July 16, 2023, When this report was presented to members of city council, the council members belittled the report saying that when the roads and water infrastructure were not up to standards the city was given low marks and now when large sums of money are being spent to address the towns infrastructure Madeira id penalized again. Council members expressed no concern that there were warning signs in the report that should be concerning. There are real issues shown in the report relating to how the city is spending money, especially money that the city doesn’t have.
The chart below shows all of the Major projects currently either planned or ongoing in Madeira..
July 16, 2023, The City Manager and staff has prepared the chart (included below) showing a description of the project, the cost and supportive data about the project. It also appears to indicate that the city has stretched the available financial resources to the limit. This chart is also posted on Facebook madeiramessenger, where it can be enlarged. Facebook icon will appear on this website.
This is the First Time That Madeira Residents Have Been made Privy To The Water tax, Council Plans to Raise The Tax Out of Desperation…
July 15, 2023, There is a special council meeting planned for Wed. July 19, 2023, to discuss the lack of funds and poor planning for “TRAFFIC CALMING” on Miami Avenue between Euclid and Camargo Road or is this the “15 minute city”? Due to the sudden lack of funds for the project council members, and the City Manager are considering taxing only those Madeira residents that use Indian Hill water, a tax on their annual water bills up to 45%, for an unknown number of years. Currently Madeira residents using Indian Hill Water are paying a 25% tax. The tax currently paid has been used for the replacement of water mains on our residential streets, water mains owned by the City of Madeira, assets like most other assets. The city as it stands, will continue to have ownership of the water mains, regardless of whose water flows thru the pipes, (A water main is a large pipe) Indian Hill or Cincinnati water. The Miami Avenue Water Main is different then the water mains replaced thus far in Madeira, in size (currently 16 inch) and in usage. Indian Hill Water Works recommended that Madeira replace the current 100 year old Miami Avenue 16 inch water main with a 20 inch. main. Madeira made the decision to replace the existing pipe with what they thought would be a cheaper solution, a 16 inch main, but even with a 16 inch main the bids are two million dollars over the city estimate of 3.3 million, reflecting very poor planning. Council members are planning on implementing the higher tax on Indian Hill water bills.
Madeira Solicits same two local contractors seeking a lower bid for “2023 Madeira Miami Avenue Improvements” but fails…
June 22, 2023
After receiving two bids for the Miami Avenue “2023 Madeira Miami Avenue Improvements, Phase 1” (Traffic Calming) that exceeded what was expected, based on the estimates provided by city engineers, City Manager Smith sent the specs back out to the same two contractors responsible for the earlier, higher than expected bids, clearly expecting that these contractors would lower their original bids. Instead the bids came in nearly $1000,000 higher then the first bids submitted by these same two contractors. The Public Works committee is expected to recommend Ford Development for the downtown project. At the Public Works Committee several different methods of paying for this project were discussed including dipping into the existing and future surtax’s that Madeira tax payer’s pay for infrastructure replacement in areas of Madeira required to purchase Indian Hill Water. The surtax is a percentage added to your Indian Hill Water bill, to be used for the replacement of water mains on streets supplying water to Madeira homes. If you pay Cincinnati for your water, you will not pay the Madeira surtax. It would be a mistake if Manager Smith and his Council handlers add the downtown water main infrastructure cost to the current surtax. Council members must stay on their current plan and schedule, using the funds in our residential neighborhoods as previously planned and not used to pay for the very high cost of replacing a 16 or 20 inch water main under Miami Avenue, while ignoring our neighborhoods. This reporter is investigating why Mr. Smith was able to convince the Indian Hill Water Works that a recommended 20 inch water main supplying downtown Madeira was not needed, because Mr. Smith decided that the cost was too high. This project is looking more suspicious then the processes at McDonald Commons, and there is still a phase two coming.
It is concerning, that Mr. Sam Morton, employed at the Kleingers Group as a Municipal Engineer may have wrongly advised the City of Madeira, to bid a 16 inch water main for the Miami Avenue project, contrary to recommendations from the Indian Hill Water Works that the new Miami Avenue water main be a 20 inch pipe. In an email from our new city manager Michael Norton – Smith, sent to an Indian Hill city official, Smith tells the Indian Hill official that replacing the existing 100 year old 16 inch Miami Avenue water main with the recommended 20 inch water main would be too expensive and would cause budget and timing issues. Morton asked for alternatives / options. Apparently Smith was under a lot of pressure, even if it meant ignoring the advice from the Indian Hill Water Works. As it turned out the Miami Avenue project was bid out twice each time the same two contractors turned in bids that exceeded the city estimates of 3.3 million by nearly two million dollars. Smith and our council members have no funds to pay for the higher cost, Kleingers Group Engineer Sam Morton, concurred with City Manger Smith and also, like the city manager emailed Indian Hill Officials begging for a 16 Inch Water Main. When the existing 100 year old 16 inch Miami Avenue water main was installed most of Madeira was still rural, there were farms where residents still used wells and out houses. Why would we expect that that 16 Water main not be a 20 inch more than a 100 years later?
