Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Issue 1 Turnout and the Abortion Issue on the Ballot Will Impact the Cincinnati Council Elections, But How?

Issue 1 went down in flames, but that was not the only development in local Politics here in Cincinnati.  City Council Elections are coming up and turnout is going to drive who get's elected, partially. Turnout was higher than expected within Cincinnati for the single issue special August election. Traditionally, you can't get anyone to vote in August. The August 8th election instead had higher turnout than the last council election in 2021. City voters would now be expected to come out to vote in numbers as least as high in November and that will impact the race for City Council.

At this point, there are only 11 candidates currently set to make the ballot with the August 24th deadline FAST approaching. Nine endorsed Democrats, one presumedly endorsed Republican, and one Independent candidate. There is only one other name amongst those who have taken out petitions that could compete and her act blue fundraising website states it is inactive and not accepting contributions. I am counting her out.

That means unless there is some hidden candidates or one comes out at the last minute in the next two weeks, we can be sure that the Democratic Party will retain a supermajority on council by doing nothing but voting for themselves.

That does leave two seats in play, but with the abortion issue coming this fall, not to mention multiple other issues (Weed legalization, Sale of the Cincinnati Railroad, and an odd Issue that could raise the income tax later) it looks like Democrats could win all nine seats on council. You will have to go to way back to find that type of single party rule.  I honestly don't like the concept, but I see it as the most likely thing to happen.  The Abortion, Weed, and RailRoad sale issues will suck all of the air out of election season and that means the expected larger number of voters, more than the 32% turnout rate the City had for the August 8th Special Election, will push the nine Dems ahead.

It is possible that through strategic voting by Conservatives and Moderates along with Progressive/Leftists campaigning for a long shot leftist candidate playing spoiler couldget Republican Liz Keating elected.

Eastside Moderates vote and Eastside Moderates like Liz Keating.  An organized target voting campaign could make the difference.  Most people do not vote for nine candidates, but most vote for at least six. If moderates, who usually pick more than six, instead vote for one or two candidates, that MIGHT shake things up enough to make one of the two unelected candidates fall from get the nineth spot.

I am not advocating for a short ticket strategy. I believe in voting for best candidates, not just the one or two who might agree with me the most.  I voted for seven last time. I would say I may be a the same number this time.  Maybe eight or nine, it depends.

If the Democratic voters don't turn out in similar numbers not only will the Abortion rights issue faulter, Liz Keating will likely get on council.

By the end of the month we should be set on the ballot and know if anyone else will even get on the ballot.  If there are more than 15 I would be very surprised. I can only find ten candidates who are fundraising so far. If you don't have your own money, then you are just not going to get elected without some fundraising.

I will update the candidate listing late this month as soon as the deadline passes to submit petitions. This is going to be a big general election, but I think the 2023 City Council Election will be by far the most uneventful and predictable one of the 20+ years I have been blogging about them.

Ohio Issue 1 Goes Down in Flames

Ohio Democracy dodged another bullet. Republicans were humiliated less than a hour after the polls closed when every major election specialist called the race for the No on Issue 1 Campaign.

Urban Counties and Cites, Cincinnati being one, were the key effort in winning.  Here are Hamilton County's unofficial results:

Good, for the City, turnout along with an overwhelming No vote on Issue 1 that was repeated in the 3C cities, led the charge. The suburban vote held up the brace with the Cites and pushed back the fascist hoard. Yeah, that's a dramatic description, but honestly, it is true.  This was an effort to create a fascist Ohio. One gerrymandered minority party in party that can rule without any challenge. Ohio is a Republic, where power is derived from the people, not a ruling class of Republican theocratic fascists. We held them off, for now.  This effort needs to be doubled in November if women are to be considered full citizens in Ohio. The vote will be much closer, but the vote in Cites like Cincinnati is crucial if the basic bodily autonomy for women is to be established again in Ohio.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Ohio Issue 1 Predictions: A Mix of Numbers and Gut

 I don't know if Issue 1 will pass tomorrow or not. I have no statewide data or secret polling data. The election hinges on two things: 1) Convincing people on the merits and 2) Voter turnout.

These topics are not equal. Convincing people on the merit is far less impactful than what voters turn out. What I think might happen includes the following.

