( Cincinnati ) About half of the more than 19,000 signatures gathere by opponents of the city's parking plan have been counted and at the current rate, the issue looks to make it on the ballot easily.
Deputy Director of the Hamilton County BOE Sally Krisel says with 10,613 signatures checked, 64% or 6,809 are valid. Opponents need 8,522 to get on the ballot in November. That means only about 1,800 of the remaining 9,000 signatures need to be valid.
Krisel says the signature count is expected to wrap up by the end of Thursday or early Friday. At that time, the petitions will be sent back to the city.
The city is appealing a ruling by Judge Robert Winkler that allowed the issue to be put to referendum in the first place, that has to do with how the city uses the emergency clause. The petition drive has put in jeopardy the plan to lease out parking operations to the Port Authority for an up front payment of $92 million. Without that money, the city has reverted to "Plan B" to balance the budget, that will mean more than 300 city employees laid off, starting in June.