Author Archives: Ann

Different Plan for Union Terminal – Citizens Oversight Board Committee Conclusions

Fair Share Approach for Union TerminalFor the past three weeks, a small group of citizens called the Citizens Oversight Board, have gone up against some of the most power people in Cincinnati to ask one simple question, “What would be a Fair Share approach to paying for the repairs needed on Union Terminal?”

The current plan, a quarter of a cent sales tax increase, is being considered by the Hamilton County Commissioners.  

The following is an alternative plan put forth by the Citizens Oversight Board.  They call it the Fair Share Approach.

If you think this option will work, please contact the Hamilton County Commissioners and let them know that Union Terminal can be repaired with everyone paying their Fair Share.

Citizens Oversight Board Conclusions

  1. The Citizens Oversight Board recommends the Commissioners delay placing the renovation of Music Hall and Union Terminal on the Ballot because of substantive issues which must be resolved. Failure to come to agreement on ownership and the many changing financial details, before anything is put on the ballot, places the Citizens of Hamilton County at substantial financial risk.

2. We recommend that Music Hall be removed from this plan and that only Union Terminal be considered. The reasons for Music Hall removal from the plan are as follows:

a. Union Terminal represents the clearest immediate need for renovation. The County has a long history with Union Terminal it has very little history with Music Hall.
b. Music Hall does not require immediate renovation and many of the proposed repairs are cosmetic.
c. Music Hall is clearly owned by the City of Cincinnati. The City has transferred its financial risk of owning Music Hall by transferring operation of Music Hall to the Music Hall Revitalization Company with a 75 year operating agreement. It is unacceptable for Music Hall Revitalization to simply pass this financial risk to the County. County stakeholders should not accept the long-term financial risk of owning Music Hall.

3. We recommend that the Task Force and Commissioners work to incorporate aspects of the Fair Share funding approach proposed (other side). This Fair Share approach places equal responsibility on all stakeholders involved by utilizing

a) User Fees
b) Philanthropic Giving
c) City of Cincinnati Contributions and
d) Hamilton County Contributions. If we move forward with renovation of Union Terminal all groups must be equally represented and equally responsible for the funding of the renovation of Union Terminal.

4. Before language is placed on the ballot, the Commissioners must use this opportunity to clarify ownership of both facilities. The City owns Union Terminal, but it isn’t contractually responsible for managing or repairing it. Failure to clarify ownership will result in a continued lack of accountability for who owns Union Terminal and who is responsible for the facility. Clarifying ownership is also important to ensure receipt of historic tax credits.

5. Before language is placed on the ballot Commissioners must resolve the question of what the City of Cincinnati will contribute to any renovation plan to satisfy their Fair Share investment in Union Terminal. We recommend the three Commissioners engage and meet with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Vice-Mayor David Mann before voting on ballot inclusion.

6. Before language is placed on the ballot there must develop a plan for the future maintenance and caretaking of Union Terminal (we suggest by tenants—who are getting the facility for $1). Failure to implement a long term maintenance plan will lead to future funding requests on Hamilton County citizens. 

7. We recommend that time be taken to investigate all approaches to funding. For instance, a local well-known attorney went to the Cultural Facilities Task Force with funding ideas and his input that was not even considered. He called the task force work not very creative, nor imaginative, and missing the larger picture altogether. Have all possible funding options been considered?

8. The Oversight Board is concerned that by raising its sales tax that that Hamilton County will place itself in a negative position for incoming residents and businesses (Sales tax ½-1% above KY & other Ohio). The County simply must answer all questions #1-#8 before placing the issue on the ballot for voting. Otherwise, many of these unresolved issues will continue to be a financial strain for Hamilton County Citizens in the future.

Union Terminal and Music Hall Sales Tax Increase Public Hearning

Union Terminal SupportersWednesday, July 23rd beginning at 6:30pm

Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246

At a public hearing on Wednesday you will have a chance to give your two cents on the proposed Hamilton County sales tax increase. Citizens will be allowed two minutes to speak on the issue. It will be packed so come early.

As you may have heard, Hamilton County Commissioners are going to vote on whether to raise sales taxes to support a repair and renovation of Union Terminal and Music Hall.

