#MLS2Cincy? West End residents, FC Cincinnati to discuss Community Benefits Agreement

West End residents, FC Cincinnati to discuss Collective Bargaining Agreement (WKRC)

WEST END, Ohio (WKRC) – The West End Community Council(WECC) has a new attorney and a six-person team in place in hopes of getting a better deal with FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.

The two sides will discuss the community benefits agreement (CBA) between the two parties that was signed in April by FC Cincinnati ownership and West End Community Council Board President Keith Blake.

However, details of what the neighborhood stakeholders hope to add or remove is a secret.

Kristen Myers will now represent WECC in talks regarding a CBA. Myers is being paid by FCC but unlike the previous attorney hired for the WECC, Myers was picked by the council and its members and not FCC.

Throughout the two plus hour meeting, there was debate on who should be representing the West End residents and who should be paying for the attorney.

Some called it a hijacking of the neighborhood while others pleaded for everyone to be respectful to each other.

"Now we need to move forward. You want the money. You want whatever they can give us. but we need to do it with decency and with order. and this is not it," a woman said in the middle of the room.

The current signed CBA in part calls for the soccer club to pump $100,000 annually for youth organizations.

However, many feel it was signed too quickly and without the support of the majority of the residents in the West End.

"There's currently a community benefits agreement in place, or that has been signed but our goal is to negotiate a better agreement for the community here."

If a CBA is approved by all parties, the city will spend more than $30 million on FCC’s stadium infrastructure.

The other piece of business at the meeting was that board president Keith Blake is again facing impeachment. A petition previously filed apparently did not meet legal deadlines of the process, so it had to be restarted. Blake will be formally and properly notified of the charges and call for removal.

Blake was an original member of a seven-person team to go with Myers to City Hall, but after a re-vote narrowing it to five, Blake was left off the team.

The meeting between the two parties is set for 8 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

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