Citizens for a Better Norwood 3

Monday, February 26, 2007

Councilperson Moore's February, '07 "Ward One Update"

924-0571 /
February 2007

Hosted by Keith Moore & Tom Williams
2nd and 4th Thursday - 7:00 p.m.
February 22, March 8
Cable Channel 24


The WNNA obtained grants from the Eagles, the Moose, and CheckSmart to help fund the Citizens on Patrol (COP) program. One impact of the COP programs in Cincinnati and the extra Sheriff patrols in Over the Rhine is to chase away criminals, some of whom are ending up in Norwood. The WNNA is offering a fantastic opportunity to help clean up problems here, and keep new ones from moving in.

There are three related programs underway:

Block Watch - After a short training session on how to spot and report suspicious activity, Block Watch volunteers become anonymous eyes and ears for the Police. Volunteers are assigned a Block Watch number, and they give that number instead of their name when they report suspicious activity. That way, they remain totally anonymous.

Citizens on Patrol (COP) - COP volunteers are a more visible presence. After a more extensive training program, groups of 3 or 4 volunteers patrol a neighborhood in COP t-shirts, carrying a police radio. The goal is to send a message to potential troublemakers that we care about our city. COP volunteers do not confront suspicious people in any way, but just report what they see to the Police. The plan is for volunteers to patrol neighborhoods where they do not live and are less likely to be recognized.

Volunteers in Policing (VIP) - The VIP program brings volunteers into the Police Department to help with administrative work so that officers can spend more time on the streets.

If you would like more information or to want volunteer:

Call the Norwood Police at 458-4545
Come to a WNNA meeting - February 20
- March 20


The City’s financial situation has improved dramatically. This year is an entirely new experience for me. For the first time since I took office in January of 2002, we are not starting the year with a multimillion dollar shortfall. Unless there are big surprises in the 2007 forecast the State Auditor is putting together, we should soon be out of Fiscal Watch.

Of course, this is when the hard part starts. Saying “no” is easier when you have no money. Now that we have a little, it will require discipline to ensure a solid financial future.

We have a host of unmet needs. Obviously, we need to fix the streets and (for the first time in over a decade) begin to maintain the ones that are still in relatively good shape. We have aging police and fire vehicles, street sweepers, leaf pickers, and snow plows. We have computers running on Windows 95, and buildings that need long-overdue maintenance. And we have an 8-mill levy that expires this year.

The City got into this mess by spending every dime (and then some), instead of looking to the future. We cannot let that happen again, and are working to establish a better planning model that will help balance today’s needs while keeping an eye on a more secure future.

Other budgetary highlights


Earnings Tax - Receipts were more than $800,000 higher in 2006 than in 2005.

Mandatory Filing
- Council passed Mandatory Earnings Tax Filing, beginning with 2006. That means every Norwood resident must file a Norwood tax return by April 16, whether or not you owe any Norwood taxes. THIS WILL NOT RAISE YOUR TAXES - unless you haven’t paid taxes you already owe.

Mandatory Filing will help to track down those that owe but haven’t been paying. Estimates of increased revenue from Mandatory Filing range from $1.2 million (by the State Auditor) to $350,000 (by Norwood Treasurer Tim Molony).

Development Revenue News

Cornerstone is almost 100% leased.

MRC has purchased the old Kasemeyer Dairy. MRC will be performing extensive renovations and begin manufacturing a treatment for rosacea.

Siemens is investing millions to retool and redesign. Norwood will be home to the world leader in electric motor manufacturing and a world-class R&D center.


Workers’ Compensation - Thanks to better training and safety programs, the Williams Administration has dramatically reduced our workers’ compensation claims. They are now low enough that Norwood can join a risk pool that will save us over $50,000 in 2007 premiums.

Labor Costs - In 2005, Mayor Williams hired a professional labor negotiator to represent Norwood in negotiating our contracts. The result - along with the efforts of all involved to find solutions - has been a dramatic departure from years past on issues of management rights, staffing levels, health insurance, and wages. We recently approved new contracts for the police, public works, and city hall workers that include savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to past contracts. The fire department contract will soon go to factfinding.

The Williams Avenue sewer project is underway, later than we originally expected. There were some issues getting the contract out to bid, but we also learned that Duke Energy was planning to replace gas mains along Williams. Rather than fix the sewers, pave the street, and then tear it all up again to work on gas lines, we are coordinating the two projects.


Linden Pointe (Globe Wernicke): Phase One of the new Linden Pointe is under construction. No tenants have signed formal agreements, but interest is high. The Montgomery/Carthage/Norwood Ave. realignment will begin in earnest this spring. Still to be resolved is an agreement on a TIF to fund additional landscaping, a monument where the old triangle building stood, infrastructure, and a “Norwood” signature to the bridge over the Lateral.

Edwards Road (North of Goldstar Chili): Developers have purchased and demolished the 5 houses north of Goldstar. They are planning to build a two-story office building and are looking for the right tenant(s).

Surrey Square: New Plan is moving forward with its plans to redevelop Surrey Square. Of particular interest is vastly improved landscaping along Lafayette and a more upscale design along Montgomery Road. Even better, the new Kroger will have a shopping cart corral system to keep carts in the parking lot and off the streets. We do not have a specific timetable yet.

South Montgomery Road:
Xavier University issued a Request for Proposals for a mixed-use development on the east side of Montgomery Road, south of Cleneay. There was a good response, and Xavier is considering at least two solid proposals. The development would include residential, retail, and office space — which we expect to dramatically improve Montgomery Road, add to our tax base, and pull student housing closer to campus and out of residential neighborhoods.


Sexual Predators:
State law prohibits convicted sexual predators from living within 1000 feet of schools. We are looking to extend the ban to include parks, playgrounds, pools, and other places where children gather.

Abandoned Buildings:
We are working to adapt Cincinnati’s model for licensing abandoned buildings, which we hope will give the City more leverage to have them fixed up and occupied, or condemned and removed.

Zoning Code: The Committee is looking over the proposal from the Planning Commission to restrict unwelcome uses, with a particular effort to deter uses like pawn shops, check cashing, bingo parlors and dollar stores from our Central and General Business Districts.

Second and Fourth Thursday — 7:00 p.m.
February 22, March 8
Cable Channel 24

Third Tuesday of the Month
7:30 - Community Center


Mayor Tom Williams - 458-4501
Safety/Serv. Dir. Joe Geers - 458-4503
Council - 458-4594
Emergency - 911
Police/Fire Non-Emergency - 458-4520
Building Department - 458-4510
Health Department - 458-4600
Public Works (Pot holes, parks) - 458-4615
Recreation - 531-9798