Christopher Smitherman

Cincinnati Council Member Christopher Smitherman is no longer asking that a section of the protected bike lane on Central Parkway be removed.  Instead he's asking city officials to come up with a solution to make the lanes safer between the 1600 and 2100 blocks.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday about the possibility of a divisive Republican primary for Hamilton County commissioner, with two Cincinnati council members, Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman, looking like they will get into the race. 

Politics is a funny business.

Two people can be pals and political allies, and then, after the next sunrise, became political rivals, eyeing each other warily and ready to slug it out before the voters if necessary.

It happened this past week.

The allies-turned-combatants: Two Cincinnati city council members, Republican Charlie Winburn and independent Christopher Smitherman, both of whom pulled petitions Tuesday to run in the March 15 GOP primary for Hamilton County Commissioner.

A Cincinnati charter amendment to remove obsolete and ambiguous language from the city's 88-year-old city charter will be on the November ballot.

Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously today for the changes recommended by a 24-member Charter Review Task Force. Council needed to act at today's meeting so the Hamilton County Board of Elections can certify it to the ballot at its meeting Monday.

Sarah Ramsey

Some Cincinnati residents are asking Mayor John Cranley to replace the chairman of Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.  

About a dozen people testified Wednesday during the public comment portion of the weekly council meeting.  They are upset with comments Christopher Smitherman apparently made about the black community and it leaders protecting criminals.  

Resident Shirley Felton said it is wrong.

  The mayor of a city can be considered its chief executive officer. But the power that office holds is determined by a city’s rules or charter, which defines what a mayor can, and cannot, do. Cincinnati adopted a “strong mayor” system of government 15 years ago. Now Cincinnati Councilman Christopher Smitherman is exploring another change, to what some call an “executive mayor” system.

photo by Michael Keating

This week Howard Wilkinson talks about Council member Christopher Smitherman stepping down as NAACP President, and why Senator Mitch McConnell needs Rand Paul.

CORRECTION: Howard inadvertently said that Smitherman did not step down as NAACP president in the 2011 council election. He did step down.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati council member Christopher Smitherman will step down as president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP while he is running for re-election to council.

A number of members of the local chapter have urged Smitherman to leave the NAACP presidency while running for office. In a statement released Friday, Smitherman said he was doing so under a policy adopted by the NAACP's national board of directors in 1968.

Cincinnati city council member Christopher Smitherman was re-elected to a fourth two-year term Tuesday as president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP, fighting off a challenge from a long-time union leader, Bob Richardson.

At Richardson's request, Tuesday's election was supervised by officials of the NAACP's national office, who would not release the final results of the election, except to say that about 1,100 members voted Tuesday at the NAACP's Bond Hill office.

Smitherman's entire executive committee was re-elected as well.

The Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP will hold an election for president Tuesday, with incumbent Christopher Smitherman being challenged by a long-time board member and union activist who believes Smitherman has steered the organization from its core civil rights mission.
 

Bob Richardson, a former officer of Laborers Local 265 and former president of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, is taking on Smitherman, now a Cincinnati city councilman. Smitherman is seeking a fourth two-year term as head of the city’s oldest civil rights organization.