Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, October 30, 2009

NCT’s schedule of candidate forums on cable Channel 4

Thanks to Councilperson Keith Moore, we have the schedule for the candidate forums airing on local cable Channel 4. Click here for the Saturday though Monday schedule.

Channel 12: Last house at Rookwood being razed this morning

According to Channel 12, demolition crews started working at 9:00 a.m. to tear down the last house standing at the vacant 11-acre lot across from Rookwood Commons, site of the long-delayed proposed Rookwood Exchange development. Following a protracted court case challenging Norwood’s use of eminent domain that the Ohio Supreme Court decided in his favor, Joe Horney sold the two-family house for $1.25 million to the developer Jeffrey Anderson a year ago.

Channel 12 says, “Originally the Rookwood Exchange was planned as a $200 million complex including office space, retail, condos and a hotel. Now the developer Jeffrey Anderson Real Estate says its not clear what form the development will take because of the poor economy.”

Click here to view the Channel 12 video.

(h/t to Jeanette)

11:15 AM UPDATE: Click here for the Enquirer’s version of today’s big event and Joe Horney’s quote: “I guess it’s just goodbye to a monument to Norwood’s stupidity. They can tear down the bricks and mortar, but they can’t destroy what we accomplished in the law books.”

Cincinnati Magazine: NHS one of 30 great local high schools!

The current issue of Cincinnati Magazine hit the newsstands yesterday with an article entitled “Multiple Choice: 30 Great Local High Schools,” and Norwood High School made the cut! The magazine’s website promotes the article by saying, “Marching bands and AP calculus; musicals and DNA sequencing. There are extraordinary high schools in our town -places where tomorrow's great minds are getting a head start. The test is in figuring out which one's right for your child. We've got your cheat sheet.”

Norwood City Schools’ website is rightfully bragging about this accomplishment and states, “Cincinnati Magazine compared test scores, school report cards and graduation rates in order to come up with the areas Best High Schools.”

Congratulations to NCS and all the students, administrators, and teachers at Norwood High, one of the 30 great local high schools!

Xavier Players & Madcap Puppet Theatre present Look Out Galileo

Explore the Starry Skies in the First Hats Off Production

On Saturday, November 14, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday, November 15, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Xavier Players will present Look Out, Galileo! directed by John Lewandowski, Madcap Puppet Theatre’s Artistic Director. This is the first show in the Hats Off series collaboration established with Madcap. Tickets cost $7 each. They can be purchased online now at and can be purchased by phone beginning November 1 by calling (513) 745-3939.

The show will take the audience on a journey through time and science joining Galileo on his quest to prove the earth revolves around the sun. Throughout the play, the evil scientist, Simplico, attempts to thwart the hero. Giant puppets bring the action to life in this unique and comical adventure that stresses the importance of asking questions. Scientific experiments also join in on the fun in telling the ancient stories of Cassiopeia and Egyptian Sunrise. This play is sure to leave the audience both educated and entertained!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

H1N1 Flu Clinic at Norwood Health Dept. next Wednesday

Norwood Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer wants Norwood residents to know the Norwood Health Dept. at 2059 Sherman Avenue is having another H1N1 Flu Clinic next Wednesday, November 4, from 3 :00 t0 7:00 p.m. There are approximately 150 shots remaining for this particular clinic. As before, individuals must call 458-4600 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated. We will let our readers know when all the appointments are taken.

5:10 PM UPDATE: Pamela Walker-Bauer just informed us that all appointments are taken for this flu clinic.

Norwood Republicans’ election night party at Gordo’s

Casey Brown sent us the following announcement and invitation:

The Norwood Republicans are having an election night party! This is for all of our volunteers, however you helped us through sign placement, phone calls, stamping literature, walking in the parade, whatever you did to help us. Please come have some fun with us and celebrate some victories!

And speaking of volunteering, we still would love more help with outside poll workers on election day. If you can spare a hour or two on election day we would love to have you. We will have breakfast, lunch and snacks circulating around to precincts for the outside workers, done by our wonderful volunteers. Call us if you can spare some time to help us! Please call Robin with the Norwood GOP at 885-5744.

Election Night Party:

At Gordo’s on Montgomery Road across from
the Norwood Library

From: 8 pm to ?

$5 per adult/ $3 for kids 12 and under

Finger Food and soft drinks from bar included,
food served about 8:15-8:30.

Beer/wine/ liquor on your own (Beer and Wine
specials during the event).

Election results live online courtesy of Todd
Sponsored by the Norwood Republican Club

Invitation to Xavier’s marathon public reading of the Bible

Xavier University’s Back to the Bible is a marathon public reading of the Bible and it is also, in the words of Rabbi Abie Ingber, a "chance to slow down and come together." Beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 5, Xavier students, faculty, staff and members of the Greater Cincinnati community will begin reading the Book of Genesis aloud, and will not stop until they reach the end of the Hebrew Scriptures (II Chronicles). Back to the Bible will take place in the Clocktower Lounge of the Gallagher Student Center on Xavier’s Evanston campus.

Individuals are asked to sign up to read publicly for 15 minutes in the language of their choice and from the Bible of their choice. Organizers of Back to the Bible hope to hear as many as thirty different languages reading the selections. To register as a reader, go online to, to reserve 15-minute shifts and for additional information.

Ingber is founding director of Xavier’s Office for Interfaith Community Engagement. The Office’s mission is to create and strengthen a sense of community among individuals of diverse faiths on campus, in Cincinnati and on regional and national levels. Four leaders from the new initiative on campus will serve as co-chairs of the program, expected to last 60-65 hours. The four, all Xavier students, are Kevin Contrera, Maggie Prosser, Jana Dykas, and Lauren Boxell.

“For more than 175 years Xavier has so brilliantly and lovingly discharged its mission to provide exceptional academics in a Jesuit environs,” said Ingber, “and for the first time in its history the words of the Bible will be heard aloud night and day and in the languages of the world community.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

September 09 NFD Activities and Statistics Report

A monthly feature

A. Total of emergency responses for the month of September = 344

Medic Runs = 255
Fire Runs = 4 w/breakdown
Average Response Time on Runs = 1 minute, 18 seconds (city-wide)

Number of incidents by type:
Fire Runs – 4 - (Building, Vehicle, Brush, etc.)
Overpressure, Explosion - 0
Rescue & Medic Unit Assists – 48 - (lock-in, extrications, traffic accidents, etc.)
Hazardous Conditions (no fire) - 9 - (power lines down, arcing, spills, etc.)
Service Call - 11 - (smoke removal)
Good Intent - 2 - (odor of smoke, controlled burning)
False Alarms – 15 - (false alarms, system malfunctions, smoke detector activated, etc.)
Severe Weather - 0
Special Incident -0

B. Fire Hydrant Activity
Nothing to report this month

C. Bureau of Fire Safety Activities = 496
Total Inspections – 96 - (residential, schools, churches, businesses)
Total Violations – issued 151
Total Violations – corrected 143
Total Block Inspections – 14 - (Unit #1, Unit #2, Unit #3 – Rental & multi-family)
Additional Activities - 90

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Exclusive: Deb & Laurel with Xavier’s P.R. Dept. blog, answer questions

Over the past 3 years, our readers and we have enjoyed the support Deb and Laurel with Xavier’s Public Relations Dept. have provided to our blog. They send us all their press releases, which we often publish before they appear in other local media; and they have helped us reach other Xavier officials for stories that we have produced. Deb and Laurel have generously supplied us with information about Xavier’s plans for eventually developing the proposed Xavier Square at the Norwood Plaza and have even kept us up-to-date about special adoption events at SPCA Cincinnati. We cannot thank them enough for their many contributions.

