We learned something about Cincinnati City Council this week.
The mayor is not the absolute monarch inside city council chambers.
Except, that is, when he is.
Since December 2001, Cincinnati has had a directly-elected mayor who is not a voting member of council but chairs the meetings and controls the agenda. If a council member tries to raise an issue on the floor of council that the mayor doesn’t want to deal with, he or she can simply rule the council member out of order, proclaiming that it was a subject not on the council agenda and that was that.
City Manager Milton Dohoney signed the parking lease agreement Tuesday afternoon that will bring a $92 million up-front payment to city coffers, but council may still make some changes to the agreement.
Tuesday, two Cincinnati council members - Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Yvette Simpson - were circulating motions asking the city administration to come up with a new plan for use of the $92 million in up-front money from the parking lease agreement.
The Ohio First District Court of Appeals has refused to issue a stay in its decision on the Cincinnati parking lease case, possibly clearing the way for the city administration to move forward with the controversial plan.
But Curt Hartman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs who brought the original lawsuit against the parking lease ordinance passed by council in March, says they will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case "as soon as possible."