Hamilton County Commission

Four years ago, Jim Tarbell, the former Cincinnati city council member and vice mayor, took on Republican Chris Monzel for a seat on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.

His name was on the ballot as the endorsed Democratic Party candidate.

And he lost, taking 44 percent of the vote to Monzel’s 56 percent.

Well, Tarbell’s back.

And, this time, his name won’t be on the ballot.

Tarbell filed paperwork with the Hamilton County Board of Elections last Monday to run as a write-in candidate.

Former Cincinnati city council member and vice mayor Jim Tarbell is running as a write-in candidate for county commissioner against Republican incumbent Chris Monzel.

Tarbell filed the required form and paid an $80 fee today to become a write-in candidate, according to Sally Krisel, deputy director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Last week Hamilton County Commissioners decided not to put on the November ballot a requested quarter cent sales tax to repair Music Hall and Union Terminal. The move prompted a procedural question for some listeners, so I went looking for an answer.

Any time I report on a possible county sales or property tax, two questions tend to come up.

Sean Patrick Feeney said this afternoon he has rejected attempts by Democratic Party leaders to get him to step aside in the Hamilton County commission race for former mayor Charlie Luken.

"I'm committed to this; and I am going to continue on,'' said Feeney, a technology consultant who lives in North College Hill.

Earlier in the day, Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke said he wanted Feeney, a first-time candidate, to step aside so the Democrats could run former Cincinnati mayor Charlie Luken against Republican incumbent Chris Monzel.

The committee that reviews Hamilton County tax levies is recommending flat renewals for the Indigent Care and Family Services and Treatment levies.

The Tax Levy Review Committee (TLRC) recommends keeping the Indigent Care levy on a three-year renewal cycle rather than a five-year term.

The Banks

Cincinnati and Hamilton County have cleared the way to bring General Electric's Global Operations Center to The Banks. 

City Council and the County Commission Monday morning approved several packages of incentives cementing the deal.  GE is expected to bring nearly 1,800 jobs with an average total payroll of $142 million per year.

The five-year lease includes five, 5-year renewal options.

Monday night is the first of two public hearings on Hamilton County's indigent care levy.

The levy is slated for the November ballot. It provides funding to the UC Medical Center, Children's Hospital and several other agencies to cover healthcare for the poor.

Sarah Ramsey

Two public hearings have been set to discuss the possibility of a sales tax to fix up Union Terminal and Music Hall. But Hamilton County Commissioners say that doesn't mean a sales or property tax is a certainty.

A task force is reviewing funding options for repairing the aging landmarks. That group will present its recommendations June 23.

However, Commissioner Greg Hartmann says Wednesday was the last commission meeting before a state deadline to set public hearings ahead of the November election.  

The City of Cincinnati is objecting to allegations levied by Hamilton County regarding the management of the Metropolitan Sewer District.

In a letter from interim city manager Scott Stiles to county administrator Christian Sigman, the city says it is "extremely disappointed" by the county's "adversarial approach."

Hamilton County Commissioners say cost overruns on Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) projects are too high and are indicating leadership is the problem.

In other words: MSD director Tony Parrott needs to go.

In a letter to interim Cincinnati city manager Scott Stiles, Hamilton County Administrator Christian Sigman says "major cost overruns within several federal Consent Decree projects is merely a symptom of larger management issues within MSD."

Hamilton County administrators are continuing the process to take over ownership of the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital site.

Assistant County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says boundary, environmental and other surveys are nearly complete.

"We are looking to do this right," says Aluotto. "We're looking to do this in a measured way. In a prudent way. This is less from our perspective about what is out there in 2015 and 2016 and more about how we position this to be a strategic center for county government in 2020, 2025, 2030, moving out."

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Hamilton County and the Bengals have a reached a deal that could pave the way for luring General Electric to the Banks.

The county announced Thursday the Bengals have agreed to waive height restrictions that would've halted a office space large enough to house General Electric's new Southwest Ohio Global Operations headquarters and a planned apartment building in exchange for six items.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann says the deal will allow the county and city to aggressively bid for GE.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are officially asking a federal judge to intervene in their  Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) dispute with Cincinnati.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to ask for a ruling on which body gets to set policies for the district.

The sewer district is owned by the county but operated by the city.

The sides have been at odds over hiring and procurement policies instituted by the city. County Commissioners argue the policies are unfair and in some cases illegal. City attorneys and a majority of council members disagree.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Hamilton County is moving in the right direction and continuing to be strong despite facing challenging times. That's how Commission President Chris Monzel led off his 2014 State of the County address Thursday.

The speech focused on the three main priorities from last year's address: county infrastructure, finances and economic development.

Monzel pointed out the county is looking at how to best utilize its building stock and also take advantage of its newest acquisition - the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital site.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel is clarifying what he says are some misconceptions about the current Metropolitan Sewer District standoff with the City of Cincinnati. Specifically, procurement policies set forth by the city which the county says are unfair and in some cases illegal.

"First, at this point, only three projects are potentially being impacted due to this issue," he says. "Several others are awaiting technical evaluation and others are scheduled to be brought forward over the next several months. Many of the projects do not have time sensitive schedules."

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