Cincinnati City Council

The repercussions of the city of Cincinnati declaring itself a "sanctuary city" have spread like kudzu on a Georgia highway.

We've had Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, standing at the lectern in the White House briefing room specifically singling out Cincinnati as one of those cities that could lose federal funding because of its policy toward immigrants, without distinction between those here legally or illegally.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials hope to have a full-time housing court up and running by next fall. But, first, they must get the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio legislature to sign off on it.

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Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing and medical care. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Representatives of Metro and the city say they're still tweaking the Cincinnati Bell Connector system. A council committee today heard complaints that include the ticketing system, the real-time displays, stoplight timing, and frequency.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A majority of Cincinnati council members are supporting a motion aimed at eliminating institutional racism in city government. It calls for the city manager to hire an organization to identify inequitable policies and practices and develop new policies in their place.

Howard Wilkinson

Cincinnati Council member Kevin Flynn said Wednesday that he won't run for a second term on city council next year, but Thursday, he left the door open just a bit to a possible return in the future.

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Cincinnati Councilman Kevin Flynn will not seek re-election next year, but will serve the remainder of his term.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

  

Many Cincinnati residents never thought the day would come, some never wanted it to come. But after years of planning, construction, debates and political battles, the day is finally here. 

harry black
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati's mayor and seven of nine city council members expressed their support for City Manager Harry Black during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.  

A council rule prevented a vote on a motion affirming that support. To vote on the motion Wednesday required six votes in favor of immediate consideration. Only five members voted for that motion, so it did not pass.

harry black
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Update 4:05 p.m.:  Mayor John Cranley said City Manager Harry Black has his full support.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Cranley and Black said they have a great working relationship, and look forward to discussing their collective success and council concerns.

A $55,000 payment from the City of Cincinnati to a Metropolitan Sewer District subcontractor last year is causing turmoil at City Hall.

Michael Keating

Update 6/26/2016 4:21 p.m.: Council members Chris Seelbach, Yvette Simpson, and Wendell Young will hold a special council meeting on the sewer district issue Tuesday at 4 p.m..

Original Post 2:33 p.m.: Some very upset members of Cincinnati City Council are demanding answers to a question that arose from an audit of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) – the question of who in City Hall threatened MSD's law firm with termination unless it paid a former city council member $55,000 for consulting work.

Cincinnati officials are continuing work to update the economic incentives used to get companies to locate or expand in the city.  An outside consultant has spent nearly a year reviewing those policies and has provided city leaders with a more than 150 page report.

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.

Howard Wilkinson

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Tuesday morning he has a majority of city council willing to support his plan to substantially raise the city's minimum wage for full-time and part-time employees.

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Earlier this month, Cincinnati City Council voted 7-2 to pass an ordinance to improve enforcement of existing wage laws. Cincinnati is the first city in Ohio to pass a law to address wage theft, which refers to instances in which workers are not paid the legal or contractual wages promised by their employers.

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Last April, 42 people were arrested in a three-week blitz against prostitution along the McMicken Avenue corridor. Sex trafficking continues to be a problem in the city, with the West McMicken, Price Hill and Walnut Hills areas experiencing the most prostitution activity. 

Sarah Ramsey

Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost is launching a special audit of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County leaders have strong words about how Cincinnati runs the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).  Their remarks came after an Enquirer report alleging mismanagement and possible overspending. 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

  Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has reached the halfway point of his four-year term; and he says he most certainly plans to run for a second term in 2015.

The first two years have been a roller coaster ride for the 41-year-old mayor – a series of setbacks and victories, sometimes creating allies and often creating opponents with what his critics see as  bull-headed, my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing.

Sarah Ramsey

Mayor John Cranley, along with seven of nine Cincinnati council members, have told  Hamilton County commissioners they will talk about the future of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), but not under the assumption the county will take over control.

In a letter to commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune Wednesday, Cranley and the council members  rejected the argument that the two commissioners made in a letter to Cranley last month – that MSD, plagued with continuing rate increases and allegations of mismanagement – should hand over MSD operations to the county.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The director of Cincinnati's Parks says it needs $4 million annually to take care of deferred maintenance like trail work and repairs. Willie Carden says the city could reach $70 million  in deferred maintenance by 2025.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati’s Issue 22, the charter amendment that would institute a one mill park levy, has been the object of intense political warfare and heated rhetoric this fall.

The two city charter amendments that follow it on Tuesday’s ballot in Cincinnati – Issue 23 and Issue 24 - have produced nothing but silence.

WVXU

The Cincinnati Fire Department could learn this week if it will receive a federal grant to pay for a 40-member recruit class that starts in February. 

The city has been successful in getting these Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency (SAFER) grants.  SAFER grants come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but fire chief Richard Braun says it gets harder each time.

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati voters will consider two Charter amendments this fall.  

Council approved two issues Wednesday: moving the city's mayoral primary from September to May, and another moving the beginning of mayoral and council terms from December to January.  It also includes cleaning up some other Charter language.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council member Chris Seelbach says he won’t vote to override Mayor John Cranley’s veto of a proposed charter amendment that would allow city council to meet behind closed doors to discuss some issues.

Cincinnati residents will be asked to approve two Charter amendments this fall, and they could see two more before the deadline to make the ballot next week.  

City Council approved measures Monday for a permanent one mill property tax levy for city parks, and a second to let council hold executive sessions, or closed public meetings on six specific issues.  

Cincinnati voters may see a series of city charter amendments on the November ballot.  Or they might not.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

Cincinnati’s Law and Public Safety Committee has approved a new set of rules for the use of city swimming pools by children. Recreation officials say the rules will protect children without hindering their ability to learn to swim at an early age.

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A Cincinnati Council committee has approved a streetcar operating approach, but it's likely to fail when the full council votes this afternoon.  The committee approved a management option where a private contractor will manage the system using local transit union workers.  Council Member Chris Seelbach favors that approach even though he has limited information.

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