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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fort Thomas City Council Election Analysis (2016)

The current Fort Thomas City Council will look much differently after the results from the 11-8-16 election. (L to R): Chuck Thompson, Roger Peterman, Jeff Bezold, Eric Haas, Lisa Kelly, Ken Bowman and John Muller. FTM file. 
November 8, 2016 will always be remembered for the day that Donald J. Trump was elected to be the  45th President of the United States of America. 

Locally, the shift on Fort Thomas City Council wasn't seismic, but the election did point city council in a new direction. 
Lisa Kelly. FTM file. 

Incumbents Roger Peterman (9th term), Lisa Kelly (5th), Ken Bowman (3rd), and Jeff Bezold (2nd) won reelection. They'll be joined by first-time members in David Cameron and John Slawter

That meant that incumbents, John Muller and Chuck Thompson, both in their first terms, were ousted from Fort Thomas City Council. 

John Muller. FTM file. 
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Highlands High School senior, Sam Shelton, brought up the rear in his first election. During the Fort Thomas Matters/River City News analysis show (replay below), Shelton declared that he would run for election of the city council in 2018. 

Chuck Thompson. FTM file. 
Muller, an administrator for Carespring Healthcare Management, had been appointed Chairman for the Finance committee during his first term. Thompson was appointed to the seat vacated by Adam Meier in 2015, after Meier was hired by Governor Matt Bevin. 

Ballot position, which had been a past indicator for election night success, was all but obliterated. Positions 7, 8 and 9 all won a seat on the six-person city council. Those positions were held by Bowman, Peterman and Cameron, respectively. 

Kelly, the second most tenured person on council held the overall vote lead for most of the night. With 11 of the 18 precincts reporting, she was slotted into the top spot. It wasn't until late in the night when Bezold overtook her for the top spot. 

So what does the shakeup on council represent? 

At this point, at least as policy is concerned, it's too early to tell. Non-unanimous votes over the past two years on property tax increases could indicate a trend. Muller and Thompson had voted for an increase on property taxes recently. 

Cameron's promise to be a squeaky wheel on stalled projects, including the VA Homes and reopening the walking path around the reservoir, could also be an interesting dynamic. 
Dave Cameron. Provided. 

The current city council will convene two more times in 2016 before the new council takes their oath of office in January 2017. 

The full results, with ballot position in parentheses, followed by the vote total, below:

18 of 18 precincts reporting 

Jeff Bezold (6) 4332
Lisa Kelly (4) 4286
David Cameron (9) 3955
Ken Bowman (7) 3890
Roger Peterman (8) 3659
John Slawter (1) 3479
John Muller (5) 3407
Chuck Thompson (3) 3374
Sam Shelton (2) 3142

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