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Luken to burbs: Let's get regional

Cincinnati mayor seeks teamwork

By Jeff McKinney

Enquirer staff writer

 

Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken would like to see the city and surrounding suburbs team up to attract new businesses and jobs to the region.  Luken said most of the area's economic development efforts come from county commissioners, the city and the chamber of commerce working together.

 

But the mayor told a group of business leaders from Evendale and Woodlawn at a Tuesday luncheon of the Evendale Chamber of Commerce that he would like to see more partnerships to attract new businesses.  For example, Luken said he was in Munich, Germany, working to attract a business to Cincinnati, and the business ended up in Reading instead.

 

Read full article here:

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/29/biz_luken29.html

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wait... how would this work with the suburbs in the other states?? It sounds to be in the best interests of Cincy and the Ohio burbs, but how would everywhere else benefit since they're in other states?? Couldnt they theoretically team up themselves to compete with Cincinnati??

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I think many of the Northern Kentucky suburbs have teamed up to compete with Cincinnati--especially Kenton County, I think. Although it would be best for these companies to end up in Cincinnati, or Ohio at the least, companies ending up in the region is better for Cincinnati than the companies to end up somewhere else entirely. People who work that these companies may still live in Cincinnati and vice versa, so there is still somewhat of a benefit there, maybe just not as great.

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Luken gets criticized by suburbs

By John Kiesewetter

Enquirer staff writer

 

Suburban mayors aren't cutting Charlie Luken any slack for skipping a forum to foster regional cooperation.  "Cincinnati, many times, acts like an island - and that the world drops off at its corporation lines," said Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt II after Cincinnati's mayor was a no-show for a regional mayors' forum Friday morning in Fairfield.

 

"They talk regionalism, but they don't participate in regional issues," said Lovitt, one of 30 representatives from Southwest Ohio municipalities to participate in the group organized by Mason Mayor Peter Beck.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041120/NEWS01/411200369/1056

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Growth good or bad? All depends

Warren Co., Avondale groups seek answers

By Feoshia Henderson

Enquirer staff writer

 

Warren County wants to slow its ever-continuing residential growth. Avondale wants to attract more businesses and people.  Citizens for Civic Renewal brought in government and community leaders from those disparate areas for a roundtable discussion Saturday to illustrate the need for regional cooperation in managing Greater Cincinnati's growth.

 

The non-profit citizens group attracted about 30 people to the two-hour morning roundtable, held in Rookwood Tower.  Warren County is considering several ways to slow its growth including rezoning rural lands for agricultural business use, limiting county-supplied sewer services and imposing "impact fees" that would require neighborhoods to pay for their services, said Warren County administrator Dave Gully.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051002/NEWS01/510020397/1056/rss02

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Anyone think there is any chance of annexing Norwood?

I don't know a whole lot about annexation laws, but I imagine it's got to be pretty much impossible to annex an incorporated city without the city somehow dissolving itself first.

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^Didn't think of that, what would be in it for Norwood?

 

I think the question would be, "what would be in it for Cincinnati?".  Yes, they would be gaining residents and land, which is always good.  However, you are getting a pretty beat up product.  The City of Norwood is broke and in complete disrepair; streets, schools, other infrastructure.  Is the slight gain in population and land worth the investment needed to bring Norwood up to acceptable levels?  I am sure Norwood is losing businesses and population just like Cincinnati, and please don't tell me how great Norwood is doing just because of Rookwood Commons and the Ackermann office buildings.

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Regional government would solve Tri-State economic woes, panel says

DAN MONK, ANDREA TORTORA, JAMES RITCHIE / CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER

September 29, 2006

 

A panel of economists Friday urged the exploration of a regional government to help the Tri-State cope with meager economic growth.  The advisory panel presented its annual economic outlook to the Cincinnati USA Partnership for Economic Development in a morning session at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

 

The panel said the local economy, as measured by the regional Gross Domestic Product, will grow 2.5 percent in 2007. That's well below this year's 3.4 percent growth rate and below the national forecast of 2.9 percent growth in 2007.  The panel expects that Tri-State will lag the nation in total employment growth and that its unemployment rate will remain above the national average.

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2006/09/25/daily44.html

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Is Cincinnati loosing population to the suburbs, or is population (tax base) relatively level? As long as no harm is already being done to Cincy, why not?

