City Manager Harry Black confirms resignation, mayor and council members respond

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - City Manager Harry Black confirms to FOX19 NOW that he has signed a separation agreement.

He is asking council members for their support of the $393,000 resignation deal.

Black released the following statement on Saturday.

Earlier today Mayor Cranley and I executed an amicable and mutually acceptable settlement, which is in the best interest of the City. I believe it is a fair agreement.  I am hopeful that all members of City Council will immediately voice their support, so that this very painful week of tumult and chaos for the City – and me personally – can come to an end.

Mayor John Cranley also released a statement on Saturday commenting about the separation agreement.

Over the last 3.5 years it has been my pleasure to work collaboratively with Mr. Black in our efforts to stabilize the City's finances;—including the passage of three structurally balanced budgets and an upgraded credit rating—improve our ability to deliver basics services through the Office of Performance and Data Analytics; and get our roads back to good through infrastructure investments. Assuming Council approves, I wish Mr. Black the best of luck in his future endeavors and I thank him for his service to the City of Cincinnati.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman responded Saturday to Black signing the separation agreement.

"The 18-month signed separation agreement is a positive development for the city. I thank the Mayor and Manager for coming together for the best interest of the people of Cincinnati. We hope we can get back to the business of the city," said Smitherman on Saturday.

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black signed $393,000 resignation deal, according to Smitherman. That's the equivalent of 18 months salary.

"This is a positive step for the city. The mayor and manager have worked out a deal and both have signed. It is very important that we move back to the business of the city. It is now up to city council to work together and confirm the deal so we can get back to the business of our citizens," said Smitherman.

Council Member Wendell Young responded to FOX19 NOW and said that he would not be pleased to see City Manager Black go but can understand and that he respects his decision to do so. He also shared that he is not in favor of paying him more than his contract allows.

Council members David Mann, Jeff Pastor, and Chris Seelbach declined to comment.

A majority of City Council must approve it since his contract only gives him eight months salary.

Cranley asked Black to resign Friday and then announced Tuesday they had "reached an agreement in principle" for Black to exit.

Black at that time denied that and said no decisions were made.

Cranley floated an eight-month severance package for Black that would pay him $391,925 plus medical and dental insurance benefits.

But as of Friday, Cranley lacked the votes to approve that settlement deal.

Five council members said they wanted "no personnel changes," according to a statement released by council members Tamaya Dennard, P.G. Sittenfeld, Greg Landsman, Wendell Young and Chris Seelbach.

They were also calling for  a pro bono mediator to help the mayor and city manager "navigate their relationship and return to getting things done for the citizens of Cincinnati."

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