Foes of Ohio city’s parking deal present petitions

CINCINNATI (AP) — Opponents of a plan by Cincinnati officials to lease city parking have gathered nearly 20,000 signatures for a ballot initiative.

Council members Amy Murray and Chris Smitherman delivered a tub of petitions to the city Thursday. It will be a couple weeks before it’s known whether there are enough valid signatures — 8,522 are required — of city voters for a referendum.

City leaders have pushed the deal as a way to gain $92 million that would ease budget pressures and head off potential layoff of 344 city employees, including police and firefighters. Opponents say the city shouldn’t give up a major asset and warn that parking rates will skyrocket.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/14T51ij ) that Mayor Mark Mallory angrily gaveled the end to a Thursday meeting on the budget.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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