City parking

Cincinnati is going to spend nearly $2 million to install more parking meters that accept credit cards in addition to coins.  

City Council approved the item Wednesday.

The so called smart meters are already in place in much of downtown.  The additional funding could bring them to more neighborhood locations.

The meter purchases were part of a plan Council approved earlier this year that officially killed a parking lease arrangement the city had negotiated with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.

Cincinnati council and administrators spent much time last year negotiating and defending in court a parking lease with the Port Authority.  Now a new Council is ready to vote on a motion to undo that plan and replace it with something different.

City Council will likely vote Wednesday on a couple motions related to parking in the city.  The Neighborhood Committee approved the items Tuesday.  

Council member Kevin Flynn supported the proposals.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Council could be asked to vote on the latest version of a plan that will impact parking in the city.  There's a motion that would officially end the prior parking lease with the Port Authority that's been on hold since November.  

The new proposal would upgrade city parking meters and garages, but the city would maintain full control of all assets instead of leasing them to the Port, which in turn would have turned day-to-day operations over to private contractors.    

Mayor John Cranley said there'll be local control of all decisions.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is asking council members to sign off on a motion related to the parking lease with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority. The measure is currently circulating among council members. It would make major changes to the original plan between the city and the port.

Cranley could publicly release details of the plan Wednesday.

Ohio Supreme Court won't hear parking lease case, restraining order denied also

Sep 4, 2013

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.

The Supreme Court decision should end the case.

The residents who opposed Cincinnati's controversial parking lease are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case.  

Attorneys filed a notice of appeal Monday and a motion asking for an expedited schedule for the matter.  

In June, the Ohio First District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Cincinnati on the proposed parking lease to the Port Authority.  In a two-to-one opinion the panel said the lease agreement Council passed in March is not subject to a voter referendum, because it was passed as an emergency ordinance.  

Update 6/17/13 9:50 PM:  Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler signed an order Monday dissolving permanent injunction in the Cincinnati parking lease case.  Judge Winkler also entered a judgment in favor of the city and against the plaintiffs.  Costs to be paid by plaintiffs. With permanent injunction dissolved, city officials should have "green light" to sign the parking lease agreement with the Port Authority.

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and other officials held a round table discussion with reporters Tuesday to talk about the benefits of the parking lease for the city.  

They talked about several things including rates, hours and enforcement.  But none of the information was new.  

Mallory was asked why he decided to hold the session now?  He says to get the facts out.

“Particularly when there’s so much misinformation out there about how this plan works,” Mallory said.  “So we can’t talk about the facts enough.”

Cincinnati lawyers are making two major arguments as the city appeal’s a judge’s decision that let opponents of the parking lease place the issue on the November ballot.  

In a brief filed Friday with the Ohio First District Court of Appeals city lawyers argued the trial court erred by declaring that all city ordinances are subject to referendum and that the plaintiffs have standing to bring their claims. 

Not surprisingly the attorneys who successfully challenged the Cincinnati parking lease in court are opposed to the city's request for a judge to stay his decision from last month.  

Lawyers Curt Hartman and Chris Finney filed a response in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Thursday.