Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pack the Port

Tomorrow evening (Thursday night), the Port of Cincinnati is having a "public hearing" on the Parking Plan, but they are not allowing public comment (kind of a strange "hearing").  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Parking Plot -- several paths to victory

Let us say for starters that when the fix is in in Cincinnati, the fix is in.  We are under no delusions about that.

The only question for the power players is not if they are going to screw the taxpayers, the honest, rule-abiding, hard-working citizens of this community, but rather how they are going to split up the pie.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Clumsy, awkward sham Port "Public Hearings" show the fix is definitely in

In a feigned attempt to show involvement of the public in their insider game, the Port Authority today conducted its second "community meeting" to obtain public input on the Parking Plot.  Umm huh.  Consider:

Parking Plot Ruling Appealed to Supreme Court

Today Curt Hartman, the attorney for the citizens opposed to the parking plot, filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court seeking to reverse the Court of Appeals' ruling that the Parking Plot is immune to referendum. Read the filing below.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Port Authority to hold "Public Meetings" on Parking Plot

The Port Authority, one of the co-conspirators in the Parking Plot, will be holding two "Public Meetings" to get public input into this disastrous policy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Critical MUST READ from Charles Krauthammer -- Unchecked spending can't go on forever.

COAST heartily recommends this important read from Charles Krauthammer, who in addition to George Will, consistently is one of our favorite commentators:

Stein's Law.

It would behoove officials at the City of Cincinnati and the Port Authority to read this.

It's been a month...time for that first Streetcar status report

Cincinnati City Council voted on June 26 to fully fund the Cincinnati Streetcar project, adding an additional $26.5 million to the project plot.  (It has been reported as $17.4 million, but read here why this is false.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Toledo Blade highlights problem with closed government in Ohio

Ohio's Sunshine Laws -- statutes calling for opening meetings and public records -- are not just under assault by courts and public officials, they have been shredded.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

City Beat's German Lopez writes an excellent perspective on Parking Plot and the Port

Cincinnati's media is so regularly either asleep at the switch or overtly championing one perspective or another rather than simply and effectively doing their job: reporting the news and holding our public officials.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What a week it was

As of last Saturday, we admit it was looking pretty bleak.  The Court of Appeals rejected our bid to have a referendum on the Parking Plot.  The City of Cincinnati and the Port Authority signed the lease, and it appeared that the pieces were falling nicely in place for Mayor Mallory and Roxanne Qualls to implement the massive scam on Cincinnati taxpayers.

Then starting on Sunday, all hell began to break loose:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The debt beast

Detroit's bankruptcy filing today has brought renewed comparisons of the Motor City with the Queen City, with many commentators (including COASTers) suggesting that Cincinnati is fiscally a mere five-to-ten years behind Motown.

But how did Detroit descend into the abyss resulting in bankruptcy?  In a word, debt.

And so it comes out

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.

Was it thirty pieces of silver for the Port?

We all know the end game.  After 75 days of "studying" the Parking Plot lease, the Port Authority and its powerful Board members from Cincinnati's top businesses will bless the lease as "fair" and "solid," and remove its contingency to terminate the lease.  The outcome is a foregone conclusion according to a script written before the Court of Appeals ever ruled.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

City paid -- so far -- Walker Parking Consultants $315,339 for "flawed" six-month study

On Sunday WCPO Digital reported that the City's own consultant -- Walker Parking Consultants -- blasted the Parking Lease as being entirely too generous to Xerox and stingy to the City, by huge margins.  In other words the report is confirmation that, as Parking Plot opponents have pointed out,  the Lease is a massive 30-year ripoff of the City and ultimately its taxpayers.

Oops, they did it again! City Manager signs Parking Lease without Council Authorization

In their headlong rush to sign the Parking Plot lease following the Court of Appeals decision in June, the City realized that the lease needed some material revisions before signing.  However, not having the needed votes to approve it in its revised form, the City Solicitor's office just modified the Lease and had the Manager sign it anyway.

Medicare Part D Actually Keeping Costs Down.......for now

What one government healthcare program has actually saved seniors and taxpayers money? Medicare Part D. We are actually spending 40% less than the Congressional Budget Office predicted we would be spending at this point. What would be our governments response to this? Trying to dismantle and add more costs to seniors and taxpayers. Please read and share this article Here and help stop rising premiums for our seniors!


Do the Port Authority and Laura Brunner
give a damn about the good of the community? 
Absolutely not.

The drama of the last 48 hours over the Parking Plot, with City administration and the Port Authority lying, cheating and stealing to get what they want, might give the hundreds of referendum circulators and tens of thousands of petitions signers hope that the 50-year plundering of the taxpayers would be stopped.

Forget it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So much for transparency and openness at the Port!

Laura Brunner and the Port Authority 
are the latest players in the drama betraying citizens of Cincinnati 

COAST did a public records request of the Port for Parking Plot e-mails.  

We got some of those yesterday and shared them with the Enquirer today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's really happening on the Parking Plot

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.

Ohio Open Meetings? Why bother?

Ohio ostensibly has an Open Meetings statute requiring that meetings of public bodies (City Councils, Township Trustees, school boards, etc.) to be announced to the public, open to the public and reported to the public via recorded minutes.

Cracks in the foundation of the fortress

In 2009 and 2011, the non-incumbents willing to take on the disastrous policies of Mayor Mallory, especially the Streetcar, were virtually none, except Dr. Brad Wenstrup who was alone in endorsing the anti-streetcar initiative.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

WCPO Digital blockbuster: City's own consultant blasted Parking Lease one day before lease was signed

It's a game-changer on the Parking Plot.

Tonight WCPO Digital reporter Kevin Osborne reported (here) on a report from the City's own consultant that blasts (here) the City's parking lease with investment bankers from New York City.

Mystery surrounds latest streetcar cost overrun

A curious announcement
A curiously-worded announcement came from City Hall in a Friday document dump designed to lessen the negative impact of the latest cost overrun of the Cincinnati Streetcar:
[The successful bidder] MPD has requested additional funding in the amount of $492,933 related to increased costs for materials and labor resulting from this delay. This is covered in the current project budget.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Were our founders about talk -- or action?

Mayoral candidate John Cranley hammers parking lease

Under the Cincinnati Parking lease, the Xerox Corporation will derive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the coming 30 years.  And let us ask a hard question: Just who is going to pay all of those profits for a corporation based in Norwalk, CT?  The Mayor and City Council say the increased revenue will be utterly painless.  We say that those who pay will be the suckers who choose to shop, play and work in the City of Cincinnati, of course.

Cut funding for the Port Authority -- entirely!

In the Cincinnati Parking lease, it takes two to tango.

The parking lease is between the City of Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority.  Despite a majority of Council claiming to oppose the lease, the City has signed it.  The Port Authority has signed it, but kept a 75 day clause to terminate, apparently for any reason.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Victory or death -- William Barrett Travis

In one of the more heroic and dramatic series of communiques from men besieged on all sides, William Barrett Travis wrote several letters, secreted by couriers on horseback from the Alamo.

Here's one:

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World 
Fellow citizens & compatriots 
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH. 
William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt. 
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

Victory or death, indeed.  Victory or death.

Read more and see the original letters here.