Sometimes this town shows its roots – Cincinnati was a frontier town that quickly tried to tame everything, making it totally predictable and safe. I agree predictability and safety are great. As long as there is lots of room for planned risk, spontaneity and change. Sometimes we act as though change is all bad, particularly when it’s sprung on us quickly.
Which brings us to the City Manager’s proposal on parking. He certainly had change sprung on him quickly, when the State of Ohio drastically and suddenly reduced the amounts it was providing to local governments. Cincinnati was already facing a budget shortfall, perhaps manageable with some belt tightening. Pretty much overnight, it became millions and millions.
I applaud the Manager’s intelligent and creative response – to lease out much of the City’s parking system. And not to just any big corporation – but to our very own Port of Greater Cincinnati Authority, whose job is to help our wonderful town grow, change and prosper. With proceeds going to stave off budget shortfalls in the next two years, and to provide support to a lot of needed amenities, which will push us forward as a tourist destination.
And I expect we figured out last year – at the World Choir – Games – how much fun visitors to our fair city can be.
What could be better? Well, to lots of Cincinnatians, budget shortfalls and a crumbling infrastructure are better than paying another buck for parking.
As I said to a red-faced conservative last week, I am happy to pay taxes to support my fellow citizens and my interesting, occasionally surprising and very creative city. Let’s keep moving forward!