Downtown Residents' Council Meetings & Activities

December 13, 2011 Member Meeting

Date of meeting: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Time/Location: 6:00 PM, Cincinnati Public Library (800 Vine St.)

Welcome and Introductions

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

Cincinnati Police Department: Monthly Report

  • P.O. Doug Neack - Theft from Autos (TFA) down in all areas of District One; keep calling in suspicious behavior
  • Sgt. Matt Voegler (DSU Night time supervisor) - Top three TFA suspects have been arrested recently with two of them also charged with forgery felony charges (one also occasionally posed as a fake parking lot attendant); not really a spike of TFAs this year in part due to these arrests; panhandling is being cracked down on and everyone was urged to call police on illegal panhandling (not allowed to panhandle after 7pm); plain clothes officers will be deployed and target areas that are called in; hoping to get frequent problem panhandlers help (focusing on the root of the problem)
  • Question about Roxy's and noise complaints - noted when calling the dispatcher note you want a noise reading taken
  • Question about government square theft - some property recovered and reviewing video evidence; individuals of interest photographed; DCI member noted virtual block watch video (good quality) of the incident; noted that these individuals are here to stay, so keep your eyes open
  • Question about truant officers - usually run a sweep once a month (10-12 officers part of the sweep); all officers trained in truancy and looking for it during the day; focus for sweeps usually in complaint areas

Cincinnati Fire Department - no report

Adoption of October 2011 Meeting Minutes
Motion to adopt by Susan Lennard and seconded by Lynne Smith - all in favor

Guests:

Kevin Kline - General Manager of Caeser's Cincinnati Casino

  • Kevin Kline has been with Caeser's Entertainment for 13 years and is moving here from Chicago (looking at homes now)
  • Worked on Horseshoe Hammond casino just south of Chicago (urban casino) and has previously lived in an urban environment
  • Rock Ohio Ventures spearheaded the Ohio Constitution Amendment effort and is very passionate on urban revitalization
  • Quicken (Inuit) moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit and gave incentives to employees to live and work downtown
  • Caeser's Entertainment is the largest gaming company in the world (54 casinos in 5 countries)
  • Casino built in New Orleans helped strengthen the community: partnered with Emeril Lagasse with three restaurants, sponsored big city events and supported local sports teams
  • Renderings and a virtual flyover presented for the new Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino
  • Noted most other casinos are built to keep people in with blank walls; creating this casino to open up to the community (not a bunker mentality); restaurants will be facing Sycamore and Reading; meeting and events rooms; an outdoor terrace; triangle in front of the casino (formerly a parking lot) will be programmed green space
  • Gaming will include 2000 slots, 85 table games, World Series of Poker Room (known for), high limits area and VIP lounge
  • Food and Beverages will include three restaurants, a buffet, a food court and a feature bar
  • Partnering with local restaurants, hotels (no hotel on site now) and attractions; leveraging city events and promoting tourism through loyalty program
  • Construction - goal to enhance connectivity, improve pedestrian and vehicle safety (TIF dollars) as well as beautify streets (utilities are being buried); 200 workers on site daily (2,000 total over of the ...); project on schedule and on budget; $82 million contracts awarded to date ($145 total); economic inclusion a focus with 26.4% MBE and 8.3% WBE; total minority contracts $28 million; economic inclusion will be a model for future projects in Cincinnati; casino to open in June 2013
  • Casino Jobs: 1,700 jobs needed and recruiting at the end of 2012; pledge of 90% local; noted that there have been a huge outpouring of applicants (many times the number of jobs available) at other casinos
  • Supplier and vendor outreach will begin late 2012; looking for diverse pool of local companies
  • See www.horseshoecincinnati.com for supplier, vendor, job and other casino information
  • Question about meeting spaces - some could have shows and others just general meeting spaces
  • Question about positive impacts on the city of the casino - Kevin Kline noted he now sits on the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) board and new spaces/events that are happening have the potential to bring in a new carrier to CVG
  • General question about parking - 2,500 space parking deck with access points from three different places including valet parking; got good marks on design; 300 spaces in the surface lot in the NE corner and a metro stop yards from the entrance
  • Question about the Greyhound Station - very little optimism on acquiring the site; hoping they will wish to move at a later date
  • Question about the northeast area of the project on Reading Rd - there will be decorative lighting and landscaping
  • Question about connection to the Cincinnati Streetcar - the planned streetcar route will have a stop very close to the casino and will be very walkable

