City Council to determine which proposal for four-year terms voters will see in November
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Cincinnati voters will decide in November
whether their City Council members will serve four-year terms instead of
the current two-year ones — councilors just haven’t decided which
proposal to send to voters.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The message at a July 18 County Commission public hearing: Don’t reduce funding for mental health and senior services.
by Andy Brownfield
at 03:48 PM | Permalink
Lack of levy increase would reduce funding
The message at a Wednesday County Commission public hearing: Don’t reduce funding for mental health and senior services.
The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners must
determine the levy amounts by Aug. 8. Last week the county’s Tax Levy
Review Committee determined that the levies that fund services such as
Meals on Wheels, home care and counseling for 30,000 county residents
should remain at their current rate — an effective cut to their funding.
Property owners currently pay $77.70 in taxes from the
levy on a $100,000 home. Maintaining the current levy would represent a
reduction in funding because of declining property values.
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls urged commissioners to make sure senior services were fully funded.
“When families have to make the choice between caregiving
and work, that some families, without this levy fully funded, would have
to choose not to work in order to provide care,” Qualls said. “That is a
terrible choice to put families in the midst of.”
Doris VanLouit, who has been a member of the Sycamore
Senior Center for more than 10 years and volunteered at the front desk,
told commissioners that many seniors depend on the services funded by
“Sometimes the Meals on Wheels drivers are the only folks that these shut-ins see all week long,” VanLouit said.
“And transportation to the center is so vital because I
see them come in … on walkers and canes, and this is the only social
atmosphere that they get all week.”
The Tax Levy Review Committee recommended that the
agencies receiving funding from the levies find areas to cut and operate
In a letter to the Board of County Commissioners, the
committee said it tried to balance the needs of the service recipients
with the ability of taxpayers to take on additional burden.
The Enquirer reported that committee member Dan
Unger during a Monday board meeting said the committee was trying to
protect “people who invest in housing and choose to live here.”
Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Chairman Thomas Gableman said creating efficiencies might not be possible.
Gableman said over the last 5 years there has been a 10
percent decrease in levy revenue, while there’s been a 16 percent
increase in clients served over that same period. He said the board has
implemented nearly $4 million in cuts over the last year.
“We operate at 2.3 percent administrative cost. When the
Tax Levy Review Committee talks about increase in efficiencies, we’ve
gone through that exercise over and over again — there are no further
cuts in administrative costs,” Gableman said.
“When we start talking about cuts, it will be in services.”
Pat Tribbe, Mental Health Board president and CEO, said it
would only require an additional $6 per year in property taxes to keep
the board’s funding level.
The Board of County Commissioners plans to have two more
public hearings on the levies before they vote — at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30
p.m. on Aug. 1.
Ultimately it is up to Hamilton County voters in November to approve or strike down the levies.
by Danny Cross
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls responded to Rep. Steve Chabot’s
Wednesday attempt to block federal funding for Cincinnati’s
streetcar construction by calling it “an outrageous interference in
local government decision-making.” The Enquirer today recapped the
situation, which involves Chabot adding the following amendment to a
massive federal transportation bill: “None of the funds
made available by this Act may be used to design, construct, or operate a
fixed guideway project located in Cincinnati, Ohio.” The amendment has
little chance at being included in the final passage of the bill, as the
Senate and President Obama would both have to approve and sign it.
A parody video of a Western &
Southern PR representative explaining why the insurance company should
build condos at the site of the century-old women’s shelter has earned a
response from W&S. The company’s VP of public relations told The Enquirer: “Whoever
created the video, we think it’s unfortunate that they’ve taken this
approach,” he said. “We think it’s a distraction from finding a win-win
for all involved.” The video is no longer available on YouTube, however,
due to “a copyright claim by Canipre inc.”
Speaking of funny videos, MSNBC posted this video of Rep.
Jean Shmidt apparently reacting to someone incorrectly telling her that
President Obama’s health care law had been struck down. Schmidt can be
seen twisting around and making strange screaming sounds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
CityBeat’s endorsements for Cincinnati City Council
11 Comments · Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Some powerful special interest groups know
a secret that the average Cincinnati voter doesn’t: If you want to make
your votes for City Council truly matter and have the greatest impact,
don’t use all nine of them. That’s right: Even though you can cast nine
votes in the council race, you really shouldn’t.
Residents, council members try to prevent closings
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A showdown is looming between the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and a group that wants to keep two YMCA branches open in Walnut Hills and East Walnut Hills. In 21 days the Williams and Melrose branches are scheduled to close despite the opposition of some residents.
State OKs money for other more expensive, less effective projects
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
While hopes appeared to dim last week for Cincinnati’s long-planned streetcar system due to a series of legislative setbacks, local leaders say the project is far from dead. “With any large project, I always preface anything by saying that it’s always a very long process and there are always obstacles,” says Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, one of several City Council members supporting the project.
Critics say burden falls too heavily on current workers
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In an effort to fortify Cincinnati’s ailing retirement system for municipal workers, City Council narrowly approved a package of reforms March 16 aimed at reversing the system’s current course toward a projected $1 billion shortfall. In a 5-4 vote, City Council approved reforms that stiffen eligibility requirements, reduce some benefits and increase the retirement age for current workers.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Last week's extended soap opera at City Hall about how to fill a $54.7 million deficit in the budget ended anti-climatically, with differing City Council factions temporarily solving the dilemma by resorting to the same sort of tricks they did last year — instead of showing leadership or political courage, the mayor and nine elected council members decided to use $27 million in one-time sources of cash to patch over the immediate problem and approve studies into possible changes that could yield the rest of the savings.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Mayor Mallory didn't do it. Vice Mayor Qualls didn't do it. It finally was left up to the ex-TV news reporter-turned-city councilwoman — a first-termer — to present hard, cold facts and figures about staffing levels in the Police and Fire departments.