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Cincy Council likely to approve department changes

Cincinnati Council should vote Thursday on the city manager's plan to improve customer service in several city departments.  

The biggest change on Harry Black's list is dividing the current Planning and Buildings Department into separate units.  The new building department would be in charge of plan review, inspections, and zoning enforcement.  

City building inspector Skip Zimmer said the manager's plan has value.

“It will be beneficial for the building division and ultimately make it more beneficial for the customer,” Zimmer said.  “The customer is king and he’s also the taxpayer.”

Margo Warminski with the Cincinnati Preservation Association supports the changes.

“Bringing the permitting and code enforcement functions back together makes perfect sense,” Warminski said.  “It was not clear to us why they were split in the first place.  And we also think having the Law Department handle the notifications for Historic Conservation Board also will help streamline the process and increase efficiency.”

Weed and litter control would move from the city's health department to public services.  

A vote on the administrative codes changes needed for the plan to take effect was delayed a week while council members studied the language to make sure it was correct.   Seven of the nine Council members must vote in favor if the changes are to be adopted.

Meanwhile, Black also announced Wednesday the city’s Trade and Development Department will be getting a new name.  After a contest among employees its new name will be the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.