Friday, April 30, 1999

Lebanon leaders bicker on bicentennial

Council, planning members at odds

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — A city council member recommended this week abolishing the bicentennial committee, after weeks of controversy over how to mark the city's 200th birthday.

        Councilman Joe McKenzie, chairman of council's parks and recreation committee, proposed putting some of the bicentennial committee's members on the festival board. The committee's sug gestions can be carried out by staff, he said, and the festival board has more experience planning such events.

        Further, the bicentennial committee “has stated to council that the parades and things will take care of themselves,” Mr. McKenzie said in his report. “That has not been true historically, and we are running out of time to develop plans and find sponsors for these events.”

        Bicentennial committee Chairman Gerald Miller said he considers the explanation window-dressing for old-fashioned politicking.

        “I think it's a personal vendetta against us because we support historic preservation,” said Mr. Miller, a business owner downtown. “I was really hoping we could work together as a team, with city council and the whole community,” said Barbara Lincoln, a bicentennial committee member. “In this town, it seems everybody's split on one side or the other. It's a shame they can't get their act together.”

        Formed in March 1998, the seven-member committee was charged with planning the celebration of the city's 200-year anniversary in 2002. The committee's suggestions included building an outdoor amphitheater and converting a downtown block into Heritage Square, a combination of businesses and historic residences, as well as additional parking.

        The future of that block, bounded by Main, Mechanic, Mulberry and Cherry streets, has been central to debates among council members and downtown business merchants. City officials at first sought to tear down one of the historic homes on the block, but later withdrew the request. The city hired a consultant to develop a downtown master plan, with a focus on recommendations for that block.


Musical is a wrenching tale of a full life
Campaign builds for Sabin expansion
Area gets friendlier to cyclists
Fort Washington Way shutdown to scramble west-bound traffic
FWW, I-75 closing on weekend
Police open fire on would-be robbers
Policeman quits amid allegations
Fairfield school sends Littleton bears and prayers
Schools see rash of incidents
UC defends human research
$8 million-plus a Fine Arts Fund record
'Bought' mayor debated
Fernald waste facing roadblocks
Hundreds rally against violence
Sentinels stand behind Shirey's decision
Man drowns; companion rescued at Caesar Creek
CCM sets stage for 2000
Family keeps up with three beats
Family survived without television
'Henry Adams' tops list of century's best nonfiction
100 best works of 20th century nonfiction
Saturday services planned for Roger, Larry Troutman
Their first Communion
2nd aquarium exit requested
Boone Co. invites plan update
Butler makes present of its past
Clermont expects few voters
Farewell for 'Mr. Mason'
Grand jury gets DUI case
Health center closes after 70 years
- Lebanon leaders bicker on bicentennial
Malpractice verdict to stand, judge says
Mariemont honors future museum site
No deal, foes of Warren Co. landfill say
OSU, OU settle dispute over 'Ohio'
Skits carry message to classmates
St. Bernard schools try to fill vacancy
Trees are the stars of new park