Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mallory's crystal cathedral idea is dead

In January, with almost no debate, Cincinnati City Council by a vote of 6 to 3 approved Mayor Mallory's craziest idea yet -- the construction of a glass roof on top of the "open" center portion, or courtyard, of City Hall.

Today, Council purportedly reconsidered and killed the utterly foolish plan.

The idea was that the City would operate the new enclosure as a party hall for weddings and business receptions.

As COAST discovered through its public records request, these six Council members made the $4.4 million commitment without any pro-forma of the projected income and expenses of the "business" contemplated by the enclosure.  They had no idea how much it would cost to heat and cool the largest greenhouse in Cincinnati; no idea how much it would cost for lighting.   They had no projections for maintenance staff and for personnel to take the reservations.  They had no idea how much it would cost to set up and break down the events within the venue.

They further had no market studies indicating the need for such an event venue.  Would it take business from hotels, restaurants, party halls, and non-profit venues that already host such evens such as the Art Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Museum Center.

They just decided, with no data and no experience, for the City to get into the party hall business.

The decision was, in short, insane.

So, now Laure Quinlivan and Wendell Young, the two who originally voted for the project and then changed their minds and now decided they are against it, somehow want credit from the voters for finally making the right decision.

The problem with that is that the voters can't trust their judgment -- their ability to engage in rational decision-making to discern between a foolish expenditure and a worthwhile utilization of City monies.  They also wasted valuable time and resources of the City in chasing this wild goose of a project.  COAST is tomorrow issuing a public records request to try to determine how much money and City resources were wasted in this one of many foolish diversions of City resources.

There is some ambiguity as to the status of the project according to this strange twist from the Enquirer story of today:
Dohoney threw in a surprise, volunteering to stop work on the atrium after seeing a council majority now opposed the project. He did that even after Solicitor John Curp said the motion council voted on had no teeth and that the previous ordinance council passed to move forward with the project trumps Monday’s motion.
Thus, these six idiots, notwithstanding their change of position on the issue, legally empowered a bad project to proceed beyond the point of no return.

So Mallory's crystal cathedral idea appears to be dead -- at least for now.  But the foolish decision-making processes, the irrational horse-trading that is bankrupting our formerly fine City, is alive and well.  

1 comment:

  1. How about all the valuable time and resources of the City and it's taxpayers having to deal with a second COAST referendum on the streetcar?!? Talk about wild gooses!


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