  1. Issue 1 Fails 60+%: Democrats, Liberals, Progressives and even the Leftists come out in strong numbers and vote. This along with Moderates and some Conservatives (Libertarian leaning) and defeat Issue 1 with 60%+ of the vote.
  2. Issue 1 Passes 50.1-53%: Republicans manage to exceed the so far strong turn out in Cites using fear and insane scare tactics and manage to eek out narrow win with no more than the low 50s portion of the vote.
  3. Issue 1 Fails 51 to 55%: This could happen I think if election day voting under performs in comparison to the early vote, but the Republicans make up some ground due to the older voters still voting, but don't make up for ground.
Each of the three possibilities could easily vary on the numbers to a degree.  My only feel for actual numbers on this is with Hamilton County.  Early voting has been amazing for an August election and actually way better than an off-year local election. The City of Cincinnati has a 71% increase in early voting over 2021's City Election.  Turnout in the City should vastly exceed 2021's pitiful 24.93%.  It should be way over 30%.  The rest of Hamilton County I would expect to at least match that rate, but that is part of the question for this election.  Which areas will turn out and which way will they vote.  In HamCo suburbs, who they will vote for is more up for grabs than a rural county.

My gut tells me Issue 1 will fail, but the may be a rare instance of optimism I have based on the online churn I see and the early voting turnout so far. There was only 1 known poll on Issue 1 I am aware was made public and then a 2nd poll that was not on Issue 1 directly, but asked a question on a portion of the change proposed in Issue 1.  The actual poll indicates defeat and the other poll lists an even race, with a bunch of undecideds. With the lack of additional data, this is one that any prognosticator would find difficult in calling, but logically, all of the tea leaves so far indicate it will fail.  One never knows. I am voting tomorrow morning.  For the handful of readers out there, you should too, and should vote NO!

Friday, June 02, 2023

Let's See Action, Let's See People, Let's See Freedom, Let's See Who Cares

 A big news Friday for the Cincinnati City Council Election. There is controversy that will stir up a little bit of coverage for an otherwise uneventful and unnervingly quiet election year. Council Member Seth Walsh is the subject of an Ethics Investigation by the City's Office of Ethics and Good Government. The issue is that Walsh's campaign manager, now reportedly former campaign manager, was allegedly directing Walsh city staffer on what to do.

On the surface, that really does not seem like a big deal. Every Republican and Leftist crank will be filled with self righteous ire with my dismissal of this allegation. I am not going to lose sleep over it and I am not even sure this is "unethical." So far there is no allegation of any illegality, a detail that is not at the forefront of some of the news reports.

Unless other allegations or information not already reported comes to light, this is at best going to be a minor political story and fodder for snide Twitter comments from at least one rejected applicant for the appointment to council Walsh received. I won't mention their name, but I continue to see why they were not considered for the appointment. 

Something to remember: There is not a "church and state" type of communication line in a council member's office.  Creating a good image and getting media coverage is part of the job.  Yes, that makes them look good and that helps the campaign and is what the campaign wants. Making phone calls to raise money or helping plan a campaign fund raiser while on the clock is not allowed. If that type of action was alleged, I would have expected that to be in the letter. Instead, communication by the person making the allegation indicates that Walsh never made any requests to do campaign work while on the job.

There will be those claiming purity on the actions of the campaign staffer, but they would be grasping at straws and that is such a waste of time. This can at most be a judgement on Walsh's ability to vet and manage his own staff. If this story gets much more coverage than when the ethics office reports on the investigation, then I for one will cry fowl on any journalist doing that.  If there is more to this, then publish new credible allegations, but trying to just make this into a bigger story based on the facts known now will look so insanely biased. We can be thankful that Jason Williams is no longer writing a political column.  I am sure he would attempt to make this into a federal case as a further try out for his conservative talk radio career. I have fingers crossed for Jason's fledging radio career, hoping he can move out of journalism altogether.

More from the Enquirer and the Business Courier.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Local Cincinnati Area Races to Follow on Election Night

Beyond turnout in Hamilton County, there are several local elections to follow this Tuesday on Election Night that I will be intently watching.  Not all of these will be nail biting cliffhangers, but they will have elements and details that can give evidence on how 21st century politics are working here in Hamilton County, Ohio.

