EmpowerU Chats– Curt Hartman and Pete Witte


EmpowerU Chats– Curt Hartman and Pete Witte

Conversations With Interesting People

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, April 9, 2020

To Watch a Complete Recording of This Class Click Here

Curt Hartman–Everything About This Contentious Race….  7:05-7:20 PM

Curt Hartman is running for judge in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court against Karen Falter who is a Magistrate in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.   The election has gone negative and there are all sorts of complaints involving “courthouse and party-insider gossip”.   The latest dispute involves Falter’s campaign accusing Hartman of moving to Hamilton County 3 years ago to take a position.   Curt Hartman Joins EmpowerU to discuss the contentious race and fill you in on finding by The Board of Professional Conduct regarding the case.    Meet Curt Hartman from 7:05-7:20 and learn about the facts of this race at EmpowerU Chats.

Speaker Bio

In March 2017, Hartman was appointed judge on the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court where he served.   He had a reputation of being an excellent jurist, seeking to ensure and advance justice for all involved with the legal system.   Curt, a graduate with distinction,  from the Naval Academy had a robust private practice caseload where he was involved in cases at all levels of the state and federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Pete Witte–One of the Areas Most Interesting Citizens  7:20-8:00 PM

Pete Witte is a lifelong Price Hill Resident who has been involved with the Core of the City of Cincinnati.  He has never lived more than a block off West 8th Street in West Price Hill his entire life.   He has served on many local boards and commissions.    We will have an opportunity to speak with Pete about many important things that are going on currently in Cincinnati and Hamilton County that he is involved with.

The Millenium Hotel

“This is a huge risk we are taking,”– Adam Gelter, CFA Board Member

“It is going to a black hole…   This is not a good decision for the residents, or the county.”  Stephanie Dumas–Hamilton County Commissioner

We will discuss the subject of Quasi Government.   Is Quasi Government, good government.   Can the taxpayers understand what is happening.   Should the County have invested $59 million via the Cincinnati Port to buy the Millenium Hotel ($36 million purchase price + $12 million+ to demolish it)?   Who made the decision to purchase?   What is the role of the Convention Facilities Authority (CFA) with the Millenium?  What role does CFA play in the Area?   The Cincinnati Port, what role does it play in County and City affairs?   Is the Port starting to take on risky areas outside of normal Government that should concern taxpayers–like its ownership of the FC Cincinnati Stadium?   How can taxpayers find out and hold accountable their elected officials that operate “Quasi” Boards like the CFA and the Cincinnati Port that operate outside the bounds of normal Government?

What is the future plan for the Millenium?  What has happened with the $5 million lawsuit involving the Millenium that was recently filed  by the agent that brokered the deal for the Millenium to be purchased by the Port.   What happens with the Tax rates for hotels that visitor’s will pay to stay at local hotels?  Is the Tax Rate Going Up?   How is the Millenium financed?  Other things to be discussed tonight will be Tax Abatements, Issue #7, a possible run for City of Cincinnati Council and Pete’s Podcast.

Speaker Bio

Pete is married to wife Ann.  He has two kids, Alex 20 and Lilly 19, both currently in college.  He recently adopted a puppy named Igby. He is a graduate of Elder High School. Alex is a 3rd generation Elder grad and Lilly a 3rd generation Seton Grad.  Pete’s mom was a founder of the Elder Food and Toy Drive back in the early 1980s.  She coordinated up till her death in 2005.  Pete and his wife have carried on this role that his mom started and have coordinated the Toy side of the Elder Food and Toy Drive since 2005.

Pete’s and his Dad founded what is now known as Baron Engraving in 1987.  They started in the basement of his parent’s home and now operate on Glenway Avenue in West Price Hill.  His company specializes in custom engraving, name badges, interior signs, and recognition products.  We offer a variety of signs for almost any application.

Pete’s involvement in the neighborhood first started in 1996.  I served for many years as an active member and elected officer of the Price Hill Civic Club, which is now known as West Price Hill Community Council.  I also held the title of President for 10 consecutive years.

I have served on a variety of boards and political committees over the last 25 years:

  • City of Cincinnati Planning Commission (2001-2004)
  • Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (2006 – 2014):  I served as a Chairman from 2012—14 and oversaw the hiring process of the current CMHA CEO Greg Johnson.
  • Board Member of the Cincinnati Police Safe City Corridor Project  (2005-2010)
  • Board member of the City of Cincinnati Community Development Advisory Board (2016-2019)
  • Board member of the Convention Facilities Authority, the entity that owns both the Duke Energy Convention Center and the Sharonville Convention Center  (2018 – current)

Pete was a founding member of POWR PAC (Partnership Of Westside Residents Political Action Committee).  He has taken part in multiple political campaigns both for candidates and issues. I was also one of three signed petitioners, along with Christopher Smitherman and Amy Murray, in the effort that ended Mayor Mark Mallory and City Council’s plan to privatize parking meters in 2013.

Pete was unsuccessfully in his run for Cincinnati City Council in 2003.  In 2018 he started a podcast in 2018 called Live From Table 1.  I interview people of interest from my favorite table at Price Hill Chili.

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