Well it’s getting down to the wire for the Cincinnati City Council Race. Since all I talk about is politics, I figured it’s time for me to say who I endorse personally for council and why.
What I look for in a candidate is someone that understands that the role city government has in its relationship with its citizens and within the region. I want people on council that understand and appreciate the financial challenges that Cincinnati faces, and has a plan to get us out of this mess through growth.
The city leaders need to have an understanding that it’s not taxes that will get us out of the financial mess we are in but reforms and growth of the tax base through population and business growth. We need council people that do not look at our poor as criminals or exploit them for votes. I want council people to provide fiscally sound and proven successful avenues to allow them to become successful members of our community. To do this they need to challenge our city schools to not only provide a few select great schools, but to have every school be as successful as a Covedale Elementary or a Walnut Hills High School. They need to bring jobs back to the city, not only will this help our revenue and tax base, this will help uplift those that struggle now, and take the burden off of some of our city services.
With that said here are my endorsements for the 2011 Cincinnati Council Race:
Amy Murray – she is one of the most sensible people on council; I would compare her to Roxanne Qualls in temperament and pragmatic approach to addressing the issues. She has vision and knows how to work with all on council keep city business moving forward.
Leslie Ghiz – she is an outstanding advocate for the citizens of Cincinnati. Her priorities are well placed in making sure our fire fighters and police officers stay on our streets. She has no qualms about calling a spade a spade. While that may rub some including the Enquirer the wrong way, it is refreshing to hear a politician call out others on council that play politics rather than doing what is best for the citizens of Cincinnati.
Catherine Mills – she is young, bright, intelligent, and knows how to articulate her position. She is someone that can help lead this city into the 21st Century.
Chris Bortz – Chris is someone that understands the role government at the city level. He believes in being fiscally sensible He believes that the city needs to invest in itself to attract more people into the city. I think that while public services is the number one priority of city government, number two needs to be to grow, enhance and promote our city. Chris understands this. Being a Charterite he is not tied down to a political agenda of either the Democrats or Republicans.
Roxanne Qualls – Roxanne’s biggest strength is her insight in community and neighborhood development. Her work in community development is welcome in an atmosphere where many neighborhoods within the city are constantly suspicious of each other and of Council. While I don’t agree with her on many other issues, her leadership in community development is something we need on Council.
Kevin Flynn – he is consensus builder, some one that will be able to bring the two parties together to break the grid lock and actually get the agenda moving forward.
Michael Allen – a former Republican, now independent he is currently not tied to a particular party which is a great thing for the citizens of the city. His prior experience as a judge, county prosecutor, and party chairman will be an asset as far as understanding how things get done at multiple levels. He says he doesn’t want to be a leader on council, but he could likely become a strong leader on council quickly.
Wayne Lippert – Wayne is a common sense businessman. He appears to be very pragmatic about his decision making much like Councilwoman Amy Murray. While hasn’t made himself as well known as an appointed Councilperson, he comes across as someone that has a grasp on the issues and knows how to lead. Hopefully he has done enough to get his name out there city wide.
Chris Seelbach – Chris is my surprise pick. Someone I thought I would never vote for. While I know I would disagree with him on many issues, especially at the national level, I find his love and energy for Cincinnati refreshing. I feel like he is already invested in Cincinnati, and wants it to make it better for all. He seems to understand that the key issues is to bring people and business back to Cincinnati as a way to raise tax dollars rather than raising taxes on the current citizens. I think he is a much stronger than people give him credit for. If he follows in the footsteps of his mentor David Crowley then I don’t think the citizens have much to worry about. Like I said while I will disagree with him on many issues, I think he has the passion and temperament to help move the city forward.
The citizens of Cincinnati deserve a Council with a vision and with leadership. We need those on Council that aren’t looking at what they are going to do once they are off Council but what can they do for Cincinnati on Council. We need to bring people and jobs back to Cincinnati. The people don’t care if they are green jobs, blue jobs, or purple jobs, people just want jobs.
In the end I think this was easiest time I have had in a while to come up with nine council people that I would vote for. I think to put this combination on council would finally begin to end the unlimited politicking and grandstand that is currently infested on council. We need a council that is full of leaders and not politicians. This group represent people that I feel have the best interest of the citizens of Cincinnati at heart. I believe and proudly endorse this group as the best group to lead us forward in the next two years.
Leslie Ghiz recently tweeted “The budget looms…Thoughts on ways to raise revenue W/O taxing.” It got me thinking, how can the city balance the budget? I would imagine there are few accounting tricks left in the bag to help balance the budget this time around. Real leadership is going to have to emerge to balance this budget.