This sales tax increase is a concern on many levels.  Firstly, the proposal overwhelmingly counts on a sales tax increase.  There is a small contribution from the City of Cincinnati and donors, but most of the money comes from the tax increase.

The second problem, these buildings are owned by the City of Cincinnati. They are only pitching in 10 million of the proposed 380 million dollar project.  The owners of the building need to step up and take care of the property they own.

A great interview with Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann addresses this issue.

Action:  If you can’t make the hearing, please contact the Hamilton County Commissioners to tell them your opinion about this sales tax increase.  The pro side of this issue has sent more than 2,000 emails in support of this tax increase.  We need to make sure our opinions are part of the conversation. greg.hartmann@hamilton-co.org;chris.monzel@hamilton-co.orgtodd.portune@hamilton-co.org

Opinion:  To help us do our job of providing you information, can you take this super quick survey to help give us information about how you feel about this tax: Take our quick survey about Music Hall-Union Terminal Tax Here

For more information on this issue, including the history of renovation costs for Union Terminal and Music Hall please visit http://www.empoweruohio.org/factsheet.pdf.

Glenn Beck, “We Will Not Conform” Common Core Movie

When:  Tuesday, July 22nd starting at 8pm
Where:  Local theaters nationwide

Buy Tickets here: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/we-will-not-conform-live/more-info/details  

Fathom Events and Glenn Beck invite you to experience a night of action against Common Core when Glenn Beck’s We Will Not Conform is broadcast LIVE to cinemas nationwide on Tuesday, July 22.  Let’s fill the theaters and capitalize on meeting other Ohioans concerned about Common Core. This will be a great opportunity to build our group and our force for repeal. Please see exciting details below and get your tickets today!

Join fellow concerned Ohioans at one of Ohio’s thirty-two locations for an evening of discussion and action to defeat Common Core in Ohio and nationwide. This will be a live, interactive simulcast, intended to draw on the successful work of grassroots efforts going on in states across the country. Various leaders of the anti-Common Core movement – including state grassroots leaders along with conservative media and organizations – will headline the event live from the Dallas studios into over 650 theaters across the country. Get tickets here.

Ohio is receiving particular attention for the event.  As the bellwether state, Ohio’s repeal status is of significant national importance. We have the fourth largest number of theater locations, and the highest among states with active, viable repeal legislation. Heidi Huber, leader of Ohioans Against Common Core, will be part of the live production from Dallas as a member of the Grassroots Desk along with Emmett McGroarty of The American Principles Project, Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core and Dana Loesch, conservative talk show host and star of “Dana” on The Blaze TV Network. Other desks include – ‘Political’ with Jenni White of Oklahoma and David Barton, ‘Education Alternatives’ with Dr. Terrence Moore and Pat Gray, ‘Research’ with Shane Vander Hart of “Truth in American Education” and ‘PR’ with Michelle Malkin and Steve Deace.

Ohioans Against Common Core has a team covering every location who will be distributing information on the truth behind Common Core and Ohio’s effort towards full repeal. Just look for the team wearing red “No Common Core” t-shirts with #DischargeOhHB237 on the back!  There will also be several locations where Ohio House Members will join in, welcoming constituents and sharing why they have signed the Sub HB237 Discharge Petition and joined the effort. They will also be donning the matching t-shirt, so please make sure to thank them and acknowledge their support to END COMMON CORE IN OHIO! A special THANK YOU to Rep. Andy Thompson and Rep. John Adams for leading the legislative charge for repeal!

If you are passionate about sending a wake-up call to Common Core supporters, then don’t miss the chance to make your voice heard at this engaging event in cinemas nationwide!

Action Needed: Hamilton County Sales Tax Increase

What is the best way to pay for repairs?

What is the best way to pay for repairs?

The Hamilton County Commissioners are considering increasing a sales tax increase to pay for a $331 Million renovation to Music Hall and Union Terminal.  This sales tax increase is being proposed for the November ballot.  Hamilton County Commissioners have 30 days to decide if they will put this tax increase before the voters.

