The council meeting was filled with great news and some disturbing news. I do not want to start off the article with a negative tone so I’ll lead off with the good stuff.
Chief Mike Daly presented a new officer with his badge; Officer Adam Noe is officially part of the Fort Thomas Police Department. Adam was a student at Newport Central Catholic then went to Eastern Kentucky University where he received his Bachelor's degree in
Police Administration. Members of the police force showed up to show their support along with Adam’s Wife and two children.
Kevin Thorton, who lives on Telescope View in Newport, spoke at the meeting to express his concerns about the libraries proposal to build a new southern branch location. His main point was that now is not the time (economically) to increase the property tax which is necessary to build the new library. The property tax would need to be raised around 27%. What are your thoughts on a new library in the southern district of Campbell County?
City Manager, Don Martin, acknowledged that the issues with the pavement and dead trees (see March 5th council meeting article) on Overlook Drive will be addressed. Tim Mattingly advised him that "hot patch" will be put down on the street (it is now possible with the nice weather), and Mr. Mattingly has taken steps to take care of the dead trees lining the back yards.
Another important issue Martin wanted to touch on was the Stream Restoration that is being done at Tower Park. A division of Northern Kentucky University received a $1 million grant to restore local streams. Mr. Martin wanted to stress the point that the work being done is not a road or sewer, which residents have been inquiring about, but it is a stream restoration project being done by NKU.
Now for the harsher part of the meeting; Suzanna Fetters, a resident who lives on Holly Woods Drive, addressed the council with an emotional plea for help. She advised there is a bad drug dealing problem on Holly Woods Drive. She went on to add that there is a rampant speeding problem which has put the children on the street in real danger with the cars traveling upwards of 55 MPH.
The drug problem was an issue in the past; it was addressed and eradicated from the area, but unfortunately it is back and getting worse. She acknowledged how well the police had dealt with the problem in the past and asked that they assist the neighborhood again in dealing with the current problems. Martin responded to her plea and told her he would meet with the Police Department and address both issues, the speeding and suspected drug dealing.
To finish up the meeting the Annual Police Department Report was given by Lieutenant James Gadzala. One of the main points of his report was the implementation of Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Essentially people are asked to fill out surveys about their individual situations, and then the responses are reviewed with scrutiny to see what the department is doing well and where they have areas to improve. I was very impressed with this tactic; has anyone filled out one of these surveys? Do you feel it will have an effect on the police department?
Finally, after it was said that the Finance Committee had just gone through an audit, Mayor Mary Brown wanted to extend a special thanks to Fred Ewald for all of his fiscal knowledge and hard work with the audit team that came in. Mr. Ewald said, “Just like in every department it is more about the team of people that I work with, the team that helps me everyday.”--Class act.