Hamilton County, Ohio

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Ray of Sunshine
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Website evaluation

Transparency Grade
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Lobbying N
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Public records
Local taxes
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Transparency grading process
Hamilton County is one of eighty-eight counties in Ohio. The 2010 census reported the population at 802,374 making it the third most populous county in Ohio. The county seat is Cincinnati, Ohio.”[1] The county is named for the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of California county websites

This website was last evaluated on 18 January 2012.

The good

  • Commissioners’ calendar is posted.[2]
  • Commissioners’ meetings, agendas and minutes are published.[3]
  • Elected officials information is published, including contact phone numbers and email addresses.[4]
  • Administrative officials are published, including election information.[5]
  • The County Auditor published an Annual Information Statement for 2011.[6]
  • Budget information is published, including a helpful budget analysis.[7] FAQs and processes relating to the budget are also published.
  • Permits and licensing information is available and includes vendor applications.[8]
  • Zoning information is available.[9]
  • A community development plan and procedures are published, including hiring guidelines, and publishing specifications.[10]
  • Contracts awarded and denied are published, including listings of plans.[11]
  • Bid opportunities are also published and archived.[12]
  • Public records are available.[13]
  • Hamilton County Coalition to Stop Fraud, Scams and Abuse has webpage and comprehensive community plan posted to stop identify theft scams and crime.[14]
  • Government Accountability in Spending website is excellent; it makes available to the public the data that documents expenses of the BOCC and many departments.[15]
  • Information on public records policy is provided.[16] No forms or contact information is provided.
  • Tax rate information is provided.[17]

The bad

  • There is no information on lobbying.
  • No FOIA information

Elected Officials

Hamilton County has no top executive and no overall governing body. Administrative powers rest with a three-person Board of Commissioners and eight other elected officials who function as independent heads of their departments.

Name Title
Greg Hartmann Commissioner
Chris Monzel Commissioner
Todd Portune Commissioner
Dusty Rhodes Auditor
Lakshmi Sammarco, M.D. Coroner
Tracy Winkler Clerk of Courts
Joseph Deters Prosecutor
Wayne Coates Recorder
Simon Leis, Jr. Sheriff
Robert Goering Treasurer

Note also that court officials (Appeals, Common Pleas, Court reporters, Domestic Relations, Juvenile, Municipal, Probate, and Probation) are also elected.[18]

Administrative Officials

The Board of County Commissioners created the appointed office of County Administrator to manage Board policies and prepare the county budget. Together, the BOCC and CA appoint the officials below.[19]

Name Title
Christian Sigman County Administrator
Mary Gruber Assistant to County Administrator
Joseph Feldkamp Riverfront Director
John Deatrick The Banks Project Executive
John Bruggen Budget Director
DeAnna Hoskins Reentry Coordinator
Jeff Aluotto Assistant County Administrator
Moira Weir Assistant County Administrator


  • The total general fund revenue for 2011 is $210.7 million, a $1.1 million (0.5%) decrease from the 2010 budget. The 2011 budget marks the lowest revenue and expenditure levels in the county since 1998. General fund employee positions are estimated to decrease by less than one position (0.62) from the 2010 budget.
  • The state of Ohio requires that all funds be balanced, that is, resources must be equal or exceed expenditures. The BOCC has adopted an annual goal for the general fund budget to be structurally balanced, or ongoing revenues must meet or exceed on-going expenditures.
  • In 2011, major general fund expenditures by function include $71.8 million (34.1%) judicial, $71.4 million (33.9%) public safety and $45.4 million (21.5%) general government costs.[20]


The total cost of all the projects submitted by Cincinnati is $177, 233, 989.31 over approximately 33 contracts and 172 grants.[21]

Local taxes

  • The revenue from tax sources are estimated at $141.7 million for 2011, or 67.5% of the total general fund revenue estimate. The 2011 estimate for these revenue sources represents a $34.3 million decrease from 2007 actual receipts; the decrease is $43.4 million.
  • Sales tax in 2010 rebounded from 2009, averaging an 8% increase monthly. Property taxes in 2011 decreased $1.5 million from the 2010 budget. The state revenue sharing mechanism is directly tied to general revenue performance at the state level (Local Government Fund “LGF”). The LGF is estimated at $18.3 million in 2011 and represents a decrease of $2.4 million (11.8%) from 2010 collections. Real estate transactions fees demonstrated modest growth (2.4%) from 2009 collections. The 2011 real estate transaction-related revenues are estimated to generate $8.6 million, a decrease of $1.8 million (17.5%) from 2010 collections. Interest earnings are expected to remain less than one percent through 2011. Interest earnings are estimated at $6.0 million and represent a decrease of $1.2 million (16.5%) from 2010.[22]

Hamilton County In the News

  • More than 90 victims of a ponzi scheme orchestrated by two Hamilton businessmen will share in $2.6 million award after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.[23]

Public Records

County Commissioner Pat DeWine spoke about the public records initiative that is being conducted which would allow citizens to see how their money is being spent.[24]

County Spending

Hamilton County offers the Government Accountability in Spending (GASP) database, which makes easily accessible the expenditures of the Board of County Commissioners and their departments.

External links