Cranley: Pro-Street Car Councilmen Attempting to Obstruct ‘the Will of the Voters’, Standing on ‘Phony Principle’

by Edward D. Hyde

The newly sworn in City Council convened at noon on Monday, December 2nd, as the Street Car Committee.  The anti-Street Car majority planned to take comments from the public and vote to suspend the Street Car, but pro-Street Car councilmen raised procedural questions about the rules and about the fact that the ordinance to be voted on was still being printed.

Councilman Wendell Young went back and forth several times with councilman and committee chairman David Mann:

Councilman Yvette Simpson called the meeting the “epitome of disorder”; she urged Council not to suspend the Street Car in a rush but to “maybe move this later in the week”:

Councilman Young argued that this committee shouldn’t even be talking about the rules, that changing or approving the rules for running the meeting should be addressed by the Rules Committee:

New mayor John Cranley said, “I think it’s obvious what’s happening here, which is an attempt to delay the will of the voters,” and “I’m a little less worried about Council members feeling like they are out of joint about a process, and more worried about the fleecing of taxpayers that has been going on for the last several years on this project”:

Mr. Young, undeterred, continued to demand more time to read the ordinance before being asked to vote on it, and accused the anti-Street Car side of trying to “hold this Council hostage”.  Mr. Mann ordered a recess until 1:00 to get more time for the ordinance to finish printing:

Members of Council during the meeting and beforehand implied that they expected the proceedings to continue into the night.  As of this writing, it was not known how that would turn out.

Full video of the meeting here (about twenty minutes).

The new mayor and City Council were sworn in the previous day.  As WCPO put it, Cranley had campaigned on canceling the Street Car.

As of this writing, live video of the afternoon’s proceedings is available at the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Web site, while WCPO’s Kevin Osborne is tweeting updates on what is being said.