Cincinnati City Council

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.

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.

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