  1. OH-1 Landsman (D) vs. Chabot (R): This is of course the most interesting race in the area.  This Republican gerrymandered district is in violation of the Ohio Constitution, but in the effort to hide their power grab they made this district very close to a Toss-up.  Republicans claim this is a Dem+2 district, but that is just not true.  This is at best maybe a Dem+.05 based on historical results.  The strong Conservative Western HamCo was replaced with the more moderated Eastern HamCo and ALL of the City.  This gives an advantage to the Dem, but that advantages assumes people vote in reasonable numbers.  If turnout is strong, close to that of 2018, this should be a narrow win for the Dem.  However, since this is such a closely divided district, a small shift in turnout could make it an even narrower win for the Republican.  This race could go late into night without a declared winner, but the writing could be on the wall as the suburbs should report earlier than the city proper.
  2. Hamilton County Commissioner Dumas (D) vs Smitherman vs O'Neill (R):  This race is going to be very interesting, but not because there is much doubt as to who will win.  With a Three-Way race, the Democratic candidate should be able to win.  The interesting part will be how the two Republican candidates, Smitherman and O'Neill perform.  Only one will be marked as a Republican and that is what makes this case interesting.  Will Party ID be enough for O'Neill to get 2nd place or will Smitherman's targeted marketing work to get a large number of Republican voters for him to get 2nd place.  Also, the other situation to watch, will it be a close 1-2 race and distant 3rd or will the 2nd and 3rd each get larger chunks.  There will have to be a complete disaster in HamCo for Dems to lose this race, that is not impossible, however there is no local evidence to suggests that Dems turnout has cratered.  The Dem candidate likely won't get over 50%, but it would be somewhat surprising for either Republican to break 40%. Also, I will be watching this race since I am hoping Smitherman loses big time and this becomes the last we see of him in local politics.
  3. Hamilton County Auditor: Brigid Kelly (D) vs. Tom Brinkman (R):  Tom Brinkman is someone everyone should find it easy to root against.  He's a hardcore right wing fascist and has been way longer than the Trumpists were even a glint in Steve Bannon's eye.  Brinkman does not appear to have much of a ground campaign going.  Like his failed campaign for Cincinnati City Council last year, he appears to be phoning it in.  I'd surmise he ran just in case there was some 100 year flood of a Republican wave in Hamilton County.  He's not likely to see that this Tuesday and is running against a very organized and solid Dem candidate.  In this race I'm interested in how much it goes with the partisan breakdown like other races or does it stand out.
  4. Hamilton County Clerk of Courts: Pavan Parikh (D) vs. Steven Goodin (R):Among the county wide offices on the ballot in 2022, this one could be the most competitive, at least on paper.  Goodin has a broader appeal and name recognition in the City and amongst moderates. Parikh has the incumbency advantage, but as an appointee, having not been elected before.  Goodin ran for Cincinnati City Council last fall and did not place well (14th). Steve Goodin is capable of running a centrist race, but he's gone instead with a confrontational race, picking Social Media fights and going negative suggesting controversies. Parikh is running with the Democratic slate and as a team, that unit did amazingly well in the City in 2021.  If it carries into the county as well, he should do well.
I have strong feeling, "vibes" as the term has been used this cycle among the political junkie crowd, about this year's election.  I can't tell you anything valuable about the statewide races or how the Congressional races will add up.  Locally, however, I feel like there is NOT going to be a big "Republican Wave."  Locally that would mean Republican turnout surges and Democratic Turnout reduces.  I would easily bet a $100 that it won't happen.  Without that Red Wave, Republicans only have a couple of seats in the county that are close enough and divided up enough to win, assuming turnout "vibes."