 

Of course an urban city can offer one type of lifestyle. Suburbs offer another, and you won't find suburbanites in urban areas, and you shouldn't find urbanites in suburban areas (although the latter does happen is less-developed metros). If companies go to downtown Cincy the only real gain would be the company itself. The employees will still live where they want, although downtown will just be that much more convenient for them (actually most foks living in downtown OKC work in office buildings on the outer loop or in a suburb, and most downtown workers actually live in apartments or historic neighborhoods on the north side). What you have is people striving for variety in their life, basically.

 

Is there not a metro-wide Cincy chamber? I actually looked into the job a year or so ago of president of you all's chamber (I'm perfectly happy in Oklahoma at the moment, one of the loveliest states I've lived in), so you can't say there isn't already a metro-wide economic development task force. Hopefully some kind of partnership may be bridged between the city and the chamber.

 

You know the Cincy Chamber ranks as one of the most effective economic development agencies in the nation.

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City-County Government.  The city of Cincinnati/Hamilton county would be 12th in the nation in population and the largest city in the state (take that columbus).  One unfied School district, give all kids an equal chance.  Cincinnati Public schools are 71% black in a county that is only 20% black.  Its like Brown v. Board of Education didn't even happen.  Washington park elementary in 99+% black.  Seperate is not equal.

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Mallory embraces strong region

JOE WESSELS / CINCINNATI POST

December 9, 2006

 

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory thinks Cincinnati's southern side isn't so bad.  Though his predecessor, former Mayor Charlie Luken, once told The Post's editorial board that his concerns did not extend beyond his city's borders, Mallory's tone was decidedly different during a similar meeting this week.

 

"Oh, wow. Wow," Mallory said about his predecessors take on the issue. "If you have the mayor who says that I am only concerned about what happens within my borders, you are looking for disaster. You have go to pay attention to everything that happens in the region."  Mallory said he has made it a point to reach out to not only his counterparts in cities in the northern Hamilton County, but also to his counterparts just south of Cincinnati, in Northern Kentucky.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061209/NEWS02/612090338

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There have been a couple of articles on UrbanCincy here and here about regionalism this month and I feel like it would be good to bump this thread and continue the discussion here.

 

I believe that the city should annex some of the cities, townships, and villages on the periphery of the City of Cincinnati as the author (Rando) argues.

 

I see it more as an investment in the future for the city and less political costs in total for the region (allowing that money to go toward other things).

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City-County Government.  The city of Cincinnati/Hamilton county would be 12th in the nation in population and the largest city in the state (take that columbus).  One unfied School district, give all kids an equal chance.  Cincinnati Public schools are 71% black in a county that is only 20% black.  Its like Brown v. Board of Education didn't even happen.  Washington park elementary in 99+% black.  Seperate is not equal.

 

Forest Hills, Colerain NW, Sycamore etc., are not going to hand over the keys to their school systems.

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Ohio needs to eliminate the remaining urban townships (Columbia is the most prominent in Cincy - Cbus has a couple more). The small villages come next. The hardest to convince would be Norwood and similar small cities. The big, mostly intact townships aren't going anywhere. 

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The push for the article I posted is not trying to argue for a city-county government or integration of the school districts in Colerain or Forest Hills. It is saying the really small municipalities and townships that can't property support their citizens should be annexed by the city for more efficient government.

 

Here is a map of the communities he believes should be annexed:

 

Proposed-Hamilton-County-Municipal-Mergers.png

 

 

From Randy's comments in the article

 

Here's the full breakdown so there's no confusion:

 

Village of Arlington Heights (Population 745)

Columbia Township (Population 4,532)

 

Village of Elmwood Place (Population 2,188)

Village of St. Bernard (Population 4,368)

Village of Silverton (Population 4,788)

Village of Lockland (Population 3,449)

Village of Golf Manor (Population 3,611)

City of North College Hill (9,397)

Village of Addyston (Population 938)

Amberley Village (Population 3,585)

Village of Fairfax (Population 1,699)

City of Reading (Population 10,385)

City of Cheviot (Population 8,375)

City of Norwood (Population 19,207)

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^What's involved in that?  Would the city initiate such a move?  Or would that community's leaders need to come to Cincinnati's mayor/city council?  Or would a vote be required?

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The Ohio Revised Code has a lengthy topic about it you can read here.

