BY ANNE MICHAUD
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Marilyn Hyland, candidate for Hamilton County Commissioner, reversed her position Wednesday and said she will vote for Issue 11 to place a baseball stadium at Broadway Commons.
A weekend spent rehashing the issue with both sides, as well as with lawyers and planners, convinced her that an Issue 11 win is necessary, she said during an interview.
Ms. Hyland surprised many last week with the announcement that she would not vote for Issue 11, even while she urged voters to follow their own hearts. She said the announcement was a clarification of her long-standing position.
But many viewed it as a reversal from a candidate whose entry into the race originated with pro-Broadway sympathies. Based on last week's opposition to Issue 11, the Charter Committee withdrew its endorsement of her.
Ms. Hyland's latest statement came about as she realized that Issue 11 would take effect immediately if it wins on Tuesday. She would not take office until January if she wins the county commission seat held by Tom Neyer Jr.
That's two months' time for the commissioners, who are 2-1 in favor of baseball on the riverfront, to make further commitments with the Reds, Ms. Hyland said.
"We could have a lame duck commissioner vote with (Commissioner) Bob Bedinghaus to sign a contract to commit our future to the Wedge," as the riverfront site is sometimes known, Ms. Hyland said.
Mr. Neyer supports a stadium on the riverfront and urges voters to say no to Issue 11.
Todd Portune, city councilman and a leader of the Baseball on Broadway (Issue 11) campaign, welcomed Ms. Hyland to the team."I've lobbied her repeatedly to study the issue further in the hope she would come to the conclusion that Issue 11 doesn't create the catastrophe" opponents predict.
Ms. Hyland was concerned that by creating a county charter for the purpose of voting on the baseball site, Issue 11 would cause the county to assume power from townships, municipalities and villages. The issue's proponents say the charter would change nothing but the baseball site.
She realizes that changing her mind might hurt her on Election Day.
"A lot of people advised me, "You've stated your position, just stick with it,' " she said. "As I tell my children, "You've got to risk to learn, and when you learn, you've got to be responsible for it.' "
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