On election night, the thing to watch is what I call the "Flop."  That's the first output by the Board of Elections that shows the votes from Absentee/Early voting.  By that point, real-time Turnout should be published as well, so we'll be able to judge if Early Absentee/Early voting is going to be an indicator of the races or will it be segmented, like 2020, which means we'll have to see how vote starts to come in from election day to get the first writing on the wall moment to give an indication of how the night will go.  I'll be covering turnout all day on Tuesday, so look for a Blog post and social media posts with updates. Good luck to the candidates and be sure to vote!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

History Made Today With Appointment to the Hamilton County Commission

Victoria Parks was appointed today to fill the seat of Todd Portune on the Hamilton County Commission. This puts three women on the Commission. This makes history. The Enquirer's article points this out:
For the first time in history, the three-member Hamilton County Board of Commissioners is all-female and majority black. It's only the second all-female county board of commissioners in the state, the other being Montgomery County just to the north.
Parks is not seeking election to the office, but will serve out the remainder of the term. Previously she was the Chief of Staff for Todd Portune.

The Democratic primary for this office is setting up to be a close one. The GOP have a placeholder candidate in the primary and are taking for granted their voters.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cranley and Smitherman Both Want a Blue Pony, with Jason Williams as Stable Boy

With the John Cranley's self made drama at City Hall this month, one might be fooled into thinking that the City Manager is a threat.  Harry Black is a not a threat, he is a roadblock.  He is blocking the lustfully power hungry Mayor and 'Vice-Mayor', John Cranley and Chris Smitherman respectively, from illegally seizing control of Cincinnati City government.  Other than the City Manager and City Council, the real hurdle getting in their way, and making their efforts illegal, is the the law, specifically the City Charter and how it defines the role and power of Mayor.

Both Cranley and Smitherman want power.  They want to be a strong mayor.  I really hope this isn't some type of fetish role-playing for either man, trying to be a modern day Boss Cox.  I get they might like gilded age costumes, but that's just taking it too far.  Steampunk Smitherman does sound like a good nickname, however.

The problem for them is that the Mayor has limited power.  The mayor is not the boss of the city.  The mayor has  some power, but not total control of all City employees.  Cranley wishes he had that, but knows unless he can somehow remove term limits (unlikely as the GOP likes them), he's only working for his legacy.  Cranley's legacy rests solely on Republican Chris Smitherman.  Yes, I called him a Republican.  I am probably going to be called a racist for daring to call a duck a duck, but Smitherman's Twitter StormTroopers can bloviate all they want.  I just hope they can figure out I am a real person.  They've claimed I'm an pen name for elected officials or maybe they think I'm a Russian Bot, but here's hoping the kids can study up.  Maybe even read the over 15 years worth of blog posts I've written, on my archive.  I may not be a good writer, but I sure as Hell have been doing this long enough to know who the players are in Cincinnati politics.  I've been around long enough to know that when you vote in the Republican primary, endorse Republican candidates, adopt Republican polices, campaign with Republicans, attack Republican enemies, and take Republican money, then I am going to call you a Republican.  If Smitherman thinks he can't get elected mayor as a Republican, he should understand that lying about you policies and allegiances isn't going to work either.  You can't compartmentalize like Yasir Arafat in Cincinnati.  Don't mix messages with different audiences.

The funny twist in recent Enquirer coverage of the Mayor's Chaos comes from the resident hack political columnist Jason Williams. He is almost criticizing John Cranley.  I say almost, as Williams still tried his best to blame Cranley's drama on what he's calling the 'urban progressives' and 'Progressive 5.'  Not sure what he means by urban, as this is a city, but we do have a suburban mayor, so I'll presume Williams isn't a fan of people who like cities. He's certainly championing those against the City of Cincinnati. That would include Republican member of council Chris Smitherman.  Williams, I guess, finally figured out he's not going to get a job in Cranley's administration, so now he's pushing the anti-city Manager form of government that Smitherman painfully desires.  His lust for power borders on the psychotic and makes Cranley's penchant for sticking it to his political foes look like pin pricks in comparison.  A character like Smitherman without a professional city manager to run the day operation would look like a small version of a Trump White House.  Same kind of ego, but with more outward signs of psychosis.

