Cincinnati City Council

Provided, City of Cincinnati

A Cincinnati Council committee could vote Tuesday on a plan to get more community involvement with city issues.  The group will review a five-page motion that sets up the framework for more engagement.  

Council Member Kevin Flynn has been interested in the issue since being elected in 2013.

“One of the things that both the administration as well as myself and other council members, at least on the campaign trail, said is we need to do a better job of bringing the people of Cincinnati into the decision making process when we’re making decisions about our city,” Flynn said.

Council wants new parking app ASAP

Jan 26, 2015

Eight members of Cincinnati Council have signed a motion ordering the administration to implement the app that would let people pay parking meters via their smart phones. 

But, when that feature is activated and used, Parking Facilities superintendent Bob Schroer says the paid-for time won't show up on the meter.  “If we wanted to put the time back on the meter, it was going to kill the batteries, quicker,” he says.

A Cincinnati Council committee could vote in two weeks on a plan to punish people who do not control their dangerous or vicious dogs.

The debate centers on whether the plan includes criminal penalties in addition to fines.

Council Member Yvette Simpson and others said the target needs to be drug dealers who train dogs to be vicious to protect their operations.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann says talks with the city about shared services are going well and he's optimistic.

He says a public meeting is being scheduled between the board, the mayor and Cincinnati Council's Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation Committee "to discuss opportunities for sharing and collaborating on services where we can achieve cost savings and improve efficiencies."

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati’s “Holiday Food for Fines” program collected 3,580 canned foods for the Freestore Foodbank and resulted in $12,780 in parking fines collected.

The program gave people with outstanding parking tickets a chance to have the late fees waived in exchange for 10 donated canned goods.

According to City Manager Harry Black, 286 people took advantage of the city’s offer; and, in some cases, people donated more than the required 10 cans of food. The people who participated were required to make a payment of $45 in addition to donating the canned food.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati's mayor and city manager will be meeting with the streetcar team this week to discuss the dwindling amount of money in the contingency fund.  If all worst case scenarios happen, the fund could have just $80,000 left in it.  It started out with more than $9 million. 

Mayor John Cranley says the message to streetcar officials John Deatrick and Chris Eilerman is this: "We need to have a team that's going to bring the streetcar in on time and under budget, or we need a new team."

Provided / SORTA

The SORTA board of trustees has signed off on an operating and maintenance agreement for the streetcar.  Cincinnati Council has already approved the agreement, which spells out the responsibilities of the transit authority and the city.

The new streetcar logo was also unveiled Tuesday.

Under terms of the agreement, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will make an annual funding request to the city to cover operating costs.  The city will collect the funds from fares, advertising revenue, parking fees, and from property tax abatement offset revenue.

Sarah Ramsey

A member of Cincinnati council has won an award for his idea on Town Square Schools. 

P.G. Sittenfeld is one of four people to win the New Ideas Challenge, from the NewDEAL, a group of elected Democrats from across the country.  Sittenfeld’s proposal, the Town Square Schools program, uses school buildings for neighborhood programs after classes have dismissed. 

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati's Chief Performance Officer is outlining how his newly created Office of Performance and Data Analytics plans to save the city money.

Chad Kenney says the goal is to find ways to make city departments and agencies more efficient. He plans to implement a program called CitiStat.

There may not be a lot of electric cars on the road now but Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld believes there will be soon and he wants the city to be ready. He's behind a resolution directing the city manager to look at creating more charging stations.

Tuesday, City Council's Education and Entrepreneurship Committee discussed a resolution directing the administration to report on the feasibility of having stations on city property, and creating incentives for privately owned stations. Eight of the nine council members signed on to the resolution.

Cincinnati City Council had a busy session Wednesday taking action on several items that had been presented to various committees this week.

From 2006 to 2010, marijuana possession became a fourth degree misdemeanor and cause for arrest in Cincinnati. During that time the City filed nearly 17,000 charges against people found to have between 100 and 200 grams of marijuana. Now, Council is considering retroactively reducing the penalty and allowing those arrested to ask a judge to seal their records, so it doesn't affect their future.  

If Republican Charlie Winburn defeats Democrat Cecil Thomas in the 9th Ohio Senate District race on Nov. 4 – and that is a big “if” at this point - three things will happen:

A Cincinnati Council Committee will wait two more weeks before voting on an ordinance that could make it easier for people to expunge their criminal records relating to the city's now repealed marijuana possession law.

From 2006 to 2010 such convictions were misdemeanors in the city as opposed to the current minor misdemeanors.  The minor offenses are not part of a person's criminal record.  

Some council members have asked if the city can legally ask judges to ignore previous possession convictions when considering expungements.  

Cincinnati Council will vote on a resolution this week asking Ohio lawmakers to exclude marijuana possession convictions when considering whether people should have their criminal records expunged.

