"State transportation director Jerry Wray told The Enquirer last month the state is moving forward with the project regardless of whether the city comes up with funding. ODOT officials have told local leaders that the state is searching for alternative funding in case the city doesn’t come through."This should reset all of the discussions on the City Budget from here on out. The City should not fund any of the MLK Interchange if the State is going to do so no matter what the City does. The State of Ohio, under the anti-city crusade from Governor John Kasich, has drastically cut State funds provided to all Cities in Ohio. If the cuts come to people one place, then the benefits should come someplace else. State funding for Interstate Highways is the least Kaisch and the rest of the GOP can do for their anti-city funding cuts.
I expect to hear Cranley, Smitherman, and Winburn saying the SAME THING I am saying. If the City doesn't need to fund something, we shouldn't do it. We can spend the money on something else, or if there are restrictions, we can bank the money and use it at a later date.
Hell, if someone wants to be Machiavellian, then there would be ways of sticking it to certain local anti-city politicos, while still doing 'right' for the City.
Here's my stick-it-to-them Plan: If the parking plan goes through the first thing I would do is take part of the money slated for MLK Interchange and announce road improvements in the "neighborhoods" Cranley wants to help. Those neighborhoods would be those with lots of Republican voters.
The second thing I would do would be to do upgrades to the roads all through Bond Hill and Roselawn and be sure Mayor Mallory, the locations of Smitherman and Winburn's voting base.
The third thing would be for Mayor Mallory standing at each road making the announcements for the new projects and reminding people who voted for the funding of these projects (the Parking Plan) and who voted against it.
That would be my idea of hardball politics.
Instead, to be more equitable we could hold hearings first to educate people, like John Cranley, on the ways the restricted money could legally be used, and then we could hear ideas on the best way to spend it.