Within the next few days, COAST will post on Scribd.Com the smoking gun e-mails from Cincinnati's Port Authority that led to today's screaming headlines that the Port was plundering $27 million from the Parking Lease for its own purposes.
The quid-pro-quo completely ignores the 19,000 Cincinnatians who signed referendum petitions and asked to be a part of this process. And, yes, there's plenty of hide-the-weenie, behind the scenes, self-interested wheeling and dealing that should really surprise no one.
But what surprised us, candidly, was an exchange of ideas about putting the money towards what the Port Board members perceive to be for the good of the community -- capital projects rather than funding the City's operating deficit. And we were surprised with their earnest attempt to prevent irresponsible City officials from squandering the one-time monies derived from the parking deal.
Further, the level of distain and distrust expressed by powerful Port Board members towards the City administration and elected officials -- especially Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls -- was eye-popping, for at the same time they are negotiating with these actors, they are expressing their displeasure -- "they lied to us."
So, for all the criticisms COAST has leveled at Port Board members, we must admit they seem to have a good set of oars int he water and have expressed many of the same concerns as COAST about the direction of the City, the trustworthiness of its leaders, and the direction they are taking the ship of state. Their blind spot is towards the good of the citizenry in the big picture of the Park Plot, and their overt paternalism expressed by being utterly unwilling to allow the public to participate in this important decision.
In short, the Port actually appears to be led by people of good will, but they are terribly misguided by the "corporate think" that has become the Port.
Maybe in the end this will somehow work out, but we still can't see how.