Hamilton County Commission

Hamilton County Commissioners are considering the administration's proposed budget for next year.

Most notably, County administrator Christian Sigman's $210.7 million proposal calls for a quarter cent sales tax increase.

As Hamilton County works on the 2015 budget, Commissioner Greg Hartmann is floating an idea he thinks could save money. He'd like to combine the city and county prosecutor offices.

"The city prosecutor's office makes absolutely no sense to me," says Hartmann. "It's an obvious overlap. When I was a county prosecutor I walked into that courtroom on my first day in municipal court and there was another city prosecutor in the same courtroom prosecuting the same crimes that just happened to have been committed in the city limits."

Later this fall, you'll no longer have to drive Downtown or to Forest Park to get a vehicle title. Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Tracy Winkler is opening another titling office in the Fields-Ertel area.

Winkler says the office will offer all kinds of vehicle titling and eventually passport processing.

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.

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