Cincinnati City Council

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  A public hearing is also scheduled on the city's now repealed marijuana possession ordinance.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.

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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