Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Heimlich, Luken at odds over handling of riots

Councilman: Help businesses first

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati City Councilman Phil Heimlich on Monday criticized Mayor Charlie Luken and other city leaders for “appeasing those who looted and rioted last week.”

        Following a City Hall news conference where Mr. Luken lifted the citywide curfew and called for a blue-ribbon commission to study race re lations, Mr. Heimlich blasted the effort.

        The first priority should be rebuilding businesses destroyed or looted, he said.

        “There was talk up here today that this was caused by social problems,” Mr. Heimlich said. “To me, that suggests excusing that kind of violence.”

        Mr. Heimlich stood to the side as Mr. Luken and several City Council members were flanked by dozens of business and community leaders.

        As the news conference started, his office distributed a statement saying that Mr. Heimlich had not been invited to the news conference and that he would have an “alternative view” after it was completed.

        Mr. Heimlich has complained several times that he has not been kept updated by the mayor's office during the city's state of emergency.

        He was the only council member not to attend the funeral of Timothy Thomas on Saturday.

        Mr. Heimlich said an unfriendly attitude toward business is one reason the city has been losing its middle-class population at what he called an alarming rate.

        “These people in the business community, they've got the resources to help rebuild these (affected) communities,” he said.

        One of the changes Mr. Luken proposed was changes to the city charter that would allow consideration of a broader base of candidates to become police chief.


Race commission will take lead in recovery
Previous race reports ignored
Report promised soon on beanbag firings at crowd
Police chief disarms critics
Citizens police review panel feels excluded
Grand jury may get case in a week
- Heimlich, Luken at odds over handling of riots
Store owners hope for aid from city, feds
City to tap resources of businesses
Reds not expecting problems
End of curfew brings relief
Mayor Luken's views
PULFER: Why didn't we see this coming?
Black youths speak of change
Week of spring break taught lessons