Cincinnati City Council

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners still aren't happy with the City of Cincinnati's responsible bidder program for Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) construction projects.

The board is drafting replacement language and, to show he means business, commissioner Chris Monzel is considering a restraining order forcing the city not to award any MSD contracts until the issue is resolved.

The key issue is a clause requiring companies bidding for sewer work to have certified apprenticeship programs with graduates.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners want Cincinnati to change some language in the city's hiring policies for companies bidding on Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) construction projects.

The city wants all construction firms to have apprenticeship programs.

Groups like the Greater Cincinnati Building Construction Trades Council like the plan. However, some companies say it's not feasible for several reasons, including that apprentice programs for some specialized trades simply don't exist.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is rescinding raises he gave to several of his staff this week.

In a statement Mallory says:

“I am rescinding the raises that I gave my staff and returning all salaries to the previous levels.  Although the changes that I made in my office structure resulted in a saving of $66,000 to be used in next year’s budget, I realize that the perception has had a negative effect on the morale of other City Employees."

Michael Keating

This morning Howard Wilkinson talks about endorsements in the Cincinnati City Council race.

Sarah Ramsey

Opponents of Cincinnati's parking lease plan have enough valid signatures to place the city ordinance on the November ballot.

Hamilton County Board of Elections director Amy Searcy said election officials have checked about two-thirds of the 19,803 signatures submitted by opponents of the plan to outsource Cincinnati parking meters and garages and 8,727 signatures were from registered Cincinnati voters.

Opponents of the parking lease needed 8,522 signatures to place the ordinance on the ballot.

Jay Hanselman/WVXU

Democrat Cecil Thomas made official today what he told WVXU two months ago – that he will resign from Cincinnati City Council, have his wife, Pam Thomas, appointed to replace him, and run for the Ohio Senate in 2014.


His resignation will take effect after Wednesday’s council meeting.
 

Thomas, in a press conference this morning at the law office of Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke, said that his wife would be sworn in after the Wednesday meeting.
 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Opponents of Cincinnati's parking lease deal turned in more than 19,000 petition signatures Thursday. That means it's likely the the issue will be on the November ballot. They need 8,522 valid signatures.

Former council woman Amy Murray thanked those who signed and circulated petitions.

"The people have the right to ask for this, to have a referendum," says Murray. "And it's something that people feel so passionate about. It will have a huge impact on our business districts."

www.cincystpatsparade.com

People were outraged last week when the group that puts on the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade said a gay rights group couldn't march. Now at least seven Cincinnati Council members (two hadn't responded as of Friday afternoon) are prepared to approve a motion making sure that doesn't happen again.

Councilman Chris Seelbach's motion would require all parades receiving a financial subsidy from the city - and there are four - must agree in writing to adhere to the city's non-discrimination policy.

Michael Keating / WVXU

Cincinnati is going to federal court to try to overturn a Hamilton County judge's temporary restraining order on the city's parking lease plan. 

Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler issued his order Wednesday, just minutes after city council approved the parking lease agreement by a five-four vote. 

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati officials and Avondale residents will likely have a chance to meet next week with the firm that wants to buy nearly 750 units of HUD-supported Section 8 housing in the neighborhood.  

City Council was scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution opposing the sale.  But the item was held because of the planned meeting.  

Kathy Schwab is with the Greater Cincinnati Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

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