It's often been said in recent years that Cincinnati needed meaningful change. In 2005 we got it — and we're not talking about the Bengals' win-loss record.
How big a deal was Mark Mallory's election as mayor? Even South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu greeted it as a sign of long-awaited improvement in our troubled history of race relations.
But more than the mayor's office changed hands. Given the opportunity to pick at least two new members of city council, voters opted to double the change and elected four challengers instead (ADD LINK HERE).
One of the incumbents who didn't make the cut was Christopher Smitherman, unseated after his first term in office. Elected in 2003 as a kind of stealth hell-raiser — somehow the reliably staid Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed him — Smitherman quickly distinguished himself by taking on the management of the police department and indications of institutional racism. His defeat at the polls this year was therefore no shocker. The real surprise is that, no matter how "out there" his critics claimed he was, Smitherman was holding back all along (ADD LINK HERE).
Most of the political change is a promise of things to come. But the redesign of Clifton Heights, one of the key uptown neighborhoods in Cincinnati's urban core, is already a work in progress. Effectuating the long-debated change hasn't come without some unpleasantness, but the results could point the way to a much larger revitalization of the city (ADD LINK HERE).
Welcome to 2006.