FOX19 Investigates: The Benefits of Being Mayor

FOX19 Investigates: The perks of being Mayor

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Mayoral candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls have very different reasons on why they want to lead the city.

"Building a community and being mayor gives me a chance to make a difference in the community that's given me so much," John Cranley said.

"I thought it was the best place I could make a difference with the neighborhoods of Cincinnati and really make a positive change," Roxanne Qualls said.

But on one thing, both candidates agree, neither one says they are running for mayor for the $130,000 paycheck that comes with it.

"I have a great job at a great law firm and from a financial point of view this is a sacrifice," Cranley said.

Cranley is an attorney at Keating, Muething and Klekamp, a Cincinnati law firm, where, according to his bio, he specializes in the bond and municipal finance area, with clients like Macy's, Ohio National Life Insurance Company and 3CDC.

FOX19's Amy Wagner asked Cranley, "So you'd actually be taking a pay cut?"  Cranley replied, "Yes.  Yes."

As for Qualls, she's a realtor with commissions from homes like her current Symmes Township listing for $595,000.

"$130k is not the reason why I am running for mayor," Qualls said.

In addition to the $130,000 paycheck, the benefits of being mayor include a $500 per month car allowance and security provided by a Cincinnati Police Officer.

Cranley did not comment specifically on the car allowance, but Qualls said, "I was mayor from 1993-1999.  I didn't take a car allowance and don't intend to take a car allowance."

During his two terms as Cincinnati's mayor, Mark Mallory came under scrutiny for extensive travel.  According to documents provided to FOX19 by the mayor's office, Mallory spent $138,000 on travel during that time.

"It's far too much and I will not do that," said Cranley  Cranley said he will travel, but only to certain places.

"Certainly I will travel to DC and Columbus to help bring the tax dollars we sent to Columbus and Washington DC back to our community, but beyond that, don't expect there to be taxpayer expended travel," Cranley said.

As for Qualls, "The mayor does play a very strategic role when it comes to recruiting businesses and representing the interests of the city with companies that may be foreign companies that have either factories here or headquarters here."

FOX19's Amy Wagner asked Qualls if she would travel as much as Mallory has.  "Probably not as much," Qualls said.

It's a position that puts the person elected and their spending under a magnifying glass. Both candidates feel those responsibilities greatly outweigh the compensation package.

"The next mayor is going to have four years in which they have to put in place a structurally balanced budget as well as the unfunded liability of pension," said Qualls.

"I think what the people want their mayor to do is reduce shootings, pave the roads, build the infrastructure and expand opportunities here in Cincinnati," said Cranley.

FOX19 reached out to Mayor Mark Mallory for his comment on this story, but he declined our interview requests.

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