Strong mayors are not a good idea in Cincinnati and not with those wanting it now.  Former Ohio State Senator Eric Kearney stated well what I believe is the underlying problem with the position Cranley and Smitherman (with Williams) are putting forth:
The problem is with the way they are trying to govern.  They want the government and the populace to bend to their will.  That's not leadership, that is bullying.  Leaders don't create controversy as a means to push forward as a political pretext to change the form of government. If there is a problem with the form of government, make the claim as to why, present facts, and be honest.  If you just want to gain more power, then I say fuck off, we don't need mini-Trumps in Cincinnati.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cranley Administration Cancels Riverfront Bike Trail and Fails to Notify Anyone

In the Cincinnati Enquirer's article: Ohio River bike trail hits dead end as money woes force Cincinnati out you don't see Mayor John Cranley's name, but you should. Former Mayor Mallory agreed to the project and if was still the Mayor the article would have at least included a phrase saying the Mayor's office had no comment.  That would be enough to connect the Mayor to the issue.  Instead the transportation and planning director was thrown under the bus (sorry) for this in-action.

The Anderson Township trustee who is prominently quoted in the article, was not given a quote calling anyone out, just one calling out the city in general for failing to notify anyone they are pulling out of the project and losing the Federal funds that were to be included with it.  The reporter should have gotten a comment from Cranley's office, even if they refereed them to the City Manager or the Transportation Department.  This failure rests at Cranley's feet and in case anyone forgot, WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAYORAL CAMPAIGN.  This should be another scandal for Cranley.  He and his administration failed and the Enquirer should have reported that, not let their political team deal with it and likely let it pass, unoticed

The whole Wasson way project is funded and was a pet project of CRANLEY and the article mentioned this, but didn't include Cranley's name with it.  He was it's champion.  It ran through the heart of his East side political support.  Cranley supports bike trails but let this one fail, but funded another.  The story damn near writes itself. Cranley favors pet Eastside project over regional project that could attract more revenue.  If Cranley ever runs for Congress in the 2nd district, the riverfront trail he 'Crancelled' runs through suburban areas of the 2nd district and I am sure those voters in Anderson Township will blame a Conservative Democratic Mayor for doing what a Republican would do.

Local politics and its media coverage are both like a bike trip along the riverfront, at a certain point it hits a dirt path and stops.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

No More Fun From City’s Commissioner of Fun

For an unknown reason back in 2014, Mayor John Cranley created a "Commissioner of Fun" role for the City of Cincinnati and he picked former radio station owner Frank Wood Jr, a man in his 70's, to be that "Commissioner of Fun."

WCPO is reporting that the City is stating there are no more fun events coming from the Commissioner.  Frank Wood has stepped down and admits that this special position was a failure.  He believe it lacked staff to help him.   To me that seems like a cop-out.  Instead the failure should land squarely at Cranley's feet.  Cranley created this thing and allowed a tiny factional amount of money to be spent on it.  He incorrectly looked back to his youth and WEBN radio and thought Frank Wood did stuff magically.  No, it took money.  Having a drunk fest every Labor Day weekend along the river didn't just happen with access to the City Hall copy machine.  It took money. Also Cranley doesn't get is that the craziness of Riverfest Cranley knew ended 25 years ago.

This idea was pointless.  It was Cranley's vain attempt to appear cool, while not actually doing anything and having something he can point to when it fails. I am pointing at Cranley, so he can forget about letting this slide without notice.  Also, I am not sorry to tell John that there is nothing he can do, ever, to be cool.  I know uncool things very well and John Cranley is the modern day prototype.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Updated List of Current Cincinnati Council Candidates

Here is an updated list of candidates. The GOP still only has two officially named candidates, 1 reported candidate and Smitherman, so they are far from even pretending to get a majority on council.  If everyone on this list runs for office, that will make 25. That is not a record.  It would be a record low for Republicans.

P.G. Sittenfeld
David Mann
Chris Seelbach
Christopher Smitherman
Wendell Young
Amy Murray

Returning Candidates:
Laure Quinlivan
Greg Landsman
Michelle Dillingham
Brian Garry
Theo Barnes

New Candidates
Ozie Davis III
Kelli Prather
Tamaya Dennard
Tamie Sullivan
Cristina Burcica
Jeff Pastor
Derek Bauman
Cedrick Denson
Tonya Dumas
Henry Frondorf
Manual Foggie
Leslie Jones
Beverly Odoms
Orlando Welborn

If anyone has any other names please send them my way ( or if anyone named above wants to confirm they are not running, I'll remove them future postings of this list.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

No On Issue 22 Got More Votes than Cranley For Mayor

The Mayor John Cranley scheme to create a political slush fund went down in defeat last night. To add an additional insult to the Mayor, more people voted against the Mayor's pet issue (34,246), than voted for the Mayor two years ago, (33,428). The voter turnout was higher this year as well. The vote totals for the 2013 race are official, but the No on 22 votes is unofficial and based on not having any provisional votes included, therefore that number should only go up.

