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Cranley highlights first year in office

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is holding a press briefing Wednesday afternoon  to highlight his first year in office.

In advance of meeting with reporters, the Mayor's office released a three-and-a-half page document that list highlights during Cranley's first year.  He took office on December 1, 2013.

Some of those highlights include a balanced budget, thousands of jobs and more cops on the street.

One thing Cranley was not able to do was stop the city's streetcar project, which he campaigned against.  Cranley was able to briefly halt the project, but six council members voted last December to let the project move forward.

Cranley said another first year accomplishment was coming up with a plan to fix the city's troubled pension system.  That proposal is working its way through federal court.  

Cranley said he spoke with U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett this week, and the attorneys involved had a long conference call yesterday.  The mayor said the judge told him he wants an agreement by the end of the year.

“And if it’s not, he’s going to start holding us in court until we have an agreement,” Cranley said.  “It’s our goal to have this done by the end of the year.  Who knows if it will?  We don’t control that agenda, the judge does.  But I think the judge is on the same page as we are that we should try to get this wrapped up by the end of the year.”

Cranley said earlier this year the goal with the retirement issue is to reach a negotiated settlement that's binding on all parties and court enforced.    

Lots of contentious issues are involved in the negotiations including cost of living adjustments and health care benefits for retirees and how much the city is required to contribute to the pension system each year.