Friday, March 6, 2009

Impressive Interest in Council '09 Race

I must say, it's exciting and refreshing to see so many people interested in running for City Council.

When I first started running in 2000, the first question I often got was: why in the world would you want to do that? And I always thought that was part of the problem--if service to our City through elected office was held in such low esteem, you wouldn't expect much from those who serve. And as a result, you wouldn't get much.

That seems to have changed. In recent months, I have met with a variety of impressive and talented individuals, with very interesting backgrounds and experiences, who are planning to run for Council this year. Just today, both Laure Quinlivan and Nicholas Hollan have made clear they plan to run. A month ago, Tony Fischer--an Iraq war veteran--entered the race.

And just yesterday, I met with another very intriguing candidate who will soon announce. I won't blow his cover.

While there will be quite a squeeze come November, I think it's very good news for the City that a new wave of public servants, from all walks of life and parts of the City, is stepping up to help lead the City and this region forward.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here's the Scoop: Graeter's to Expand in City/County

I was thrilled to join City leaders and Rich Graeter at a press conference today to announce the expansion of Graeter's Ice Cream into a new headquarters and ice cream manufacturing and distribution facility in the City of Cincinnati. (A video clip is here.)

This is great news from an iconic Cincinnati company and brand. They plan to sell more of their ice cream in stores across this country, and this new building will be the centerpiece of that expanded effort. They also are tentatively planning to include a "visitor center" for citizens to watch the ice cream being made and packaged--which is a pretty neat process to watch.

It's no secret that regional neighbors of our's were working hard to seize this new opportunity from us. I for one met with Graeter's to let them know how important a company they were for our community. But the City of Cincinnati in particular stepped up and got the deal done. My thanks go to the Mayor, City Manager, and his staff (along with our state partners) for working so hard to ensure that the expansion of Graeter's into a national brand took place right here in Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

And of course, we thank and congratulate the Graeter family and company for their new growth plans--and their decision to grow right here in Cincinnati.

Finally, this is one other example of how the best way to grow your economy is to work with your own companies, large and small, to ensure that when they grow and expand, they do so right here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Renaming the Banks Project -- Your Input

The Developers of what is now known as "the Banks" project are seeking community input on what the ultimate name of the district/neighborhood should be.

To take the survey, go here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holding Our Own

Ohio unemployment figures for January are out today, and while they're too high for everyone, and the trends aren't good (it went up for every county in dramatic ways), the only positive news is that out of Ohio's 88 counties, we have the 8th lowest unemployment rate.

We also have the lowest unemployment rate in the region, ahead of Warren, Butler and Clermont counties.

It's a good example of how our diverse economy remains stronger than most, and provides more protection in bad times than most counties and regions.

Let's hope that all counties do better soon--and we will do our part to ensure that Hamilton County remains among Ohio's leaders when it comes to employment.

Monday, March 2, 2009

That's a Lot of Garbage!

In government today, we have to be creative, and we have to partner, to do more with less. When it comes to using inmate details to clean up our communities, that's exactly what we've done.

Today, we received a report showing that the joint Hamilton County/Cincinnati effort to use inmate "details" in communities across the County is off to a remarkable start. From August to December 2008, the details removed 237,270 pounds of garbage off neighborhood streets, and cleaned 808 total miles (further than the distance from here to New York City) in major corridors, gateways, and business districts throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

And as well know, cleaning up our communities is an essential part of making them safe.

Financial support for the Partnership comes from grants totaling $120K from 3CDC, the City of Cincinnati Department of Public Services, and the Hamilton County Solid Waste District (and not the County’s general fund). The funds pay for the deputy salaries who supervise the inmates. The deputies also cite property owners who fail to follow code.

In Hamilton County, the cleanup areas include: Cheviot, Forest Park, Mt. Healthy, Lincoln Heights, Colerain, Green Township, Delhi, and Golf Manor. In Cincinnati, the areas include: West End, Westwood/Price Hill, Northside, Walnut Hills / East Walnut Hills, Avondale, Evanston, Madisonville, and Corryville / CUF and Over the Rhine.

This is a great start, and we look forward to rolling this out to other communities.
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