City of Cincinnati

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.

The developer and architect of the planned General Electric Global Operations Center showed preliminary drawings to Cincinnati's Urban Design Review Board, and board members were not impressed.

The five board members said they didn’t believe the architectural drawings of the 10-story building to be constructed on The Banks were distinctive enough; and that the building was too plain.

But, in the end, there is nothing the Urban Design Review Board can do about it.

A federal magistrate ruled this morning that Cincinnati's responsible bidder ordinance is invalid and that Hamilton County makes the rules for the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).

The county owns the sewer system, but the city operates it.

The city and the county have been fighting for more than two years over the responsible bidder ordinance, which would force MSD contractors to have apprentice programs and pay into a pre-apprenticeship fund. Unions favor the ordinance, because many of them have apprentice programs.

  The mayor of a city can be considered its chief executive officer. But the power that office holds is determined by a city’s rules or charter, which defines what a mayor can, and cannot, do. Cincinnati adopted a “strong mayor” system of government 15 years ago. Now Cincinnati Councilman Christopher Smitherman is exploring another change, to what some call an “executive mayor” system.

City of Cincinnati

  Sworn in as mayor just under five months ago, John Cranley fought and lost the streetcar battle, successfully stopped the city’s parking lease agreement, proposed a fix for city’s pension plan and called for Cincinnati to be more immigrant friendly. Mayor Cranley sat down with Jay Hanselman to discuss those and other issues, and the challenges and opportunities he sees in the city’s future.

 

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