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Opponents Lose Fight To Stop Parking Deal
The Ohio Supreme Court decided Wednesday not to accept an appeal filed by opponents of the City of Cincinnati's parking plan.
Meanwhile, the anti-tax group COAST was denied a request for an injunction against the city of Cincinnati and the Port Authority in a renewed effort to stop the parking lease from taking effect.
"We're trying to do everything we can to save the city from bad deals that city council is trying to foist upon us," COAST chairman Tom Brinkman said Tuesday.
Brinkman filed a motion in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that claimed the city made changes to the parking lease after city council approved it in March. The motion included portions of the lease that showed differences in how the date by which the city could terminate the lease was changed from June 30 to another date. The changes also allowed the Port Authority to terminate the lease. Brinkman called the changes substantial and said council should have approved them but never had the chance.
"City council has to go and vote again. Quite frankly even if the change was changing "a" to "the" it's still is a change," Brinkman said.
City solicitor John Curp told Local 12 News the changes were necessary because COAST had sued to stop the lease which delayed the city manager signing it in late June. Curp said the changes weren't significant and "it's more of the same from what we've already seen. The courts have already ruled that the city's legislative process was valid."
COAST is getting support in its fight from council member Laure Quinlivan who initially voted for the lease. "I really think we should forget the parking deal at this point," Quinlivan said.
Quinlivan said she voted for the deal because she thought the up-front cash payment would prevent the city from laying off employees during budget negotiations. Those layoffs never materialized. Quinlivan said the lease has changed significantly since council approved it.
"I believe having $80 million, $90 million up front for the city will convince politician that they don't have to do the right thing and right-size our budget."
Judge Ralph "Ted" Winkler heard arguments on the request for the injunction Wednesday morning before denying the motion.