John Cranley

  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.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Friday discussions are still taking place on the future of the city's parking system.  He announced his plan earlier this week that would keep the city in charge, upgrade all meters and use the additional revenues for basic services.  

Cranley said the first step in the process is dropping or revising the previous parking lease agreement with the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.

Howard Wilkinson

In an effort to stem the homicides that have plagued the city first the first of the year, Cincinnati police will increase police overtime, hire officers away from other departments, add a recruit class and revive a gang unit, Mayor Cranley and Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said this morning.

“We want people of this city to know that help is on the way,’’ Cranley said at a city hall press conference packed with neighborhood and community leaders, council members and police officers.

Update 12/18/13 @ 9:30 PM: 

Cincinnati Council will likely vote Thursday on whether the city's controversial streetcar project will continue. 

Construction has been on hold since December 4th.  Now the group will decide whether to let work resume or finally pull the plug on the plan. 

So far the city has spent $34 million on the streetcar project.  An independent audit firm reported Wednesday it will cost anywhere from $16 to $46 million to cancel the streetcar or about $69 million to complete it. 

Provided from City of Cincinnati

Federal transit officials Friday morning refused Mayor John Cranley's request to extend the Dec. 19 deadline for pulling $45 million in federal money from the streetcar project.

But the mayor's spokesman, Jay Kincaid, says Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff did agree to talk to pro-streetcar advocates to allow them to make a pitch for more time.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, who campaigned and won on a promise to kill the $133 million streetcar project, cracked open to the door to a deal with streetcar supporters that could allow the project to go forward.

In a city hall press conference this morning, Cranley said he would work with streetcar supporters to find institutions or foundations in the private sector to pay the approximately $80 million it would take to maintain and operate the system.

It is not something the city can do without private help, Cranley said.

Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden has informed Mayor John Cranley he's withdrawing from consideration to be the next city manager, according to a statement from the Mayor's spokesman.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council will not vote Wednesday to confirm Willie Carden as the next city manager.

Mayor John Cranley announced the delay Tuesday just before Council's Rules Committee was scheduled to interview Carden and take a vote.

Cranley said he was delaying the vote because he did not realize some council members had not seen an ordinance that will exempt Carden from living in the city.

"To make sure that Council has time to digest the ordinances," Cranley said. "And that all of you have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Carden individually before taking a vote."

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Sunday was a day of celebration and promises of cooperation, as the new mayor, Democrat John Cranley, and nine city council members were sworn into office in dual ceremonies at City Hall and the National Underground Freedom Center.

Monday, the celebrating will be over and the spirit of cooperation that hung over Sunday’s event will be put to the test; as the new council confronts its most contentious issue – Cranley’s desire to stop the $133 million streetcar project.

It’s a truism in politics: Running for office is the relatively easy part; the governing part is where it gets a little tricky.

John Cranley, the Democrat and former councilman who is sworn into office as Cincinnati’s 69th mayor today, has been around long enough to know this.

He came out of the November 5 election with a big win – 16 percentage points over rival and fellow Democrat Roxanne Qualls.

And he came out like a ball of fire.

Scuttle the parking lease deal?

No problem.

Cincinnati  Mayor-elect John Cranley Friday released his list of city council committees and who will be the chairpersons of those committees.  The full Council could approve them Sunday. 

The new streetcar committee is scheduled to meet Monday at noon.  A press release said the group will "consider a proposal aimed at pausing streetcar spending and implementing a comprehensive, objective review of the project in order to determine the true cost of cancellation vs. continuation."

Jay Hanselman

UPDATE: 11/27, 3 p.m.

At a crowded press conference inside Krohn Conservatory Wednesday afternoon, Mayor-elect John Cranley named his new city manager - parks director Willie Carden, a long-time city employee.

Carden's appointment is likely to be confirmed by the new city council on Wednesday.

"I wanted somebody I knew would be an operations guy,'' Cranley told the crowd of business leaders, politicians, and park board employees. "I think most of us believe that the parks department is one of the best run operations in the city."

Mann & Mann law firm

Newly-elected Cincinnati council member David Mann has held the mayor's office before, and now he will serve as new mayor John Cranley's vice mayor.

Cranley announced Mann as his vice mayor Monday afternoon in a press conference at Mann's downtown law office.

Mann served on council from 1974 to 1991, and had three years as mayor at a time when the mayor's office was mostly a ceremonial position.

Both Cranley and Mann are Democrats. Cranley said Mann is someone he can work well with.

Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second.

Cincinnati’s mayor-elect, John Cranley, has been pushing that speed limit in the 12 days since he won a landslide victory in a low-turnout election.

He has put together a seven-member majority of the new nine-member council to convince the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati to back off issuing $85 million in bonds for the long-term lease of Cincinnati’s parking meters and five city garages – a deal that would have put that money into the city’s coffers as an upfront payment.

Staff

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. will leave his job by Dec. 1, Mayor-elect John Cranley announced Wednesday night.

Cranley told reporters at a Wednesday night press conference he had met with Dohoney and that the decision for Dohoney, who was hired by out-going Mayor Mark Mallory in 2006, to leave was a mutual one.

