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Taylor Mill's Seat on Planning Commission Attracts Former Candidates

Those vying to represent the City of Taylor Mill on the Kenton County Planning Commission include two candidates from last year's city commission race.
 
Former Commissioner Ed Kuehne and candidate Matthew Martin, both unsuccessful in November's election for city commission, are seeking the position, along with Maureen Maxfield and Jim Bertram. Three of them were interviewed by the city commission on Saturday afternoon.
 
Martin appeared first at the meeting, held at the city building. City Administrator Jill Bailey told Martin and the other candidates that the city commission wanted input on the candidates' vision and to find out why they were interested in the position. Bailey asked Martin to view the development in the community and to tell the commissioners what he anticipated his role to be.
 
"I think the county's Action 2030 plan is good, and I like the part about the bikes and pedestrian trails," Martin said. "I do triathlons as a hobby so I thought that was a nice feature. I want to be a part of it."
 
When asked whether he would be an independent thinker as opposed to someone who would follow the recommendations of the staff, Martin said that he thought he would probably want to think outside the box because that is how a community grows. 
 
Commissioner Sarah Frietch asked how Martin would react to recommendations that were inconsistent with a particular vision for Northern Kentucky, and whether he would be able to verbalize his feelings, and Martin said that he would.
 
Commissioner Dan Murray asked if Martin had any problem doing what's best for Taylor Mill, and Martin said it would be on a case by case basis.
 
Commissioner Mark Kreimborg wanted to know what made Martin the best candidate.   
 
"I think I bring a different perspective, being younger and having a younger family," Martin said. "I also am on social media, and I feel that I have ears on the 23-year olds and the Baby Boomers."
 
Commissioner Phil Peace asked if Martin thought he could persuade people to be on his side if the staff recommendations were not in his favor. Martin said that he had conversations with Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) about what happens in the area, and said that it is best to listen to people.
 
Kuehne interviewed second, but did so via telephone since he was in Florida.
 
Kuehne congratulated the members of the commission on their election first, and then, when asked if he had a vision for the city, Kuehne said he hoped to work with the commissioners.
 
"My interest is in going in the right direction for Taylor Mill," Kuehne said. "As far as being on (the Planning Commission) I would do as you direct me to do."
 
When the mayor asked about staff recommendations versus his own thoughts on issues, Kuehne said that commission members need to know about issues and to be able to discuss them. He told the city commissioners that when he said something at a planning commission meeting that he would be speaking as a representative of Taylor Mill.
 
Frietch asked about what would happen if there were serious inconsistencies between the staff recommendations and the vision for Kenton County, and Kuehne said he wouldn't be able to vote, because inconsistency causes confusion, and you can't have confusion, he said. Instead, he would move to table an issue.
 
Kreimborg asked what made Kuehne the best candidate.
 
"I am an old soul. I have been around the block," said Kuehne. "I have experience, and I listen to people."
 
Murray asked if he would be able to convince others to see the vision that Taylor Mill wants, and Kuehne said that he would ask the others on the planning commission to please consider Taylor Mill's vision.
 
Peace said that whoever represents the city would be the face of Taylor Mill to Kenton County, and with the recent turmoil in zoning within the city, would Kuehne be able to verbalize his view? Kuehne said that Taylor Mill has a mission and he will communicate and vote in a certain manner.
 
Jim Bertram was to be the third person interviewed but he was not able to rearrange his schedule and missed out.
 
The fourth candidate was Maureen Maxfield and Mayor Bell asked what she would do if the staff made recommendations that the board didn't agree with. Maxfield said she had background in organizational management, and she would ask members whether they could come to an agreement. She said it would be good to be informed ahead of time, so they could all find some common ground, and they can all do what meets the needs of all.
 
Murray asked if she was on board with the vision of Taylor Mill, and Maxfield said that she would have to be informed about the vision of the city. 
 
The Taylor Mill City Commission went into executive session to discuss the candidates and will make the appointment at Wednesday's meeting.
 
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
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