Morning News and Stuff

More JobsOhio controversy, Council undoing cuts, stadium improvements to cost millions

click to enlarge Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic
Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic

Six of nine JobsOhio board members have direct financial ties to companies that have received tax credits and other help from the agency and state government, an investigation from

Dayton Daily News

discovered. The members are connected in various ways: Some are employed by the companies, others sit on their boards and a few just own stocks. The conflicts of interest that could undermine JobsOhio’s goals. The privatized development agency was established by Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislators to replace the Ohio Department of Development. Republicans claim JobsOhio’s privatized nature allows it to move at “the speed of business” when luring companies to the state. But Democrats argue that the agency is unaccountable and draining state funds without any clear indication of where the money is going.

Meanwhile, JobsOhio

gave financial aid

to a company that simply shifted jobs from one city to another. The agency gave Timbertech a 50-percent credit to create 85 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio. The company is abiding, but it’s simultaneously closing down a Columbus factory at the loss of 58 jobs.

Cincinnati will end up not laying off any city employees after City Council

undoes $4 million in budget cuts

with leftover revenue from the previous budget year. The restorations will reverse some or all of this year’s cuts to human services, parks, the Health Department and other city programs. Council members called the higher-than-projected revenue evidence that Cincinnati’s economic strategy is working. But the reversals also raise questions about the city administration’s original claims: When the 2014 budget was first being considered, Mayor Mark Mallory and his administration said the city would have to lay off 344 workers, including many cops and firefighters, to balance the budget without

the parking lease

. But without any of the parking money allocated, the city managed to avert all layoffs and undo a bulk of cuts, largely by using better-than-expected revenues from the past budget year.

Fixing up the Great American Ball Park for the All-Star Game

could cost county taxpayers $5 million

. The All-Star costs are just one part of the $27 million taxpayers will pay to improve stadiums in Hamilton County over the next five years. Stadiums are often touted by local officials as a way to boost the economy, but economists and urban planners have found that publicly funded sports arenas

don’t lead to sizable economic growth

.

Ohio’s job growth is so slow that it will take nearly five years to

recover all the jobs lost during the Great Recession

.

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is

leading fundraising

for this year’s Council campaigns.

The Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce is

hosting two mayoral debates

. This year’s candidates are Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, ex-Councilman John Cranley, Jim Berns and Sandra “Queen” Noble. Qualls and Cranley are considered the two frontrunners.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is

calling on community contributions

to finish the second half of its renovations. The museum has raised $2.7 million out of the $6 million it needs.

Red Squirrel, a local restaurant chain, is

closing down three of five eateries

.

Internet-based psychotherapy

apparently works

.
Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.