The email on your left was sent to an Indian Hill Water Works official from Madeira City Manager Smith pleading that Indian Hill agree to a 16 inch water main and the email on the right is from the Engineer hired by Madeira making the same plea.
City of Madeira soaking “Old Madeira” residents for Miami Avenue work..
Our City Council appears to be filling money short falls on the run, planning on financing their short falls on the backs of only those of us using Indian Hill Water. Council members have a desperate plan to increase the percentage of a water surcharge from 25% to 45%. This plan is wrong and unfair to nearly half of Madeira home owners, those residents purchasing Indian Hill Water. What this proposal shows is that there was never a plan for financing Miami Avenue “traffic calming” and now council has become desperate. The bids for this project have been submitted twice, the first time two million over the estimates. So what do you do? resubmit the request for bids a second time and use the first higher bids as your original estimated cost, and you neglect residential streets for two years, diverting the water tax for Miami Avenue work instead.
It is not clear why the Indian Hill Water Works had asked Madeira to provide a twenty inch water main but agreed to a smaller sixteen inch water main when the City of Madeira complained about the cost. Indian Hill is installing a new 20 inch water main up to Miami and Camargo Roads. What should the size be and is Madeira dictating cheap?
Lawyer issues letter, requesting clarification…
June 22, 2023
Who is responsible for costing Madeira tax payers nearly a million dollars beginning in May of 2018? Madeira mayor Chris Hilberg has provided the Cincinnati Enquirer unconfirmed information blaming 53 year Madeira resident Douglas Oppenheimer for the cost. Attorney George Parker is aware that Hilberg and other Madeira council members filed a civil lawsuit against Oppenheimer in May of 2018, and that council members lost that suit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, the Hamilton County Appeals Court, and subsequently lost two first amendment cases in Federal Court, all with tax payers money. Current council members paid out at least $162,000 to settle their irresponsible lawsuits. Oppenheimer did not authorize any tax payer expenditures nor did he sign any city checks, paying any legal fees incurred by Madeira tax payers. According to Oppenheimer’s Attorney, Mr. George Parker, that question needs to be determined. Further evidence provided by Mr. Parker will be added to this page in the next few days. TO BE CONTINUED.
It Began Before 2014, The Year That Madeira Voters Amended The City Charter
Doing the right thing, in 1993 and again in 2014 on behalf of the elderly Cleo Hosbrook was the right thing to do. Miss Hosbrook gave her historic homes on Miami Avenue to the City of Madeira, when promises were made that the two homes would be preserved benefiting our community for decades to come. The button at your left shows that various members of city councils had other ideas for the Miami Avenue property’s, leading to a successful grassroot effort in 2014 putting the issue on the ballot. Madeira voters decided by a wide margin in 2014 that the historic homes must be “preserved and protected”. I am proud of my role and that of the Madeira Historical Society in working to fulfill the promises made to Miss. Cleo Hosbrook. This was the beginning of 10 years of political pushback by various Councils leading up to a civil lawsuit filed against me, costing the tax payers nearly a million dollars. Madeira council members lost their lawsuit in Hamilton County courts and counter suits that I filed in Federal Court. See details at www.d-oppenheimer.com, page 11. March 18, 2023.
Inclusion Committee Still Topic Of Discussion in Madeira
The actions of the Madeira Inclusion Committee were addressed by several members of our community at the March 13th City Council meeting. One resident Joe Gebauer stepped up to the podium with a page full of statistics from one company in particular, Proctor & Gamble. Gebauer told council members that P&G has 41% Women, 28% multi cultural, 4% disabled, 18% minority’s, and 7.1% LGBTQ1A. Gebauer said that 650 Madeira residents are LGBTQ1A out of a population of about 9,000. He then brought up transgenders, that 40% are young and many have suicidal tendencies. The point seemed to be that the Madeira Inclusion Committee is important in Madeira.
Seems to me that a public corporation should be providing equal opportunities in their employment and stay clear from equity and inclusion, DEI. I don’t think that diversity is wrong. In fact most public corporations are diverse in their employment practices, but not to the point of overlooking hiring the best, regardless of race or sexual orientation. As far as the Inclusion Committee, that’s a mistake, the MIC is a group without a mission. Madeira is already a very diverse and inclusive community, and there is no need for a few, inserting their misguided, personal ideas about what equity and inclusion, should be. Before 1975 there wasn’t a female on council and very little female representation on other boards or commissions, but that has changed. Our community has diversity and inclusion throughout Madeira. The MIC committee is focused on all the wrong things. March 15, 2023, This story is subject to further content.
Council Making Bad Decisions
City Council passed proclamation 18-01 on April 23, 2018, and then promptly filed a civil lawsuit just 18 days later proclaiming me as a vexatious litigator. The council members went on, losing their lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and in the Hamilton County Court of Appeals. The cost for their irresponsible actions has exceeded $500,000.00. February 21, 2023
Madeira Council Members Defying Federal Court Order
Attorney, Curt Hartman taking drastic action forcing city to pay $61,000 debt, click button on right. February 25, 2023.
Madeira Makes Decision, Hires Michael C. Norton-Smith as Moeller Replacement
Michael C. Smith has been hired as Madeira City Manager, replacing Thomas Moeller. Moeller has served as the Madeira city manager for the past 30 plus years, and retired on January 1st. Smith comes to Madeira from Centerville Ohio, where he served as the Development Director, where he managed complex multi million dollar capital projects. February 21, 2023.
Madeira Hiring New City Manager..
August 24, 2022, The City of Madeira is hiring a new city manager replacing Thomas Moeller who is retiring after serving the city for more than 30 years. To review the candidates applying for the position of Madeira City Manager click button at right.
August 24, 2022, Our city is hiring a new city manager to replace Thomas Moeller who is retiring after more than 30 years as the Madeira city manager. Candidates and their resumes are posted on the button at your right.
City of Madeira Spending $38,000 Plus For Rebranding…
Madeira Council members have committed $35,000 or more “Rebranding”, including a brand mark, tagline, and messaging. The city has hired the “Creative Department” led by owner, Lauren Anderson. This week Lauren submitted four suggestions that council can choose from. June 10, 2022.
Council Members Urged to Act Quickly, Spending $38,000…
July 26, 2022
Council member Doug Moormann insisted at this Monday’s council meeting that members should agree on the above logos even though the work was far from complete. Moormann wants the logos affixed onto banners, flags etc. before the LPGA tournament begins at Kenwood Country Club. The vender providing the work put the project behind when they suggested unacceptable logos and were required to start over. Madeira council members are getting in the habit of rushing proposed projects including this project. Also it should be noted that banners similar to the new just summitted logos already exist. The chairman of the committee presenting the new logos, Tim Brock was absent from the Council meeting.
Madeira City Council Makes Colossal Error in Judgement
In 2018 Madeira City Council members passed Proclamation Number 18-01, in an effort to interfere with the Constitutional Rights of this writer. Those same Council members subsequently filed a Civil Lawsuit in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, where they would lose the court case. Council proceeded to file in the Hamilton County Appeals Court where they again would lose their case. Details about both court cases and a Federal Court case can be accessed by going to the link at the top of this home page, and then clicking onto page 11. Proclamation 18-01 is posted below and the amount of wasted money is posted on the two buttons below. The total (provided by Thomas Moeller, Madeira City Manager) wasted money taken by Madeira Council members from TAX PAYERS, and used by the council members to fund their personal frivolous lawsuits, is more than $422,347.60 !
On the button posted at your left, (click on to see the content) Federal Court judges have recommended that the City of Madeira must pay the legal fees ($66,91740) of Douglas Oppenheimer and must pay Douglas Oppenheimer $1,000.00. This Federal Lawsuit is Case Number 1:19-cv-770 or known in Madeira as the Sign Case. The Madeira City Manager, Thomas Moeller and City Attorney Brian Fox were aware that the city sign regulations were unconstitutional but cited this writer for posting a political sign anyway. To read more about this lawsuit you can access www.d-oppenheimer.com and go to page 11 & 14. A second Federal lawsuit filed against the City of Madeira goes to trial in Federal Court on November 2, 2022. (July 17, 2022).
Federal Court issues final Opinion and Order, posted on button at left. Click on to button to review final order, requiring city to pay $61,961.40.
