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(6/11/09): City Leadership Cuts Benefits for Retirees and Announces $200 Million Streetcar PDF Print E-mail
On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, eight Council members voted to cut retiree benefits.  This item was not on the council agenda.  It is quite obvious that this was a strategy to cut retiree benefits without notice and without retirees being present.  The eight Council members that approved cutting benefits did so prior to the City meeting its own legal financial contribution to the Retirement System.  Council members that voted for cutting benefits were Berding, Bortz, Cole, Crowley, Harris, Monzel, Qualls and Ghiz.  After they made the decision to cut retiree benefits, they went across town and held a press conference where Mayor Mark Mallory announced that he's moving forward with his number one priority for the City: the streetcar project.  President Smitherman says, "To build five miles of track and spend $200 million while breaking promises to City retirees and citizens all on the same day is reckless and self-serving." The Cincinnati NAACP and its partners are confident that voters will get to decide the destiny of the streetcar in November 2009.

 

 

June 11, 2009

Media Release

Cincinnati NAACP

 

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 10, 2009, near the end of the Cincinnati City Council meeting eight

Council members voted to cut retiree benefits.  This item was not on the agenda, but was introduced as a by-leave.  Council member Jeff Berding, Chair of the Rules Committee, banned by-leaves two years ago.  It is quite obvious that this was a strategy to cut retiree benefits without notice and without retirees being present.  The eight Council members that approved cutting benefits did so prior to the City meeting its own legal financial contribution to the Retirement System.  Council members that voted for cutting benefits were Berding, Bortz, Cole, Crowley, Harris, Monzel, Qualls and Ghiz.  After they made the decision to cut retiree benefits, they went across town to hold a press conference related to the streetcar.  Mayor Mark Mallory announced at the press conference that he's moving forward with his number one priority for the City: the streetcar project. 

 

The Cincinnati NAACP and its partners are confident that voters will get to decide the destiny of the streetcar in November 2009.  On Friday, June 12, the Cincinnati NAACP will release an updated signature count for the streetcar petition.  The number of signatures needed to place the issue on the ballot is 6,150.  President Smitherman says, "To build five miles of track and spend $200 million while breaking promises to City retirees and citizens all on the same day is reckless and self-serving."   The Cincinnati NAACP has been briefed that Jostin Concrete has joined the Mayor's streetcar team.  The owner of Jostin Concrete is the brother of Cincinnati NAACP President, Christopher Smitherman.  Citizens will have the opportunity to witness the integrity and commitment of President Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP leadership and membership.  Jostin Concrete may have a great opportunity, however, building a "choo-choo" train is the wrong public policy direction for the masses of Cincinnatians.  Smitherman says, "I deeply respect the independence of my brother's company.  I am confident that the issue will be rejected in November." 

 

The Cincinnati NAACP will continue to collect signatures for its streetcar petition and its water system petition with the same level of resolve.  The local NAACP Branch has been successful in getting three issues on the ballot through the petition process.  Two of the three were passed overwhelming by voters.  The third issue lost by a very narrow margin. 
 
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