Councilwoman Ghiz is right we need to increase revenue without increasing taxes. The problem is that increasing revenue without raising taxes takes time, and planning. This will not fix the budget problem in the short term.
So Cincinnati City Council has two choices, either raise taxes, fees, etc. or cut from the budget. To bridge what is nearly a $35 million dollar gap, I don’t see how council can any longer not make cuts to the Cincinnati Police Department and Fire Department given how much of the budget they take up. Believe me, I agree with the conservative block on council, in that the last thing I want council to do is layoff police officers and fire fighters. I have yet to see how the math adds up without some layoffs. My hope would be to minimize the layoffs to the rank and file by making reductions in administrative and non-police/fire personal and expenditures. An internal look at trying to save money by fixing inefficiencies within the departments would save money and jobs as well.
I think it is time for even the most avid supporter of police and fire to acknowledge that with declining city revenues and a declining city population that real cuts to the police and fire budget have to be made. These cuts should be done with care and with minimal impact to the rank and file, but unless someone has a realistic plan that doesn’t cut police and fire, it must be done.
Councilwoman Ghiz is right we must raise revenue without raising taxes. That comes through getting rid of red tape for businesses, working with our school board and neighborhood councils on making all of our neighborhoods attractive places to live, and investing in our infrastructure. This is where the streetcar comes in. It is a project out of the capital fund, and yes the operating cost will be a net loss for the city. But that doesn’t mean that the increase in property values and in turn property taxes would not offset those losses. The city has for years given multi-million dollar tax breaks to companies that have failed to deliver on promises to add jobs in Cincinnati. I am willing to give the city the chance in this project to invest in itself to attract citizens and business to Cincinnati, and in turn increase the tax base.
To increase revenues and to avoid going down the road when it comes to the budget in future years we must increase the tax base through population and job growth. Cincinnati does this by investing in itself through capital projects. We must make our city an attractive place to live not only through outstanding public safety, but with a great school system, strong neighborhoods, and making this city the easiest place to do business in the Midwest.
What does it say for those thinking to come to Cincinnati, if aren’t willing to invest in ourselves through projects like the streetcar? Councilwoman Ghiz is right we must raise revenues without raising taxes, but hard cuts to all departments including police and fire must happen first to balance the budget in the short term.
This is going to be a different kind of blog entry. Something that I feel need to do and something I need to say. I am a Born Again Christian. I have been since the age of twelve years old. My step-father was the one that lead me to Christ. I am blessed beyond what I could possibly comprehend in knowing that when I die I will spend eternity in heaven along with the rest of my family.
Does that make me better than anyone else? Absolutely not! I am a sinner and far from perfect. I have committed more sins since I have been saved than I care to have counted or think about. I have said things, acted in ways, done plenty of things that I am ashamed of and that if I had to do would hope that I would not make that same mistake again. I understand the fact that I haven’t been active in the Christian community like I should and that some of my actions would lead some to believe that I am not Christian.
This isn’t meant to excuse things in my past that I have done, but to hopefully let people understand that Christ, while he wants us to be free of sin, understands that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This is not about what you believe politically or morally. I am not hear to say that all conservatives are going to heaven and all liberals are going to hell, because I know that is not the case. I know one thing and one thing only when it comes to entering heaven and that is what John 3:16 says:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)
There is no other qualifier for entry into heaven, it doesn’t say you have to be an NRA member or a Republican, it doesn’t say that you can’t believe in global warming, and it doesn’t say you just need to be a “good” person. All it says is that you must believe that Jesus Christ died for you sins.
With that said, I know that Christ died for my all my sins along with everyone elses. I do not have to worry about where I will spend eternity.
I want to share my testimony because I have felt in my heart that we are in the last days, and that Christ will come soon to take those that are saved from this earth, and that those left behind will apart of something far worse than any of us could possibly fathom. I hope and pray that if you are reading this that you will chose not to be left behind
I want to share this with family and friends and those that are willing to take the time to read this for several reasons. For those that are saved, but struggle like I do to be a witness to others and in my personal walk with God, I hope that this provides encouragement and gives you strength.
For those that aren’t saved I want to share my testimony in way that will not make you uncomfortable, or make you feel like this is an in your face lecture, but to provide with something that hopefully will lead you to Christ.
