Thursday, October 17, 2002

Rivals agree: no video gambling

Suburban Insider

Compiled by Cindi Andrews

Commissioner Mike Kilburn and challenger Carolyn Tepe did find one thing to agree on at a meeting last week with Enquirer reporters: Neither supports bringing video gambling to Warren County.

The General Assembly could turn to video lottery terminals this term to solve the state budget crisis. If so, the Lebanon Raceway, a harness and simulcast racing track on North Broadway, could be a beneficiary.

"What you're going to do is create resources for addiction," said Ms. Tepe, a Democrat.

Mr. Kilburn also opposes video gambling, even though the Nixons run the track and Corwin Nixon is one of his biggest supporters.

"I don't want to turn Lebanon into a casino, and that's exactly what'll happen," Mr. Kilburn said.

Still, VLTs could add $1 million apiece to Lebanon and county coffers annually, he said, and "Lebanon is as broke as the state of Ohio."

"If this income-tax thing doesn't pass, Lebanon won't be able to make payroll," Mr. Kilburn added.

Lebanon City Manager George "Pat" Clements said the city's proposed 2003 budget doesn't include any layoffs - regardless of whether the 0.5 percent income-tax increase passes. Some jobs will be cut if City Council adopts the $56.6 million budget, Mr. Clements said, but the positions already are vacant.

Cincinnati North not folding: Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt reports that the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau has asked the new Cincinnati North Convention and Visitors Bureau to dissolve as a corporation.

Neither side has taken the conversation any farther.

Susan Vela

And the winner is: The newest inductees into the Warren County Women's Republican Hall of Fame leave little doubt as to which faction of the county party controls the Women's Republican Club.

Ellen Spaeth - wife of county Republican Chairman Les Spaeth and a longtime party volunteer - and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel received Pearl Graham awards last week at the fifth annual event.

"We wanted to recognize someone who has had extreme long-term service in the organization, as well as someone who has been extremely active in the organization," said Pat South, a county commissioner and last year's winner.

Ms. Hutzel was a contender for the award last year, Mrs. South said, but it's a mighty big coincidence that both winners are embroiled in the rift between the conservative and establishment factions of the county party.

Mrs. Spaeth's husband is in danger of losing the party chairmanship to conservative Tom Grossmann. Ms. Hutzel, meanwhile, is in contention with young conservative David Fornshell for Prosecutor Tim Oliver's seat, should Mr. Oliver be appointed to an expected judicial vacancy.

Send tips and comments on Butler and Warren county politics to Cindi Andrews via e-mail,; fax, 755-4150; or phone, 755-4157.

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