Inclusion Committee Surveying City Commissions With Smut
Madeira City Council members are running away from the Inclusion Committee survey, asking questions that are completely out of line. Where is our city council members, apparently they approved the smut contained in the survey. The Inclusion Committee has no purpose in our community and should be voted out of existence, by 2024. February 24, 2023.
Mayor Hilberg responds to Survey Questions, but Misses the Mark
My questions, that were asked were specifically honed in to the survey questions shown on page four (4) of the survey. I asked if council members approved those questions and apparently the answer is yes. This survey reflects badly on the Inclusion Committee members and City Council members. Our city charter allows residents to take action that would dissolve this misguided committee. February 25, 2023.
Madeira City Council issues "Community Statement on Racial Equity Initiative" Mayor Spencer Quote, "Monday night , my fellow council members joined me affirming commitment to develop a Community Action Plan creating a framework to better hear, understand, and act on ways our community can promote racial equity and equal justice" "Quite simply Black Lives Matter"
June 14, 2020 "I look forward to working with Council , City Administration, Chief Schaefer, and the Madeira Police Department, and voices from the community and beyond to shape a plan that fully supports our COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY AND THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT" This quote is from our Mayor Nancy Spencer and implies that all of the parties mentioned in the quote are in support of the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
The Black Lives Matter Movement began in 2013 following the acquittal of a police officer accused of murdering Trayvon Martin. The Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the United States, UK, and Canada. Their mission is to eradicate white supremacy, and intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.
No one can dispute that every Black Life matters, but the "Black Lives Matter Movement" is a radical, Marxist organization. and has no place in Madeira.
Madeira City Council members aligning City of Madeira with radical, Marxist, Black Lives Matter Movement, WHY?
August 13, 2020
August 20, 2020, Letter submitted at left explains why a Madeira resident would at his expense have 100 signs made showing his appreciation for the work of our Madeira Police Officers. A second Madeira family had an additional 100 signs made and began distribution on August 20, 2020.
March 12, 2022, The controversial Inclusion Committee survey results have been kept under wraps until now. The "COMMITTEE" has had no oversight and does not reflect Madeira community values, read what your neighbors think about this out of control city entity.
March 13, 2022
March 13, 2022, The Madeira Inclusion Committee either are, or are close to violating our city charter. The committee has sent out more than a few letters similar to the letter at left to city entities, the Madeira-Indian Hill Fire Department, and other Madeira city organizations. In their most recent meeting a Fire Captain was interrogated, it was implied that the department does not adhere to proper hiring practices as determined by members of the Inclusion Committee. The Inclusion Committee does not have this kind of authority, and their actions very likely are in violation of our charter "Interference by Council". This committee is an embarrassment and in the best interest of our community, should be dissolved. I will be posting more information supporting my opinion very soon.
It's lurking beneath Miami Avenue...
March 18, 2022
SORTA, the Regional Transit Authority has awarded the City of Madeira a grant for Miami Avenue revitalization. The grant value is shown as "up to $3,585,391", not to exceed 90% of project cost. There are important issues lurking beneath Miami Avenue that will need to be addressed prior to committing the SORTA funds for Miami revitalization, including the replacement of a 100 year old, 16 inch water main and the large diameter storm water pipe that runs under Euclid, under the city building parking lot, underneath Miami Ave, underneath Laurel Avenue, underneath Railroad Avenue, before draining into Sycamore Creek
This drainage pipe has been indirectly or directly responsible for severe flooding in many neighborhoods including homes located on Mar Del Drive and Miami Hills Drive. Damage in dollars has been in the hundreds of thousands. The procedure for the Miami Avenue project should be the same procedure that has been applied to Buckeye Crescent, Greenbriar, Mapleleaf Drive, and Thomas Drive, replace the 100 year old 16 inch water main and replace the drainage pipe, assuring Madeira residents that once and for all the flooding issues will be resolved, before reshaping the surface above Miami Avenue. City Council surely will follow the same procedures followed on all other Madeira streets before repaving the surface. The water main "lurking beneath Miami Avenue" was installed by the Cincinnati Water Works Company 100 years ago and is overdue for replacement. It has lasted this long because it is made out of cast iron. but is at the end of its expected life. If Madeira would choose to not replace the pipes beneath Miami Avenue, there would potentially be issues with the grant funds, and the use of the funds. The SORTA grant comes from a sales tax levied in Hamilton County thus the city of Madeira and SORTA are accountable to every person making purchases in Hamilton County and to those that supported and voted for the SORTA tax. More coming on this story soon. Read the Miami Avenue Project Grant Agreement posted on the Blue Button below this content by clicking on the button with your mouse.