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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fort Thomas City Council Roundup (April)

Vance Patterson giving presentation on the Charters of Freedom Foundation. FTM file. 
By Jennifer Summer

The Fort Thomas city council met on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 7 p.m.

A special guest at this meeting was Vance Patterson and his wife Mary Jo, from North Carolina.  The Pattersons have founded the Charters of Freedom, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build and display educational monuments of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights in cities across the country.  Mr. Patterson gave an in-depth presentation highlighting why Fort Thomas should consider adding these monuments to the community, the goal of which is to educate our youth about American history.

Patterson says, “Imagine, if you will, a school teacher taking her third or fourth grade students on an annual filed trip to Your Charters of Freedom Monument.  Sitting on the grass in front of The United States Constitution, they are listening to stories about our Founding Fathers and learning some about our Founding Documents.  While they are there, they will learn about state and local history, along with local heroes.”

Funds for this project would be raised by private funding as a gift (it operates as a 501C3), and would not tax the community.  Donors and community funding drives would be needed.  The cost of the monument built with granite or limestone is between $70,000 - $80,000 and the cost for a brick monument is $20,000.  The community would be responsible for preparation of the site, and the Charters of Freedom Foundation would take care of the installation.

Council members spoke briefly about a possible location for the monument at the Fort, and decided further consideration and discussion would take place.

A letter of concern from Mark Collier regarding the noise from Annie’s Inner Circle (located at 4343 Kellogg Avenue in Cincinnati) was read by council member Ken Bowman.  From the letter: “Music from Annie’s starts at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night and ends at 2:30 a.m. Monday morning.  Bass notes from the venue can be heard over the Ohio River and into the hills of Fort Thomas.”

Council recognized this as an on-going issue and thought that the wind was a factor in carrying sound over to Fort Thomas.  Members agreed to initiate contact with Cincinnati police to see if an ordinance is in place that is not being enforced, and will report back at the next meeting.

The Fire Department, Police Department, and City Administrator’s monthly reports all took place at this meeting.  The biggest area of concern for police continues to be the rampant abuse of heroin in Campbell County.

Fort Thomas is working closely with neighboring city police departments to eradicate this epidemic.

Finally, new positions were established. Joe Ewald, the current Finance Director was also named Assistant City Administrator. Current City Administrator, Dill, previously held dual titles of General Services Director and Assistant City Administrator.

Zoning Official, Kevin Barbian, who was named to that position in 2015, was named General Services Director.

General Services Foreman, Tim Mattingly, was named to a new position, General Services Superintendent.

Other reappointments were confirmed as well:

Re-appointing James Beineke as a member of the Board of Adjustment
Re-appointing Tim Michel as a member of the Planning Commission
Re-appointing Jerry Noran as a member of the Planning Commission
Appointing Larry Schultz as a member of the Planning Commission
Appointing Andrew Franzen to the position of Parks and Greenspace Laborer 1

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