Today, we have a special guest blog below that Deb and Laurel have co-written, and it even includes the opportunity for our readers to ask them questions directly in the comment box that they will answer as they have time.

COMMUNITIES TOGETHER The Evanston Norwood Xavier (ENX) partnership which was so fruitful is being re-energized and resuming work together as a unified community to collaborate on initiatives. On July 17, ENX offered a bus tour for all three communities to get to know one another. The van went to different landmarks in each community, where community members shared places of pride in their community. Norwood residents showed off the UDF factory, what was US Playing Card, and the Norwood Historical Society archives. Evanston shared the Flavor of Arts studio, the King Records initiative, its schools and the new Red Cross location on Dana.

Some projects from the past included learning for young and old. An entrepreneurship group, comprised of Evanston and Norwood 7th and 8th students from Hoffman-Parham School and Norwood Middle School, with the Community Building Institute, the Xavier Entrepreneurship Club, and the Xavier Entrepreneurship Center, met twice per month from February to May. Xavier entrepreneurship students taught students elements of entrepreneurship. Some ENX adult members went through an academy to learn community leadership and organization skills and received certificates upon completion. For more information on ENX, please contact Daria at 745-3263 or

QUESTIONS? Deb and Laurel of Xavier’s Public Relations Department will be happy to try and answer questions Norwood residents may have. They will reply as fast as they can for a 2-person department. Just post the question here. Keep in mind they may have to consult others for the answers.

Deb and Laurel
Xavier University
Public Relations Department

Monday, October 26, 2009

H1N1 Flu Clinic at Norwood Health Dept. this Wednesday

Norwood Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer wants everyone to know the Norwood Health Dept. at 2059 Sherman Avenue is having another H1N1 Flu Clinic this Wednesday, October 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. As before, individuals must call 458-4600 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

3:05 PM Update: Pamela Walker-Bauer just informed us that all appointments are taken for Wednesday.

The clinic is for the following groups only:

  1. Pregnant women because they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated;
  2. Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age because younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination of those in close contact with infants younger than 6 months old might help protect infants by “cocooning” them from the virus;
  3. Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel because infections among healthcare workers have been reported and this can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased absenteeism in this population could reduce healthcare system capacity;
  4. All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  5. Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in children who are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread, and
  6. Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because many cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population; and,
  7. Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

Xavier University Fall Music Festival

Xavier University's Department of Music will host its Fall Music Festival from October 28 – 30. On Wednesday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m., the Festival opens with a the North American premier of Miguel Roig-Francoli's "Missa Pro Pace" performed by the Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble and a string ensemble. After a brief intermission, the Concert Choir, the new Xavier Alumni Choir and a professional orchestra will perform Mozart's "Requiem." Tickets are $5 with a student ID and $10 for all others.

On Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m., the Xavier Symphonic Winds and Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Gallagher Student Center. Both ensembles have experienced rapid growth over the past year and professors Westgate and Heuser have raised the level of music-making dramatically. The Chamber Orchestra will be joined by Xavier faculty Rebecca Andres on flute and Jackie Davis on harp in a performance of Howard Hanson's exotic "Serenade for Flute, Harp and String Orchestra." Memorable music by Mozart will be featured alongside the "Capriol Suite for String Orchestra" by Peter Warlock. The Symphonic Winds take the stage for the second half with pieces by notable American composers such as Ron Nelson, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Bryant, Vincent Persichetti, and a few other surprises. A tour-de-force arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" and John Philip Sousa's most famous march, "Stars and Stripes Forever," will close the program. Tickets are $2 with a student ID and $5 for all others.

On Friday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m., The Xavier University Men's and Women's Choruses are joined by a guest choir from Sycamore High School. The performance will take place in Bellarmine Chapel. The choirs will combine at the end for a performance of Donald Busarow's arrangement of "Down by the River to Pray." Tickets are $2 with a student ID and $5 for all others.

Also on Friday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m., The Xavier University Jazz will transform the Gallagher Center Atrium into a Jazz Club. Instead of neat rows of chairs, fans will be seated at tables and can bring. Listeners can imagine they are listening to Charlie Parker at Birdland, Dizzy Gillespie at the Blue Note, or even B.B. King at The Palladium. This concert is free and open to the public.

Xavier Newswire: Betta’s adding new coffee shop/wine bar

The Xavier Newswire is reporting that next month former City council member Will Deluca is opening a new coffee shop and wine bar adjacent to his restaurant Betta‘s Italian Oven at 3764 Montgomery Rd. Café Cornetti, named for an Italian pastry, will offer a menu of wine, coffee, Italian pastries and gelato, and free Wi-Fi will also be available.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last night’s Republican Tele Town Hall Meeting

For readers who missed last night’s first ever Republican Tele Town Hall Meeting, we thought we would provide a brief description. When the phone rang at 6:35 p.m., we were pretty sure it was the Norwood Republican candidates calling, so with pen and paper in hand we answered the call and took notes as we listened to the proceedings over the next hour and a half. Law Director Ted Kiser, who is not running for his office this year, was the moderator. He periodically introduced himself, the entire slate of candidates, and also explained that listeners could press zero on the phone pad at any time to ask questions in the queue line.

Questions ran the gamut from what is the fee for garbage collections and can’t it be reduced, what is happening with vacant land for the proposed Rookwood Exchange and what would the Republicans do to make it look better, are homeowners responsible for fixing sidewalks, to how many employees in our City departments are related to one another. Usually, more than one candidate would jump in to answer each question.

Ted Kiser alternated listeners’ questions with a few of his own for each candidate to answer, questions like, “What is the most important issue facing the City?” and “Once in office, how will you make sure you know what your constituents want?” Making the event even more interactive for listeners, Mr. Kiser posed poll questions that could be answered by pressing the appropriate answer key on the phone pad. Following are the questions and the results he announced:

1. What is your opinion of Norwood’s street program?
Good: 11%
Average: 56%
Poor: 33%

2. Have you ever talked to your councilperson?
Yes: 50%
No: 50%

3. Are you voting in this election?
Yes: 100%

4. Are you satisfied with the services of the Norwood Police and Fire Departments?
Yes: 100%

5. Do you know who your councilperson is?
Yes: 64%
No: 36%

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Take the Norwood and North Avondale Resident Survey

Xavier student Kathryn Rosenbaum, Editor-in-Chief of the Xavier Newswire, asked us to offer our Norwood readers the opportunity to take a short survey sponsored by Xavier’s Neighborhood Advisory Board that she works on. What little we know about the NAB comes from one of our regular readers who has attended their meetings along with residents from Evanston, North Avondale, and Norwood. He has told us the group is trying to find solutions to issues residents have with the behavior of students living in their neighborhoods, issues we have blogged about several times.

Obviously, this survey is part of that effort. Most of the 8 questions ask about our interactions with Xavier students living in Norwood, and it shouldn’t take more than about a minute to answer them. Click here to get started.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free Halloween at Lindner Park

Starting at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, October 24, Norwood Recreation is hosting its annual Halloween at Lindner Park on Cypress Way. Kathy with Rec. tells us there will be a costume contest for the children with prizes as well as the always popular Haunted Trail, which we understand gets scarier each year.

