What is the Cincinnatus Association?

We are a group of citizens with a keen interest in educating ourselves and our community in public affairs, without fear or favor but with a drive to know both pros and cons in order to understand how best our community can progress. Born out of commitment to the City of Cincinnati, we have broadened our interests today to include the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region. Visit our History page for more information.

Is Cincinnatus a political party? Does it support candidates for public office?

 

No. Cincinnatus is a nonpartisan organization with members from the full range of the political spectrum. We do not endorse candidates but we do take positions on key ballot issues, such as major school levies, amendments to Cincinnati's charter and to Ohio's and Kentucky's constitutions. We will take a position on an issue only if we believe that it affects the quality of life in our region, and most specifically the structure, effectiveness and overall performance of local governments, and only after we have studied the issue carefully. We take great interested in the Cincinnati Public Schools; efforts to consolidate government services; and ways to promote greater inclusion of minorities in the life of our community.

 

Cincinnatus is a membership organization. Are there any benefits to non-members  that is, to the general public?

Yes. We frequently sponsor or co-sponsor political debates and public forums open to everyone. We also publish issue papers that delve into important public policy matters. We partner with like-minded community organizations on programming, such as United Way's Bold Goals. And we are the "home" organization for the Greater Cincinnati Commitment to foster a welcoming community where "discriminatory behaviors, policies and practices" are eliminated.

 

How can I join Cincinnatus?

Cincinnatus welcomes new members. The usual process is by nomination from a member.  Visit our Membership Panel's page for additional information.

 

Focus

The Panel focuses on improving local government in our region (with an emphasis on the City of Cincinnati) and educating Cincinnatus members and the general public on such matters. For example, we study issues of government effectiveness, recommend and publicize Association positions on ballot issues such as Charter amendments, and co-sponsor community forums and candidate debates.

Meeting schedule

Second Tuesday each month, at 4:30 pm (prior to the month's general membership meeting and at the same location)

Members

  • Jane Anderson
  • Sam Brewer
  • Melissa Currence
  • Chuck Downton
  • Larry Elleman
  • Crystal Faulkner
  • Kim Fender
  • Gary Greenberg
  • Arlene Herman
  • Ron Hitzler
  • Laurie Housemeyer
  • Tom Huenefeld
  • Tom Kirkwood
  • Kathy Meinke
  • Carolyn Miller
  • Barbara Myers
  • Bill Muse
  • Teri Nau
  • Susan Noonan
  • John Norwine
  • Jack Painter
  • Ann Patty
  • Rick Pender
  • Tim Riordan
  • Connie Roesch
  • Ely Ryder
  • Bob Schrage
  • Amy Searcy
  • Mark Silbersack
  • Louise Spiegel
  • Stephanie Stoller
  • Alan Vicory
  • Charleston Wang

For more info

Committee Co-Chairs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Cincinnatus Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current initiatives

  1. We are studying how our Panel may assist in the Association's efforts to improve the ability of local residents to obtain and hold jobs which will be financially rewarding for their families, including changes to public policy; upon approval of any such proposed initiatives, we will work toward their implementation.
  2. We are working with the local chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators to make and publicize an annual award to a public official or body which innovates a collaborative effort between local governments.
  3. We are monitoring implementation by the City of Cincinnati of the plan to fix its underfunded retirement program. 
  4. We are participating in the “debate coalition” which sponsors televised candidate debates in significant races.
  5. We participated in a comprehensive review of the City's Charter, along with representatives of the Charter Committee and other interested community stakeholders.  Some of the Charter Review Task Force recommendations were put on the ballot by Council; others were not, or were vetoed by the Mayor.  We will consider whether to pursue a renewed effort to make such changes and to follow up on other Task Force suggestions which the City has not yet adopted.
  6. We are studying County tax levy proposals which will be on the ballot in upcoming elections, and we will recommend whether or not the Association should endorse and promote such levies.
  7. We represent the Association in the “Rookwood Group” to plan collaborative activities with other similar minded civic entities, such as community forums on controversial issues.

Past initiatives

  1. Members of our Panel led and staffed the Cincinnati Charter Review Task Force, which recommended multiple changes to the Charter (e.g., changing the date when mayoral and council terms begin, changing the date of the mayoral primary, making various technical amendments, and eliminating many obsolete or legally unenforceable provisions).  These amendments were approved by the voters in 2014 and 2015. 
  2. We studied (along with the Rookwood Group) amendment of the Charter to increase Council member terms to four years and communicated with Council about that topic.  The amendment was adopted by the voters in 2013.
  3. We presented an extensive study to the Cincinnati City Administration on ways to expand downtown on-street parking availability and revenues. We later prepared an analysis of issues raised by the City’s proposal for a “parking lease.”
  4. We closely monitored the work of the Hamilton County Reform Task Force and critiqued its final report.
  5. We recommended that the Association endorse multiple Hamilton County tax levies (for, e.g., children’s services, senior services, mental health services, indigent care, etc.) after attending Tax Levy Review Committee hearings on such levies.
  6. We initiated and sponsored televised debates of Cincinnati Mayor and Hamilton County Commissioner candidates.
  7. We studied the reasons for failure of the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to merge their 911 operations.

