Cincinnati city manager

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.

19 people submitted applications to the search firm, Ralph Andersen and Associates, retained by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley to help select the next city manager.

WVXU had submitted an open records requests for the information about two months ago.  A list with the applicants was provided Thursday, one day after Mayor Cranley announced Baltimore Finance Director Harry Black was his choice for the job.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has selected a new city manager. Mayor Cranley’s pick is Harry Black, who has been the finance director for the City of  Baltimore since early 2012. Mr. Black also served as Richmond, Virginia’s chief financial officer from 2005 to 2008. Howard Wilkinson sat down with Harry Black to talk about his move to Cincinnati.

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.

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.

*Update 12/11/13 4:30 p.m*

Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden has informed Mayor John Cranley he's withdrawing from consideration to be the next city manager, according to a statement from the Mayor's spokesman.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council will not vote Wednesday to confirm Willie Carden as the next city manager.

Mayor John Cranley announced the delay Tuesday just before Council's Rules Committee was scheduled to interview Carden and take a vote.

Cranley said he was delaying the vote because he did not realize some council members had not seen an ordinance that will exempt Carden from living in the city.

"To make sure that Council has time to digest the ordinances," Cranley said. "And that all of you have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Carden individually before taking a vote."

Jay Hanselman

UPDATE: 11/27, 3 p.m.

At a crowded press conference inside Krohn Conservatory Wednesday afternoon, Mayor-elect John Cranley named his new city manager - parks director Willie Carden, a long-time city employee.

Carden's appointment is likely to be confirmed by the new city council on Wednesday.

"I wanted somebody I knew would be an operations guy,'' Cranley told the crowd of business leaders, politicians, and park board employees. "I think most of us believe that the parks department is one of the best run operations in the city."


Cincinnati Council has officially accepted a plan that will let City Manager Milton Dohoney resign on December 1st and still receive a severance package.  

Mayor-elect John Cranley announced Wednesday night Dohoney would be leaving after conversations between the two of them.  

City Solicitor John Curp explained the item Council was being asked to approve.

“Provide for the manager to receive his separation pay subject to a resignation,” Curp said.  “It also appropriates money to the appropriate accounts to pay those benefits that he’s entitled too.”