Monday, October 24, 2016

OP-ED: Running For Judge Another Service to Our Community

Joe Grimme with son, Matthew. Provided. 
By Joe Grimme

Our communities define who we are and who we become.

So when I decided to run for District Court Judge for Campbell County, I reflected upon my time in Fort Thomas and Campbell County in order to help me clarify why I felt it was my duty to run. To me, it’s all about serving.

I graduated from Highlands High School in Fort Thomas in 1991 and then decided to stay in Campbell County to attend and graduate from Northern Kentucky University and Chase College of Law.

Fort Thomas continues to be the embodiment of service.  The schools are continually the best in the state because of the amount of people who are engaged. Parents care. Teachers care. Students care. The community cares and that’s what makes the city great.

I learned that from an early age from my parents, Art and Trudy Grimme.

I have volunteered thousands of hours over the past decade to youth sports, elementary and high school boosters, church functions, as well as other organizations.  I take pride in being able to give back a community that has given so much to me.

Campbell County is my home and I can’t imagine a better place to live.

During this campaign, I have talked to many Campbell County residents and I find it interesting, when talking to them, just how many people I have found a connection with in the many walks of life I’ve spent time in service.

Many know me from my business, Fessler, Schneider and Grimme in Fort Thomas, of which I have been a partner for over 15 years.

Many know me from my church. I’m a life-long parishioner of St. Thomas Parish in Fort Thomas.

Others know me from my time with the Moyer Boosters. In 2006, when our first son, Steven, began kindergarten at Ruth Moyer Elementary, it became clear that the school was in need of several items.  In an effort to help raise funds for various needs, I formed the Moyer Mustangs Boosters Club and served as President for six years.


My friend and Fort Thomas School Board member, John Weyer knows intimately the work we do for the Moyer Boosters.

“The work that we do as Moyer Boosters is not glamorous,” he said.  “We don’t do it for the recognition, clearly. It’s all about the kids.

Being involved with the boosters put us on track to form the Fort Thomas Flag Football League in 2007, which has grown in size each year and is still in existence today. This has been a lot of work, but something that I was proud to help form, which helps feed into the Fort Thomas Junior Football League.

But perhaps I’m most closely associated with the work I’ve done with District 22 Knothole Baseball. I’ve been on the Board since 2006 and have been the Executive Supervisor for the past seven years. By serving in this capacity, I have continued to represent the interest of hundreds of youth baseball players each year, helping to continue the existence of the oldest baseball organization in the Greater Cincinnati area.

For as long as I can remember, baseball has been a part of my life.

As a child growing up, my dad formed a Knothole team, the Fort Thomas Stars, when I was in the second grade.  To this day, many of my original teammates remain good friends and I will never forget the memories we created.

The experience that my dad provided for me was one of the main reasons why I decided to begin coaching my son, Steven, when he reached the age of four.  I started my coaching career in the YMCA league and then turned to Knothole two years later.

Keeping with what my dad started thirty years earlier, I formed the “new” version of the Fort Thomas Stars, which consisted of my son and several of his friends.  In subsequent years, when my second son (Matthew) and third son (Adam) reached ages six, respectively, I did the same thing – creating additional Fort Thomas Stars teams for each them and their respective friends.

I have coached hundreds of games, witnessed thousands of hours of practices, and enjoyed an immeasurable amount of fun with the families that have been a part of the Fort Thomas Stars family over a span of ten years.  I have seen the smiles on my boys’ faces during these wonderful times and I do not regret one moment spent with them as their coach.

Coaching baseball has been a passion of mine since day one.  Hands down, I can honestly say that making this commitment to coach each of my boy’s teams was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

The kind of commitment that I have shown throughout all of my volunteer work is the exact kind of commitment that I’ll bring to the District Court in Campbell County.

My friend, fellow coach and Fort Thomas resident, Tim Bracken, knows the commitment to the job it takes.

“This type of commitment, coaching his own three teams, plus coordinating all the teams in Knothole is classic Joe Grimme.  Joe does not do the bare minimum. He goes the extra mile to ensure his own teams have a fantastic experience, but also all kids in our region,” he said. “Joe is a teacher, a leader, a relentless worker, and he truly wants the best for his family and his community.”

I quote my friends Tim and John because I could not have served in those roles without them and I know that as a judge I will have to rely on my community and morals to help guide me while I’m on the bench.

There are several characteristics that are needed in a judge.  Honesty, being fair and impartial, and having the proper demeanor and temperament, are all traits that are necessary to ensure that justice is served for any and all that might appear before someone on the bench.

I believe that I meet all of these criteria and I am eager to prove this to the Campbell County community. It’s my hope that my experience in the legal profession, as well as the service I have provided to the community, will help you decide to vote for me as your judge in Campbell District Court.

Joe Grimme is running for Campbell County District Judge 

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