Mayor John Cranley

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It's been tried before, but Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune say this time will be different. They're talking about finding areas where the two governments overlap and could save money by sharing services. 

Portune explains why he thinks things will work out this time.

Cincinnati Council could vote by the end of the month to fund Mayor John Cranley’s Hand Up initiative.  He unveiled it during his State of the City speech in September.  

Hand Up is designed to help the long-term under and unemployed find permanent, full-time jobs.  

Nearly $1.4 million of city funding would go to three existing job readiness programs.  Those include Cincinnati Works, Cincinnati Cooks and the Urban Leagues “SOAR” program.  

Several people addressed Council Wednesday on the funding.

Howard Wilkinson

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley promised a lot of action in his first State of the City address Thursday night - less gun violence, a greater emphasis on basic services to the neighborhoods and a reduction in the number of Cincinnati residents living in poverty, among other things.

And, Cranley promised, a city that is even more fun to live in than it is now. He went so far as to say he is appointing an unpaid, volunteer “Commissioner of Fun” for the city.

19 people submitted applications to the search firm, Ralph Andersen and Associates, retained by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley to help select the next city manager.

WVXU had submitted an open records requests for the information about two months ago.  A list with the applicants was provided Thursday, one day after Mayor Cranley announced Baltimore Finance Director Harry Black was his choice for the job.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has selected a new city manager. Mayor Cranley’s pick is Harry Black, who has been the finance director for the City of  Baltimore since early 2012. Mr. Black also served as Richmond, Virginia’s chief financial officer from 2005 to 2008. Howard Wilkinson sat down with Harry Black to talk about his move to Cincinnati.

Harry E. Black, the finance director in Baltimore, is Mayor John Cranley’s pick to be Cincinnati’s next city manager, according to a source close to the mayor.

"I'm very excited about this,'' Cranley said in a news conference this afternoon in the mayor's office. "Here's a guy who lifted himself up by  his own bootstraps in a very tough neighborhood of Baltimore."

As finance director in Baltimore, Cranley said, he guided the city to the first upgrade in the city's credit rating in 10 years.

Jay Hanselman

Mayor John Cranley presented a new budget Wednesday morning which closes a $22 million budget hole without lay-offs of city employees.

Cranley, in a press conference at police headquarters, said the $358 million general fund budget, if passed by city council, would be the first structurally balanced city budget in more than a decade.

“No gimmicks, no on-time revenue streams,’’ Cranley said, surrounded by several city council members and representatives of the police and fire departments and city employee union officials.

Howard Wilkinson

Mayor John Cranley wants Cincinnati City Council to approve $1.9 million for five bicycling projects in the city.

The largest amount of money, $1.1 million, would go to kick-start the Cincy Bike Share program, while $200,000 would go toward four other bike trails – Wasson Way, the Oasis Corridor, Mill Creek and the Ohio River Trail West.

“We’re on the cusp of being thought of as one of the country’s most bike friendly cities within the next 10 years,’’ Cranley said this morning at a City Hall press conference, where he was surrounded by advocates for all five projects.

Sarah Ramsey

Some Cincinnati residents are asking Mayor John Cranley to replace the chairman of Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.  

About a dozen people testified Wednesday during the public comment portion of the weekly council meeting.  They are upset with comments Christopher Smitherman apparently made about the black community and it leaders protecting criminals.  

Resident Shirley Felton said it is wrong.

  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.