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Kenton County Hires New Emergency Communications Director & Other Notes

Tommy Thompson, who has taken the job of Executive Director of Kenton County Emergency Communications, was introduced to the Fiscal Court on Tuesday night. County Administrator Joe Shriver explained that they had received applications from a lot of good people, but because Thompson's background contained a great deal of experience with radios, and he has been a consultant dealing with radio systems, as well as Public Safety, he was the choice of the Court. Thompson lives in Northern Kentucky, and he was present at the meeting with his wife.

He replaces Ed Butler, who departed the position to become city administrator in Ft. Wright.

In a related matter, an executive order was approved reorganizing the Kenton County Emergency Communications Center. Shriver said that in the process of the search for the new executive director, a reorganization of the center was recommended, as was the idea to add the position of assistant director.

Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health, came to the meeting to clarify the setting of the tax rate for the Board of Health. The new rate will be the same as the rate set for 2016, at 2 cents per $100 of assessed value of all real property, 2 cents per $100 valuation for all personal property, and 2 cents per $100 valuation of all motor vehicles. The motor vehicle  tax rate will be  applicable to calendar year beginning January 1, 2017. The commissioners approved the tax rate in a resolution.

Commissioners also passed a resolution approving the 2016-2017 budget adjustments. In addition, since the next regular meeting of the court will not be until August 23, Shriver asked the commissioners to approve the hiring of professional services to survey of the Bavarian Brewery, which is the old Jillian's property that the county officially bought on July 12 as a new campus for the Kenton County offices.

Many executive orders were passed as the court:

*approved the appointment of Jim Cook as alternate on the Code Enforcement Board, term expiring April 24, 2019;

*approved the re-appointment of  David Tretter to the Building Appeals Board, term expiring August 1, 2018;

*approved the re-appointment of Stacie Franke to the Ryland Heights Fire District Board, term expiring June 30, 2019;

*approved the order of Affiliation for the Kenton County Goverment and the Kentucky Search Dog Association;

*approved the re-appointment of Steve Knauf tot he Kenton County Emergency Communications Board, term expiring August 1, 2018;

*approved the re-appointment of Bryan Carter to the Kenton County Emergency Communications Board, term expiring August 1, 2018;

*approved the re-appointment of Michael Conway to the Convention and Visitors Commission, term expiring July 13, 2019;

*approved the appointment of Daniel Richman to the Independence Fire District Board as the Department member on the board, filling the remainder of a vacant position, term expiring June 24, 2017;

*accepted the resignation of  Steve Trauger as the  Recreation Programs Coordinator from the Parks and Recreation Department effective August 31, 2016;

*accepted the resignation of Melissa Maschinot as dispatcher for the Emergency Communications Department, effective August 1, 2016;

*accepted the resignation of Kai Kohlbrand as an Animal Control Officer for the Kenton County Animal Shelter, effective July 29, 2016;

*approved the appointment of Rhonda Ritzi as the Recreation Programs Coordinator for the Kenton County Parks and Recreations Deparment, effective August 8, 2016;

*approved the appointment of Jeff Wendt to the Kenton County Emergency Communications Board, term expiring August 1, 2018;

*approved the re-appointment of Jack Brandt to the Convention and Visitors Commission, term expiring July  31,2019;

*approved the appointment of Brent Cummins as a part-time dispatcher II for the Emergency Communications Department, effective July 13, 2016;

*approved the appointment of Monte Stetler to the Elsmere Fire District Board, term expiring June 30, 2019.

Director of External Affairs John Stanton gave an update on the status of the $100 million up for available grants in the Kentucky work skills initiative program.  Stanton said he would like to see grant applications from Kenton County totaling $20 million, but there has to be partnerships with businesses and schools, which he predicted could very well come into place.

Shriver also asked the commissioners to be available the week of August 15 for a special meeting, one that would likely be very short.

Assistant County Administrator Scott Gunning said that the golf course had seen some changes instituted, such as higher prices for beer, no longer accepting the American Express card, and no longer giving free passes for friends, but he stated that the course was moving in the right direction. He also told the court that after this season, in October or November, they would sell their fleet of golf carts, and buy new ones.

County Commissioner Beth Sewell presided over Tuesday's meeting as Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann is on vacation.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Tommy Thompson