Kathy also asked us to remind everyone that the this Friday, October 23 is the last day to sign up for basketball for kindergarten through 6th grade. For more information, call 531-9798.

Free H1N1 Flu Clinic this Saturday

Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer sent us to post the following announcement about this Saturday’s free H1N1 vaccination clinic at the Norwood Health Dept. at 2059 Sherman Ave. She tells us as the vaccine becomes available, more clinics will be schedules.

Clinic Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

You must call 513-458-4600 to schedule an appointment. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, we can't accommodate walk-ins.

This clinic is ONLY for the following groups:

  1. Pregnant women because they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated;
  2. Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age because younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination of those in close contact with infants younger than 6 months old might help protect infants by “cocooning” them from the virus;
  3. Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel because infections among healthcare workers have been reported and this can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased absenteeism in this population could reduce healthcare system capacity;
  4. All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
  5. Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in children who are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread, and
  6. Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because many cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population; and,
  7. Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

1:15 p.m. UPDATE:
Pamela Walker-Bauer says that Saturday's H1N1 Flu Clinic is filled to capacity now, so no more appointments being. taken However, she informed us that Walgreen's has a limited supply available for a cost of $18. For more information, the Norwood Walgreen's phone # is 731-0062.

This Saturday’s Musketeer Madness open to the public

Family Weekend at Xavier is scheduled for October 23-24. Xavier students invite their parents and siblings to explore their home-away-from home and experience the many vibrant facets of their life on campus. They can participate in events like Taste of Xavier, the Xavier Players’ production of Children of Eden, Bingo Bash, a construction presentation, scavenger hunt, Mass, Gospel Choir, club sports competitions, and more. This weekend is only for the families of current students, but the weekend also offers Musketeer Madness for those who are not parents of current students.

Musketeers Madness Presented by Skyline Chili
Xavier Athletics hosts Musketeer Madness 2009 presented by Skyline Chili on Saturday, October 24. This interactive fan entertainment event inside and outside of the Cintas Center, signifies the official start of college basketball season. Musketeer Madness attendance and parking is free.

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Pre-Madness Party on the Plaza (rain site - Auxiliary Gym and Concourse)
· food and drinks available for purchase, courtesy of Skyline, Trauth Dairy, and Chartwells
· games for kids, such as inflatables, cornhole, basketball, a balloon artist, and much more
· an autograph session with some players
· radio remote by KISS 107

7 p.m. – Madness Begins
Xavier men’s and women’s basketball teams will be introduced and sign autographs, pose for pictures and discuss the upcoming season with fans of all ages.

This year’s X-Shirt will be unveiled at Musketeer Madness. Every year, the X-Shirt committee designs a shirt which is then sold as a fundraiser for charity. Everyone is invited to the unveiling of the secret design in front of the Cintas Center just after 7:00 pm on the 24th. The committee will present a check from last year's shirt sales to A Kid Again, a Cincinnati organization that provides adventures and other activities for children with life-threatening diseases. Proceeds from sales of this year’s X-shirt will go to Cooperative for Education, a Cincinnati based non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala by providing textbooks and educational opportunities to under-privileged schoolchildren. Shirts will be available for purchase for $18 after the unveiling.

7:15 p.m. - Athletes vs. Fans, Students Contests emceed by Xavier alum Bob Herzog of WKRC-TV
· 3 point contest student vs. Brad Redford
· 3 point contest student vs. WBB player to be named

7:45 p.m. – Dunk Contest

8 p.m. – Intrasquad scrimmages - Men’s and Women’s basketball

9 p.m. – Conclusion

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Norwood Republican candidates' live Tele Town Hall Meeting

Following is an announcement we received from the Norwood Republican Party:

This Thursday October 22 at 6:30 p.m., the Norwood Republican candidates will be holding a live Town Hall meeting over the phone. Thousands of Norwood voters will receive a phone call asking them to join the Town Hall meeting. This is a great opportunity to speak with the candidates, ask questions, or just listen in.

So please, answer your phone when it rings on Thursday night.

If you do not like receiving this type of call there is an option to opt-out of future events when you receive the call. This event is sponsored by the Norwood GOP. T. Brown, Treasurer. 4425 Ashland Ave. Norwood, OH 45212.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest blog: City Auditor Jim Stith

The following blog is City Auditor Jim Stith's response to allegations made in the comments box under his 10/15/09 candidate blog. The purpose of our candidate blog series is to give each participant an opportunity to get his or her message out to voters who read our blog. The 10 Republican and 3 Democratic candidates who participated this year knew that they were submitting themselves to a certain amount of criticism from commenters who support their opposition. However, some comments have gone far beyond acceptable criticism and into the realm of distortion, baseless innuendo, character assassination, and outright negative campaigning. Today, these kinds of comments will cease as will any further negative comments about the subjects Mr. Stith covers in his blog. As he states, our readers may contact him with any questions about his office. In other words, there have more than enough anonymous allegations made here about Mr. Stith that we are giving him the last word on them:

10/20/09 CLARIFICATION: After getting some critiques of our statements above, especially, “In other words, there have been more than enough anonymous allegations here, and we are giving Mr. Stith the last word on them,” we realize we failed to be clear about something. We should have added that the anonymous commenters making the allegations need to provide us with documentation (public documents, video clips, training contract, invoices and the like) that supports their charges before we will allow further discussion. Regular readers know we routinely post public documents about various local issues in order to provide credible information. Without supporting documentation, we see no way for discussion about the allegations to advance beyond the level of an unproductive food fight that will not enlighten our readers with information on which they can rely.

One of our critics asked why we did not require Mr. Stith to provide documentation to support his responses below. We saw no reason to, in part, because the anonymous commenters making the allegations did not provide documentation but also because Mr. Stith’s guest blog creates a public record of sorts that can be challenged here if his anonymous critics want to send their evidence for our review to

We apologize to our readers for our lack of clarity.

Many subjects concerning the Auditor’s office have been raised on this blog. Most of them are half truths, others are either misinformation or intentional falsehoods. I would like to address a few of these.

Auditors Payroll: Pay rates are established by ordinance passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor as are all raises in pay. The Auditor’s office does not establish pay rates and cannot reduce any amount established by ordinance.

Stadium Utilities: The Auditor’s office pays the bills based upon purchase orders approved by department heads. Any agreements with contractors, vendors, or the school district are established by the administration.

Fact finding and Unions: The Auditor’s office never provided information comparing Norwood pay rates to other city’s pay rates. If the fact finding report states that I provided this information then it is incorrect. I have never researched or provided this data. The commenter “Auditor Screwed the other Unions” is providing misleading and false information, and I question their motives in this discussion.

$12,000.00 for Training: This is not true.

Donnie Jones: When I first took office Donnie provided assistance and advice to get started. While he has always been available for advice he is not involved in running the office. We have only rarely been in contact in the past 18 months.

Time Bank Issues: The overpayment to the Fire Chief that has been discussed happened before I was sworn into office and has been researched back to 2000. The time banks were balanced after other attempts to resolve the matter failed. This action was discussed with the Law Department and the Auditor of State before being undertaken. I also requested that the Auditor of State investigate this subject and the action taken during the 2008 audit which is underway.

