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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Brian Painter: Why I'm Running for County Commissioner (District 1)

By Brian Painter

I’m Brian Painter, District 1 Commissioner, and I have served Campbell County taxpayers as a Fiscal Court representative since being elected in 2010.

The reason I am running this year, is the same reason I ran in 2010, I want to keep our taxes low, not at the expense of our public services and facilities, but by being the smartest and most efficient county government in the region.  We have built a team that does just that, we spend less per person than any county government in the region and less than almost any area government in general. We are the low cost champions in Campbell County.

But wait! Our services are great too. We have the senior center with the most participation in the state. Our police force is well renowned. Our roads are well maintained, our recreation facilities are plentiful and in good order, and our fiscal house is in balance.  We now have three annual music festivals at AJ Jolly pavilion, and we use profit to leverage against grants, for items like new boat docks and bath house facilities.  We are not a one dimensional government that just keeps asking for more and more of your tax money, we give you the value, and we do it with a good demeanor and a smile.

Transparency is key.  We don’t hide what we spend from you. You can check on county spending at the OPEN GOV utility that we maintain on our county website.  Just click on the “Transparency” tab on and you can find out what we spend on things like portable bathrooms at the parks, if you want to. In all seriousness though the OPEN GOV utility is used by our directors on the yearly budget process. So you can look at the same data our staff uses to plan and budget for the next fiscal year.  The four members of the fiscal court wanted the public to have access and keep informed on the tax dollars that are expended, that is why we created this public financial transparency link. My website also has charts and graphs outlining our financial success.

Campbell County is doing great!  Exciting things are happening, from the Sky wheel coming at the northern tip in Newport right on the river, to the great festivals and golfing at the splendid AJ Jolly county owned facilities in the southern third of the county. Transportation will take a quantum leap forward with the new AA highway connector to downtown opening soon.  The entry to NKU on Nunn drive will be totally transformed in the next two to three years.  Fiscal court has worked with Highland Heights and the state of Kentucky to set up a special TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district to jump start this great development, I believe we will all be pleased with what comes, and construction has already started.

Building is taking place all over the county with great houses and developments. Maxim Crane works just moved their national headquarters to Wilder.  Alexandria is pulling ahead by a nose, being the fastest growing city in the state of Kentucky in 2016.  Baptist Life Center just made a huge investment in our county with the “Seasons”, taking care of our vulnerable elderly. The Arcadia development of Alexandria is awesome.  Finally, investment has come to our County, and once it starts more will follow and the jobs! Speaking of jobs, Campbell County has a median household income the same as Kenton County now, and our labor force participation and unemployment are at phenomenal levels with a spiking county GDP.  The great Campbell County of the past, is becoming the great Campbell County of the future. People want to come and live here. They find our tax burden as the lowest in the region and our quality of living high.

How does a commissioner fit in to all this success?

I have several community partner groups that I keep operating to make sure we are on track to keep business moving.  The first is centered on Highland Heights with Mayor Greg Meyers, keeping track of business in the area and NKU as our partners.  The second partner group is with Mayor Bill Rachford and Alexandria area projects.  Just eating breakfast together and talking with invited area business men and women creates opportunities to coordinate effort, things that I value. I also support our staff in the discovery and application of county incentives such as the TIF districts and jobs programs to attract and retain companies in Campbell County. I am willing to spend the time it takes in the as your County Commissioner to coordinate efforts to make our county an even greater community.

Like any good stretch of weather, it seems there are a few dark days.  The opioid epidemic still clouds our sunny forecast.  We have devoted serious time and effort to diminishing the effect on the county.  We now have an in-jail treatment program with professional counselors in the county jail in Newport.  We have two years of after- care planned for each participant, and the program is starting to show results. It is a hard road for those who start down the road to addiction and many never make it.  For the ones who choose sobriety we are trying to get them good life results.  The Office of Drug Control Policy continues to be supported by the Fiscal Court as well as enhanced interdiction and dealer arrests by county police efforts on the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force.

About the Candidate: We live on the family farm where I grew up near Alexandria.  I have been married to Sulinda (Lampe) Painter for thirty seven years, our son Matthew is a high school senior. I graduated from NKU with a Bachelors in Geology and got a scholarship to Ohio University where I got a Master’s degree in Hydrogeology. I worked on superfund sites in the 1980’s leading groups of scientists and engineers, managing clean-up projects in over a dozen states. For thirteen years I managed a half million dollar a year aquifer protection project in Idaho and Washington, which was the largest in the country. We moved back to our family acreage in 2002 to raise our son, and started Vineyard Hardwoods, a mill work company, which we successfully ran for thirteen years. It has been our privilege to have lived, and constructed houses in Florida and the Pacific Northwest.  These great and varied experiences have open my eyes to other great areas of the United States and I bring those experiences with me to apply to representing you on Fiscal Court.

I am a man of Faith. My family is deeply involved in our church and giving back to our community.  I serve in Church leadership at Main Street Church and support the care mission to take care of the needy.  I have served in leadership in Church of Christ of Alexandria. As a devout follower of Christ, I found it necessary to support those who recognize life as precious, and I am proud to be endorsed by Northern Kentucky Right to Life.

I love the job of Commissioner and I commit significant time to doing the job right.  I am enthusiastic to return after the election, and continue working for our county with the best management team in the region. The team we have established is constantly putting Campbell County in the top spot. I ask for your vote on Tuesday November 6th.

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