I am sure some would say that who do you think you are for bringing this up? I am no one. This isn’t about some political argument, or that I am trying to say that I am better than you. I want to share what I believe because I want see as many people as possible in heaven when my time on Earth is done. How could I possibly be a good steward for God if I haven’t at least shared something that feel as so important, at least once with those that I call family, friends, and even those that I have causal contact with?
This isn’t something I will likely write about on a consistent basis on this blog because that isn’t what this blog is about, and if I do I will create a separate blog site to share more. But it is something that I want to share now because I feel that it is important for me to share.
For those that are interest on where to read specifically in the bible about salvation I would point you to John Chapter 3 and Romans Chapters, 3, 5, 6, and 10 in the New Testament. Please feel free to discuss this with me publically or privately but I have no expectations of either from anyone.
Like many people that were affected by 9/11 today was a day that we have been looking forward to for almost 10 years. While I didn’t lose anybody 9/11, I was directly affected because I worked for Comair Airlines and was at the Cincinnati Airport when it happened. I remember watching planes land a park anywhere there was an open gate at the airport, it didn’t matter what airline it was. I can recall the airport being evacuated and bomb stiffing dogs going throughout the airport. The once the American skies reopened I wondered how many people would fly again and if I would be laid off again just like I was when the Comair pilots went on strike
The events changed the way America looked at the world. For the first time, many Americans felt vulnerable to terrorism within the United States. Much like we associated Stalin with communism and Hitler with the Holocaust, the face of terrorism was Osama Bin Laden. Until the towers came down I don’t think the average American, or those within our own government understood what we were up against.
Enough of rehashing the past, we all know the story, and that isn’t the point of the blog. May 1, 2011 should go down as a day of celebration, and reflection, much like Memorial Day. We celebrate the death of an evil and vile man. We also should take time to reflect and give thanks to the men and women that served our country and worked hard over the last ten plus years to kill this man.
We must also give thanks to President Bush. His leadership and his willingness to the fight terrorism relentlessly, and unapologetically, helped us get to the point that we had the ability to kill Bin Laden. Finally President Obama must be given his due. No matter your political leaning, President Obama did something that Bill Clinton refused to do before 9/11 and that was he was will to put his neck on the line when he had solid intelligence as to where Bin Laden.
President Obama had the courage to send troops into Pakistan, which was extremely risky given the current state of relations and the chance of the mission being a failure. The President should be commended for taking such action, and authorizing this military mission. Of course though our President and the rest of the country owes and debt of gratitude to those that were directly involved in executing this mission with such precision and professionalism.
May 1, 2011 will not be the day that ended terrorism unfortunately. There are still plenty out there that want to destroy America because of their intolerant and radical views. What this date symbolizes, is that America has the resolved, the will, and the resources to destroy those that seek to destroy us. Throughout our history, whether it was England during the Revolutionary War, Japan during World War II, Russia during the Cold War or Al Qaida during the war on terror, there has been one theme throughout American History. You make knock us down, but by the grace of God, America will get back up dust ourselves off and we will unleash the entire force of the American military to hunt you down and if need be kill you.
This is an issue that I have been heavily involved with for the last several years. I believe that not only is it best for the residents of Covedale and West Price Hill, I believe it is in the best interest of the City of Cincinnati to recognized Covedale a separate, stand alone neighborhood within the city of Cincinnati. I am going to give you a very brief History of Covedale and then get into the reasons why I feel that in is best for Covedale to be a separate neighborhood within the city of Cincinnati.
In 1930 Covedale was annexed in to the city of Cincinnati. It was not annexed into West Price Hill, just into the City of Cincinnati. The debate prior to 1930 was if Covedale would become a village or become part of Cincinnati. Long story short Covedale became part of the city. Through the years, the Covedale identity has become muddled and full of controversy. This is due to the way the city recognizes “official” neighborhoods and the Price Hill Civic Club actively stretching the neighborhood boundaries to include Covedale through the years.
The residents of Covedale , including myself, are demanding equal recognition because the identity of Covedale as a separate neighborhood in Cincinnati is what is best for the neighborhood that we live in, the surrounding neighborhoods, and the City of Cincinnati. This is about continuing the success that Covedale has seen through years, improving our position in the city, and in the region, as an affordable community within the city limits that provides a variety of amenities including the arts (Covedale Theater), location to downtown( less than 15min), location to public transportation, and retail locations as well. This isn’t a move we are making because we think we are better than anyone else. We feel this is necessary because we have different needs than our neighbors in West Price Hill.
