Thursday evening Blue Ash Council will meet to vote on changes the City of Cincinnati has proposed to the Blue Ash Airport sale. These changes are intended to allow Cincinnati to use the proceeds of the sale to fund the Streetcar.
The City of Cincinnati seeks to essentially un-do the 2006 sale of the Airport to the City of Blue Ash so that Cincinnati can close the Airport, then re-do the sale to Blue Ash.
This process will allow Cincinnati Council to avoid FAA rules against using the proceeds of the sale for any purpose other than running an airport. You see, if the sale (which has already occurred) was done after the airport was closed, then technically Cincinnati isn't selling Blue Ash an airport, so the FAA rules don't apply. Problem is, the sale already happened, SIX YEARS AGO!
Blue Ash gets nothing out of this deal other than to help Cincinnati's City Council in its never ending quest to build the Streetcar Boondoggle. It makes absolutely no sense for Blue Ash to go along with this charade. Even still, the Blue Ash Council has announced its intention to support this trick.
Make no mistake. Cincinnati's City Council is hijacking the sale of the Blue Ash Airport to fund their boondoggle. And if Blue Ash's Council doesn't stand firm, this will be the just the first time Blue Ash's pockets are picked for the Streetcar.
At every turn, Cincinnati's Council has been thwarted in their efforts to fund this boondoggle: Governor Kasich withdrew state funding, Hamilton County Commissioners Monzel and Hartman made sure that County funds could not be used for this, and Congressman Steve Chabot is working to end federal outlays. Cincinnati City Council is desperate for funds for this lunacy and this is their latest money grab.
At best, this scam will get Cincinnati roughly $11 Million toward their $150 +/- Million streetcar. If these funds become available, the next piece of the puzzle will be an additional line item on your Duke Energy bill. Cincinnati's Council has not given up on countywide funding for this ridiculous streetcar to nowhere.
As noted above, this is a definitive issue for Republicans. Republicans at every level have been resolute against this waste of taxpayer dollars. Now it is time for the Republicans on Blue Ash City Council to hold the line.
Vice Mayor Lee Czerwonka is reported to have said that Cincinnati is "blackmailing" Blue Ash into agreeing to these changes; that Cincinnati is threatening litigation if the changes don't go through. However, Blue Ash owns the property through a warranty deed. This means that the seller (Cincinnati) will indemnify the buyer (Blue Ash) against any issues of title to the Airport Property. So, even if Cincinnati did bring a lawsuit against Blue Ash, Cincinnati would have to pay all of Blue Ash's costs. In short, Mr. Czerwonka's excuse rings hollow.
There is simply no fiscally responsible justification for allowing Cincinnati to bully Blue Ash in this way.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1: Email Blue Ash Council and let them know that you stand firmly against the Streetcar and against making changes to the terms of the sale.
2: Call Blue Ash City Council and let them know where you stand. (513)
936-0001 (oops wrong number originally) 745-8500.
3: Listen to Scott Meyer on the 550 KRC with Brian Thomas at 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday.
4: Attend the Council hearing. The hearing is Thursday night at 7 p.m. at 4343 Cooper Road. Click here for a map.
5: Keep track of how your council members vote on this issue and pledge only to support those who oppose this unnecessary and wasteful change. COAST will follow this issue and keep you informed of the votes.
6: Forward this email to your family and friends and make sure they too join the fight against this bullying.
COAST will continue the fight against this reckless assault on the taxpayers.