Oh, the Parking Plot.
To the naive public, it seems to be a story of the sturm und drang of the power of the people versus the power of the powerful. So it would seem.
But in reality, the public are mere pawns in the real power struggle underway, a multi-faceted battle for money and power that plays out over and over and over in Cincinnati, under which the rich, powerful and connected always win, and the public -- suckers! -- always lose.
After the Parking lease was signed by City Manager Dohoney behind closed doors, the Port Authority, with no public pronouncements, took several days to "think about it." Ultimately, they announced that they had signed the lease, but that they retained a 75-day period in which they could unilaterally terminate the Lease.
The Port Authority never announced why they might have reserved that termination right. Since then, those expressing legitimate concerns about the Parking Lease have been gently patted on the head, and told "we are having accountants and business professionals look at it."
But in reality, what's happening behind closed doors in that the City and the Port are cutting up the pie of the $92 million coming from the Lease. City leaders -- liberal democrats -- want the money to go to labor union perks and preventing any reform of City operations. Powerful business leaders, on the other hand, want the money to go to pet capital projects for their friends and favored developers.
We know this because City Council (Democrats), the County Commission (Republicans) and the Port Authority (appointed plutocrats) all have had the chance to veto the deal. And none of them chose to.
The struggling small business owners in Clifton and Northside, the residents who park in front of their new homes downtown, and those who choose to work, shop and play in Cincinnati who will be endlessly harassed by Xerox for parking fees and fines be damned.
So, while the media plays out before our eyes the fiction that the common man has some remote input into what's going on, know that behind the scenes the power players have used us only as pawns in the real drama of who gets to spend our hard earned money.
And as you grab a gallon of milk at the store after a long day at work, to take to your wife and children at home, a rapacious investment banker in New York lurks over your meter ready to sock you with a whopping fine for forgetting to plug the meter at 7:45 PM.
Suckers! You never had a chance.