 

The gist of it is that: individual property owners in an unincorporated area can file a petition to be annexed by a city/village. If there is 100% agreement to be annexed the County Commissioners have to approve it. Then it is up to the city/village to approve the annexation which they are not required to do. If at least 5% of property owners sign a petition (I believe 5%) in a given area to be annexed, the County Commissioners can determine whether they want to approve or decline the request and they have to hold public hearings on it. Then it is up to the city/village to decide if they want to accept it.

 

Also, existing municipalities can merge if the legislative body votes to merge or detach part of it's territory to another municipality.

 

Obviously it is much more complicated than that, but if I am not mistaken, that is the basic process. If it is at all contentious you can expect the Hamilton County Commissioners to deny a request for annexation.

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Those extra 77k votes almost guarantee that issue 48 would have passed.

 

The ONLY one of those municipalities I'd take is actually Norwood, only if the City of Cincinnati didn't have to take any of their debt.

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The problem with the plan that UrbanCincy put forth is that there is no discussion about why absorbing all of these small municipalities would be a good thing for Cincinnati.  Sure, it would be nice to help ease the financial burden of the smaller communities, but what would the city get in return? Most of the communities mentioned above are pretty poor, and would require services that the city of Cincinnati would have to provide.  I think any moves like this should be beneficial for everyone involved.  If you add Lockland, add Wyoming. If you add Reading and Silverton, add Amberly. The city needs areas that contribute more to the city than they take in, and adding more poor areas to the city will only stretch services thinner.  Why can't some of the suburban communities combine if they're facing such dire financial situations?

 

Also, like OC mentioned above, there could potentially be huge political ramifications with adding these communities to the city.  The further people are away from the core, the less they feel connected to it.  Things like the streetcar and the parking plan would be even more difficult to get through with the addition of more suburban voters to the city.  Look at what happened in Toronto following their amalgamation.  The suburban voters elected Ford, who has not only been an international embarrassment, but has worked to undo much of the progressive urbanism that Toronto had become synonymous with.  This issue is truly a 'be careful what you wish for' situation.

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^ Agreed.  Much like I said in the UrbanCincy comments, I think it's far more likely (and probably a lot more mutually beneficial) for some of these inner suburbs to merge with each other rather than with Cincinnati.  Silverton and Deer Park already have a joint fire department, and I assume there's other service sharing agreements as well besides just the overlapping school districts.  That's probably the first thing to happen is merging of certain departments rather than even full municipal consolidation. 

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School districts are separate administrative territories with borders/territories/boundaries that are not necessarily co-terminous/contiguous with municipal boundaries. School districts should have no place in this type of discussion of municipal consolidation.

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^ Sure they should, they're an example of a type of municipal service that isn't currently and doesn't need to be constrained by city boundaries.  That can just as easily apply to other things like police and fire protection, libraries (which already are countywide for the most part), street maintenance, trash collection, etc. 

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The areas that have their own school districts or are a part of another district would have be addressed. This is why getting Amberley and Silverton wouldn't be too hard, but Norwood or Reading would be. I think that push should start with the near northeast side. I think adding Amberley, Silverton, Columbus Township in Cincy adjacent areas, and Golf Manor would make it easier to provide city services. Culturally that area could be considered Greater Pleasant Ridge (Nativity is a significant common denominator in that area). PRidge and Kennedy Heights are isolated in terms of police and fire services. Consolidating that area with a promise of a police station and the new fire station they've been discussing would be good way to start. Plus you have a couple new Cincinnati Public Schools in the area. Culturally, those areas are reasonably pro-urban (Deer Park not so much). Amberley would be the hardest though the fact that it is in Cincinnati Public means that folks are have already made a sort of choice for the city over the 'burbs (though I'd guess that it has a very high private school percentage). I think the west side will always have the anti-urban culture to contend with. It is also probably the most stable integrated set of communities in the region. 

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Amberley & Wyoming are the two best suburbs that border the city. The fact that they aren't on there makes little sense. Most of those municipalities would add a drain of resources to the city of Cincinnati. No Norwood is sort of a wash, it has lots of potential and has had some recent growth but they are consistently completely broke. I'm not sure what their debts are but the city should not assume their debts as well. The rest of those tiny municipalities Should look at merging with each other, but I would never support a proposal that brings many of those smaller poor anti-urban Communities into Cincinnati at this time.

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