Is Manager Dohoney ready for this City?
by Jennifer Greenup
Wednesday council voted 6-3 to confirm Milton Dohoney Jr. as the next city manager in Cincinnati City Council’s last Council meeting until August.
Councilmember Chris Bortz was one of the members who voted against Dohoney’s confirmation "I would like to explain my position on one of the most important votes we might make this year," said Bortz. "We most ensure our government is proactive. We need the very best."
Bortz said that while Dohoney has a lot of experience running a city government he didn’t think that Dohoney had enough experience to deal with the issues facing a big city and that he would like someone who did.
Last week Councilmember’s interviewed Dohoney for over an hour and then postponed the vote because Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell, who voted against Dohoney’s confirmation, was unable to attend the meeting.
The postponement was arranged through an agreement minutes before the Council meeting began after Councilperson Leslie called the move disingenuous.
Ghiz also voted against Dohoney’s confirmation. At last weeks Council meeting Ghiz was unsuccessfully in getting Dohoney to produce any type of written plans or documents showing the types of programs and policies he had implemented at his current job.
However, Councilmembers Laketa Cole and Cecil Thomas said that they had done their homework on Dohoney and were very satisfied that he would do a good job as city manager.
Councilman David Crowley, who voted to confirm Dohoney, said that he had hired and fired many people in his career and that sometime you have to go with your "gut."
"The only concern had been that the job was too big for Mr. Dohoney," said Crowley, "Not that he was ever incompetent."
The controversy surrounding the new manager’s confirmation is in part due to the City’s new Charter.
Councilmember’s are already busy negotiating changes to rules that govern the hiring of the city manager with the Mayor so that all councilmembers play a bigger role in the process. Councilmember’s also want to establish an evaluation process to determine the city manager’s performance.
The city manager’s position is carries a great deal of responsibility. As the executive of the cities government he is responsible for implementing the Council’s policies. He also makes policy recommendations to the council giving him a great deal of influence over city policy.
The city manager will oversee the 17 city departments and the city’s 6,500 employees.
He is the city’s liaison with the residents and the business community and is responsible for economic development and public safety.
Dohoney says that he is up for the challenge and not afraid to take risks in the City’s best interests and that the level of detail it takes to work out policies is beyond the councils time.
"It is about activity and strategy to advance the community," said Dohoney. "I’m going to be actively involved."
Dohoney further said that he wanted to assure Council that he will carry out what ever policy they dictate to him.
"It would be my approach to bring things before City Council," said Dohoney. "I would cooperate with you to move the City forward recognizing the distinct roles we play."
email Jennifer Greenup email@example.com. Ms. Greenup is a reporter and feature writer for QCFMag.com.