diplomat in India and her driver were injured Monday when the car they were traveling in was bombed, while another bomb was defused outside an Israeli embassy in Tblisi, Georgia. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran, which he called “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.”

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Drake Sale a Bad Deal for Taxpayers

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 7, 2011
If you’re like most people, you would jump at the chance to buy something that you wanted if it was offered at just one-third of its normal price. That’s exactly what happened last week when two of the three Hamilton County commissioners offered to sell the county-owned Drake Center to the University of Cincinnati at a rock-bottom price.   

Cutting Tax Rollback Is Best Fix for Stadium Deficit

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 22, 2011
This isn’t something I say or write often, so please pay attention: Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann is right. Hartmann, a Republican who currently is president of the county commission, wants to temporarily keep the existing reduction in the amount of a property tax rollback to avoid deficits in the county’s stadium account.  

Greg Hartmann and Lou Blessing

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 26, 2011
When developers of the under-construction Cincinnati casino came to the Oct. 24 meeting of the Hamilton County Commission to give an update on the project, Commission President Greg Hartmann was nowhere in sight. That’s because Hartmann flew to his native Texas so he could attend two World Series games with his dad. That might not be so bad if it was a rare occurrence, but it’s not. An Enquirer analysis showed that Hartmann has missed seven of the group’s 67 meetings this year, or 10.7 percent.  

Mount Airy and FOP

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 19, 2011
One of Cincinnati’s unique treasures is celebrating a major anniversary this year. Mount Airy Forest, the 1,471-acre park and nature preserve on the city’s northwest edge, was established 100 years ago. The Park Board commemorated the event earlier this month with a day-long event that included songs, storytelling and historical reenactments.  

The Uninsured Take Another Hit

County officials reduce health-care levy

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Hamilton County voters will decide if $6.5 million in funding should be cut from University Hospital after county officials recently decided to put a revamped property tax levy on the fall ballot. Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, introduced the proposal earlier this month to reduce the Health and Hospitalization levy, commonly known as the Indigent Care levy.  

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