The fact is that the Westside suffers from neighborhoods that are too large and have become unmanageable, including the West Price Hill neighborhood. When you have “neighborhoods” over 20,000 residents ran by community council’s that are attended by an average of less than 50 people and the same people are elected over and over again, you have neighborhoods that become stale and council’s that become too political and that lack leadership.
There is little doubt that the lack of leadership in West Price Hill has hurt the community. The focus is fragmented into trying to build up the Covedale area, while trying to fight the crime and “Section 8 issues” that plagues the rest of West Price Hill. This lack of focus has hampered the development of both neighborhoods.
What is needed is a comprehensive strategy for both neighborhoods. For Covedale the goal would be to enhance our image as the gateway to Cincinnati from the western suburbs. We need a plan that continues to grow our Theater District as a unique and vibrant area. Enhancing our housing stock and value by promoting such areas as the Covedale Garden District and Overlook Heights as communities within Covedale, is key not only growing our neighborhood but improving surrounding neighborhoods in the process.
The neighborhoods that thrive in Cincinnati are the ones that have the residents engaged and strong leadership. In Covedale we have wonderful residents that want Covedale to succeed as a vibrant neighborhood that is part of Cincinnati. New leaders are emerging, some that are 3rd and 4th generation Westside residents, along with some that have moved to Covedale from other neighborhoods and other states. In the end, we want one thing, and that is for Covedale to become a separate neighborhood as it was before 1930. This is the best result for those that live in Covedale and for the city of Cincinnati.
I understand that Issue 9 (better known as the Street Car Issue) is an extremely controversial and important issue in this city. I think though that both sides have mischaracterized what this is really about. This issue in the end isn’t about whether a streetcar should or should not be built. The issue is about how are we going to govern this city.
The reason I am voting for NO on Issue 9 is because making decisions by ballot initiative rather than having those that we elect make those decisions is a very bad way of running a government. What is the point of having elected officials if we are going to vote on single issues like this? We do not need to become another where the people vote on what seems to be every law. This is extremely costly and becomes extremely inefficient, and in the end you have people voting for or against laws that have consequences that the voters had no ideas about. For instance I would be willing to bet that the majority of voters in Cincinnati think that voting yes on Issue 9 means that Cincinnati will not have a streetcar system and voting No means we will have a street car, both assumptions are false and couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the end we elect officials to make decisions and if we disagree with those decisions we need to remove those that we disagree with from office. Which seems to be the problem we have in Cincinnati. We keep on complaining about our elected officials not doing the job but then we reelect them to office.
Let me be clear about this also. Voting No on Issue 9 does not mean the streetcars will be coming to Cincinnati. All it will mean is that we will leave it up to the people we elect to do their job, which is to govern. If you as a voter do not want streetcars in Cincinnati you have the perfect opportunity to prevent that from happening this fall. All you have to do is vote out Mayor Mallory and those that are running for council that want the streetcars and vote in the people that are opposed to them. It is simply that easy.
On lets not let those that say you should vote YES for this Issue 9 confuse the issue. This issue while they may tell you it’s about the streetcars, they are wrong. What this issue is about is allowing to continue to use the system to force votes on issue that our elected officials should be dealing with at our expense. While I agree that we should have a say if Cincinnati should have streetcars we should use that voice to vote in the elected officials that share our beliefs and work to do what is best for our city rather than spending money that the city and county do not have on these single issue items.
President Elect Obama hasn’t even taken office yet and the crazy Liberal Left is already complaining about what Obama is doing and who he is appointing. That is the funniest thing I think I have heard in a long time. What could they possibly be complaining about? They are getting a third term of Bill Clinton, I mean isn’t that what every great Democrat wants?
The fact of the matter is that Obama is no different than every other politician before him in Washington. He will say what ever it takes to get elected and then do whatever it takes to stay in office. There will be no change in Washington until the people in Washington change and Obama is still bringing in the same tired cast of characters.
What is funny is that both the liberals and conservatives finally agree on something. Neither side likes the picks. But at least for the sake of the country Obama is staying pretty moderate. So much for new leadership and change. His new motto should be “Yes we can, but no I won’t”.
I never thought I would see the day that liberals would attack the Clinton’s and their cronies for being to moderate. But in the crazy unstable minds of the liberal left this is the case. Obama is the there best hope since the debacle of the Carter Administration to veer the country to the destruction that the liberals are hell bent on taking us. Lets just hope that the Clinton’s part 3 goes more like Bill’s second term except for being stronger on foreign policy or this country will be in a world of hurt.