Development Reform Panel Plans Public Hearing As Recommendation Deadline Nears
A panel tasked with suggesting reforms to Cincinnati's economic development process is refining its first draft of recommendations. At a meeting Friday, the panel discussed whether to include all city workers in its ethical conduct recommendations, or just elected officials.
"I don't want our work to be seen as targeting, say, city employees or people who have not been shown to conduct themselves illegally," said Bobbi Dillon, former chief of staff to Mayor John Cranley. "But I think what we have learned is the culture of ethical training and environment is crucial and important."
The Economic Development Reform Panel has been meeting since February in response to three council members arrested on corruption charges last year.
The panel's recommendations will likely include establishing a confidential hotline to report unethical conduct, which could use an existing city hotline for reporting fraud, waste and abuse. The panel may also recommend a new code of conduct in which elected officials would agree to report any inappropriate requests from developers.
Panel chair Ann Marie Tracey says they'll meet weekly instead of bi-weekly from now on.
"We're about to tackle some pretty thorny areas. I really appreciate how everybody's working to reach a consensus."
A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 9 at 1 p.m. Feedback can also be sent via email email@example.com. Final recommendations are due to council by Aug. 1.