What was originally intended to be a public venue for delivering information on candidates has degraded into a perfect opportunity for any political opposition to spread misinformation without providing a legal disclaimer. Many of the statements made on this blog are either accidental misinterpretations of information or intentional attempts to slander my office and the record of my accomplishments.

As always I am available to discuss issues and I will be happy to answer any questions concerning my office or candidacy via my personal email At the request of the person asking the question I will post the responses on this blog without their contact information.

Jim Stith

This week at the Norwood Branch Library

Monday, October 19th
Celebrate National Chemistry Week
Free Chemistry Demonstration by Xavier University Students
6:30 p.m., All Ages

Tuesday, October 20th
Preschool Storytime
6:30 p.m., Ages 3-5

Thursday, October 22nd
ESOL Conversation Group
5:30 p.m.

Teen Read Week Celebration
Games and Surprises
4-5:30 p.m., Ages 12-18

For more information, call 369-6037

Enquirer: Convergys moving 247 employees to Erlanger, KY

After 17 years in Norwood, Convergys Corp. is closing its customer contact center at 4650 Montgomery and moving 247 employee to its Erlanger office starting in January. The Erlanger site is a newer building where the company has invested in up-to-date technology that will increase both the efficiency and productivity of its customer management operations.

In addition to losing the earnings tax revenue from the Convergys’ employees, Norwood

1. has lost revenue from 500 U.S. Playing Card employees to Boone County, Ky.
2. has lost revenue from 103 employees Siemens laid off in August
3. will lose revenue from 350 employees when Medpace completes its move to Madisonville in 2013

Regarding the Convergys move from Norwood, Mayor Tom Williams told the Enquirer, “It just never ends. We’ve had experience in the past handling bad times and I’m certain we’ll handle this.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Poll question: How are you voting this November?

This election I'm voting
at my local precinct
by absentee ballot
not sure yet
I'm not voting free polls

Two Gas Aggregation Public Hearings this month

Last November, Norwood voters passed the following ballot issue:

Shall the City of Norwood, County of Hamilton, Ohio, have the authority to aggregate the retail natural gas loads located in the City of Norwood, and enter into service agreements to facilitate for those loads the sale and purchase of natural gas, such aggregation to occur automatically except where any person elects to opt out?

For more on gas aggregation, see this 5/12/09 guest blog by Councilperson Steve Thornbury.

Gas Aggregation Public Hearings
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Hearing: 3:30 p.m.
Norwood Senior/Community Center
1810 Courtland Ave.

Second Hearing: 7:00 p. m.
Council Chambers
Norwood City Hall

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Candidate blog series: Auditor candidate Jim Stith (R)

Our candidate blog series ends today with Jim Stith’s blog below. We want to thank all the candidates who participated. We assure you that your blogs have been widely read, as evidenced by the nearly 50% increase in our daily blog traffic since last Monday when the series started. That’s not to say every Norwood voter reads our blog, but considering the fact that our forum is free to candidates, it’s been an excellent campaign investment.

Our readers can learn more about this year’s candidates by going to the League of Women Voters website So far, 10 candidates have posted their bio’s, stated their top priorities, and answered 4 questions about issues.

As each candidate blog moves off the page, it will be available on our secondary blog here. For our readers’ convenience we have installed a temporary link to 2009 Candidate Blog Series on the right.

Jim Stith, Auditor.
Hard Work and Common Sense

In January 2008 I was appointed to the position of Auditor for the City of Norwood. I must now run for the remainder of the unexpired term. I have dedicated myself to this position and brought a strong work ethic and common sense to the office. I now ask for the chance to finish the job I started.

Since becoming Auditor I have brought responsibility, professionalism, transparency and a strong work ethic to the Auditor’s office. I continue to fight for a balanced budget, fiscal responsibility, and excellence in financial reporting.

As Auditor I have made myself available regularly during weekly office hours for department heads, elected officials and our citizens. I also attend every City Council meeting making the Auditor’s office accessible to City officials. I have modernized our City’s financial systems and technologies and updated and converted the City’s accounting system to be compliant with Federal and State accounting practices. We have worked with the law department to save the City over $13,000 a year in property taxes and uncovered almost $50,000 in available stagnant funds.

Since becoming Auditor I have appointed an excellent staff with financial, accounting, and technological experience. This staff includes the Deputy Auditor Marcus Patterson who holds a Masters Degree in Accounting. Together we have created true Transparency in Government identifying and correcting inefficiencies, finding and correcting problems. There are those who want to hold this against me. I insist that finding problems and correcting them is not a bad thing, hiding problems and sweeping them under the rug is!

Every month we generate reports for City Council and the Administration. We prepared and filed the 2006 & 2007 Annual Financial Reports, prepared a Five Year Financial Forecast for the City and we are completing the first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report since 2003. Every report is available for viewing by the public in the Auditor’s office or online

I am not a life long resident of Norwood, Jen and I moved here 9 years ago. This is where we choose to live, where our children go to school. We do not have generations of family in the City, we are the start of new generations for the City. We represent people who see how special this community is and come here to raise our families.

I am not City government as usual. I became involved in local politics because I care about our community and noticed problems which were not being addressed. There was a need and I knew I could help. I had to take a stand for what is right. This is not about pride, this is not about personal gain, this is about the community in which we choose to live and raise our children.

I am hopeful that the voters of Norwood will give me the chance to finish the job that I started.

  • Keep Responsibility,
  • Keep Professionalism,
  • Keep Transparency,
  • Keep Fiscal Responsibility,
  • Keep Jim Stith working hard for You!

For a detailed bio and more information please see my web site

Jim Stith

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Norwood police arrest 12 following undercover drug investigation

Following a 2-month undercover drug investigation triggered by complaints about drug sales in the western area of the city, the Norwood Drug Task Force searched 2 apartments last night and arrested 12 suspects. Gary Krug, 43, Lesha Roberts, 30, and Katherene Bell, 22 were arrested at an apartment on Mills Ave. and charged with several counts of drug trafficking, felony drug possession and permitting drug abuse. Michael Fowler, 28, was charged with 4 counts of trafficking in drugs and 1 count of permitting drug abuse following his arrest in an apartment in the 4300 block of Smith Rd. All 12 suspects were carted off to the Hamilton County Justice Center in a city bus and booked into the jail around 11:30 p.m. Another successful sting by Norwood Drug Task Force!

H1N1 voluntary school-based vaccination clinics start next week


City of Norwood

Norwood Health Department, Norwood Public Schools, and Norwood City Administration

Norwood, Ohio – October 13, 2009 The Norwood City Health Department and Norwood City Schools, with assistance from the Office of Mayor Tom Williams, are working closely to administer the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine through the following VOLUNTARY school-based vaccination clinics:

  • Allison School: Monday, 10/19/09 @ 9:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
  • Sharpsburg Primary and Elementary: Tuesday, 10/20/09 @ 9:30 a.m.
  • Norwood View: Wednesday, 10/21/09 @! 9:30 a.m.
  • Williams Elementary: Thursday, 10/22/09 @ 9:30 a.m.
  • Norwood High School: Friday, 10/23/09 @ 8:00 a.m.
  • Norwood Middle School: Friday, 10/23/09 @ 10:00 a.m.
  • St. Nicholas Academy: Friday, 10/23/09 @ 2:30 p.m.
  • North Norwood School: Monday, 10/26/09 @ 9:30 a.m.
  • Cornerstone Academy: Tuesday, 10/27/09 @ 10:30 a.m.

