Downtown Residents' Council Meetings & Activities

August 9, 2011 Member Meeting

Date of meeting: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Time/Location: 6:00 PM, Cincinnati Public Library (800 Vine St.)

Welcome and Introductions

DRC President Chris Smith called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

Cincinnati Police Department: Monthly Report

  • Sgt. Schneider - Police are no longer required to wear hats or ties (in most cases) with possible future uniform changes; Dominic Hardy who has been responsible for many car break-ins has been picked up by the US Marshalls (more charges flooding in); The Banks substation (150 E Freedom Way) is fully functional with emergency phone outside; five new downtown officers; significantly less theft from autos (TFA) due to arrests; only one remaining frequent TFA suspect and is being closely watched; new chief James Craig is very friendly and approachable
  • Rick Dieringer asked about the five new officers - replacements not new positions

Cincinnati Fire Department - no report

Adoption of July 2011 Meeting Minutes
Hugh Koon made a motion to adopt and was seconded by Julie Carpenter - all in favor

Guests:

John Schneider (Cincinnatians for Progress) - Ballot Issue Blocking All Rail in Cincinnati for a Generation - www.protransit.com - Alliance for Regional Transit

  • Last time a representative from the city presented, but John noted he can be more candid
  • Passed out a handout on the current ballot initiative
  • Driving in the US has now peaked and fewer cars being produced even as population increases
  • It is estimated that only two parking spaces will be lost every two blocks or so due to the streetcar
  • Returns on highway investment now lower than other investments; will cost $1 billion to widen I-75 with no traffic improvement
  • Many cities gaining in population while outer region growth is not as great
  • People moving near streetcar routes - many city examples cited with impressive growth after streetcars were built
  • With technology we only have one overhead wire instead of two and the wire is very unobtrusive
  • Building this for many demographics (not just yuppies as opponents argue) - students, party goers that aren't drinking then driving, disabled individuals, families, bike riders, etc....
  • Safety - getting more people walking around downtown improves public safety; streetcars are very well lit
  • Quick ingress/egress on the streetcar allows for quick loading/unloading; unsure how we will collect fares on our system
  • Cincinnati's challenge: 129K jobs in CBD, OTR and Uptown and only 75% of job-holders live in Cincinnati (only 10% live in downtown/uptown); economic improvement will draw in more people; "We need to repopulate Cincinnati"
  • Streetcars promote: less parking (it cost $40K per parking space to develop underground garage in Washington Park); fewer cars needed means individuals can spend more money on homes; fewer cars will drive more demand for local retail and services; more retail & services will drive more jobs, investments and improve safety
  • Map of streetcar area with parking lots highlighted - replacing these areas with business and residential brings in more tax dollars
  • In Portland development has lent itself to integrated housing
  • We must get the facts out on a very complicated subject; according to opponents these are abysmal failures, but no modern streetcars have ever failed and if anything they are growing; "Be Informed"
  • Ballot measure has gotten worse by banning all rail planning/building from public or private funding sources until 2020
  • Planning for the Cincinnati streetcar has started in 1996 - by blocking any rail planning until 2020 it will hold back rail transit for many, many years beyond 2020 as rail planning on all projects will have to be restarted
  • Question by Hugh Koon on using traditional streetcar designs- no for many reasons: car competitive, ADA compliance, modern
  • Question by Conrad Thiede on the funding of anti-light rail campaign - not well funded; COAST members are generally suburbanites not wanting investment in a "dying city"; Chris Smitherman just has an axe to grind against Mayor Mallory; rail opposition is trying to do an end run around the city since by living outside city they cannot vote for City Council
  • Member noted John must have upset The Enquirer as a distribution box was just removed from in front of his building
  • Question about batteries - Kinkisharyo (not Kawasaki) being considered; still not fully shown to be best for Cincinnati
  • Question about what rail does that busses do not - rail attracts riders in a greater number than busses for reasons not precisely known but empirically shown; fixed permanence of the rails gets higher bank funding; some just comes down to personal preference; value of transportation is less flexibility / permanence
  • Part of the problem is Cincinnatians don't travel much and have less experience with these things outside of our city
  • Member noted a business would not set up shop knowing a bus route could move while rail would guarantee a permanent route
  • Katherine Durack noted we historically had many streetcars and city was built as such - we were once a leader on streetcars
  • Question about the anti-ballot group - there is a group meeting weekly; fund raising and volunteers are needed; August 25th will be the next fund raising event
  • Media will not help us on this due to their own interests against the project, so this is on us as a grass roots effort to fight
  • Question from a new member from Indiana about if this ballot initiative is holding back the City Administration on building of the streetcar - city is moving forward as though we are building a streetcar
  • Mark Painter noted they just sold their only car (Corvette) now that they've moved downtown
  • Member noted we must vote no to be for streetcars/rail in the City of Cincinnati
NEW BUSINESS

Proposed Resolution in Support of Cincinnati Union Bethel - Ann Louise Inn
Motion to adopt by Hugh Koon seconded by Craig Hudson - all in favor

Question from a member about Mario San Marco's (President of Eagle Realty Group - Western & Southern) absence as a speaker
It was noted that Mario cancelled last Wednesday and no future date was requested

Rick Dieringer - Motion to adopt resolution in opposition to anti-rail charter amendment seconded by David Siders - all in favor

Resolution in Support of Cincinnati Union Bethel - Anna Louise Inn from the D.R.C.:
The Downtown Residents' Council (DRC) Membership supports Cincinnati Union Bethel, their stewardship of the Anna Louise Inn, and the mission of their longstanding work at that location.

Resolution in Support of Cincinnatians for Progress - Opposing Anti-Rail Charter Amendment:
Downtown Residents' Council stands with Cincinnatians for Progress in its opposition to the Anti-Rail Charter Amendment and urges Cincinnatians to vote against the ballot issue this November.

OLD/REGULAR BUSINESS: COMMITTEE UPDATES

Events Committee: Marty McGlinchey
TONIGHT: Join us at Taqueria Mercado after the meeting!
September 29th Social at the Banks - food and soft drinks provided (BYOB) tentatively starting at 6pm

Treasurer's Report: Craig Hudson
Stared July with $9,841.26 and ended with $9,895.31
DCI Ambassadors Picnic - Great turnout (35 downtowners and 15 ambassadors); Walgreens provided coolers, ice and water; Graeters provided ice cream; Le Boxx provided boxed lunches for the Ambassadors; Betts House provided all furniture and tents; net cost $35; thank you again to the DCI Ambassadors

Government Relations Committee: Craig Hudson
no report

Membership Committee: Mike Glotfelter
Eight new members; there are new member sign-up sheets in back for anyone interested. Thank you and welcome to new members

Casino Update: Craig Hudson
Construction in progress; stakeholders meeting was canceled so no update (should have update next meeting)

Communications Committee: Conrad Thiede

  • Finished up with Summer Arts Program - check out our Facebook page as well as along 9th street in the library windows to view the work (only two by Conrad); thank you to all volunteers; presentation next month
  • Volunteer "thank you" Cincinnati Reds game was two days after DCI picnic and included many of our members as well as some of those wonderful Walgreens folks who helped at the picnic

Clean, Green and Safe Committee: David Siders

  • Thank you Craig Hudson for DCI Ambassador's picnic and Lynne Smith for the photo display; David wanted to convey thanks David Ginsburg (President/CEO of DCI)
  • Several trouble spots with garbage and left over moving items (matresses, etc...) noted - thank you to Rick Dieringer for his work around Court Street - we now have a good method of communication for these issues so please email David Siders if issues of these nature are encountered
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Julie Carpenter - Betts House new exhibit "Cincinnati Modern Architecture - A Retrospective" - information on back table
  • John Scheider would like your email addresses if you'd like to receive updates (currently goes out to thousands of people)
  • Brittany Ballard (Cincinnati Union Bethel)- Tomorrow: 9:30am prayer vigil & 11am Motion to Dismiss @ Court House
  • August 25th will have an ice cream social (DoJo Gellato) @ 4:30pm
  • Mike Glotfelter welcome to Mark Painter as our newest member
  • Megan Shanahan, running as a judge for the Hamilton County Municipal Court, will be available to speak after the meeting
  • Molly with Fifth Third Bank at Carew Tower - available for answering any bank questions after the meeting
  • Kevin Flynn running for City Council will be available after the meeting - noted hopes city council can run as well as the DRC
  • Peter Hames (OTR Council President) - Concerned the 52 neighborhood councils do not communicate too well now - would like to have a joint candidates forum to draw more interest from the candidates to attend (also works for Citizens for Civic Renewal)
  • Chico Lockhart - DCI's outreach worker (panhandling and homelessness issues) - call (513) 266-7135 with any concerns
  • Carol Buquo - OTR Brewery Tours available (2 hours)
  • Chris Smith - Thank you to the DCI Ambassador event volunteers especially Craig Hudson
  • David Siders - discussion of the architecture and history of Samuel Hannaford and Sons' buildings - Main Library August 20th @ 2pm - flyers in back

Hugh Koon made a motion to adjourn and was seconded by David Siders - all in favor

Approximately 40 in attendance

Respectfully submitted by Ben Wissel - Recording Secretary.