What is the value of Cincinnatus?

Our members speak …


“I value Cincinnatus for the members I might never have met but for being a member and from whom I have learned so much.  They care passionately about our region, know so much about how it works (or doesn't), and share their expertise and wisdom with us.  It is through such strong and diverse members that we can educate ourselves and act as a catalyst for efforts in the broader community to make real our dreams for a better life for all.”

- Mark Silbersack, past president

Meet this member

 

 

 

Elliot Grossman"I’ve never come across an organization quite like the Cincinnatus Association. Rather than focusing on their own business and career interests, Cincinnatus members work together to make Greater Cincinnati an even better place to live. That involvement in civic life gives me a sense of fulfillment, a feeling that I’m contributing my time and talents to the community in a meaningful way. Just as important, Cincinnatus has enhanced my own professional growth as I engage with -- and learn from -- fellow members who hail from diverse professional backgrounds and hold key leadership positions in the community."

- Elliot Grossman, president

Meet this member

 

 

 

I was first introduced to what is now called the Inclusion Panel, long before I ever heard of the Cincinnatus Association. I met a fellow mayor at a meeting and learned that he was working on diversity and inclusion, I expressed interest in the subject, he asked me if I would like to attend a meeting, and I said yes. A few years later, I was told this was a panel associated with Cincinnatus and I was asked if I wanted to join Cincinnatus. I thought that if this is the type of work that Cincinnatus is involved in, or course I wanted to join.

- Steph Stoller

Steph Stoller Bio

2016-2017 OFFICERS

     President: Melissa Currence

     Vice-President: Kent Friel

     Secretary: Mark Neikirk

     Treasurer: Larry Williams

 

PANEL CHAIRS

     Community Inclusion Panel: Sam Brewer & John Young

     Excellence in Education Panel: Harry Blanton & Kent Friel

     Excellence in Government Panel: Mark Silbersack & Connie Roesch

 

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

     Finance Committee: Larry Williams

     Marketing & Communication Committee: Mark Neikirk

     Membership Committee: Susan Noonan & Kent Friel

     American Dream: John Young

     Public Policy: Arlene Herman

 

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The business and affairs of Cincinnatus are conducted by the Executive Committee, consisting of four officers (above) and five at-large members: Sam Brewer, Dan Driehaus, Arlene Herman, Susan Noonan and John Young. Non-voting members include Past President (Bob Schrage) and all Panel and Committee Chairs (above).

Programming and initiatives are generally the province of our panels. Education matters, for example, are handled by the Excellence in Education Panel.

 

ACTIVE MEMBERS 

Ceair Baggett

Alpacino Beauchamp

Paul Bernheimer

Harry Blanton

Douglas Bolton

Sam Brewer

Vera Brooks

Robert Buechner

Michael Burns

Edward Buyniski

Dwendolyn Chester

Charles Curran

Melissa Currence

Alexander DeJarnett

Dan Driehaus

Robert Driehaus

Crystal Faulkner

Kim Fender

Kent Friel

Sarah Gideonse

Elliot Grossman

Ken Gunkel

Estegenet Hailermekeal

Darin Hall

Arlene Herman

Stacey Hill-Simmons

Ronald Hitzler

Craig Hockenberry

Rhonda Holyfield-Mangieri

Lawrence Johnson

Jane Keller

William Killen

Greg Landsman

Robert Maly

Nazly Mamedova

Gary Meisner

William Muse

Barbara Myers

Mark Neikirk

Susan Noonan

John Norwine

Jack Painter

Donna Porter-Jones

Trisha Rayner

Kurt Reiber

Beth Robinson

Lee Robinson

Connie Roesch

Mary Ronan

Alice Schneider

Robert Schrage

Mark Silbersack

Kim Slaton

John Spence

Jeffrey Stec

Stephanie Stoller

Emily Thobe

Nelson Vincent

Charleston Wang

James Williams

Lawrence Williams

Michele Young

SERVICE ROLL MEMBERS

Richard N. Adams

Jane Anderson

Charles E. Downton

Lawrence Elleman

Winston E. Folkers

John J. Frank Jr.

Barbara Glueck

Grant V. Hesser

Smith Hickenlooper III

Thomas Huenefeld

Larry Kissel

Michael Krug

Ann Lugbill

Carolyn B. Miller

Ronald Miller

Brewster Rhoads

Dusty Rhodes

Mark Robertson

Reno F. Runck III

Ely Ryder

John Simpkinson

Edgar L. Smith Jr.

Cedric Vogel

John Young

HONORARY MEMBERS

John E. Pepper

Bruce Petrie

 Marian Spencer

 

INACTIVE MEMBERS 

Richard Pender

J. Ryan