From 2006 to 2010, people in Cincinnati who had possessed even small amounts of marijuana were charged with misdemeanors that now appear on their criminal records. That was stricter than state law, which resulted in a citation and no records.

Those city misdemeanor convictions are making it difficult for some people to expunge, or clear, their criminal records.

Cincinnati Council members will be busy Monday with a couple of big committee sessions.  

Law and Public Safety meets at 10 o'clock.  On the agenda, presentations from Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and Fire Chief Richard Braun.  A public hearing is also scheduled on the city's now repealed marijuana possession ordinance.  Many people were cited under the 2006 law before it was eliminated, and now at least some council members want information about how those convictions can be removed from peoples criminal records.  

Howard Wilkinson

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley promised a lot of action in his first State of the City address Thursday night - less gun violence, a greater emphasis on basic services to the neighborhoods and a reduction in the number of Cincinnati residents living in poverty, among other things.

And, Cranley promised, a city that is even more fun to live in than it is now. He went so far as to say he is appointing an unpaid, volunteer “Commissioner of Fun” for the city.

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.

harry black
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Harry Black, Baltimore’s finance director for the past two-and-a-half years, will take over as Cincinnati city manager on Sept. 8.

This afternoon, Cincinnati City Council confirmed Mayor John Cranley’s choice by an 8-0 vote. One council member, Christopher Smitherman, was out of town but had previously expressed support for the 51-year-old Black.

The vote came the day after a two-and-a-half hour session where council members questioned the Baltimore native, who was chosen by Cranley from 19 candidates.

WVXU's political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Ann Thompson about the likely confirmation of Harry Black as Cincinnati's 15th city manager this week.

It appears that, eight months into his term as Cincinnati’s mayor, John Cranley has found his soul mate.

Amid a flurry of media interviews and press conferences this past week, Cranley introduced his choice to become the city’s next city manager – 51-year-old Harry E. Black, who, for the past two-and-a-half years, has been the finance director of the city of Baltimore.

Harry E. Black, the finance director in Baltimore, is Mayor John Cranley’s pick to be Cincinnati’s next city manager, according to a source close to the mayor.

"I'm very excited about this,'' Cranley said in a news conference this afternoon in the mayor's office. "Here's a guy who lifted himself up by  his own bootstraps in a very tough neighborhood of Baltimore."

As finance director in Baltimore, Cranley said, he guided the city to the first upgrade in the city's credit rating in 10 years.

Provided, City of Cincinnati

  

The barricades on McMicken Street to reduce prostitution are scheduled to be in place for about another month, but some residents want them to be removed now. 

Vanessa Sparks of the Mohawk Area Development Corporation told Cincinnati City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee this morning that the barricades are placing a burden on the neighborhood's residents.

A majority of Cincinnati City Council voted today to give a development company over $1.356 million dollars in federal housing dollars for an affordable housing project in Pendleton.

But that is less than the $1.9 million the city administration had proposed for the plan to rehab 40 units in the neighborhood.

Some council members wanted to hold back $543,000 for a permanent supportive housing project in Avondale that would not have been available if the Pendleton developer, Wallick-Hendy Development had gotten the entire $1.9 million.

The Banks

Cincinnati and Hamilton County have cleared the way to bring General Electric's Global Operations Center to The Banks. 

City Council and the County Commission Monday morning approved several packages of incentives cementing the deal.  GE is expected to bring nearly 1,800 jobs with an average total payroll of $142 million per year.

The five-year lease includes five, 5-year renewal options.

Cincinnati council's budget and finance committee voted today (Monday) to give control of 35 properties in Over-the-Rhine, mostly north of Liberty Street, to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation for re-development.

The Over-the-Rhine Community Council opposed giving control of the properties to the organization, also known as 3CDC. The council argued that 3CDC already has too much control over development in Over-the-Rhine.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Friday he is behind his own schedule but he'll recommend a new city manager to city council by the first week of August.

In the meantime, Cranley has asked city council to allow interim city manager Scott Stiles to remain running the day-to-day operations of the city for another two months.

The mayor said his plan was to have recommended a permanent replacement for former city manager Milton Dohoney by now. Dohoney resigned shortly after Cranley was elected last November.

Jay Hanselman

Mayor John Cranley presented a new budget Wednesday morning which closes a $22 million budget hole without lay-offs of city employees.

Cranley, in a press conference at police headquarters, said the $358 million general fund budget, if passed by city council, would be the first structurally balanced city budget in more than a decade.

“No gimmicks, no on-time revenue streams,’’ Cranley said, surrounded by several city council members and representatives of the police and fire departments and city employee union officials.

It was a close vote, but Cincinnati City council Wednesday approved a compromise that will allow a project to install protected bike lanes on Central Parkway from Clifton to downtown.

A compromise plan proposed by Vice Mayor David Mann passed on a 5 to 4 vote. It would take the bike lanes out of the travel lanes to maintain street parking between Ravine and Brighton streets to aid businesses in the area.

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