School age children are among the key high-risk populations identified by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being likely to come in contact with H1N1 flu. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu can be a serious contagious disease. An important step in protecting children from H1N1 flu is to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine.
“As the H1N1 flu vaccine becomes more readily available, the Health Department will be setting up clinic locations and times for the public. Please keep an eye on our website ( for more details.”

Pamela Walker-Bauer

Norwood City Health Commissioner

Candidate blog series: At-large candidate Victor Schneider (R)

For too long Norwood has been struggling under a cloud of senseless negativity. It is time to put those attitudes and destructive criticisms in the past. I am committed to bringing positive energy and a resurgence of honest civic pride to our great City.

I feel confident that my background qualifies me to continue to represent the citizens of Norwood. I have held the position of Mayor, Service Director, and Superintendent of Public Works. I have also had the honor of being elected to 2 terms as a Council at Large member of Norwood City Council. I have completed the State of Ohio Police Officer Training Academy. I have received all certifications necessary and worked as a firefighter. I have maintained water and gas systems as a General Mechanic/Technician in the private sector as well as worked as a production and business manager for a $100 million dollar international corporation. I have many years of experience managing people to maximize productivity and results. Currently I am working as a Community Manager in the private sector.

Please carefully consider the candidates for Norwood City Council, President of Council, Treasurer, and Auditor. I will commit to asking questions, getting answers and doing my best to protect the overall best interest of Norwood. I would appreciate your support.

Please vote for Victor Schneider.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Candidate blog series: At-large candidate Michael Gabbard (R)

As a lifelong resident of Norwood it has been my honor to serve my community on council.

Family: Wife Vicki and 4 children

Education: Norwood High Grad 1983, BA Biblical Studies from Temple School of Ministry, Paramedic since 1986, former firefighter (12 years), Police officer (3 years).

Employment: TriHealth PTS (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service)

Committees: Finance & Audit Committee, Chairman of Safety, Police & Fire. Past member of Community Development, Streets and Infrastructure, Parks & Playgrounds

Affiliations: Member of New Bethel Baptist Church and serve on the Children & Youth Leadership Board, Norwood City Schools Business Advisory Council, Norwood Soccer Association (President, coach, sponsor), Relay for Life (chairman), Voice of NHS Boys & Girls Soccer Games.

As your representative I have:
  1. Pushed to make our sexual predator ordinance stronger to keep the children of Norwood as safe as possible.
  2. Pushed to have a juvenile court held here in Norwood.
  3. Pushed to streamline the grass cutting of vacant properties.
  4. Pushed to keep our own health department here in Norwood.
  5. Supported more attention to our parks - addition of restrooms in Hunter, Saving Burwood Pool and new equipment at Fenwick.
  6. Supported:
  • Vacant Building Ord. and removal of vacant properties.
  • New CRA Ord.
  • Street Resurfacing Program
  • New developments
This council has accomplished much over the last few years but we still have much to do. We have been able to work through some serious financial issues without losing any of our vital services. We have worked through loses of companies by seeking new companies and developments.

As your councilman I DO NOT play political games. As your elected official I don’t represent just a certain group of people – I represent and serve ALL the citizens of Norwood. I don’t seek attention and do most work off camera and behind the scenes. I don’t speak a lot on council floor but when I do it is to bring a strong voice for YOU.

I would like to continue to be your strong voice on council as we work to continue to improve our city. Please Vote and keep Michael Gabbard as your Council at Large on Nov. 3rd. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at 531-4999 – I will actually respond to your call.

Michael Gabbard

Monday, October 12, 2009

Candidate blog series: At-large candidate Andrew Clark (R)

I am excited to be running for a seat on Norwood City Council. I love the City of Norwood and know I can help take our city to the next level. Norwood needs a combination of all ages on city council. A combination of wisdom and experience with new and fresh ideas is powerful. I promise you that I will never be outworked. My grandpa and dad have shown me the importance of hard work and dedication and I want to put that to use for you and our city.

Here are some facts about me you may want to know:
  1. I am a life long resident of Norwood and attended North Norwood for preschool, Sharpsburg for kindergarten through 5th grade, the middle school for 6th through 8th grade and the high school for 9th through 12th grade.
  2. I just recently (May 2009) graduated from Miami University (Oxford, OH) with a B.A. in Political Science with a focus in English Literature and Creative Writing.
  3. In February of 2009, my mom, Vicki (life long resident and NHS graduate c/o 1977), and I started the Norwood Star Newspaper after the loss of the Norwood Times. I was writing for the Times when it shut down and knew Norwood needed a newspaper to keep the positive news flowing.
  4. I am a member of the Norwood Community Chorus and have been since it started in January of 2008. I truly love being a member of this choir. Judy White is a great instructor and I would love to see more of you join the chorus. It is more fun than work!
  5. I attend Trinity Pentecostal Church on Norwood Avenue and have been a life long member. At times I have been the Youth Leader, Drama Director, Choir Member, and responsible for the Media Relations in the Youth Department.
  6. I currently work at the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS in the Education Department. I hope to bring the tools I have learned about real estate to Norwood and help us attract more businesses to fill our vacant developments and new families to fill our vacant residences. If elected I will also work with the board to set up a showcase of our schools and community for local realtors so they can see the available housing and commercial properties available and better communicate our city to potential buyers.
Here are more specific things I hope to do for Norwood:
  1. Improve Norwood’s Reputation
  2. My experience with the Norwood Star and as a Communication Director at Trinity Pentecostal Church has shown me the importance of positive press. I will work with the media to ensure that we receive more coverage on the good things rather than just the bad. I am willing to take on anyone who thinks Norwood is an awful community-even Tracy Jones!
  3. Improve and Maintain Norwood’s Infrastructure
  4. I will work to improve our roadways, parks, and public facilities to ensure that Norwood has better roadways and great facilities for us to use.
  5. Ensure that Public Safety is a Top Priority
  6. I will work to make Norwood the safest place it can be. I will work closely with the Norwood Police Department and the Norwood Citizens on Patrol to find ways to build upon the great work they are already doing and find new ways of making Norwood safe.
  7. Help the School Board to Improve our Schools
  8. As a NHS graduate, I was given a great education, which landed me in a top public university. I want to ensure that every child in Norwood has the same opportunity and better. I want to see our kids excel in the classroom and on the field. I want them exceeding expectations, not just meeting them.
I am excited for what is in store for our community. We have a lot of great people here in Norwood who are willing to work hard to make our community better. I am excited to work with these great people. I promise I will never forget that I serve you and I will always be available by phone (706-6893) or email ( to address any concerns you have or any suggestions you have to make our city a better place.

