Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If Chiquita Moves, Blame COAST, Winburn, and Smitherman

An Enquirer article reports that Chiquita Brands International, headquartered in Downtown Cincinnati, is being courted by other cities, mainly Charlotte, to move the company.  In the article, Council member Charlie Winburn is quoted in the article:
Added Winburn: “Anytime 400 jobs are at stake, I take that serious. If the city loses this company, then we need to call for an evaluation of city administration.”
No, Council Member Winburn, don't shirk your duty and point to the Administration. Point to yourself. If you want to keep Chiquita then you need to do several things to keep them here.  It starts with voting on a budget that would free up money to add to an incentive.  Then go to the Governor and get him of his ass and do something for Cincinnati.  Finally, start acting like you want to make this city into a progressive community that will attract news people and new businesses here.  Work to build the Urban Core of the city and agree it must be a vibrant success if the rest of the City and metro area are going to have sustained growth and prosperity. The article goes on about the air service.  Well, that's quiet frankly a tough thing for a city or even the metro area to transform.  It will take years to attract more direct flights. A more simple and immediate way to improve the city is to support rail projects, like the streetcar or light-right or the East Side commuter-rail.  None of these will happen if COAST and Smitherman's anti-rail charter amendment passes. So, if nothing else, don't support the anti-rail forces.

Why does rail matter? Well, ask Charlotte, they have rail transportation and they stand poised to take a major headquarters from our city.  Destroying the city may be COAST's and Smitherman's goal, but surely Winburn doesn't want this to happen.  If he wants to get "serious," then  he should rethink his stance on the streetcar and stop pointing fingers at others and get on board with those try to make this city a better place.

The solution is rather simple: don't shill for the FOP and don't think making the city into another suburb will solve any problems.  All of the endorsed Republicans running might gain some respect and maybe even some votes if they took that to heart and lived it.  That action would lose many Conservative votes and Suburban contributions, however, which leads me back to my cynical default stance, where Winburn's opportunism lives and keeps progress back, as long as he and other Republicans are in power.


  1. Charlotte also doesn't have term limits. Actual vision can flourish.
    Nothing I know of is stopping Cinti council members from talking to Chiquita heads & finding out what they want.
    FWIW, Kasich is interested in CVG.

  2. First thing I thought of was the outcry when Quall's suggested bilingual signs downtown.
    Sometimes money isn't everything.


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