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Bromley: New Mayor Breaks Tie for Old Mayor to Be Back on Council

Two people applied to take Mike Denham's spot on Bromley City Council and it was Denham, who's now the mayor, who broke a tie in selecting his replacement Wednesday night.

Diane Wartman finished seventh in the 2016 election where the top six vote-getters were elected to city council.

In her letter, she argued that that made her the next choice of the voters. Wartman also said that she would not represent "special interests" and that she had "no agenda". She had the support of council members Gail Smith and Tim Wartman.

Council members Nancy Kienker and Larry Hamant supported the appointment of former mayor David Radford.

In his letter, Radford said that his seven years as a council member and four as mayor (2010-2014) gave him the knowledge and ability to serve. He said his health has improved. While he served as mayor, he said, taxes were not raised and all the roads were resurfaced.

The procedure to make the appointment was awkwardly executed and caused confusion among council. Both Radford and Dianne Wartman were present.

Radford's letter was red first and Mayor Denham asked for a motion to vote on the first letter, rather than asking for a motion on a nomination from council.

Kienker made the motion to appoint Radford and Hamant offered a second. In a roll call vote, those two voted in favor while Tim Wartman and Smith voted against.

Denham, who was appointed by his fellow council members last month to fill the mayor's role following the resignation of Donnie Jobe, took a long pause.

Smith had criticized parts of Radford's letter.

"I don't support the appointment of Dave to city council," Smith said. She argued that, while mayor, Radford found out about $500,000 awarded to the City of Bromley from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for repairs to Highwater Road and Main Street. Smith stated that when former Mayor Jobe found out about it, the amount had dropped to $325,000 because Kenton County had performed some of the work and was compensated by the city with those funds. "Mayor Radford authorized the county to repair the slide on Highwater and council did not know he had released the use of this money," Smith charged.

The strange story of Highwater Road and the related funds were explored by The River City News in a 2015 story

"I do not believe transparency will be achieved (with appointing Radford)," Smith said. "I believe he was recruited to further personal agendas." She also said that taxes were raised during his term.

Radford defended himself and said that council was aware that he had met with State Rep. Arnold Simpson (D-Covington) who had secured the funds for Bromley. "The county did work up there and so Arnold decided some of that money should go to the county," Radford said. "So, there was an interlocal agreement being wrote up and - "

"No one knew you signed over the money," Smith said.

"I didn't sign over any money," Radford shot back. "I had no signature."

City attorney Kim Vocke said that he was not aware of any signature.

With the council deadlocked at 2-2 (councilman Mike Kendall was not present), the duty fell to Mayor Denham, who sighed heavily and though for about half a minute.
 
"I'm going to go ahead and accept Dave Radford to the council seat," Denham said finally.
 
Smith questioned whether the appointment was made appropriately since the mayor only asked for a motion "on the first letter" but Vocke said that he believed the law had been followed.
 
The City of Bromley has been rocked by turmoil all year. The city building was raided by Kenton County Police in February when computers and documents were taken by investigators. That investigation, the nature of which is still not clear, is now being handled by the Kentucky State Police. Job resigned officially at the last meeting and said that he would be vindicated by any investigation, but could not offer specifics on what the investigation was about.
 
Jobe is still chief of the Bromley Volunteer Fire Department.
 
Smith said that since the change from Jobe to Denham, the city is in need of retrieving the WiFi password and also the password for its security cameras. Vocke said that he would try to get a hold of Jobe.
 
Smith said that she was able to figure out the password to the city's Facebook page. In 2015, the city also had trouble gaining access to the Facebook page when a former council member removed himself as administrator of it, leaving it unmanned.
 
Denham hopes things calm down.
 
"I'm here to learn. This is my first term. It could be my last, I don't know," he said, to laughter. "Honestly, everybody work together and ask questions and work through this. We'll be fine."

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: David Radford is sworn in as a Bromley city councilman by City Attorney Kim Vocke (RCN)