This year, all six Fort Thomas City Council members, along with Mayor Mary Brown, face re-election. As part of FTM's efforts to keep you, the Fort Thomas electorate, informed and prepare you for the upcoming election season, the Q&A below is part of an ongoing FTM series spotlighting candidates in the 2014 elections. Incumbents and challengers are asked a nearly identical set of questions, then a second round of follow-up questions, if necessary. This week I spoke with Anthony Bonomini, running for Fort Thomas City Council.
FTM: What has been your personal connection to Fort Thomas specifically, and Northern Kentucky in general?
AB: I have lived in Fort Thomas all of my life- 31 years to be exact. This is where I grew up. I attended Johnson Elementary, Highlands Middle, and Highlands High School. I was an assistant football coach at Highlands High School from 2003 to 2004. I earned a bachelor’s in political science with a concentration in history from Northern Kentucky University. During college, I had the privilege of participating in a Congressional Internship, working for Geoff Davis. My wife and I are members of Saint Catherine of Siena Church. I am a member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
FTM: What, in your opinion, makes Fort Thomas one of Northern Kentucky's best places to live and/or raise a family?
AB: Fort Thomas is without a doubt one of the best places to live and raise a family. The people of this community are second to none. Everyone is friendly, and they support and care for one another. Fort Thomas schools are some of the best schools in the state, let alone the country. Our local businesses are vital to our local economy. They keep our town centers vibrant and unite friends and neighbors. The recent renovations to our parks have made them some of the best parks in the region. The city’s General Services Department maintains and enhances our community. Finally, our police officers and firefighters are dedicated to keeping our community safe.
FTM: If elected, what will be the first issue you bring before council?
AB: Once elected, I will listen to the people of this community to find out what their highest priorities are. Then, I will work to ensure those issues are addressed. I want to be engaged with our local small business owners. I will encourage other council members to do the same. I also want to ensure that all of the departments within our city government have every opportunity to do their jobs as efficiently and as effectively as possible so that they can provide the needed services to our community.
FTM: What specific actions would you take as a council member to ensure the continued growth of small, locally-owned businesses in Fort Thomas?
AB: Just recently, I hosted a Cash Mob at Fort Thomas Coffee. The specific purpose of a Cash Mob is to get everyone in the community to show up at the local business and buy something. The idea is to get the entire community to support and promote all local small businesses. I would like to host more of these events in the future. I believe that it is of the utmost importance to engage in a dialogue with local small business owners in order to cultivate relationships. This is vital to finding out about the issues, challenges, and opportunities that confront their businesses.
FTM: Are there any issues you believe City Council has, so far, failed to address adequately or at all that, as a council member, you would bring attention to?
AB: As I meet with residents, I will find out their concerns and work with City Council to address those issues. It would be unfair to say City Council has failed to adequately address any issue. However, there may be some concerns that are more pressing that we will need to spend more time investigating and discussing.
FTM: Out of all the city-wide events Fort Thomas hosts each year, which is your favorite and why?
AB: All of the city-wide events are my important to me. These events are a part of the reason I love this community. Each event is thoroughly enjoyable, and they all bring the community together. However, I have always been somewhat partial to 4th at the Fort, as this event brings out the patriotic spirit of our community.
FTM: Even though the City Council elections are non-partisan, do you have a political party of affiliation that you wish to identify?
AB: The purpose of council being nonpartisan is to eradicate political party influence. However, I am a registered Republican.