EXCELLENCE IN GOVERNMENT PANEL
The Panel focuses on improving local government in our region (with an emphasis on the City of Cincinnati) and educating Cincinnatus members and the general public on such matters. For example, we study issues of government effectiveness, recommend and publicize Association positions on ballot issues such as Charter amendments, and co-sponsor community forums and candidate debates.
Second Tuesday each month, at 4:30 pm (prior to the month’s general membership meeting and at the same location)
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- We are studying how our Panel may assist in the Association’s efforts to improve the ability of local residents to obtain and hold jobs which will be financially rewarding for their families, including changes to public policy; upon approval of any such proposed initiatives, we will work toward their implementation.
- We are working with the local chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators to make and publicize an annual award to a public official or body which innovates a collaborative effort between local governments.
- We are monitoring implementation by the City of Cincinnati of the plan to fix its underfunded retirement program.
- We are participating in the “debate coalition” which sponsors televised candidate debates in significant races.
- We participated in a comprehensive review of the City’s Charter, along with representatives of the Charter Committee and other interested community stakeholders. Some of the Charter Review Task Force recommendations were put on the ballot by Council; others were not, or were vetoed by the Mayor. We will consider whether to pursue a renewed effort to make such changes and to follow up on other Task Force suggestions which the City has not yet adopted.
- We are studying County tax levy proposals which will be on the ballot in upcoming elections, and we will recommend whether or not the Association should endorse and promote such levies.
- We represent the Association in the “Rookwood Group” to plan collaborative activities with other similar minded civic entities, such as community forums on controversial issues.
- Members of our Panel led and staffed the Cincinnati Charter Review Task Force, which recommended multiple changes to the Charter (e.g., changing the date when mayoral and council terms begin, changing the date of the mayoral primary, making various technical amendments, and eliminating many obsolete or legally unenforceable provisions). These amendments were approved by the voters in 2014 and 2015.
- We studied (along with the Rookwood Group) amendment of the Charter to increase Council member terms to four years and communicated with Council about that topic. The amendment was adopted by the voters in 2013.
- We presented an extensive study to the Cincinnati City Administration on ways to expand downtown on-street parking availability and revenues. We later prepared an analysis of issues raised by the City’s proposal for a “parking lease.”
- We closely monitored the work of the Hamilton County Reform Task Force and critiqued its final report.
- We recommended that the Association endorse multiple Hamilton County tax levies (for, e.g., children’s services, senior services, mental health services, indigent care, etc.) after attending Tax Levy Review Committee hearings on such levies.
- We initiated and sponsored televised debates of Cincinnati Mayor and Hamilton County Commissioner candidates.
- We studied the reasons for failure of the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to merge their 911 operations.