|Boone County Administrator Jeff Earlywine began his career in Fort Thomas and served as the city administrator for 24 years. He has been honored for his more than 30-year career in public service.|
by Robin Gee
Boone County Administrator Jeff Earlywine has been honored with the 2020 Career Achievement Award from the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He received the award for his more than 30 years of service to the Northern Kentucky community. More than half of those years were spent in Fort Thomas as the city’s administrator.
Earlywine began his career with Fort Thomas in 1982, as assistant to City Administrator David Noran. About three years later, he took over as city administrator and served Fort Thomas until 2006, when he took his current position with Boone County.
Boone County Judge Executive Gary W. Moore said the honor is well-deserved.
"I, along with our entire Boone County leadership team are very pleased that Jeff Earlywine has been chosen to receive this high and well-deserved honor. Jeff’s hard work and dedication for three decades has helped make Boone County, the city of Ft Thomas, and all of Northern Kentucky a much better place. We are truly blessed that he has chosen to give his talents to all of us," Moore said.
Not what he set out to do
Earlywine said he enjoyed science and math in high school, so when he went off to college at Northern Kentucky University, he chose civil engineering as his college major. Part of the program involved taking a co-op job, similar to an internship.
To fulfill the requirement, he took a job at the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission where he got his first exposure to careers in local government and public service.
"I enjoyed it so much. I finished my co-op quarter there and then stayed on, on a part-time basis, eventually changing my major. And, the rest is history," he said.
He switched majors and earned a bachelor’s in public administration and later went on to earn a master’s in public policy and administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
The rewards of working for the public
"I had a wonderful experience in Fort Thomas. I served there 24 years...I have been very fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity to work for two outstanding communities, two great organizations where elected officials are passionate about public service and making a difference. I got lucky twice," he said.
When he first started out, he said he knew very little about public administration careers. In fact, no one talked about it as an option when he was first thinking about college and career.
For those today who might be interested in a career in the field, he said, “It’s been so rewarding to me. You have an opportunity to be on a team and that team can make a real difference in the community, often in the community right where you live.”