Faced with Revolt, Mallory Backs Up

(Photo: Cincinnati-oh.gov)

Faced with a possible revolt by a Cincinnati City Council majority, Mayor Mark Mallory decided Thursday evening to delay scheduled votes on two appointments to area policy-making boards.

City council was expected to vote on Mallory’s recommendations to appoint Councilman David Crowley to the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District (TID) and reappoint Councilman John Cranley to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI).

A five-member council faction that defied Mallory during budget negotiations last month was upset that the mayor hadn’t recommended reappointing Councilman Jeff Berding to the TID board. At the same time, Mallory told council members they should reappoint Cranley to OKI as a “professional courtesy” as Cranley still was on council and interested in keeping the position.

The faction alleged that Mallory was applying a double standard to the appointments, punishing Berding for disagreeing with the mayor on the budget and rewarding Cranley for supporting Mallory’s proposals. As a result, the council bloc — which includes Berding, Chris Bortz, Laketa Cole, Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel — was considering blocking Cranley’s reappointment.

Mallory huddled with some of the council members involved in the dispute shortly before Thursday’s meeting, then announced that votes on the items would be delayed by at least one week. It’s expected that the two competing factions will try to reach a compromise in that time.

The board appointments involve helping make important policy decisions for the region and are hotly sought after by city council members. The TID board oversees transportation planning in the area and decides which road projects are priorities; OKI coordinates projects among area cities and townships and helps allocate millions of dollars in federal grants.

— Kevin Osborne

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