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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

City Council Round-Up: FTPD 2013 Annual Report, Fort Thomas Reservoir, VA Homes Update

Correction: A previous version of this story reported that Ken Rechtin had been appointed to the Fort Thomas Renaissance Board. Mayor Brown has appointed Kim Rechtin to Renaissance Board, and this story has been updated to correct that error.

The Fort Thomas Police Department delivered its annual report to city council Monday night, and council discussed the water treatment plant on S. Fort Thomas Ave., the VA homes in Tower Park, and a possible, new cell tower in town.

FTPD 2013 Annual Report

Upon hearing Police Chief Mike Daly conclude his annual report to council, member Jay Fossett pointed out that, according to the numbers, crime in Fort Thomas is the lowest it has been in the last eight years.

“That reflects on our patrol and investigation teams,” Daly acknowledged, “They work well together.”

Chief Daly’s report, which will be available online in coming days, summarized for the council the various training courses taken, accreditations earned, classes offered, trends identified, and feedback gathered over the previous year. Daly made sure to praise his patrol teams for a “great job balancing traffic charges with written warnings,” and the report offers a ten-year breakdown of traffic charges and accidents in the city.

With these successes, Daly also commented on work still to be done. Burglaries, car break-ins, and theft were the most common crimes reported and investigated in 2013, Daly said. “A lot of these crimes are being fueled by drug addiction,” he said, “most specifically the heroin epidemic in the region.”

The annual report also provides a breakdown of the types of cases investigated by the FTPD over the last eight years.

“No community is immune to crime,” said council member Tom Lampe. “It’s important to see how our community responds to it. When you see it take care of in the expeditious manner our department takes care of it, you have to be proud.”

The FTPD 2013 Annual Report will be available to review on the city’s website in coming days. Stay tuned to FTM for a detailed report.

S. Ft. Thomas Reservoir

Military Parkway resident Patricia Orth addressed council Monday night, urging them to begin whatever steps necessary to enact the reopening of the walking pathways that surround the Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) treatment facility reservoirs on S. Ft. Thomas Ave. Council member Ken Bowman made a similar motion at a council meeting earlier this year.

City Administrator Don Martin explained that the city has had numerous discussions with NKWD and, while it is a relatively new development that NKWD is willing to discuss the matter, their position on the issue has not changed.

Furthermore, Martin explained that NKWD is currently planning a redundancy pipeline project that would prohibit pathway usage for at least 12-15 months, regardless of any general change in public access to the paths.

Martin also reminded residents and council that, if the walking paths were reopened, the city would be obliged to assume all liability for any damages incurred on the facility’s supply of water. Martin has committed, however, to keeping the discussion open with NKWD for at least the next year, in the hopes of finding a solution.

VA Homes

More of the same, reports Mr. Martin of the VA homes in Tower Park. The city is currently waiting for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Washington, DC to approve its request to purchase the properties from the federal government. “I was expecting to hear from them today, but didn’t,” he said Monday night. “I expect to hear any day.”

New AT&T Cell Tower

Mayor Mary Brown and Mr. Martin reported to council that AT&T, the telecommunications giant, has requested to lease the property located at what would be 2400 N. Fort Thomas Ave. to erect a new cellular tower. The city owns this property. 

AT&T is looking to replace their current cellular facility, which is attached to the water tower off Rossford Ave., which the Northern Kentucky Water District has plans to replace. The property on Rossford cannot be used due to a conservancy easement on the property.

Mr. Martin made mention of the possibility that AT&T might propose the use of a “stealth tower,” that is, a cellular facility that does not look like a traditional cell tower, but instead resembles a flag pole or, as is the case of the current facility, a water tower.

Council voted to send the issue to the Law, Labor, and License Committee for review.

Renaissance Board

Via executive order Monday night, Kim Rechtin and Brian Sand have been appointed to the Fort Thomas Renaissance Board.

Fort Thomas Fire Department Annual Report
Chief Mark Bailey gave his annual fire report. FTM will provide a more detailed report of that in the coming week. 

Breed Specific Legislation
A full council chambers was there to give their support to repealing and replacing the current ordinance on breed specific legislation as it pertains to certain breeds of dogs. Eight different residents spoke about the issue, all in favor of amending the ordinance, which was written in 1988. There will be more on this issue in the coming week as well. 



  2. Honestly, this is a question of big government thinking they know better than experts.

    Think anyone has studied dog bites statistics more than the American Bar Association? Nope. Guess what? They OPPOSE Breed Specific Legislation.

    National Animal Control Association, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, American Kennel Club, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association, National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, National Animal Interest Alliance, American Animal Hospital Association, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, American Humane,
    American Temperament Test Society, American Dog Owner’s Association, American Canine Federation, International Association of Canine Professionals, American Dog Breeders Association Inc.


    This reason?
    1) It doesn't work.
    2) Breeds are not born aggressive.
    3) It's impossible to enforce.
    4) It's discriminatory.
    5) It's costly.

    There is no such breed as "pit bull" and to make that assertion is lazy, uninformed and just plain irresponsible.

    That logic may have worked in 1988, but with the research we have at our disposal you cannot with good conscience say that.

  3. I'd like to know who is for keeping this discriminatory ordinance in place? Name names please, so I know who NOT to vote for.

  4. I agree with you Larry but there is a pit bull breed:

  5. Agree to disagree. One thing is for sure, all of these breeds (from Chihuahua to Lab to Bulldog to German Shepard) dogs are not predisposed to aggression by birth.

