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Op-Ed: Villa Hills Council's Success is Why It's Unopposed

To the Citizens of Villa Hills, Kentucky:

My name is Gary Waugaman and I am one of your current and unopposed members of city council for the November 8 election. I am writing this letter to inform you about what has been accomplished in our city in my first term. All that I am about to inform you about has been accomplished because of the Council and the Mayor communicating and working with each other as a team.

In 2014 there were four of your current council members that showed up at the forum that was hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Villa Hills: those were George Bruns, Greg Kilburn, Scott Ringo, and me. We made promises to the citizens that we kept and accomplished in the first year in office. Our Mayor Irvin T. “Butch” Callery also made these same promises in his forum.

The Promises made were that we would make sure that our city would be safe and this is accomplished by a full police department of eight officers. We would reduce our legal costs and resolve our legal issues as quickly as possible: our legal fees are under budget and most legal issues are resolved or waiting on court actions to resolve these issues. We would fix our roads: we are doing this by our citizens passing a Road Tax put on the ballot that passed with 60 percent of the vote (Thank you, Voters!).

We replaced, overlayed, and repaired twenty three streets at a cost of $880,000 in the 2016-17 budget and will spend over $1,000,000 of the same in 2017-18 budget. Our City Administrator Craig Bohman and Mayor Callery obtained a matching grant for the Buttermilk Pike replacement for $400,000. We also promised communication within the council and with the mayor: I can tell you that this has been accomplished. Since we have taken office our differences on issues are discussed, everyone contributes, and we compromise to come to conclusions that work for the council as a whole and in the best interest of the City. All of our votes have been unanimous to this point because of the way we communicate with each other.

This mayor and council have accomplished a lot in this term. The mayor rescinded an executive order that hindered our department heads from doing their duties. The mayor has his budget completed early so the finance committee and council can have input on it. The staff, police department, and public works department employees are able to perform their duties and the morale is great. The mayor lets people speak at the council meetings and have input on ordinances at the meetings. We have a finance committee that I chair that has five members and four of them are CPAs. We have an administrative committee that Jennifer Vaden chairs, a safety committee that George Bruns chairs, a parks and recreation committee that Scott Ringo chairs, a public works committee that Greg Kilburn chairs, an events and beautification committee that Mary Koeing chairs, and Scott Ringo and George Bruns are on the Fire Authority Board.

I am your Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, and chair of the finance committee. I also serve as a member of the administrative, public works, and parks and recreation committees. With the cooperation of the mayor and/or council I was able to bring back the board of adjustments to the City, develop a tracking system for public works, I was able to develop the Road Tax with the help of Scott Ringo and get it passed by the citizens, and Scott Ringo and I brought back the Shadow Night with the Students at River Ridge, Villa Madonna, and St. Joseph Schools' 5th Graders.

Since the council is unopposed and there is no campaigning going on, I just wanted to let the citizens of Villa Hills know what this council and mayor have accomplished and that there are great things to come in the future.

I want to thank you for voting for me as your councilman and it is a privilege to serve you.

Gary Waugaman, the City of Villa Hills

Photo: Villa Hills city council meeting (RCN file)