Commissioner Todd Portune (Retired)

Commissioner Todd PortuneCommissioner Todd Portune was elected to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners on November 2, 2000, after having served eight years on Cincinnati City Council. Commissioner Portune has been re-elected four times and is currently serving his fifth term.

Commissioner Portune currently serves as Chair of the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District (TID) and is continuing his leadership on transportation issues. He is past president and county delegate to the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments Board of Trustees. He is the president of the County’s Emergency Management Agency’s Executive Committee, and he chaired the County Homeland Security Commission. He has also served as president of the Hamilton County Family and Children First Council and is the 15 year Chair of the Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee.

Commissioner Portune has spearheaded a county agenda focused on fiscal discipline, improvement of public health, environmental justice, care for and prevention against abuse, abandonment and neglect of the county’s seniors and children, economic development and strategic and prudent transportation enhancements. In order to meet serious budget challenges brought on by the recession, Portune introduced zero based budget principles, mandates reviews, and aggressively pursued shared services and government reforms. Portune’s budget and government reforms lead to a reduction in the size of county government by 25% while the county maintained its full menu of services. Despite a 30% drop in revenues, the county has annually balanced its budgets, improved its reserves and strengthened its financial picture.

Portune’s growth agenda for the county focuses on sound land use planning, regional transportation enhancements and strategic economic development investments. Under his leadership, the promise of The Banks riverfront development projects has become an unequivocal success, with 100% of the new housing occupied, virtually all retail and commercial space in operation through the first three phases, and an economic impact of over $1.5 Billion in value and 5,000 new jobs.

Portune’s proposed Land Bank for the county with a reformed Port Authority at the helm is redeveloping blighted and abandoned properties all over Hamilton County for large and small scale commercial development and new residential construction. Portune’s Home Improvement Program has leveraged over $50 Million in new private investment, fixing up the aging housing stock of the county with 75% of the improved properties benefiting middle class homeowners and over 2,500 local contractors receiving jobs.

In his many lead roles at the TID and OKI, Portune is leading a regional transportation agenda that will introduce new express transit options to area residents, will put the already constructed Transit Center to use and will provide for transportation corridor improvements for people and freight that are generating transit oriented economic development projects along all of the region’s transit corridors-highway, rail and river.

Portune has led the way for improvements in public health, public safety and the environment- all the while emphasizing the potential in each for growing Hamilton County. As Chair of the County Solid Waste Policy Committee, the county aggressively reduced the impact on landfills, increased recycling options for residential and commercial customers alike, and pursued new environmental initiatives that still today are reducing energy consumption and the county’s carbon footprint, while increasing business and individual spending power and creating jobs.

As Emergency Management and Homeland Security Chair, Portune introduced a process that secured over $63 million in needed homeland security and first responder needs. The county now has a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, and active Regional Hazmat Response Unit and a county-wide warning system providing 100% coverage for the county for the first time. These safety improvements have made the county a more attractive place to live, work and play and are reducing costs of living and costs of business, and have secured new investments in the region, expanding available jobs and options for safe and secure investments in the county to occur.

Portune’s leadership in attacking infant mortality, in pursuing reimbursable revenues for public and behavioral health, expanded oral and dental care and ensuring medical homes for all county residents are saving lives, reducing costs and improving overall public health.

Commissioner Portune has been recognized on a national level as well. His leadership in creating the “Perfect Storm” coalition of communities affected by the high costs of the Clean Water Act compliance have generated a model new policy of enforcement for EPA that is poised to save local ratepayers as much as $1 billion in costs of sewer repairs. Portune’s initiative was acknowledged by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies which awarded Portune a National Environmental Leadership Award in 2013. Due to Commissioner Portune’s leadership, an alternative of “greenbuild” sewer improvements, made possible because of Portune’s advocacy in this arena, has been approved by the EPA and will save county ratepayers in excess of $200 million on the cost of required sewer repairs.

Portune’s work in the area of recycling initiatives while Chair of the county Solid Waste Management District garnered him National Legislator of the Year recognition by the United States Recycling Coalition of Communities and Organizations and Portune became only the second non-member of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s Achievement Award.

Portune’s leadership agenda is centered upon continuing work aimed at:

  • Clean up the mess at MSD
  • End Hamilton County's Budget Anarchy
  • Transport Hamilton County into the 21st Century
  • Grow Hamilton County
  • Prescribe the Right Rx for a Healthier Hamilton County

On a personal note, Commissioner Portune attended public schools, graduating from Colerain High School in 1976 and was named a “Colerain Distinguished Graduate” in 2002. Commissioner Portune went on to study political science at Oberlin College in Ohio. He graduated from Oberlin in 1980, and was inducted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. He was accepted to law school at the University of Cincinnati where he became president of the Student Bar Association, received Order of Barristers honors and graduated in 1983.