Cranley will need to work on getting his GOP vote back for 2017, since he lost that this round.  I think this should remove the last sliver of faux doubt from the Cranley backers claiming he didn't win in 2013 on backs of the GOP voters.

Other than John Cranley, the other big local loser was the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They did not have their act together and that forced a local judge to order the polls stay open an additional 90 minutes.  New technology is never something to not promote to the public.  I had no idea the process changed, and I do honestly pay pretty close attention to such things.  The Local media didn't seem to have that story either.  Our voting process needs a big change.  It won't get that until the state stops being controlled by Republicans bent on voter suppression.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cranely Using Smoke and Mirrors on Pension Deal to Hide City's Sacrifice

From a financial perspective, there are actual steps in the City's pension deal that on the surface appear to help reduce the funding problem, but that is only half of the story.

Yes, getting the retirees to suspend COLAs for three years and then reducing the COLA formula will mean lower benefits paid and help solvency.

Yes, the city paying more into the fund certainly will help solvency.

The details Cranley is hiding deal with where the city will get the additional money to increase funding for the pension trust. Here are the problems:

  1. What is the long term impact of moving $200 Million from the retiree health care trust?  Is this the fund Cranley and Luken already screwed up?  Previously this year the Plan was only going to be $100 million, so how did it double in size and still have Council backing?
  2. Where does the $38 Million a year for seven years come from?  Saying the City will "borrow against future revenue" is no different from saying "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."  Revenue from what?  The pension fund?  Income Taxes? A bake sale?  Cranley's hiding the details. He does not want us to know what he's doing.
  3. Where does the additional 2.25% of the annual operating budget come from? How much is this actually?  Is this based on the $358 Million in expenses or just of salaries? What is Cranley going to do, increase revenue or cut something?  Which ever he is planning, he's not giving the details and is once again hiding something.
What Cranley is doing is typical Cranley.  He's making something sound comprehensive, but he leaves out nearly all of the substance. Either Cranley has no clue where the money will come from or he is hiding it because it will be politically unpopular.  The answer is mostly likely the latter and as is the Cranley way, he's hiding the details in hopes that people will accept half of the truth and forget the rest later.

This is the type of Mayor we have, one who hides the real sacrifices the city has to make to allow him self the ability to take a faux victory lap.  This plan may actually be workable, but the Citizen of Cincinnati deserve to know the real impact this will have on the City Budget and the services the City provides. Hiding details is dishonest.  This is insulting to people of Cincinnati. This is, however, how Mayor John Cranley operates.  We must demand the truth from the Mayor.  We won't get it, but everyone in the City must call out the Mayor's half truths and lies every chance we get.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Is the County's Deal For Mt. Airy Hospital Dead?

The Enquirer is reporting that county has stated it will likely cost 100 million dollars to convert the former Mercy Heath Hospital complex in Mt. Airy to a facility that could handle the coroner, crime lab and Board of Elections.

They don't have that kind of money and the Republican majority won't raise taxes for the critical needs of a new coroner's facility.

They've increased the Sheriff's budget this year.

The Republicans should be looking for a cheaper way to update the Coroner's facility and it possible the crime lab, but give up on moving anything else out of downtown and keep the BOE where it is.

It appears Monzel and Hartmann are not doing anything to update Hamilton County's critical needs. Punting responsibility is horrid governance.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Details Finally Published on the Cincinnati Charter Reform in Issue 11

I am not sure how this issue could be considered fair and legal if the full text is not included on the ballot, but you can finally see the details of what is being amended or repealed from the Cincinnati City Charter Here. This wasn't posted anywhere I could locate until October 24, 2014, about 10 days before the election. Most of the changes do appear to be non-impactful, but this doesn't bode well for the organization that has been formed to make additional proposals for changes to the charter. The details need to be on the ballot and ready for the public and media to read in full well in advance of the election.

