Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Guest Blog Posting by Mark Miller

Mayor Mallory has been obsessed with population numbers. Midway through his term the Census Bureau estimated that Cincinnati was losing population faster than any other US city. The Enquirer profiled thousands of people leaving for the suburbs, and all the reasons Cincinnati wasn't cutting it for them. Mallory's answer? Challenge the estimates.

He hired a consultant to do a "
drilldown study" which substitutes convoluted statistical analyses for actual counting. The study miraculously "found" another 69,000 people, erasing the decline to put Cincinnati back on the list of growing cities.

Problem is that monkeying with estimates eventually catches up with you. Every 10 years the Census Bureau does an actual count of each and every person which is both exhaustive and final. So what will the 2010 census show? Was Mallory's paper exercise real or illusory?

Population counters start with addresses and determine how many people live at each address. So has the number of addresses gone up or down in four years? The number of dwelling units built has lagged those demolished for Mallory's entire term. And the city continues to
wreck residences with reckless abandon.

How about dwellers within dwelling units, is it up or down? In Over-the-Rhine alone, 3CDC has systematically vacated and barricaded over 100 multi-family residential buildings. Building vacancies have seen a dramatic rise in every other neighborhood as well.

Even the number of restaurants and other
food-service places licensed by the city declined from 2,525 in 2005 to 2,509 in 2008. As of September, that number is down to 2,429. Cincinnati Public Schools has seen a decline in enrollment which resulted in permanent closure and consolidation of several school buildings.

When you get right down to it, the only thing suggesting any growth in Cincinnati is Mallory's questionable "study". Everything else indicates he shrunk the city.

But Mallory hasn't completed his con job. With a record budget deficit, and the entire city under a hiring freeze, he insisted on hiring a "Census Coordinator" to put his spin on the upcoming federal count.

Do we really want another four years of this? Let's end this fiasco now, and elect a real mayor.

*This guest blog posting was submitted by COAST member Mark Miller.