Chutzpah meets ignorance

In what may be the best letter-to-the-editor that the Enquirer publishes all year, former judge Mark Painter rips apart the Hamilton County commissioners for not even letting us vote on a plan to preserve two our our region’s most iconic buildings, Music Hall and Union Terminal:

The people of Hamilton County want to restore Music Hall and Union Terminal. But our good intentions have been frustrated. […]

But our commissioners won’t even let us vote on it. […]

Instead, in a breathtaking display of chutzpah compounded by ignorance, two Commissioners, Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann, at the last minute concocted a back-of-napkin alternate scheme that even they can’t explain. And Monzel is not even sure he will vote for his own plan!

Tom Luken on Union Terminal

Former Cincinnati Mayor Tom Luken, now a member of anti-city group COAST, wrote an absolutely unbelievable letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Union Terminal was a “gift” to the city in the 1970′s, from the railroad barons who had been trying for a decade to get the city to accept this decaying “white elephant” (“Pledge broken: Museum wants tax” June 20).

During the sixties, Council colleagues Mayor Gene Ruehlman, Councilman Charlie Taft, and I – who didn’t always agree, to put it mildly – were united in not taking the already crumbling edifice off their hands. We agreed that there was not “enough money in the world to save it structurally,” and the city couldn’t afford it. Only the federal government can afford the Smithsonian.

Union Terminal is perhaps the most recognizable icon of the City of Cincinnati and one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture anywhere. It’s now home to the Cincinnati Museum Center, one of our region’s most important assets.

But Tom Luken says the city shouldn’t have taken it over. I guess he believes we should have let it decay and eventually meet the wrecking ball.

Even the conservative Enquirer announced their support of a levy to fund the maintenance of the iconic building:

The Museum Center levy could be taken off the books and taxpayers wouldn’t even know the difference. But if Union Terminal was damaged beyond repair, Cincinnati and Hamilton County would never be the same.

Tom Luken is frequently quoted as an opposing voice to the City of Cincinnati’s current leadership. But why should we listen to Luken? It’s clear that he doesn’t have the city’s best interests in mind.