Anne Keller - Friends of the Library

  • Friends of the Library (FoL) (http://friends.cincinnatilibrary.org) are guests of the Main Branch Library
  • Founded in 1957 to support the public library, FoL has raised $6 million during that time;
  • Money raised used to underwrite thousands of programs annually, supplement a tight budget and advocate for state funds
  • Fundraising chiefly through the sales of used books, memberships, gifts, grants and recycling (saved literally tons of paper from the landfill) with $337,000 raised last fiscal year
  • Sales of books has become quite an enterprise from humble beginnings as a card table on Fountain Square
  • Online sales, a warehouse in Hartwell (7 part time staff and dozens of volunteers) and sales at the Main Branch Library
  • Receive and process 10K books weekly (could always use volunteers at the warehouse and shop in the library)
  • Membership forms left on the back table - membership gets you invitations to special events and pre-event notifications
  • DRC gets discount via our DRC membership card
  • Library Shop has extended holiday hours with a goal to get more volunteers to staff it for longer hours in the future
  • Improving presentation of the book sales area of the store; "just in" area has increased and many holiday items now on sale
  • Regular shop hours are Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm and Sun 1pm-5pm
  • Library is in the top libraries in the nation and FoL support helps make that happen
  • Question about high school students volunteering - yes there is some done at Hartwell, but hours of operation not conducive for students (except special events)
  • DRC Volunteer Days promoted to the DRC membership for a volunteering event
OLD/REGULAR BUSINESS: COMMITTEE UPDATES

Fido Field: no update

Events Committee: Marty McGlinchey
TONIGHT: Join us at Knockback Nat's after the meeting
January 18 5:00pm-7:30pm tour and reception at the Taft Museum
February 5th Open House Superbowl party at the Renaissance

Treasurer's Report: Craig Hudson
Started with $7850 and ended up with over $10K (donations and reimbursements)

Government Relations Committee (NSP / 501c3): Craig Hudson
The DRC has shown support of the Anna Louise Inn (ALI) in the past and tomorrow @ St. Peter in Chains Cathedral @ noon there will be an informational talk from the ALI on legal issues they face. This Thursday in Room 560 @ 10am the court case will be presented in front of Judge Nadel

Membership Committee: Susan Lennard (business)r
if anyone has any ideas of businesses (particularly small businesses) that would like to join the DRC please let me know; sign up packets available
Mike Glotfelter - sign up forms in back; many memberships coming due, so reminder emails will be sent out soon

Communications Committee: Conrad Thiede

  • Check out the new DCI guide left around the meeting room and on the back table
  • Send in your holiday photos to info@ilivedowntown.com for the DRC Holiday Photo contest - publicity and prizes for best photos (including Reds Hall of Fame and Symphony tickets)
  • Cincinnati Symphony News Year's Gala (details and tickets available at http://cincinnatisymphony.org)

Clean, Green and Safe Committee: David Siders

  • Piatt Park decorations are looking great - thank you to DRC volunteers, Rich Cappel and an anonymous donor on covering costs; Conrad Thiede gave a special thanks on behalf of the membership to David for work on the project
  • Received $100 for joining the Mayors' Recycling Challenge - three aspects of the challenge and revolve around the recycling carts that most people downtown do not have; contact 591-6000 or 5916000.com to report unused carts; if you can please sign up for Recyclebank; trying to get a waiver of some kind to include non-cart measures
  • Check out the Path to the Taft - the highway loop of the area has been excavated and looks fantastic thanks to the property owner clearing the area; efforts are being made to get a mural done in the area; DRC painted the east facing wall purple to improve the area including a wayfinding arrow
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Tom Thinnes - The next Breakfast Lectures Series at the Masonic Center will be February 8th featuring Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig
  • New magazine "Ms. Cincinnati" now available (free publication) that is targeting women over 35
  • Rick Dieringer - Conrad Thiede in 2009 accepted a banner years ago on the designation of downtown as one of a most stable integrated neighborhoods for over 30 years; in 2010 one of 4 neighborhoods in Cincinnati has had this notoriety for 40 years and downtown was one of those communities; crystal plague of the recognition will be on display in the library soon; funding from NSP is going up to $5,000 in 2012 from $2,500 this year

Motion to adjourn by Roger Ach and seconded by Ed

Respectfully submitted by Ben Wissel - Recording Secretary.