As Santa delivers presents on Christmas Day, we hope he takes into account the naughty acts by politicians and voters throughout the year. For your reading pleasure, COAST has assembled its Top 10 instances of foolish excesses of the voters and politicians in 2011:
10) The voters electing to Cincinnati City Council a liberal, left-wing, big-spending cabal led by Roxanne Qualls, and including big-spending newcomers of P.G. Sittenfeld, Chris Seelbach and Yvette Simpson. Council's more rational members, Wayne Lippert, Amy Murray, Chris Bortz, and Leslie Ghiz were sent packing.
9) The City Manager and Mayor trying for the third time to implement a trash tax. This expense is already included in your property tax and earnings tax...a little case of double dipping by Dohoney and Mallory. Not only did the Council not approve it, but the voters in November added a Charter Amendment outlawing this form of taxation.
8) The City Manager and Mayor trying for the fourth time to repeal the City's Property Tax Rollback. Tsk, tsk, tsk. This cash grab from homeowners trying desperately to avoid foreclosure in this depressed economy failed to pass Council.
7) City Council and Mayor Mallory failing for the sixth year of the Mallory mayor-ship to seriously cut spending at City Hall or implement a structurally balanced budget. As we have seen nationally and internationally, debt comes back to bite you. Someday soon, the day of reckoning is coming.
6) Mayor Mark Mallory taking home $500 per month for a car allowance for his Lincoln Towne Car that was never approved by the Council. COASTer Mark Miller has a suit pending in front of Judge Marsh on the topic.
5) The Hamilton County Commissioners for reducing the property tax rollback that was promised as a part of the stadium tax deal cut in 1996.
(To clarify: the 2010 Commission on a 2-1 vote reduced the promised rollback for tax year 2011. In recent weeks, the 2011 Commission maintained the rollback on a 2-1 vote for tax year 2012)
4) Council member Laure Quinlivan using her office staff and equipment to run her Council re-election campaign. Thanks to a COAST taxpayer action, Judge Martin has ordered her to pay back the City $1,500 for stealing City resources and enjoined her from ever doing it again.
3) The approval by City Council of $4.1 million to enclose the atrium at City Hall. COAST will explore this boondoggle further, but suffice it to say they pissed this money away.
2) Spending by Mayor Mark Mallory of $8 million this year from for streetcar planning and engineering. Even worse, it's bad engineering, calling for the 40-ton leviathons to rumble ON TOP of 100-year old brick sewer lines. Freaking brilliant!
Drum roll, please.....
And the single, number one foolish act of 2011 belongs to ....
1) The voters who rejected Senate Bill 5 at the polls, the one proposal that could have righted state government and brought into control union contracts for the State of Ohio and thousands of local government units throughout the state.
So, big lumps of coal for Mayor Mark Mallory, City Manager Milton Dohoney, and Laure Quinlivan for abusing their offices shamelessly. Smaller lumps of coal for the voters, who did a few good things this past year as well.