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Friday, February 26, 2016

Meet John Muller: Candidate for Fort Thomas City Council

John Muller. FTM file. 
By John Muller

Greetings fellow Fort Thomas Residents.  John Muller, City Councilmember, here eager to run again and, with your help, be re-elected to serve you.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you on Council including the Finance, Public Safety and Public Works Committees.   I have and continue to learn a great deal about our City, how it is operated, administrated, promoted, protected and kept secure as well as governed.

My wife Terri and I moved to Fort Thomas nearly twenty years ago.  We both moved to Greater Cincinnati from different areas.  We were starting our careers and searching for a place to make our home and start a family.  We are very blessed to have made Fort Thomas our home.  The quality of life the residents of Fort Thomas enjoy is fantastic.  Some of the most notable of these: the safety and services of the City, the quality of the schools, the businesses and services offered within the City, the ease of access to downtown and the metro area world class provision of healthcare and post-secondary education can be accessed within minutes.

You may not realize until you need them indeed we have access to excellent essential services.  Even with all these amenities it is the people of Fort Thomas that make it the finest.  The community here, as you know, is amazingly generous with their time and talent.  Ten years ago our family went through a health crisis.  The unparalleled and unwavering support of our friends, neighbors and many, many Fort Thomas residents we had never even met meant the world to us.  Fort Thomas helped us get through our crisis.  This generous spirit has been a primary reason I sought to serve on Council.  If I can return even the smallest amount service and skill to the City then I’m eager to run and work to do it.

In my professional life I’m a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and have a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I have worked for Carespring Healthcare Management for more than fifteen years in various roles, most of them operational.  Utilizing this business experience I’ve found the budgeting and operational processes of the City to be extremely professional and well run.  From our annual audit, to budget preparation and then day to day execution of the operational plan – Fort Thomas is conservatively pragmatic about our finances.  This allowed us to weather the storm of the Great Recession and enjoy the relative stability of a healthy financial status.

A few of my priorities that would continue into a second term are support and improvements to safety, infrastructure, quality of life and growth of small business.

We improve our safety through supporting our professional police and fire/EMS services.

Pedestrian Safety Initiatives - Mayor Haas and new City Administrator Dill have been extremely supportive of me pushing this idea and project.  This is a direct reflection of listening to Fort Thomas Residents, experiencing the problem of motorists (oftentimes unintentionally) disregarding the crosswalks in town.  This is most acute where there are parked cars along the curb, then the curb lane yields to a pedestrian but the center lane keeps on driving – creating a very scary and dangerous situation.  I’ve seen this myself when running carpool for school pick up.  I did the initial research on cross walk safety options myself and then presented the idea to the Mayor and City Staff who ran with it.  We will have cross walk enhancements in place, in Phase 1 Central Business District locations by the time most of our kids start walking home from school.

Infrastructure – our streets and sidewalks are a key component to safe travel about our City both by auto, bike and walking.  It is critical we continue to invest in this infrastructure.

Small Business friendliness and Economic Development have been on the rise over the last couple years.  Spurred on in large part by the City’s forethought into revitalization, streetscapes and business district improvements.  There is much work yet to do – some continued physical improvements some more technical improvements to certain business taxes, fees and codes and ordinances which can make operations friendly to small business while yielding exceptional quality of life to our residents.

Additionally, let’s keep on track with the VA Homes.  Council’s action this year to contract with outside specialists who work on these historical projects has resulted in more progress towards a solution.

Finally, improvements to Route 8 are necessary, an important artery for Fort Thomas, which the Commonwealth is responsible to do.  The unfortunate reality is we in Fort Thomas as well as Northern Kentucky send more money to Frankfort than we will ever get back.  We as a City should continue to work with our state legislators to get Route 8 into the transportation plan as well as other Commonwealth funded projects, initiatives and incentives that will benefit Fort Thomas.

You will have many options this year when you cast your vote for City Council.  I have heard a saying that many people seek to make a point, not as many seek to make a difference.  My job will always be to listen to the citizens first.

Governing is about choices, and we all are doing more with less in today’s economic climate.  My priorities are clear – safety, protecting our families, children and seniors, infrastructure and providing and outstanding livable community and business climate.

I am in this race for the right reasons, to use my skills as a husband, father, neighbor and business executive to make a positive difference for our community.

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