Cincinnati parking lease heads back to court
A Hamilton County Judge will hear arguments Friday morning before deciding whether to issue a permanent injunction that would prevent Cincinnati from moving forward with a parking lease Council approved last week. Judge Robert Winkler issued a temporary restraining order just minutes after the council vote. A group of citizens filed the complaint because they want to give voters a chance to say yes or no on the parking lease. Their attorney argues the city charter gives them that right even if Council passes an emergency ordinance, which is designed to take effect immediately. The city argues that emergency provision would block a voter referendum. The judge could issue a ruling Friday, but more likely he'll provide a written opinion later. The losing side is then expected to appeal and the case could ultimately end up in front of the Ohio Supreme Court. The parking lease plan would provide the city with nearly $92 million by the end of June and a portion of that money would be used to balance the budget which must be in-place by July 1st. The remainder of the funds would be used to launch several economic development projects to grow the city's tax-base.