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City Manager's Letter: Latest Parking Update

Latest Parking Update

Dear Neighbor,

I have communicated with you previously that we were pursuing a partnership for the leasing and modernization of our parking assets.

Parking Deal Benefits

This deal would have done three things:

  • It would have brought much needed revenue to help stabilize operations through Fiscal Year 2015.
  • It would have allowed us to accelerate growth by doing projects that create jobs, spur private sector investments.
  • It would have provided us an ongoing revenue stream over the 30-year life of the deal that would begin at $3 million and grow from there.

Deep Cuts in Government Staffing

The Administration has been consistent in saying that, in the absence of revenue from the parking deal, we would be faced with having to inflict deep cuts across the government. That has come to be referred to as Plan B.

Today we have received an adverse ruling from the Court of Common Pleas that prevents us from executing the parking lease until a referendum vote this November. We vigorously disagree with that decision and are already appealing it to the next highest court.

Unfortunately, time is not on our side. The new fiscal year will begin July 1, no matter what. We are legally required to have a balanced budget from the first day of the new fiscal year. We cannot wait until November to do that. So this comes down to time and money.

Due to the time it takes to actually get the budget ready to go, we cannot wait any longer. 

Therefore, today I am directed City Administration to begin immediately taking all of the appropriate steps to implement Plan B. This affects police officers, fire fighters, garbage collectors, some recreation centers and pools, parks staff, and others such as those who process permits, pay the city’s bills, and more.

Should we prevail in the Court of Appeals in time, I will immediately stop the implementation of Plan B. Should that decision not come in time, we must move forward.

Slowing the Pace of City Growth

One of the first things the development community told me when I arrived nearly 7 years ago was that City government needed to make it easier and faster to get things done in Cincinnati. Because this ruling means the City cannot act immediately on any of its own legislation, we will be far less nimble in meeting developers' timelines to get things done. We know time is money, and now our hands are tied.

Additionally, cuts of this magnitude prevent us from continuing on the trajectory of neighborhood growth this city has seen in recent years with projects like new single-family homes in Bond Hill and Northside, The Elberon in East Price Hill, and the Oakley Square renovation.

It is hard for me to issue this message to you, but the legal requirement for a balanced budget to be in place necessitates that I act now.

Milton Dohoney, Jr. | City Manager

P.S. For more information on what the parking lease deal points are, please visit this webpage.