Under the failed leadership of Mayor Mallory and Roxanne Qualls, Cincinnatians will have a tough row to hoe this coming year.
First, in March, Council will have a battle royal over the Mayor's plan to lease the rights to on-street parking meters -- and the right to enforce the same -- to a private company for thirty years. Once again, COAST will join in a broad left-right coalition to defeat the proposal, and has several legal strategies in mind to defeat the proposal.
Then, around the same time, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will need to decide if Duke Energy can pass $18 million in utility relocation costs relating to the Streetcar project on to Cincinnati-only ratepayers. COAST estimates that the cost increase for each City homeowner and apartment dwellers will be $6 to $8 per month.
Later next year, the City has to decide whether to actually stop talking about the Streetcar and start building it. Major contracts are for rail, for cars and for the contractor to install the rails. None have been let yet.
This September, we have a Mayoral primary election (if more than two candidates run for that position) and in November, City voters will vote on nine Councilmembers for the first four-year terms under the new Charter provision.
And while this is all transpiring, the City will sink further into the fiscal abyss, with a hopelessly insolvent pension fund, a structurally imbalanced budget, and new debt piled on from the Streetcar.
Shortly after the election, Qualls and Laure Quinlivan will introduce an increase in the City earnings tax of one-half of one percent on top of the 2.1% currently in place, further burdening the populace they claim to want to help.
In short, things are a mess.