Andrew Clark

Norwoodians invited to Raise the Roof 5K Run/Walk

Last week we received an email from Norwood resident Rob Eggert who told he reads our blog (thanks again, Rob!) and asked us to let everyone know that Cincinnati Habitat Young Professional is sponsoring the first ever Raise the Roof 5K Run/Walk this Saturday. Rob has a couple of Norwood friends who are involved in YP Habitat for Humanity, including the event’s organizer Jayme Ritter, and they’re all hoping Norwood will be well represented this Saturday at Sharon Woods. Following is the invitation:

Please join us (and help to spread the word!)…the Cincinnati Habitat Young Professionals present the first ever Raise the Roof 5K Run/Walk! Saturday, October 17th at 3:00 pm. Hosted in Sharon Woods, this unique course shows off all of the beauty this park has to offer. Stick around for the after party to enjoy food, drinks and a raffle with great items donated by local businesses. To register, please visit, click on the register/results link on the left side of the page and scroll down to our event – the Raise the Roof 5K Run/Walk!

If you would like to volunteer for this event, please email Jayme Ritter:

Info from the flyer:

Entry Fee & Ways to Register
  1. Online - $20 Race Only Entry or $30 Race Entry + Post Race Party (includes food and drink tickets)
  2. Log on to to register. Online Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 14, 2009
  3. Mail-In - $20 Race Only Entry or $30 Race Entry + Post Race Party (includes food and drink tickets)
  4. Mail below entry form to: Raise the Roof, c/o Steve Prescott, PO Box 454, Mason, OH, 45040. Must be post marked by Friday, October 9, 2009.
  5. In-Person - $25 Race Only Entry or $35 Race Entry + Post Race Party (includes food and drink tickets)
  6. Register Race Day from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Candidate blog series: Treasurer candidate Tom Brown (R)

My name is Thomas Brown and I am the Republican candidate for Norwood City Treasurer. I have always been concerned about the City of Norwood’s financial stability and business growth, but none more than now. The City Treasurer’s office needs leadership, organization, and efficiency so that your tax dollars are used wisely. I am apprehensive that the current treasurer does not have these ideals as his main interest. It is for this reason I have decided to offer the voters of Norwood a real choice in this November’s election.

My dealings with the Norwood Treasurer’s Office started when I worked for the City of Norwood. In 2000, I raised concerns to City Council about the inefficiencies, disorganization and overall poor performance of the Treasurer’s Office with other City Departments and the public.

Nearly ten years later, nothing has changed.

There are many problems in the Treasurer’s office that impact taxpayers:

  1. The closing of the office every day in the mid-afternoon, thus making it impossible for the public to pay their bills owed to the City.
  2. The current City Treasurer does not keep regular office hours, attend City Council meetings or attend Finance meetings.
  3. The current City Treasurer does not employ a full time Tax Commissioner to run the Tax Office.
  4. The Treasurer’s poor communication with other City Departments and City Council.
  5. The mailing of tax evasion letters to Norwood citizens whom in fact have paid their taxes properly.

The most recent State Auditor’s Review of the City Treasurer highlights many noncompliance citations and material weaknesses relating to the poor management of the accounts by the current City Treasurer.

In the State Auditor’s Review, they stated, "The City Treasurer did not prepare accurate cash reconciliation of the general account during 2004 and 2005."

The State Auditor commented the following while discussing the lack of balancing of the City Treasurer’s checkbook bank accounts by stating, “There is no evidence that the monthly reconciliations are reviewed upon completion.”, “The Auditor of State does not “approve” methods and components used in completing reconciliations.” and “the City could not account for differences between their book and bank balances in the amounts of $21,455 and $17,142 at December 31, 2004 and December 31, 2005 respectively.”

Even more shocking, the State Auditor was so critical of the way the Treasurer’s Office is run, they “recommend that Council or an appointee of Council, review and sign off on the reconciliations thereby indicating approval and promoting timeliness of reconciliations.”

While council has no statutory authority over other elected officials, the State Auditor is so concerned they are recommending oversight nonetheless. Norwood’s citizens should be concerned about the lack of accountability in the Treasurer’s office.

I stand ready to offer the voters of Norwood the leadership experience and commitment to excellence needed in the Treasurer’s office. My experience with staff supervision and meeting goals in the private and government sector will serve me well. My previous jobs have required me to streamline processes and initiate new procedures to save my employer money. My engineering degree provides me with the analytical skills needed to get the Treasurer’s Office running properly.

My wife and I are very involved in community events. From the Norwood 4th of July Fireworks Committee, Norwood Moose Lodge, and Relay for Life to WCET’s Action Auction, we are always looking for fulfilling volunteer opportunities. We have lived here for 12 ½ years and are proud to call Norwood home.

I understand that too much government, as well as too little, is a waste of taxpayer’s money. The basic and efficient operation of our government offices is critical, so our tax dollars are spent wisely. So I pledge to have the office maintain regular business hours, hire a full time qualified staff to work to restructure and modernize the office, as well as work with both the City Auditor and City Council to balance the city’s budget.

I will be accessible to the Administration, City Council and Department Heads to assist in any financial issues. Additionally, I personally pledge to keep regular office hours and to attend City Council meetings.

Finally, I will bring accountability, efficiency and real change to Norwood’s Treasurer’s Office.

You can contact me via the web at, via email at, my website at or by phone at 396-6683.

I am running for City Treasurer because…it’s Your Money, My Money, Our Money.

Tom Brown

NHS Orchestra seeking donations for Chicago trip

Guest blog by Allison Craig

The Norwood High School Orchestra may be in your neighborhood Saturday morning and early afternoon. The goal is to gain support from the community in spreading the word about an amazing opportunity for our musicians. The NHS Orchestra will be taking a trip to Chicago, IL to perform with professional musicians in a recording studio and at the Field Museum. It is such a privilege to be accepted for these prestigious performances. If you would like to support the Orchestra and help them make the trip to Chicago, they are accepting donations in any amount. $5 or more will make you a friend of the Orchestra and you will receive special recognition in the program at the concert on December 3rd.

If you have any questions regarding the orchestra or would like to send in a donation, please contact Allison Craig at

Allison Craig
Director of Orchestras
Norwood City Schools

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Woman jumps from burning apt. building on Lafayette Ave.

Multiple media sources are reporting 9 families with 21 people were displaced after a fire broke out at 1:30 a.m. today in an apartment building in the 4000 block of Lafayette Ave. According to this Enquirer article, 2 children are being credited with saving all 21 occupants when they heard smoke detectors go off. Capt. Brett Cartuyvelles with the Norwood Fire Dept. said, "The kids woke up and got everybody out. They were very, very, very lucky.” Two people were taken to local hospitals with what appeared to be minor injuries, including a woman who broke her ankle after jumping three stories from an apartment above the fire. The other resident suffered smoke inhalation, Cartuyvelles said.

According to investigators, a lit cigarette left on a couch caused the fire. Damage is estimated at about $100,000. Three apartments were damaged by flames, but all the units in the building suffered water damage. The Red Cross is helping the 9 displaced families.

Another armed robbery at UDF on Montgomery Rd.

Yesterday at 8:30 p.m., a white man wearing dark pants and a hooded sweat shirt held up the UDF at 3491 Montgomery Rd. at knifepoint. Police nabbed someone matching the description soon after the crime, but turned him loose after they determined he had not been the man who robbed the store. The same UDF was robbed August 11 by a man armed with a gun who was arrested by Norwood police a short time later. Anyone with information concerning this crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers, 513-352-3040 or the Norwood Police Department, 513-458-4520.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Just in: Finding of probable cause of elections law violations in complaint against Norwood Dem. Party

On September 27th the Norwood Republican Party filed this complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission against 7 members of the Norwood Democratic Party for violating Ohio election law. We have just been informed that this morning a hearing was conducted in Columbus before a panel of the Ohio Elections Commission to determine if there is probable cause that local Democratic Party members have violated Ohio election law in any of their campaign literature and/or on their campaign website as listed in the complaint. During the hearing members of the Commission voted unanimously that there is probable cause that the mentioned members of the Norwood Democratic Party are in violation of Ohio election law and recommended a hearing before the full commission. To be clear, the finding of probable cause does not establish guilt; it means that there is enough evidence to proceed to a hearing before the full commission. A hearing will be scheduled before the Ohio Elections Commission in Columbus later this month to determine whether or not any of the Norwood Democratic Party members named in the complaint have violated Ohio election law.

