|Kevin Sell, Mark Collier and Steve Pendery at Devanna's on the Lake last Thursday. Both Judge Executive candidates participated in a forum that Collier moderated.|
Current Campbell County Judge Executive, Steve Pendery, received the endorsement of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Friday. His opponent, Kevin Sell, said he's glad.
The Enquirer said that they endorsed Pendery in part because, "[He has a] a track record of accomplishments and an evolving vision for the county that convince us he's the best candidate to lead the county for the next four years...[he] displays political courage...[and a] willingness to take a position regardless of whether it helps a campaign short term."
Below is the endorsement for Pendery and the Letter to the Editor in response by Sell.
Steve Pendery Endorsement by Enquirer
Economic development is a big issue for Campbell County. Leaders and residents alike seem to worry that the county is being left behind while Boone and Kenton counties surge. Sell and Pendery differ on their approaches to luring jobs and development to the county. Pendery favors a regional approach and one that capitalizes on attributes specific to the county, such as Northern Kentucky University and the riverfront. Sell espouses a Campbell County first philosophy and wants to focus on underused industrial sites in the county.
Of course it's the job of a county's top executive to make sure his or her own county comes first, but Northern Kentucky's regional approach to economic development through Tri-ED is working for all counties in the region, and Pendery is smart to emphasize the existing approach. We also agree that it's smart to exploit resources no one else has, such as NKU, rather than emphasize sites that are similar to what other counties can offer. For those who bemoan Campbell County's economic position in comparison to Kenton and Boone, it's helpful to remember that the median income in Campbell County more than doubled between 1990 and 2010 – evidence that the county is making progress.
Pendery also displays political courage when he advocates for the near-term replacement for the Brent Spence Bridge and says that tolls may be needed to complete the project. Sell says there's no rush on building a new bridge and rejects tolls as a funding mechanism. Additionally, Pendery favors giving local governments the ability to impose a tax to fund projects if residents agree, while Sell opposes even the option to put a local sales tax before voters.
Some of Pendery's positions go against popular sentiment and take political courage. That may well be the benefit of serving 15 years in office: the willingness to take a position regardless of whether it helps a campaign short term. We agree with Pendery's vision for Campbell County, and we endorse him for judge-executive.
Kevin Sell's Letter to the Editor in Response to Enquirer Endorsement
I’m running for Judge-Executive because Campbell County is falling behind in many areas. Although the Northern Kentucky Economic Development Authority (Tri-Ed) is led by our current Judge-Executive, only 1 of the 21 job growth/ retention projects in 2013 was brought to Campbell County. As this job slowdown has occurred, the heroin problem has worsened in Campbell County, which has seen the largest increase in overdose fatalities in Kentucky.
Jobs flow out of Campbell County as heroin flows into it. I have a detailed plan to reverse both trends, which you can read more about at www.kevinsell.com
I’m proud to have the endorsements of Former Congressman Geoff Davis, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, State Senators John Schickel & Chris McDaniel, State Representative Brian Linder, Silver Grove Mayor Neal Bedel, Cold Spring Mayor Mark Stoeber, and Northern Kentucky Right to Life.
In summary, know that unlike our current Judge-Executive:
1. Job creation and the Heroin issue will be my “Day One” priorities
2. I oppose the transfer of nursing home beds from Campbell County to Boone County
3. I oppose the additional local sales tax pushed by our current Judge-Executive
4. I oppose 911 fees being applied to property tax bills and support shifting those fees to utility bills
5. I believe that our taxpayers deserve more accountability and transparency with regard to TANK, SD1, Northern Kentucky Water District, and other regional taxing districts.
If elected the next Campbell County Judge-Executive, I will put Campbell County first.