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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Hamilton County Elections Board Heads To Norwood In January

Hamilton County Board of Elections

The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday morning on a lease agreement for a new home in Norwood, on the site of the former General Motors plant.

In January, the board of elections, now located at 824 Broadway Downtown, will move all of its operations into Norwood's Central Parke office complex on Smith Road.

The board had no choice but to move – its lease on 824 Broadway was set to expire at the end of the year and the owners of the warehouse in Fairfax where the board stores election equipment told the board to move out.

Now, the offices and the storage space will be in one location – a location that is considerably more expensive. Under the lease agreement, the county will pay about $10.3 million in rent and operating expenses over the next 10 years. The county currently pays about $7.3 million over a 10-year period.

"But to stay here was going to be more expensive too,'' said Tim Burke, the board of elections chairman.

The county commissioners have to sign off on the lease agreement, but Elections Director Sherry Poland told the board of elections Tuesday morning that the board staff has assurances that that will happen next week.

The board of elections also approved a lease extension with the owners of 824 Broadway through Jan. 31, 2017.

Burke said the move would take place in January.

"Because we can't complete the November election until sometime in mid-December, we've extended the lease at Broadway,'' Burke said.

Burke said he is convinced that this is not only good for the board employees, but for voters.

"For the voters, there is free parking and plenty of it, handicapped accessibility, a convenient location, both from a bus standpoint and an interstate standpoint, right in the middle of the county,'' Burke said.

Burke said he would have liked to have been able to keep the board in the City of Cincinnati "if we could find a similar site, but we could not, after a long search."