Cincinnati Mayor-elect John Cranley reaches deal for City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. to resign

CINCINNATI – The person who oversees daily operations at Cincinnati’s City Hall will leave his job by month’s end.

Mayor-elect John Cranley announced Wednesday night that City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. has agreed to resign by the time Cranley and the next City Council take office Dec. 1.

The announcement capped five days of tense negotiations, which began when Cranley met privately with Dohoney on Saturday morning.

Cranley said Dohoney’s departure would occur “by mutual agreement.”

“I have nothing but respect for Milton,” Cranley said at a hastily called press conference at Fountain Square. “I voted to hire him, but we have agreed to go in different directions. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Dohoney couldn’t be reached for comment.

Cranley was part of the City Council that hired Dohoney in June 2006, at Mayor Mark Mallory’s suggestion.

Referring to the action, Cranley said, “That was eight years ago. We both agree now that it’s best for both of us to go our separate ways.”

In his job as city manager, Dohoney managed municipal government’s daily operations, was responsible for a $1 billion annual budget and a 5,600-member workforce.

During his tenure, Dohoney shepherded two major projects that Cranley campaigned against – the city’s streetcar project and leasing the city’s parking system to the Port Authority.

A new City Council majority was elected earlier this month that supports Cranley’s stance on the two projects.

Earlier this week, the Port Authority agreed to indefinitely delay a revenue bond sale needed to fund the parking lease, essentially killing the deal.

Before he was hired in Cincinnati, Dohoney, 58, was chief administrative officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Also, he previously was deputy mayor in Louisville.

In total, Dohoney has 30 years’ experience in the public sector.

Under terms of his departure, Dohoney will receive one year’s salary -- $255,000 – and benefits. City Council is expected to act Thursday to approve the paperwork.

One year ago, in November 2012, City Council voted 6-3 to increase Dohoney’s salary by nine percent, to $255,000 from $233,000, along with giving him a $34,892 bonus.

At the time council also approved the severance terms that entitle Dohoney to one year’s salary and health insurance coverage if he was fired without cause.

Some people questioned the action with many municipal employees going several years without raises due to budget problems.

When Dohoney was hired in 2006, his annual salary was $185,000. He got a raise the next year, bumping his pay to $224,000.

An interim city manager will be announced by Dec. 1, Cranley said, while a decision is made about Dohoney's permanent replacement.

The next city manager may be hired from the ranks of local community leaders, bypassing a typical national search for candidates, he added.

 

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