Cranley: ‘I Wasn’t AWOL’


Photo: Jymi Bolden.

After a week of behind-the-scenes bickering, Cincinnati City Council reappointed member John Cranley today to a regional policy-making board. But council’s Republicans voted against the action, noting that Cranley has been absent from 78 percent of the board’s meetings since late 2002.

Council reappointed Cranley, a Democrat, to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) in a 7-2 vote. The action was opposed by Cranley’s GOP colleagues, Leslie Ghiz and Chris Monzel, who said records show he has only attended eight OKI meetings since his appointment and missed 29 others.

OKI coordinates development and transportation projects among counties, cities and townships in the Tri-State area and helps allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants.

Cranley defended his OKI record, stating he has worked outside of the meetings on issues affecting Cincinnati’s uptown area, including lobbying to get an Interstate 71 highway exchange built near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to better service the city’s hospital and research facilities.

But Ghiz and Monzel said the city’s representation at the meetings is important, to build relations with officials from other communities.

“When someone has a 22 percent attendance rate on behalf of the city on a regional board, it’s inappropriate to reappoint that person to the board,” Ghiz said.

Cranley sharply disputes the pair’s allegation, noting he often sent
Eileen Enabnit, the city’s transportation and engineering director, in
his place when he couldn’t attend.

“I was never AWOL,” Cranley says. “Even though I wasn’t there, I sent a proxy. My attendance record is at least as good if not better than most other officials on OKI because I sent a designee.”

The dispute was sparked, in part, because Mayor Mark Mallory initially nominated Cranley for reappointment to OKI, but didn’t endorse Councilman Jeff Berding for reappointment to another board, the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District (TID), instead preferring Councilman David Crowley for that spot. The TID board oversees transportation planning countywide and decides which road projects are priorities.

Some council members grumbled privately that Berding’s perceived snub was punishment for defying the mayor during budget negotiations in December. Berding and four other members endorsed a budget proposal that was opposed by Mallory, Cranley, Crowley and two other council members, temporarily creating an impasse.

Mallory’s supporters, however, noted that Berding’s TID appointment only was to fill the unexpired term of a city council member who lost re-election last year. After the dispute spilled into public view, Crowley withdrew his name from consideration.

Berding was reappointed to the TID board today in an unanimous vote.

— Kevin Osborne

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4 Comments on “Cranley: ‘I Wasn’t AWOL’”

  1. Hyde Park Bob Says:

    “I was never AWOL,” Cranley says. “Even though I wasn’t there,

    Oh yes, and this clown wanted to be a congressman. Now that’s leadership.

  2. Luke Says:

    He sent a proxy. Greg, can you confirm whether or not that’s ordinary? It seems as though most of the legwork for this sort of board would be done prior to meetings, and attendance by proxy would be fine (if not the norm).

    Thank you, Hyde Park Bob, for showing how contemporary media narrative can strip a sentence of its meaning. Unsurprisingly, a single sentence removed from context appears as a paragraph unto itself, rather than than a clause in a larger thought.

  3. Not the Mamma Cass! Says:

    um, ok. Maybe now CityBeat realizes:

    1. Cranley’s a piece of shit.
    2. Cranley’s a lazy piece of shit.
    3. Cranley’s a self-serving piece of shit.

    But you’ll still endorse him come October.

  4. […] during a budget debate at the Jan. 24 Finance Committee meeting. At the time, the Fiscal Five criticized Cranley’s attendance record as council’s appointee to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), which […]

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