On October 22nd, Hamilton County Commissioners Todd Portune and Greg Hartmann participated in the kick-off to the 2013 Fall Side-by-Side Series at St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church in Clifton. 

October 22nd Side-by-Side: Greg Hartmann & Todd Portune

Moderated by Bea Larsen, co-founder of Beyond Civility, the two public officials told stories about their personal lives, their childhoods, the events that impacted their lives and participated in forming their political views.

Portune talked about growing up in Cincinnati with his mother and his siblings about the trials they had to overcome after his father passed away.  He talked about the importance of family and community.

Hartmann recalled growing up in a variety of places while his family moved around.  He talked about his mother and fathers “perfect partnership,” the balance in their relationship, and how his mother, an artist, supported the family and his father as he went to law school.

Both praised each other and brought up how at the County Commissioner, with just three commissioners, you really do need to work together and respect each other.  Unlike Congress, they said, you cannot hide behind the many other members.  As Portune said, “you are always one vote away from accomplishing what you want, so you work together”. 

At the end of the night, Portune commented on how much he enjoyed the evening and the he learned things about his colleague that he had never known before.