Cincinnati City Council

Jay Hanselman / Melrose YMCA

Some members of the Melrose YMCA in Walnut Hills are asking Cincinnati officials to help restore hours at the facility.

About two dozen speakers, including Victoria Evans, voiced their concerns Wednesday to the weekly City Council meeting.

In decades of writing column, I don’t think I have ever started one on a personal note.
 

But with this most interesting year coming to a close, and a new one about to begin, I will, if you will indulge me.


For me, it has been quite a year.


After 29 years, six months and two days at the Cincinnati Enquirer, writing on politics and a myriad of other subjects, I took an early retirement offer from the Enquirer in April, leaving behind working on a daily basis with good friends and  opportunities to do interesting journalism too numerous to count.

In 2013, the Cincinnati mayor’s race is likely to suck most of the air out of the room, as it has since the city adopted direct election of the mayor in 2001.


But it is not the only important race in Cincinnati next year.


There is this little thing called a city council election; and it will be vastly different this year than any other since the city charter was created in the 1920s.


As of now, Cincinnati voters will be electing nine council members for four-year terms, instead of the two-year terms we have had since 1927.

Michelle Dillingham, a former aide to the late city councilman David Crowley, announced Friday she will be a candidate for Cincinnati City Council in 2013.

Dillingham, who is from Kennedy Heights, will seek the Democratic Party's endorsement in the council race.

She is currently working for a regional labor-management fund "to tackle industry issues of mutual interest" to business and labor, "such as transportation funding, family-supporting wages and workforce development," according to her campaign website, www.michelledillingham.com.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council will spend the rest of the week completing work on the 2013 city budget. 

About 40 people spoke during the final public hearing Monday night in Corryville.

There were again a number of speakers who asked Council to preserve funding for Media Bridges.  It operates several cable-access channels and a small radio station in the city.

Executive Director Tom Bishop said turnout for the group should show Council Members the value of the service.

Jay Hanselman

Could Cincinnati's massive general fund budget deficit be gone?  It could be, but it comes with a big if.

Earlier reports suggested City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. would have to close a $34 to $40 million deficit.  

But during council committee meeting last week at least a couple Council Members dropped hints his plan will again close the deficit with no layoffs for city workers.  

Reportedly the manager could close a large portion of the deficit with a sizeable up-front payment in a contract to lease the city's parking system to a private operator.  

Cincinnati Council is expected to vote Wednesday to approve the city’s first comprehensive plan in more than 30 years. 

The Livable Communities Committee approved the proposal Monday night. 

The document has been in the works for more than 3 years and focuses on what the city will look like in the future.  Specifically it has strategies that for the first time focus on economic development activities in the neighborhoods. 

Planning and Buildings Director Charles Graves described the plan this way.

Staff

Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance Committee Tuesday approved a pay raise and a one-time bonus for City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr.

The committee passed the measure 6-2 and the full Council will vote on the issue Thursday. 

The proposal, distributed to Council Members minutes before the meeting started, would increase his annual salary to $255,000.  Right now Dohoney is paid $232,081.51.

The proposed ordinance would also include a one-time payment of $34,892.17.

With the presidential election over, you might think politicians would get a bit of a break, but that's not the case. WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson joins Maryanne Zeleznik to talk about the next election on many people's minds. Goo

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati officials are continuing work on next year’s city budget.  The public could see it later this month.

City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. and his budget team are working on a spending plan to close a $40 million general fund deficit.  

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls was asked Wednesday when she expected to get the budget.  She responded November 26th.  Qualls also said public hearings on the proposal will be scheduled for early December.  

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