At the urging of Mayor-elect John Cranley and seven members of the new council, the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati has agreed to stop the controversial lease of Cincinnati’s parking meters and five city garages.
Cranley and seven members of the council that will take office Dec. 1 wrote a letter to Port Authority president and CEO Laura Brunner Monday night saying it is “not in the community’s interests or the long-term interests of the Port Authority to proceed.”
The City of Cincinnati picked up another win in its battle to outsource parking operations. A judge Thursday dismissed an injunction request filed by the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST).
The group charges the city manager changed the lease without getting council approval. But the city says the city manager acted within his duties.
City attorney Terry Nester further argued COAST had no standing to bring the case.
The Ohio Supreme Court has declined jurisdiction in the Cincinnati parking lease case. City Solicitor John Curp confirmed that in an e-mail Wednesday morning.
The case involved whether city voters had a right to place the issue on the ballot. A Hamilton County Common Pleas judge said it could go on the ballot, but an Ohio appeals courts overturned that decision. The appeals court said the city could pass the parking lease as emergency ordinance and avoid referendum.
Just as the Port Authority is putting finishing touches on Cincinnati's parking plan, the organization opposing it, COAST, has filed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order.
Spokesman Chris Finney says, "When the decision came down from the Court of Appeals, and the City Manager signed the lease, he made material changes to it without Council approval." Finney says he is not permitted to do this so "council either needs to re-vote, or the lease must be enjoined." (stopped by judicial order)