Category Archives: Ohio

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.

Talking Central Committee with 55KRC’s Brian Thomas

microphoneWednesday, a few of us appeared on the 550KRC morning show with Brian Thomas to talk about our recent successes with citizens taking back the political parties through central committee. On hand were Ohio Precinct Project co-founder, Rick Herron; newly elected “tea party” Warren County Republican Party Chairman, Ray Warrick; and Libertas Project Board Member, John Stevenot. […]

Read the full article here...

Rally for Repeal of Common Core

Wednesday June 4th

11:00am – 1:00pm in Statehouse Atrium, Columbus, Ohio

‘Call to Action’ Speakers include:

Jenni White-Grassroots leader of Oklahoma’s passage of FULL repeal legislation will share how and why our bellwether state must pass HB237

Brad McQueen-AZ Teacher & PARCC Development Team member turned activist and author will speak to the agenda behind the national assessment

Rose Stechschulte-Veteran Ohio teacher calls out Common Core and its 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee’s damaging effects on children

Sarah Lewis-Celina mom will share the real world of “local control”

Representatives Andy Thompson and John Adams – HB237 update

Q&A will follow speakers

Learn more about our speakers at links below:
Oklahoma Legislature Passes Strongest Common Core Repeal Bill in the Country
A Scathing Interview – Teacher and Common Core Insider Exposes Agenda
Celina Superintendent Retaliates After Parents Opt Out

What a Week for Liberty!

Brian Thomas 55KRC

Warren County Liberty Alliance
When: Monday, May 19th, 7 PM
Where: Lebanon Grand Opry, 114 N. Cherry St. Lebanon, OH 45036
We won more Central Committee seats than we expected including three upset victories over well-known incumbents.  Congratulations to all who ran!  Great job!

Now that you have worked hard and won your seat…..what happens now?  What have you earned with all of your hard work?  It’s vital that we start our planning for the upcoming party reorganization meeting.  That will be our topic for Monday night.

It’s important that everyone join us and discuss what we do next.  We need your input and support even if you didn’t run for one of the seats.

West Chester Tea Party Meeting
When:  Tuesday, May 20th – Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where:  Old Union School, 8735 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd., West Chester, Ohio 45069

This month West Chester Tea Party is honored to have the following West Chester Trustee members speak; George Lang – President of the Board of Trustees, Lee Wong – West Chester Trustee, Mark Welch – West Chester Trustee, Bruce Jones – Fiscal Officer.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our local officers, be refreshed on their job responsibilities and local happenings, as well as to ask questions.

Cincinnati East Tea Party and Anderson Tea Party Meeting
When:  May 22nd, 2014 at7:00 pm
Where:  Clark Montessori School, 3030 Erie Ave Cincinnati, 45208
Find out more from Common Core experts Heidi Huber and Thea Shoemake as they cover the creation, introduction, adoption and now concern over Common Core in Ohio.

Empower U – Brian Thomas
When:  Thursday May 22 – 6:00 PM
Where:  Glendale Lyceum Outdoor Pavilion- 865 Congress Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45246
In this EmpowerU event, 55KRC Morning Show host Brian Thomas will discuss where we are losing our rights, and why this is affecting you. The erosion of American freedom is something that continues more and more each passing year. Through increased regulatory agencies, to loosened restrictions on executive order, the government is slowly but surely increasing its control over how you operate your business, property, and life. Come to this EmpowerU event to learn why you should fight back. The time to end the attack on our rights is now!

We will be having a fun Cookout to end our Spring semester. Join us at 6:00 pm and please bring a covered dish, an appetizer, a dessert or drinks to share with others. EmpowerU will be providing the burgers, bratts and metts. If you are running late just bring yourself! You can also bring your own beer or wine to this outdoor event also. There will be picnic table seating available or feel free to bring your stadium or lawn chairs as we’ll be outside. Hope for warm weather! There might be a surprise guest or two to make the evening even more special.