Cincinnati parking lease clears another hurdle

Mar 4, 2013

Cincinnati Council will be meeting Tuesday evening to likely give a second reading to the legislation needed to let the city lease most of its parking facilities to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority. 

Council rules say ordinances must be fully and distinctly read by title on three different days unless three-fourths of the members suspend the rule.  It takes seven votes to do that and it nearly always happens.  But not with the controversial parking issue. 

The Council is likely to vote on the issue Wednesday afternoon during its regular meeting. 

The Budget and Finance Committee barely approved the issue Monday with four Council Members voting yes, three voting no and one abstaining. 

Voting Yes:  Simpson, Thomas, Qualls and Young. 

Voting No:  Seelbach, Smitherman and Winburn. 

Laure Quinlivan abstained because she says she wants more information on the city administration's long-term plan to deal with future budget deficits. 

Council Member Sittenfeld wasn't at yesterday's meeting. 

The committee session lasted more than four hours, most of that was for questions. 

The city manager would use money from the parking lease to stabilize the general fund through 2015.  There would still be deficits in those years even with the additional money.  The red ink gets worse after 2015. 

Parking money would also go for economic development projects designed to grow the city's tax base. 

The manager's "Plan B" calls for laying off 344 city workers. 

Other Council Members have also introduced budget balancing proposals.  But it appears none of them have the five votes needed to pass.