As the basis for the complaint, the Norwood Republican Party cited Ohio Revised Code section 3517.21 (B) (1) and (9). Probable cause was found for 3517.21(B)(1) only, which states:

(B) No person, during the course of any campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party, by means of campaign materials, including sample ballots, an advertisement on radio or television or in a newspaper or periodical, a public speech, press release, or otherwise, shall knowingly and with intent to affect the outcome of such campaign do any of the following:
(1) Use the title of an office not currently held by a candidate in a manner that implies that the candidate does currently hold that office or use the term “re-elect” when the candidate has never been elected at a primary, general, or special election to the office for which he or she is a candidate;

Present at this morning’s hearing were Joe Sanker and Joe C. Geers, Co-chairs of the Norwood Democratic Party; and Steve Thornbury and Jim Stith, Chair of the Norwood Republican Party.

Candidate blog series: Ward 4 candidate Todd Tittle (R)

My name is Todd Tittle, candidate for Norwood City Council in Ward 4. For the last 10 years my wife Missy and our four children have enjoyed living in the neighborhood surrounding our home on Warren Avenue. In that time I’ve been active in the Norwood Relay for Life, the Norwood Fireworks Committee, and in serving our church community.

I work in the Information Technology field but have also committed myself to using my skills to help others in both the local and global community, including efforts in developing countries in southern Africa and in our local community. My belief is that your community is what you make it and that when you give back with your time and talents it benefits the city as a whole. As your elected representative I will bring my skills and commitment to community to my job on Norwood City Council.

Over the last several years I have walked the streets, spoken with residents, participated in community events and listened carefully to your concerns about our Ward. I’ve heard you talk about quality of life issues like street repair, sidewalks, safety, parking, traffic, litter and our parks. As a private citizen, I’ve advocated for change and action. As an elected official, I’ll make sure your voice is heard, your concerns are respected and that action is taken

During Council’s evaluation of the Norwood Health Department, I joined the voices of those supporting the continued operation of this valuable department and its critical services. I heard many wonderful stories about how our Health Department helped a loved one, responded to a health-related issue, and generally made our community a better, safer place to live. That is why I stood in support of our Health Department. My opponent instead chose to stifle the voice of the public. Several people I talked to felt he was disrespectful of those who chose to express their concerns. Public input and opinion are an important part of what makes Democracy the greatest political system in the world. It provides each of us the freedom to speak our mind and to vote to make a difference in where we live.

With your vote, I can continue efforts to improve our neighborhood and our city. As your elected representative, I can give you a voice in our great city’s future. As always, feel free to contact me via email at or by phone 631-7268 just to ask a question or voice a concern.

Todd Tittle

Candidate blog series: Ward 4 candidate John Mumper (D)

Dear CBN Readers:

I am John Mumper and I am running for re-election to Council Ward Four.

Here are a few comments:

We have brought the City of Norwood back from financial disaster, but there are reasons to believe that this economy and the loss of some of our earnings tax base may cause us to experience some slippage in the next year and a half. We must continue to tightly monitor our expenditures and secure our revenue sources to guarantee that we do not slip back into fiscal trouble. There are no government entities that are currently in better shape that we are, at present, but there is still a threat of the recession hitting us in the near future.

During the past term, Norwood City Council held open meetings to review the expense of maintaining our Norwood Health Department. During these meetings I constantly tried to inform the public that the review of any city department was a function of city council. I emphasized that it was a review. During this review we brought in the Hamilton County Health Commissioner to inform us on the cost of having them provide the service of our health department. At the end of this departmental review council voted to maintain our own health department. These meetings were never intentionally slanted to one side or the other on the question of keeping our health department. This was a review of the health department. We had similar reviews of our Building Department and the 911 Communications Department. We found out during these reviews that these
departments were well run and much better for our city to maintain. I feel that I must set the record straight because of comments arising during this election season.

I promise to continue a careful watch on our City by maintaining a balanced budget and reviewing the city departments and their expenditures.

Please see my Bio below.

  1. Chairman of Committee of the Whole, Active Member of Safety Committee, Finance
  2. Committee and Law and Ordinance Committee.
  3. Prior Council Experience: 1976-77, 1984-85, 2004-present.
  4. Lifelong resident of the 4th Ward.

  1. BSBA in Accounting from Xavier University.with 39+ years experience in accounting.
  2. Currently working for Wayne Coates, Hamilton County Recorder, as his Finance Director.

  1. Past: Norwood Knothole, Norwood YMCA, Norwood Bi-Centennial Committee
  2. Present: Norwood Day Parade, Holy Trinity Festival, Variety Players, Men's Club and Building & Grounds.

Family Man:
Married to Kathy (Dettmer) 39 years. We have been blessed with 6 children and 11 grandchildren, most currently residing in the City of Norwood.

Real Results:
  1. Active member of Finance Committee that maintained city services during three years of negative cash flow brought on by past Administrations.
  2. Instrumental in obtaining grant funds for 2009 Hunter Park addition of restrooms.
  3. Linden Pointe development has replaced a 20 year eyesore and will continue to progress. The majority of the first building is now occupied.
  4. Old Kaesemeyer Dairy building, at Carthage and Dale, has been dramatically remodeled for a new Norwood business, Cinna Health Products.
  5. Support aggressive procedures in dealing with absentee landlords and problem properties. We have been responsible for the demolition of 11 “eyesore“ vacant properties, 6 in Ward Four, and continue to pursue more.
  6. Approved the funding of new playground equipment for Fenwick Park in 2009 with a NatureWorks grant providing the majority of the funding.
I can be contacted at 531-3863 or with your issues and concerns.

John Mumper

Candidate blog series: Ward 3 candidate Donna Laake (R)

“Working for the good of the City.” It’s more than just a campaign slogan…it’s been my way of life since moving to Norwood in 1975. You probably know me best as the health commissioner at the Norwood Health Department since I served in that capacity for over 13 years and as a public health nurse for over 3 years. My years serving you at your health department were very rewarding and I saw the need for services in the community every day. That is why I fought so hard to keep the Norwood Health Department open in 2008 despite attempts by several members of the current Council to shut it down. With your help, we won and the health department continues to serve Norwood residents. With H1N1 (swine flu) at our doorstep, imagine the difference in planning and preparation if the opposition had their way and the health department were closed. Today as we speak, personnel that were hired during my tenure are continuing to implement the “Pan Flu Plan” that I authored several years ago and are working closely with Norwood City Schools to protect your children and grandchildren. I heard you loud and clear in 2008…now it’s our turn to make government open and honest and receptive to residents’ concerns.

