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THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 'CONCILIATED MODEL' OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE IN CINCINNATI, OHIO. TESTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE 'HYBRID MAYOR' CHARTER REFORMS

by MERGNER, STEPHEN T

Abstract (Summary)
The City of Cincinnati has experienced a wave of governmental reform of a magnitude that has not been felt since the 1920s. Frustrated with racial unrest, a lack of accountability and legislative inefficiencies, local political leaders and public activists called for greater accountability and decisiveness from their urban government. Blame for these failures landed squarely upon the backs of the City Council and the weak Mayor system. As a consequence of this pressure, Cincinnati reformed its city charter to incorporate a ‘Hybrid’ Model of municipal governance. This is not just a specific modification of the current charter, rather it is an attempt at a full governmental reform in order to change the very seat of legislative and leadership power. Within the field of political science, urban governance literature is founded solidly upon qualitative case study research. Because of the time consuming nature of gathering, encoding and statistically analyzing large volumes of data, the study of the impact of charter reform measures has remained relatively devoid of quantitative research. This dissertation offers a quantitative based analysis that reveals that there are certain statistically significant consequences that have resulted from this governmental reform. My research analyzes five critical hypotheses that the qualitative scholarly literature and political reformers determined would change as the result of a city adopting this governing model. Hypotheses tested involve Legislative Leadership, Party Unity, Committee Assignments, Media Perception and Political Participation. This dissertation illustrates that the primary consequences of reform have occurred within three areas; First, an increase in party unity within the (minority) Republican Party. Secondly, an increase in negative attitude towards the Hybrid Mayor post-reform in the city’s newspaper reports. Third, a small increase in the percentage of ordinances the mayor proposed before Council. The results of this analysis argue that the expectation of broad changes within municipal governance has not occurred. These findings suggest that more drastic shifts in the structure of power are necessary if major changes are desired.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cincinnati mayor conciliated hybrid charter municipal urban stronger council manager strong weak

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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