Fueled by the
wave of Democratic, pro-union voters energized by state Issue 2, a whopping four City Council incumbents were defeated in their bids to keep their seats. The biggest surprise losers were Leslie Ghiz and Chris Bortz, and it’s not just because the pool of voters
widened with more Democrats showing up this year. It’s clear that past
supporters of Ghiz and Bortz made a conscious decision to rebuff them this time.
Cincinnati voters can tell it’s an election year by the blatant demagoguery and pandering that’s going on. Instead of getting busy and crafting its own budget proposal to suggest specific cuts to avoid a $33 million deficit next year, Cincinnati City Council’s conservative majority is wasting time grandstanding about a relatively insignificant issue to garner headlines.
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.
Protesters showed up at John Boehner’s West Chester office today only to find a note on the door that read, “Sorry, slackers — out on the golf course. :)” Staffers refused to answer any questions about local job creation except to point out that Boehner at that moment was paying a caddie and several different people to bring him drinks.
It’s refreshing to hear Cincinnati City Councilpersons discuss forward-thinking concepts — remember when they figured out a way to get the garbage picked up for free so no one had to pay for it? Buncha geniuses.
Here are some important numbers that everyone who lives or works in Cincinnati should remember: 69, 84 and five. The first number, 69, represents 69 percent. That’s how much of the city’s General Fund budget is allocated to the Police and Fire departments. A mere 31 percent — less than one-third of the total — is allocated for non-public safety purposes.
For at least the fourth year in a row, the possibility of closing many of the city-owned swimming pools for all or part of the summer has been averted. To help avoid a deficit, City Council approved a budget in January that would’ve left 19 pools closed this summer. In April, a jump in tax collections prompted council to allocate $600,000 to open the pools if matching private funds could be raised.
People who closely follow the budget troubles plaguing City Hall for the past couple of years know that Cincinnati City Council had to make numerous cuts to services last winter to avoid a $54.7 million deficit. Those cuts originally included eliminating residential yard waste collection, ending funding for nurses in public schools and keeping most of the city-owned swimming pools closed this summer.
It’s typically not a big deal to hop on a city bus in the morning, ask the bus driver if it’s going in the direction you think you left your car the night before and then enjoy the air-conditioned ride back to wherever you got wasted (Metro bus driver: “I ain’t mad at ya.”). Such understanding is apparently not always to be expected by professional drivers in Austin, Tex., one of whom recently determined on his own that two women shouldn’t be escorted in the direction of a Planned Parenthood clinic for fear that they might get abortions.
Most Americans don’t spend a lot of time thinking about places outside of our country, so it would be normal for many to respond to news of Copenhagen, Denmark’s ranking as the happiest city in the world with something along the lines of “Who cares? Fuck Denmark.”