Last Tuesday was election day. The votes were all counted, the results are in. The people have spoken. What remains to be seen is, what are the people saying, and is anyone listening? The election this article is referring to is the Cincinnati Mayor, Council, and Issue 4 results. For those who may think that what the voters of Cincinnati do is of no consequence to those people outside of Cincinnati, I beg to differ. I think Cincinnati politics has a tremendous ripple effect on the whole of the greater Cincinnati area and it affects us all. If you work in the city, if you shop in the city, if you play in the city, or even if you only pass through the city, Cincinnati politics will affect you in some way, shape, or form. So we all need to pay attention.
They mayor’s race was the first indication of the mood of the voters. They want a change in the leadership of the City. I belie e there was concern if Roxanne Qualls was elected she would simply be a reincarnation of Mark Mallory. I think it was more of a race about the trolley car than anything else. The people do not want a toy train that goes to practically nowhere and has limited potential to generate even one dime of profit for the city. Now for those who bought and sold property on the trolley line (I won’t mention any names), all I can say is sorry for your luck. The people have spoken, and Roxanne lost the election. One could say that not only was the election merely lost, it was most sincerely lost. We have high hopes for you, John Cranley. Please do not disappoint for the people have spoken,.
The council election was a bit less dramatic, but still significant. As of December 1st, Laure Quinlaven, Pam Thomas, and Roxanne Qualls will no longer be filling seats on City Council. Roxanne Qualls, due to her bid for mayor did not run for council, and we have already say enough about that. Pam Thomas was not surprise. It was obvious to most that her appointment to council in the seat of her husband, Cecil Thomas, was a brazen attempt to keep the Thomas name on council and bypass the effects of term limits on Cecil. Nice try, but the people saw right through that. Laure Quinlaven was no surprise. I have not been shy in the past with regards to my opinion of the effectiveness of Laure Quanaven as an elected official. She was good at presenting feel good motions that had no impact on the running of the city, but fell short when it came to providing any leadership of substance. In my opinion, I think given a choice of saving a green space or a Police Officer’s for Firefighter’s job, the green space would always win. To that end, she accomplished her goal because either Amy Murray, Kevin Flynn, or David Mann will fill her seat at the council table, and I am sure that makes her green with envy.
Issue 4 was note only defeated, it was beaten to death and shoved in a small pigeon-hole, as it should have been. May belief is the voters did not appreciate outsiders initiating a charter amendment to the City Charter. And it is fortunate for all in the ripple effect area they felt this way. No good would have come out of that amendment. Hundreds of highly qualified individuals would have been forced to retire, there would have been a massive implosion of the city budget, and the City, most likely, would have been forced into bankruptcy. But I cannot say that without saying this.The City pension is in shambles and if it were not in shambles there would have been very little opportunity for Issue 4 to even get on the ballot. So why is the pension system in shambles? Who’s fault is that? Yup-, you guessed it, city government. Council, who is responsible for the budget, have not properly funded the pension system in years. I hope the new council, in seeing how it could have ended, will do the right thing and figure a way to properly fund the pension system. They owe to the employees in the system, they owe it to the pensioners drawing from the system, and they owe it to ow it to the public.Let us not give anyone the foothold to try it again, and they will, if the pension system is not corrected. The ball is in your court, City Council.
But what of the new council members, you may wisely ask? I think we just have to wait and see. The political makeup of council has not changed. The democrats are still the majority. Two of the three are recycled from previous years and may, or may not, be partially responsible for the current state of affairs of the city. Only one person is brand new, Kevin Flynn. I have high hopes for him. His campaign is that he is not a politician and not into this for personal reasons. Time will only tell.
One final thought, and I will be on my merry way. I would like to suggest to Milton Dohoney that he refresh his resume, start working on his LinkedIn reach, and purchase a new set of luggage (he can afford it). I think the bell tolls, and it tolls for him . . . to leave. That should be a first order of business for the new administration, and I will be very disappointed if it is not.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?