A registered nurse by profession for over 38 years, I currently work part time at a local pediatric hospital as an Injury Prevention Coordinator. I was the first woman elected to Norwood City Council in 1979 and served 4 years during some of the hardest financial times in Norwood history. I served as Clerk of Council for 2 years and organized that office from years of neglect. I am involved in many activities and organizations in our city. I am a member of the Norwood Tree Board (you’ve probably seen me planting flowers throughout the city each year), Norwood Business & Professional Women’s Club, Norwood City Schools Health Advisory Council, Norwood City Schools Business Advisory Council, Norwood Moose, Norwood Relay for Life and several other civic/service organizations. I was fortunate enough to receive the “Indian Award” from the Norwood Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, the Knights of Columbus “Woman of the Year” in 2007, “Distinguished Service Award” from the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners in 2008 and the Kiwanis “Woman of the Year” in 1994.

I have been married to Robert (Bob) Laake, a lifelong Norwood resident, for over 37 years. We have two adult, married children: Kevin (Norwood class of 1995) and Rebecca, Norwood class of 1999). We were blessed two years ago with our first grandchild and have been the typical grandparents. I am very active at Holy Trinity Church.

I will bring the same dedication and passion to City Council that I brought to the Norwood Health Department. My top priorities if elected include financial stability, improving city infrastructure and marketing Norwood as a great place to do business, work and live. I believe that we need to keep a very close watch on our housing stock and assure that complaints are investigated promptly and to a conclusion. We must keep our local court system so that offenders are dealt with quickly and firmly in Norwood. City personnel should be provided with what they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. I believe that your councilperson should answer phone calls and emails from constituents and work to help resolve concerns of residents in Ward 3. My only promise is this: to be PROFESSIONAL when representing you and your concerns and to keep you informed, not just during campaign season, but throughout the year. Norwood is a much different city than it was in 1979 because of planners and visionaries who believed we could survive and even thrive. I would like to be a part of the planning for what Norwood can be in the next 30 years. I ask for your vote in November to help me continue “working for the good of the city.”

Visit for more information or email me at

Donna Laake

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Candidate blog series: President of Council candidate Jane Grote (R)

I have spent the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (except July) for 23 of the last 24 years at Norwood City Council meetings as either the President of Council or Clerk of Council. This has given me a unique position as an observer of the tremendous changes which have occurred in my hometown.

I have seen Surrey Square built and I have seen it transformed. I have seen factories closed and I have seen retail stores never known in Cincinnati opening. in Norwood. I have seen railroad tracks removed from the Central Business District and debates on light rail which would return railroad tracks to Montgomery Road. I have seen police cars sponsored by local businesses because the city had no money to buy them and new police officers hired when no other community could afford to do so. I have seen houses change from multiple sleeping rooms to one-family dwellings and over 150 houses disappear altogether. I have seen grade schools close and technical colleges open. I have seen Norwood made the butt of jokes and Norwood admired for its progress. I have seen lawsuits, bickering, and citizens coming together for the good of the City. I have seen three Mayors, two Treasurers, two Auditors, five Law Directors and nearly a hundred different council members. In the words of the poet, what a long, strange trip it has been! And one that I have enjoyed thoroughly. I hope to have another two years as a witness to history of the town I truly love.

Jane Grote

Candidate blog series: Ward 2 candidate Steve Thornbury (R)

Today, the CBN Blog has invited all of us who are running for office to tell you why we think we deserve your vote. In a minute I’ll tell you why I think I’ve earned your vote to once again represent the great folks in Ward 2. First, however, I want to talk about what I think is the most important vote you’re being asked to cast on Tuesday, November 3.

Roughly a month after I was sworn into office on January 1st of 2008, Jim Stith was chosen by the Norwood Republican Central Committee to fill the vacant position of Auditor for the City of Norwood. He inherited a department that was badly in need of, well, just about everything. What it needed most, however, was strong leadership to re-energize a demoralized the staff, re-organize its operations and update a seriously antiquated IT system. What Jim Stith has achieved in the last 20 months as Auditor is nothing short of miraculous. In less than two years he has taken a department that was spiraling into chaos and transformed it into, without question, the smartest, most efficient office in City Hall. He has been present for administrative reports and to answer any question asked of him at every Council meeting and nearly every Finance Committee meeting and has created the most open, transparent and informative web site in Norwood City Government. (

Now, because of a ruling by the Ohio Secretary of State (a Democrat), Mr. Stith is being forced to run in November for the remaining two years of the Auditor’s four-year term. Frankly, the ruling was a procedural victory for the local Norwood Democrats who understood that, given four total years of outstanding work by Mr. Stith and his staff, they would have no chance of unseating him. Their hope this November is that enough people will still be unaware of Jim Stith’s outstanding work and will, instead, choose to vote for an old Norwood political family name in the person of the son of the current Safety/Service Director. And while “Junior” appears to by a nice guy, clearly he’s no Jim Stith.

That’s why it is so important that when you fill out your absentee ballot in the coming days or visit your local polling place on Tuesday, November 3 to make sure you cast your vote for Jim Stith for Auditor.

So, why have I chosen to spend roughly half of my 700 words allotted to this blog entry advocating for Jim Stith? The simple answer is that if I’m going to remain involved in Norwood City Government, I want Jim and more people like him running our City. He proves the point I’ve been trying to make to anyone who will listen for the last ten years: That, with the right people in office, government works. Sometimes it just has a hard time getting the word out.

That’s why in my first term on Council as a member of the Streets and Infrastructure Committee I took it upon myself to publish details of the 2009 Street Maintenance Program in the Norwood Star and online here on the CBN Blog (as well as on my Ward 2 web site - And why, when the current Administration began quietly pushing the idea of shutting down the Norwood Health Department, I forced the discussion about the future of the Norwood Health Department out of the back rooms and onto the floor of Council.

Keeping citizens informed has been a big part what I do for my constituents and will continue to do as long as I’m representing the people of Norwood.

Bottom line: As an elected representative and I take the idea of representation very seriously. That’s why I am asking for your vote for re-election to Norwood City Council and asking for your vote for Jim Stith for Auditor. Thanks, and congratulations for reading this far.

If you would like to speak to me about any issues or concerns, please call me anytime on my cell phone at 373-9653 or email me at

Steve Thornbury

Candidate blog series: Ward 2 candidate Gordon Williams (D)

My name is Gordon Williams and I'm running as the Democratic Candidate for Norwood Council in Ward 2. The question that I have been asked a lot is why am I running? One of the reasons that I chose to run, is that in the neighborhood I grew up in (Regent Ave), there has always been problems between Xavier students and the residents. But it has gotten worse in the past two years.

To give you an example on Friday September 25, 2009 at the corner of Regent and Wayland two doors up from the house I grew up in (My brother still lives there), Xavier students that live there had a block party that got out of hand. You had people throwing beer bottles across the street (almost hitting some of the residents’ cars) and 15 to 20 people urinating outside. At one point, a bus from Xavier brought students to the party. I will give credit to our police force because when they were called, they broke the party up in about 10 minutes. The problem I have is that we are reacting to the problem, and I would like to be proactive to these problems.

I have already had a meeting with James McShane Senator, Xavier Student Government Association and Kathryn Rosenbaum Editor-in-Chief Xavier Newswire on this subject, and we are working on solutions to resolve these types of issues.

If I'm elected to council, these are some of things that I will address for the residents of Ward 2.

Gordon Williams