Here we go again, it's the Power 100. Work on the list, involving research as well as long and spirited discussions, starts well before the end of the year. So what is our measure of power? We're often asked and our answer is simple: If a person called you seeking a favor "” barring anything crazy and the obvious exemption for family and close friends "” how willing would you be to oblige? The measure of your willingness gets to the heart of it. True, it's not scientific or a database study like our annual "Rating the Burbs" feature, but one which we take pride in as we get input from several sources throughout the community.

Power is relative. One of the most powerful generals in our country's history, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, could not attend West Point without his supervising mother in tow. Seriously, she stayed in a nearby apartment through his four-year maturation. In his case, as with many of those in family businesses, this relativity is truly literal.

Sometimes power shifts toward the prospect of what could be as well. We welcome Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman to the top 25 this year. With his efforts in the non-profit community recently, he goes beyond his Hall of Fame broadcasting career to the stratosphere of community involvement.

In my time in the media industry, I've come to realize the power held by someone like Brennaman or Margaret Buchanan, the publisher of the region's major newspaper. Even with declining circulation, newspapers are, in my opinion, a major force for good in the community. The Enquirer's coverage provides the fodder for a majority of our water cooler discussions. Considering the speculation that the Cleveland Plain Dealer might go to three days a week publication soon, it's hard not to realize the value of someone running a daily who frankly wants it to remain a daily.

The list is, in part, a bit of a wish list. It reflects what we hope a person will achieve but that sometimes goes unfulfilled.

One could argue that the mayor of any major city should be at the top of the list. We've been asked why Mark Mallory is not, especially with Cincinnati moving in such a positive direction on many fronts. Unfortunately, the mayor's role in the Queen City is still too structured and beholden to our form of city council government. City council members, without direct accountability to specific districts in the city, sometimes take the proverbial left turn without giving the boss a heads-up to hit the turn signal. Witness the support for a $100,000 urinal downtown. Meanwhile, the members have voted to essentially double city parking rates because there is a budget shortfall.

Mayor, we all wish that you could be at the top of our list and in full control of the city. But we digress.

So, let's catch up on what's happening, who is moving and who is shaking. Are we missing someone you think is making great strides? Go to www.cincymagazine.com/power100 and please weigh in.