Cincinnati Parks

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati park officials say there was nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about the way Smale Riverfront Park was constructed.

A recent Cincinnati Enquirer article questioned why some of the construction work was done without contract bidding.

Michael E. Keating

There was a lot going on in our region this week, on both sides of the Ohio. In Cincinnati, revelations about how the city's parks department managed construction of Smale Riverfront Park have prompted calls for a review of the department's compliance with city purchasing policies. And in Kentucky the 2016 session of the General Assembly is wrapping up its work.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The director of Cincinnati's Parks says it needs $4 million annually to take care of deferred maintenance like trail work and repairs. Willie Carden says the city could reach $70 million  in deferred maintenance by 2025.

Keith Lanser / Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Now that Cincinnati voters have rejected a property tax levy to fund city parks, the question becomes how to pay for maintenance and upgrades?  

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Wednesday morning about Tuesday's election results in the Tristate - including the massive defeat if Issue 3, which would have legalized marijuana in Ohio; Issue 22; the Cincinnati Parks levy rejected soundly by city voters, and Matt Bevin's somewhat surprising win over Jack Conway in the Kentucky governor's race. 

Ann Thompson

A controversial one mill levy for city parks that would have become a permanent part of Cincinnati’s city charter appeared headed for a resounding defeat Tuesday night.

In Tuesday night's unofficial vote count, the “no” vote on Issue 22 was 59 percent, with only 41 percent voting “yes.”

Keith Lanser / Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

To say the proponents of Issue 22, which would place a one mill permanent tax levy in Cincinnati’s charter, are out-spending the opposition would be the understatement of the century.

Citizens for Cincinnati Parks, the pro-Issue 22 committee, raised $647,535 through Oct. 14, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday. Just over half of the money came from corporate interests and corporations.

Save Our Parks, the committee opposed to Issue 22, raised only $3,154, according to its campaign finance report.

Update:  

During this program, anti-Issue 22 advocate Donald J. Mooney Jr. was critical of the Cincinnati Park Board for taking a $200,000 donation from the private Meyer Fund and giving it to Great Parks, Great Neighborhoods Inc., a committee that is campaigning to pass the charter amendment. Mooney questioned the legality of giving the money to Great Parks, Great Neighborhoods. Attorney Tim Burke, a supporter of Issue 22 and a former park board member, argued that it was perfectly legal and that no public funds were given to the pro-Issue 22 campaign.

Keith Lanser / Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The most contentious issue on the ballot this November in Cincinnati centers around something almost everyone agrees on – that the city of Cincinnati has a very good park system.

But the proponents of Issue 22 – a charter amendment that would place a permanent one mill tax in the city charter for park improvements – believe they could be even better.

Howard Wilkinson

The Hamilton County Board of Elections Monday morning rejected a challenge to the wording of a Cincinnati charter amendment that would create a one mill tax for city parks.

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