Several groups in Southwest Ohio have created a Citizen Task Force to look at this potential tax to provide you information in the short term. In our initial review, we suggest that this tax increase not go on the ballot in its current form.  We believe that a sales tax increase in Hamilton County is not the best way to fund these projects and would hurt the fiscal situation of the county and the region.  This sales tax would affect everyone in Southwest Ohio, so we all must make our opinions heard.

There are three things you can do to get caught up on this issue; watch the video of the presentation yesterday to the Hamilton County Commissioners, take the survey telling us what you think the best plan is moving forward and tell the Commissioners what you think about the sales tax increase in an email.
Opinion:  To help us do our job of providing you information, can you take this super quick survey to help give us information about how you feel about this tax: Take our quick survey about Music Hall-Union Terminal Tax Here

Action:  Please contact the Hamilton County Commissioners to tell them your opinion about this sales tax increase.  The pro side of this issue has sent more than 2,000 emails in support of this tax increase.  We need to make sure our opinions are part of the conversation. greg.hartmann@hamilton-co.org; chris.monzel@hamilton-co.org; todd.portune@hamilton-co.org

Get Informed:  Yesterday, a presentation was made to the Hamilton County Commissioners giving them reasons to reject the proposed sales tax increase.  The proposal gave several changes for a plan on how to pay for restorations for Union Terminal.  Changes to the plan included; adding a user fee to tickets sold at Union Terminal to pay for repairs, more money from the City of Cincinnati (owners of the building), take Music Hall out of the proposal (not urgent repairs, just renovation), look for grants elsewhere and several more suggestions. 

For more information on this issue, including the history of renovation costs for Union Terminal and Music Hall please visit http://www.empoweruohio.org/factsheet.pdf.

Thank you for your action on this issue.  We will keep you informed on developments as they happen.

Two Amazing Common Core Events

Help us put a stop to Common CoreCommon Core Summit, Curriculum Matters
When:  Thursday, July 10th 1pm to 7pm
Where: The Riffe Center Capitol Theater (across from the State Capitol in Columbus)
Cost: Free
Register Online: http://www.eventzilla.net/web/event?eventid=2139037818

Education with our without Common Core.  Do public schools really have a choice? This Common Core Summit will provide all types of education systems and a variety of opportunities to learn about curriculum that is not and is not Common Core aligned.  We all want to know, do we really have a choice?

Speakers and Topics include:

  • Brian Medved – Director, Germantown Board of Education.  How and why Germantown made the move to reject CCSS.
  • Jeff Holmes – District Administrator, Wisconsin school district that opted out of Common Core
  • Mary Black – Director of Curriculum and Student Development, Freedom Project Education, speaking on “The Benefits of Classical Education”
  • Dr. Peg Luksik -She has taught at every level from pre-school through college, written and evaluated curriculum, trained teachers, and hosted a nationally syndicated television program on education issues.  For several years, she was a consultant with the U.S. Department of Education as a grant reviewer to evaluate education reform initiatives.  She served as an adviser to President Reagan’s Commission on the Family, working especially with issues concerning single mothers.  She is currently the chairman of Founded on Truth.

There will also be representatives from various curriculum companies. Please plan to join us Thursday July 10 from 1 to 7 pm in Columbus Ohio.  Click here to register for this FREE event!

Sign-up for  Ohio School Board Leadership Council email for more information- http://osblc.org/

Common Core – What Every Parent Should Know
Presented by Citizens for Community Values
When:  Monday, July 14th – 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Where:  Faith Christian Fellowship Church, 6800 School Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Speakers:

  • Heidi Huber - Ohioans Against Common Core
  • Rep. Andy Thompson – OH95 – Sponsor, Ohio’s Common Core Repeal Bill HB237
  • Rep. John Adams – OH85 – Co-Sponsor and Discharge Petition Solicitor HB237
  • Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel – Supporter, HB237. Only Treasurer in the country publicly supporting repeal (invited)

We invite you to join us for an in-depth presentation and panel discussion on Common Core, hosted by our friend Pastor Ed Bonniwell. Time is of the essence. Common Core will be fully implemented in all Ohio public school classrooms for the 2014-2015 school year. Additionally, the Cincinnati Archdiocesan schools, as well as area independent Catholic and private Christian schools, have chosen to utilize Common Core standards, materials, and assessments.  Please make plans to attend and bring a friend. Our children are counting on us.