Thursday, November 08, 2018

For Cincinnati Council The Terms They Are A Changin', Again

As cliche' as this post's headline is, it blends along an un-Dylanesque harmony with the Fourth Street backed Cincinnati Charter Amendment re-establishing two year terms for Cincinnati City Council. This ballot issue handily won Tuesday night. Due to a quirky 1930's established rule, since this amendment got more votes than a separate conflicting Charter Amendment issue proposing four year staggered terms, the two year term Amendment will be adopted. It will go in effect after the current four year terms end in 2021.

I am sure that everyone is certainly thinking about the impacts and future ramifications of this change compared with the current four year terms, so I'll reverently excite you with my list. It's based on a combination of my experience, logic, and a second cup of coffee:

Impacts and Ramifications of Change Back to Two Year Terms
  1. Not as much its supporters wanted you to believe.
  2. The current term limited council members will have half as long to wait to run again.
  3. Funding increases will be required s to run more frequent elections.
  4. Candidates have more flexibility in planning to run for office if they only have to wait two years.
  5. Elected candidates have to begin running for office immediately after taking office.
  6. There will be every other year election year antics, filled with grandstanding.
  7. Likely would decrease the advantage of incumbency for those up for re-election after their first term.  After the second term it would be close to the same level of advantage.
  8. The Mayoral office loses more relevance and would motivate the office holder to create conflict as a means of influence.
  9. Voters would have the opportunity to vote out members of council more frequently.
  10. It will impact the 2023 race more than the 2021 race.
What was missed on this entire process is that it was not discussed openly. For all of the talk about transparency by the local media and partisan Republicans looking to attack the city, no one cared to spend significant time to discuss who funded this process and why. Local professional media are just not doing a good job or are being prevented from doing it. Some are knowingly letting this issue go by because they just want the conflict to cover. Others are just ignorant. Some are siding with one group. Our local media collectively has taken a massive step back the last few years. Whether it is the negative influence of John Cranley and Republicans or is something else, I don't know, but it is happening.

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