Monday, September 14, 2009
Amy Murray is the past President of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Council and has been endorsed as a Republican for her 2009 race for Cincinnati City Council. Murray is also President of The Japan Consulting Group and has previously worked for Procter and Gamble as well as Xavier University. Her website states that her objective in running for council is to "to make Cincinnati known as a top, American livable city - one where our children stay or choose to return to live."
CB: What is your position on ordinance 910-23, Cincinnati’s “anti-marijuana ordinance”? Should it stay on the books, or be repealed—and why?
AM: Possession and distribution of marijuana laws are already on the books here in Cincinnati. Other cities in the region do not have ordinances like this. I would recommend a review of the ordinance to determine if it has been effective or not.
CB: You recently signed a pledge with COAST not to raise taxes. COAST has a mission which claims it wants to limit taxes to the rate of inflation. However, the current system known as "property tax rollbacks" holds that portion of taxes at a rate that is actually below inflation, which means the City cannot keep pace with growing expenses. Do you support continuing the property tax rollbacks? Please explain your answer.
AM: As you mentioned, I will not support raising taxes. And I do support continuing the property tax rollbacks. It is important for the City of Cincinnati to live within its means, just as the taxpayers and their families have to do the same. When a family is having trouble keeping pace with growing expenses, it usually cuts its expenses, or finds other sources of revenue.
CB: What is your position on the debate between how to define "basic services"? Are swimming pools, rec centers, and other human services "basic"? Please explain.
AM: In the specific case of our city; Cincinnati neighborhood pools provide a healthy and safe way for many of our youth to occupy themselves during the summer months. In our current financial crisis it is all about smart choices and setting priorities. I would clearly see the pools as a priority and a good investment in our youth. I would consider basic services - Police, Fire, Sewer, Water and Trash.
CB: Do you support the local NAACP’s frequent petition drives, or do you think that organization is abusing City government? Please explain.
AM: Any local group is allowed to hold a petition drive if it wants to. That is one of the great freedoms we enjoy as Americans, as is outlined in the US Constitution.
CB: GOP Mayoral Candidate Brad Wenstrup wants undercover outside agents to spy on Cincinnati police to monitor their behavior. Do you think this a good idea? Why or why not?
AM: It is my understanding that this was not a correct quote. The Cincinnati Police Department has an Internal Investigations unit that already reviews alleged misconduct by officers.
CB: You say you want to offer tax relief to families who pay to send their kids to private schools. Why should families get a tax benefit because they have the resources to pay for what amounts to a fringe benefit (private education)?
AM: A strong education system is very important to keep and attract families and jobs to Cincinnati. Many cities are looking at innovative options to make education a reason that all families stay in the city. I am in favor of looking “outside of the box” and seeing what we can do to support education in Cincinnati.
CB: You say you want to reach out to the community councils. Can you explain with some specificity how you intend to create meaningful dialog with all 52 community groups?
AM: My background is with neighborhood councils. I was on my local council for 8 years and was President of the Hyde Park Neighborhood council. These community groups do so much for our city – zoning, beautification and youth efforts. This is critical work that City Council would not be able to do without the efforts of our Community Councils. I plan to reach out to the councils in 2 ways:
1. Open and transparent government – I will reach out to all community councils so that they have my complete contact information and feel comfortable contacting me as issues arise in the communities. I want to be known as the Council member to go to when you need community help and assistance. We may not always agree on every issue or every solution – but I will always be there to listen and offer support and solutions.
2. I plan on personally establishing regular times that are open for meetings with community councils – and I will attend community council meetings on an on-going basis.
CB: Would you support the implementation of a Domestic Partnership registry for the City of Cincinnati, as has been done in places like Toledo and Cleveland? Why or why not?
AM: I do not see this as a role for the City of Cincinnati. The state of California has a similar registry. If the state of Ohio were to follow suit, it would save the taxpayers money, by having one statewide office.
Photo is Courtesy of here
This is crossposted at the Cincinnati Beacon which you can find here.