    Animals are born with different personalities, just like humans! Some are timid, some outgoing, some energetic, some lethargic.

    When is the next meeting? Will this get drug on like the deer thing? Come on Fort Thomas (and council) do your research!

    There’s a great deal of confusion associated with the label “pit bull.” This isn’t surprising because the term doesn’t describe a single breed of dog. Depending on whom you ask, it can refer to just a couple of breeds or to as many as five—and all mixes of these breeds. The most narrow and perhaps most accurate definition of the term “pit bull” refers to just two breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff). Some people include the Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bulldog in this group because these breeds share similar head shapes and body types. However, they are distinct from the APBT and the AmStaff.

  6. I know Roger, Eric and Tom to be reasonable men. Surely they are not being swayed by Mr. Martin's scare tactics.

    I wonder if they have seen the picture floating around from Children's Hospital from April 22nd. They had a slide on a TV, promoting health tidbits. Here is the signage verbatim:

    "It's not the breed of the dog, but the training that determines if a dog will bite."

    Children's Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the entire nation, but Don Martin knows better than them. (Note sarcasm).

  7. To "Discriminate" is "Ignorance" of reality. This pertains to animals as well as humans, and all situations. An "Intelligent" Board/City will only thrive in it's mission to create the best HOME for it's citizens. It's simply a matter of "Do the RIGHT thing.". Don't BULLY the BREED.

  8. Let's repeal this Breed Specific Legislation and replace it with a Vicious Dog Ordinance that will apply to all breeds equally. This will require owners to be responsible regardless of the breed, and create a safer community full of responsible and proud dog owners. Thanks for considering this issue, Fort Thomas City Council!

  9. Registered RepublicanApril 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Kudos to council candidate, Anthony Bonomini, who stood up against the current ordinance and asked for its repeal and suggestion to replace with an "aggressive dog" ordinance.

    His common sense on this shows he's ready. True courage.

  10. Larry Robson, you are brilliant and eloquent! I could not have said it better & whole heartedly agree we need to ban breed specific legislation! Any chance you could run for council too? I like the way you think! :)

  11. Thank you, Elizabeth. I believe council will ultimately do the right thing, which is to repeal and replace BSL.

    Our current ordinance does not have any measurable positive effect on public safety. Many studies have proven this. It's impossible to enforce and banning breeds does absolutely nothing.

    OPPONENTS LISTEN UP: An aggressive dog ordinance which focuses on items that are PROVEN to decrease bites will be the ONLY THING TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY!

    The breed that is banned currently is not inherently aggressive or bad. If you believe that you are just not trying to seek the truth. Once you get past that, you can start focusing on the right kinds of things.

    I've already listed the many groups who oppose BSL, how about some states now:
    from the reddest of the red (Texas/Oklahoma) to the bluest of the blue (California/the White House).

    This is not a partisan issue. It's about improving public safety. Our current ordinance does not do that. The alternative will.

    At the end of the day, all opponents have is ignorance and scare tactics. Time to educate yourself, men and women.

  12. I was at the council meeting where this was brought up. It was one of the main topics of the meeting. Why is FTM not reporting on this? No mention at all in the "Council Round-up". Is FTM in cahoots with the pit bull supporters? I think the vast majority of Ft Thomas residents support the ban on pit bulls. Is FTM concerned that a story on this will bring out the silent majority? Where is the story about the pit bull attack in Ft Thomas a few days ago? I support the ban and I think I'm in the majority.

  13. I can promise you you are certainly not in the majority. And judging by your tone you are either Cat, Don, or one of the council people hiding behind an anonymous name.

    It's is not a pro pitbull versus anti-pitbull argument. Is is a Public Safety argument in our current ordinance does not do anything to increase Public Safety.

    When you see the alternatives they are so much commonsense, they increase public safety, and they do not discriminate on three.

  14. Do not blame the breed. If anything, a new ordinance putting the responsibility on owners is the best way to improve public safety. Seems like that is the easiest way to go about this. I'm hoping council does the thing that's based on fact and common sense instead of the cowardly thing to keep things as it so as not to upset the apple cart.

  15. I'm hoping that the city council will implement an ordinance that will actually increase public safety. Blaming a specific breed clearly does not work. There are things that a proven to increase public safety:

    1) Enforcing leash laws (if we cannot do this, how can we expect government officials to identify a breed of dog just by looking at it).

    2) Educating on spay/neuter. An overwhelming amount (near 80% of dog bites come from un-neutered male dogs).

    3) Actually enforce irresponsible owner laws! 9/10 media reports you read are a result of a bad owner. No one wants to associate with a bad owner including the woman just featured on WCPO. Simply, dog ownership should be more costly to the irresponsible individuals.

    4) Education. Studies show that just 1 hour of dog training among younger children can decrease dog bites up to 80%.

    In sum, those that are in favor of the current breed specific legislation are too often swayed by old research or having one experience that swayed them for their entire life.

    I can just hope that those same people do not have the same attitudes towards people that are different from them.

  16. Anecdotal evidence based in fear and myth versus a common sense solution based on fact. There is an easy answer here.

    What is taking so long?

  17. It is amazing to me the ignorance that is still out there in regards to pitbulls. They are not born mean. Dr. Pritchard whom i think everyone with a pet in Ft Thomas knows supports repealing this ban. In my neighborhood the two meanest dogs are poodles and their owners seem to think an electric fence is adequate. They run right thru it and try to bite. This is law is just blind stupidity.