City Manager nominee talks change in Cincinnati government

City Manager Nominee Harry Black speaks to FOX19.
City Manager Nominee Harry Black speaks to FOX19.

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Harry Black is just one day away from being appointed Cincinnati's new city manager, but under a new proposed way of government by Councilmember Chris Smitherman, even if Black is appointed he may not be in that position for very long.

"I thought the interview went really well. The council asked great questions. I felt comfortable and I thought things went well," said Black after his two hour interview Tuesday with councilmembers.

City council's Rules and Audit Committee confirmed Harry Black's nomination for city manager. Council is expected to vote Wednesday.

"Just getting myself ready to start," said Black.

But he may not be in that position for long.

Currently, the city of Cincinnati functions under a council-manager system, meaning the city manager runs the city on a day to day basis. Last week, Councilman Smitherman proposed a mayor-council government, meaning the mayor would take on a more powerful role making Black his Chief Executive Officer.

Black says he has discussed the proposal with Mayor Cranley.

"We've spoken briefly about it but the beautiful part about that is any change like that is the result of the will of the people. Voters make those decisions and if that is the will of the people, I'm willing to work with that and deal with it. The work is not going change," said Black.

If voters approved the change in government, it likely wouldn't come until at least 2016. Black says if it is done right, the mayor-council form of government has its benefits.

"The key is preparation and due diligence," said Black.

Black's official start date is currently set for September 8th. His annual salary will be $248,000.

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