"We just felt it was better to move in different directions,'' Cranley said at a downtown press conference.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

 UPDATE:  The OKI board unanimously approved the funding plan at its meeting Thursday morning.

The OKI Regional Council of Governments board will vote Thursday on a first-of-its kind financing plan to rebuild the Interstate 71/Martin Luther King interchange.

OKI Director Mark Policinski says the plan calls for a loan from the state infrastructure bank.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

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.”

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Over-the-Rhine Community members and business owners are rallying support for the streetcar project in the wake of last week's election. They're calling on the mayor-elect and new council members to keep the streetcar moving forward.

Derek dos Anjos owns a seafood restaurant near the streetcar route.

"I moved here two years ago from New York, NY and I've seen first hand what light rail can do for a city," says dos Anjos. "It would be a big shame if we didn't continue the streetcar. My business is depending on it. Mr. Cranley, please don't do this."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati mayor-elect John Cranley has a lot of big plans for his upcoming tenure but no topic is more dominating than his desire to halt the streetcar project. It was the main focus of a meeting with press Wednesday in his Hyde Park home.

"Look," Cranley said, "This isn't an ideological thing for me. I don't relish stopping the streetcar... The fact is it's just not worth the money. It's worth cancelling as long as that's the cheapest option as opposed to continuation."

Michael Keating

WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson gives his thoughts on the Cincinnati mayor and Council races. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Clearly, the majority of Cincinnati voters who went to the polls Tuesday were determined to shake up Cincinnati City Hall, electing John Cranley as their new mayor and changing the face of the nine-member city council.

Cranley, a 39-year-old Hyde Park resident who grew up in Price Hill and a former council member, easily defeated a fellow Democrat who has been one of the top vote-getters in the Queen City over the past three decades, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls.

In the unofficial vote count, Cranley took 58 percent to Qualls’ 42 percent.

Michael Keating

WVXU political reporter, Howard Wilkinson talks about tomorrow's election and the last 24 hours of campaigning in the Cincinnati Mayor's race.

Say what you want about Mark Mallory’s eight years as mayor of Cincinnati, which are rapidly coming to a close.

You can love him; you can loathe him.

What you can’t do is ignore him.

The man is a showman. Part stand-up comic. Your genial host. The man of a thousand quips.

And, if you find yourself on the wrong side of an issue he supports, a bulldog, who fights and claws and cajoles until he gets what he wants. A mini-LBJ. A chip off the ol’ block – his father, William Mallory Sr., a leader in the Ohio House for decades, was the same way.

It’s official now.

The 2013 Cincinnati mayoral race between Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley will be the most expensive since the city began direct election of the mayor in 2001.

That’s not much history to go on, but a record is a record.

Campaign finance reports filed this week showed that Cranley, a former city council member, had raised $909,775 through the Oct. 16 cut-off date, while Qualls had raised $640,000.

Candidates for public office collect endorsements from groups and influential individuals the way that sports memorabilia enthusiasts collect autographed rookie baseball cards of Hall of Famers.

They hoard them.

And then they use them, for whatever they are worth, to get elected.

Cincinnati’s mayoral candidates, Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley have put together quite a collection.

With less than a month left to persuade voters, Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley are each making their final push to become Cincinnati’s next mayor. We hear what each candidate has to say, on the streetcar, parking lease plan, balancing the city’s budget, and other issues that will determine the outcome of this election.

John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls, the two candidates for Cincinnati mayor, will meet in a community forum at noon next Thursday at Christ Church Cathedral downtown.

Organizers of the Community Issues Forum, a long-standing noontime tradition at Christ Church Cathedral, are not calling the joint appearance of the two Democrats a debate.

At the forum, each candidate will be given an allotted period of time to lay out his or her vision for the city and plans if he or she is elected mayor on Nov. 5. Then, the candidates will take questions from the audience.

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

As expected, Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls found plenty to disagree about in their first debate Tuesday before a group of Cincinnati business leaders.

But they also hit upon a few areas of agreement.

Not surprisingly, they both told a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber-sponsored luncheon at the Cincinnati Museum Center that they oppose raising the city’ 2.1 percent income tax as a way to deal with the city’s chronic budget shortfalls.

Provided

The first of two debates between Cincinnati mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls takes place early this afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

After an 11:30 a.m. luncheon, Qualls and Cranley will debate for an hour, with the focus on "issues of importance to the business community,'' according to Lance Barry, spokesman for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, which is sponsoring the event.

The audience of about 100 will be primarily made up of Cincinnati business leaders.

There are 201,843 registered voters in the city of Cincinnati.

Tuesday, in a primary election for mayor, 11,455 of them cast ballots.

That works out to 5.68 percent.

We are in our 40th year of covering elections; and have yet to see a candidate race where the turnout was so abysmally low.

Even on September 11, 2001, the day of the first ever Cincinnati mayoral primary and a day when the entire nation was in shock, grief and rage over the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, about 15 percent of the electorate turned out.

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