TOM STREICHER: Even as Cincinnati officials grapple with what cuts to make to avoid a $54 million deficit — cuts that might include laying off more than 100 cops — the city's arrogant, clueless police chief spent money from the CPD budget for an extravagant, unnecessary junket to Las Vegas. Streicher approved sending 11 officers to Vegas on an all-expenses paid trip to reportedly learn how to correctly handle the policing of casinos. Of course, those same officers could've taken a quick road trip over to Lawrenceburg or Aurora, Ind., and learned just as much for far less. The officers flew to Sin City, got put up at the Monte Carlo Hotel on the Vegas Strip and each received daily cash allowances. We've often said Tommy and his inner circle waste taxpayer money. Streicher is scheduled to retire in the spring. Ugh. Just get out, already, and let a real professional take over. (Loser)
POPE BENEDICT XVI: It didn't get much publicity in Cincinnati, but the pontiff said during his traditional Christmas address to cardinals on Dec. 20 that pedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.
JEFF BERDING: As head of City Council's government operations committee, Berding knows all too well that it consists of five members and its jurisdiction includes “government efficiency and shared services.” That means any gathering of three or more members constitutes a majority and must comply with Ohio's open meetings laws. Guess what? Four members (Berding, Chris Bortz, Roxanne Qualls and Wendell Young) met with The Enquirer's editorial board Dec. 15 to unveil a budget-cutting plan that includes contracting patrol duties conducted by the Cincinnati Police Department to the Sheriff's Office. The council faction hadn't discussed the concept previously with the mayor or city manager, and it hadn't broached it publicly in any committee meetings. We know Berding likes to skirt government transparency laws, but we expect more from a major newspaper. Speaking of which...
CHARTER COMMITTEE: The venerable group dedicated to protecting and strengthening Cincinnati's charter made nary a peep about the council faction's unprecedented action. “Charter believes that good and effective government is the result of high standards in professional management,” reads the group's mission. “High standards of professionalism in elected officials are also essential.” Bortz and Qualls are, ostensibly, Charterites. A gentle reprimand for the wayward pair is in order, at least. In reality, there seems to be little consistency in beliefs among the Charter candidates. The whole situation calls into question Charter's reason for existence. We're left wondering what, exactly, is the group's purpose besides giving out annual Gumption Awards?