If this information was provided to the local media well before, then for shame on them for not publishing it in full and linking to it extensively.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why Were Snow Routes Not Fully Plowed Five Days Later?

Late on Tuesday night February 4th the Cincinnati City Manager issued a requirement that all cars parked on Snow Routes in Cincinnati had to be moved.
Based on the time of the Tweet above, the announcement was before 11 PM on the 4th. Just before 7 AM on the 5th, after the 6 AM period listed above, I saw the Cincinnati Police Department towing at least three cars in the 1200 block of Vine Street. That part of Vine is part of the City's publicly listed Snow Emergency Routes. It's also posted along the street:

It was unsettling to me that the City of Cincinnati felt that reasonable notice was considered to be a late night announcement followed by an early morning deadline.  Where was early focus to tow cars put? Over-the-Rhine, of course.  We are known for our vehicular travel.  We are better known for the number of people who park on the street over night.  I'd hate to think we were targeted, but I wish there was a easy way to determine how many cars were towed from which areas's on Wednesday morning.   That would be an interesting statistic.  The motivations for towing in OTR early are mixed, but none seem to be worth wile.  The cars must go, of course, because it is important to have the full street cleared.

Or is it important?

On Wednesday afternoon the City lifted the Snow Emergency, making parking on snow routes legal again. On Wednesday evening, as I was walking home from dinner a local OTR establishment, I noticed that street parking was in heavy use.  Vine street was semi-passable, for experienced drivers.  Calling it plowed was an overstatement, as the road was packed down with a mix of ice and snow and the parking lanes were a mess.  So that evening I had to help push someone out of one of the snow filled parking spots.

For the next several days I watched people either needing help to break free of the parking space snow trap, or having to rock their cars back-n-forth to break free of the icy snow's grip.

Flash forward to midday Sunday.  After nearly 5 days, the parking lanes were still not plowed:

So, people had their cars towed, had to pay to get the car sprung from lock up and likely got a ticket in the process.  All of that for no reason?  It would appear that someone needs to rethink the strategy on snow routes.  Today, driving down Central Parkway, things are clear, mostly right up tot he curb.  Central Parkway isn't a snow route and the days after the big snow, I saw cars parked on the street trapped behind a wall of snow.  Those cars are long since free.

Poor planning is where I would point most of the blame, but poor execution can't be overlooked either.  It seems to me that if you are going to tow cars someplace, you might want to fully clear those streets.  Otherwise, why bother?

The people plowing the streets are working hard, but they don't have the resources needed.  The need for those resources isn't constant, so management of the process is very difficult.  That management needs to be reviewed on both the large scale and on the ground.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

What is Behind Willie Carden's Withdrawal From City Manager Job?

I am sure I am not the only person to be wondering exactly what caused Cranley's choice, Willie Carden, to withdraw his nomination for City Manager.  I can theorize, however.

It is obvious that Cranley acted too quickly on that position. He should have vetted out Carden and Council before acting.  Another case of bad judgement from John Cranley.  This won't be his last.

Here is my theory on what happened: Based on reports I've read, Carden would have been required to live within the City, something he currently does not do. As usual, Cranley shrugged this off as no big deal and pretended he could wave his magic wand and make the law go away with his council lackeys. Well, at least Mann and Flynn, and maybe more of Cranley's council block, said no to either changing the residency requirement for City Manager or for creating some type of exception rule for Carden.

If true, I would say score one for City Council.  Showing Cranley he is not a strong mayor is something that will likely need repeating over the next four years. Council has the real power in the city, not the Mayor, and I hope Cranley remembers it, but until he gets burned severely enough, he won't learn.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Repulbican Efforts to Suppress the Vote Continue

Not sure who Greg Hartmann (R) thinks he is fooling but his idea to move the Hamilton County Board of Elections from Downtown to Mt. Airy is little more than an attempt to suppress the vote of non-Republicans by making it more difficult to vote. Bus routes to the West Side are not plentiful.

Additionally, by putting part of County Government in a remote part of the County it makes it far more difficult for people to have access. Government should be located where travel is most convenient for everyone, not just a few. Downtown is that place.

Where will they hold training for poll workers? How do they expect poll workers get to Mt. Airy if they live in Avondale?

