Both Sides Of Issue 22: The City Of Cincinnati Parks Levy

Oct 14, 2015

Next month, Cincinnati voters will decide to pass or reject a proposed permanent levy to fund the Cincinnati park system.


During this program, anti-Issue 22 advocate Donald J. Mooney Jr. was critical of the Cincinnati Park Board for taking a $200,000 donation from the private Meyer Fund and giving it to Great Parks, Great Neighborhoods Inc., a committee that is campaigning to pass the charter amendment. Mooney questioned the legality of giving the money to Great Parks, Great Neighborhoods. Attorney Tim Burke, a supporter of Issue 22 and a former park board member, argued that it was perfectly legal and that no public funds were given to the pro-Issue 22 campaign.

Thursday morning, former mayor Charlie Luken, a spokesman for Great Parks, Great Neighborhoods Inc., released a statement saying the $200,000 was being returned to the Meyer Fund. Luken said that although the committee believes strongly the donation was "above board, it has no doubt become a distraction to our goal of supporting the parks and passing Issue 22." 

Most people would agree, the City of Cincinnati has a first-rate park system. But a charter amendment, appearing on the November 3 ballot as Issue 22, that would place a permanent one mill tax in the city charter for park improvements, has generated a lot of disagreement among residents and organizations.

Joining us to discuss the Cincinnati Parks levy is Manley & Burke attorney Tim Burke, who supports the levy. Tim Burke is also chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party and Hamilton County Board of Elections. Attorney and Partner with Ulmer & Berne, Donald J. Mooney, Jr., who, along with Tim Mara, organized Save Our Parks, an anti-levy effort; and, WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson.