CINCINNATI -- At age 39, John Cranley will be one of Cincinnati’s youngest mayors when he takes office Dec. 1. That may help explain part of the reason for his choice of vice mayor.
Cranley announced Monday afternoon that City Council member-elect David Mann would be his vice mayor. At 74, Mann is an experienced politician who’s served time at City Hall and in the U.S. Congress.
The mayor-elect made the announcement with Mann at his side at Mann's downtown Cincinnati law office.
Cranley joked that Mann passed the "bus test."
"God forbid but if I should get hit by a bus ... he's the one guy I know could serve as mayor," Cranley said.
Calling Mann "a great ambassador for the city," Cranley added, "He is just a man of integrity and a man who loves Cincinnati."
Monday's announcement comes 21 years to the day that Mann left Cincinnati City Council after his first tenure on the group.
The mayor-elect said although he and Mann agree on most issues, "Candidly, we may not always see eye to eye."
"When we disagree, we will disagree with respect and will move forward," Mann said.
Under Cincinnati’s form of government, the vice mayor has most of the mayor’s powers and performs the mayor’s duties when the mayor is absent or disabled.
Also, the vice mayor would take over for Cranley in the event of his death, removal or resignation.
Like Cranley, Mann is a Democrat. He previously served on council for an 18-year span, from 1974 to 1992. During that period, he served as mayor from 1980 to 1982, and again in 1991, when the position mostly was ceremonial.
Mann left council after he won election to Ohio’s 1st Congressional District seat. His tenure there was short-lived as Mann lost a re-election bid in 1994 to Republican Steve Chabot.
Mann agrees with Cranley on two issues central in this year’s mayoral and City Council races: He wants to cancel the $133 million streetcar project and wants the city to end the lease of parking meters and garages to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority.
But Mann said he's also concerned with Cincinnati's poverty level, unemployment rate and the number of shootings on the city's streets. Curbing those trends will be his top priorities.
"It seems to me if we don't deal with that, we've lost the soul of he city," Mann said.
Cranley -- who is celebrating his seventh wedding anniversary Monday -- said he respected Mann both professionally and personally. he noted Mann and his wife, Betsy, had their 50th anniversary this fall.
When Mann launched his council campaign last winter after a 17-year absence from politics, he said it was because he wanted to leave a better city for his family.
“For me, it’s all about public service,” Mann said then. “I have three children and five grandchildren, so what’s a more useful thing to do than make the city a better place to live?
“The city’s budget is totally out of whack,” he has said. “We should spend only what we have coming in each year just like any household has to do. We should not rely on one-time resources or the sale or long-term lease of valuable city assets.”
A Clifton resident, Mann is a Harvard Law School graduate and a U.S. Navy veteran.
Before his election to City Council, Mann served on the municipal health board from 1972 to 1974.
Cranley, an ex-City Councilman who served from 2000 to 2009, is the youngest mayor since Cincinnati converted to a direct election system for mayor in 2001. Cranley will turn 40 in February.
Charlie Luken was only 32 when he became mayor in 1984. Back then, the mayor was chosen by City Council and didn’t wield much power.