Plus, if the BOE is keeping a location downtown, why have a second location? If they need more space, find something else in Downtown. There are plenty of options.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Will Someone Get Cranley and Kincaid a Copy of the City Charter?

When I read this blog post it gave me a really distinct impression: either Cranley is more ignorant than I think he is, or he's hired a staffer who is far more ignorant than he should be at this point. This gem is the example:
Jay Kincaid, Cranley’s campaign chief who’s moving to City Hall with him, said Monday they’d have to look into whether they technically needed a vote or if Cranley could just halt the work himself.
In case Kincaid hasn't already, I suggest he read Section III of the City Charter.  The Mayor doesn't have the authority to overturn an enacted ordinance.

In other words, he really doesn't have a much power as people think he does.

The Power is vested in the City Council and to a lesser degree the City Manager.  The Mayor can't really do a whole hell of a lot without Council.  His power is more in blocking Council actions via the veto or controlling what they can vote on.

Kincaid might brush up on his reading pretty quickly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Annexation: Is it in Cincinnati's Future?

UrbanCincy has an interesting editorial calling on the City of Cincinnati to consider annexing many of the separate communities that are either immediately adjacent to the City or completely surrounded by the city. The idea would add over 77,000 people to the City and provide the opportunity to consolidate expenses for all of those communities. Furthermore the plan would give those communities much better protection from financial ruin brought about by State budget cuts forced on local governments by the current Governor.

This plan is a big variance from other plans that call for a full City/County merger, which would be an action that would have likely an insurmountable number of obstacles preventing it from succeeding.

I don't know what the initial cost outlay that would be on the City's shoulders for the smaller scale annexation plan, but if the numbers are reasonable, I think the long term gains would be worth it, even if only a portion of the communities agree to annexation.

A big problem to this getting any traction now is that we are in an election year, so discussion of this idea would either be dismissed outright or become a political weapon to beat on without serious consideration. I mean the amount of political contributions Cranley would get from the Westside areas under consideration for annexation would be huge. Cheviot, Cleves, North Bend and Addyston are filled with people who don't like the City and far too many living in those communities don't like the race of nearly half of the people who live in the City.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let the State Fund 100% of MLK Interchange

This has to be a no-brainer. If the Enquirer's information is correct then the State of Ohio will fund the MLK I-71 Interchange project no matter if the City of Cincinnati contributes to the project or not. Here's what the article says:
"State transportation director Jerry Wray told The Enquirer last month the state is moving forward with the project regardless of whether the city comes up with funding. ODOT officials have told local leaders that the state is searching for alternative funding in case the city doesn’t come through."
This should reset all of the discussions on the City Budget from here on out. The City should not fund any of the MLK Interchange if the State is going to do so no matter what the City does. The State of Ohio, under the anti-city crusade from Governor John Kasich, has drastically cut State funds provided to all Cities in Ohio. If the cuts come to people one place, then the benefits should come someplace else. State funding for Interstate Highways is the least Kaisch and the rest of the GOP can do for their anti-city funding cuts.

I expect to hear Cranley, Smitherman, and Winburn saying the SAME THING I am saying.  If the City doesn't need to fund something, we shouldn't do it.  We can spend the money on something else, or if there are restrictions, we can bank the money and use it at a later date.

Hell, if someone wants to be Machiavellian, then there would be ways of sticking it to certain local anti-city politicos, while still doing 'right' for the City.

Here's my stick-it-to-them Plan: If the parking plan goes through the first thing I would do is take part of the money slated for MLK Interchange and announce road improvements in the "neighborhoods" Cranley wants to help.  Those neighborhoods would be those with lots of Republican voters.

The second thing I would do would be to do upgrades to the roads all through Bond Hill and Roselawn and be sure Mayor Mallory, the locations of Smitherman and Winburn's voting base.

The third thing would be for Mayor Mallory standing at each road making the announcements for the new projects and reminding people who voted for the funding of these projects (the Parking Plan) and who voted against it.

That would be my idea of hardball politics.

Instead, to be more equitable we could hold hearings first to educate people, like John Cranley, on the ways the restricted money could legally be used, and then we could hear ideas on the best way to spend it.