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Op-Ed: Elect Matt Mattone to Park Hills City Council

The following op-ed is written by current Park Hills mayor Matt Mattone, who is seeking election to city council on Tuesday.

On Election Day 2014, over 500 residents opted to “write-in” Matt Mattone for mayor as their choice for positive, inclusive change. On November 6th, I humbly ask that you consider casting one vote for Matt Mattone, to continue that path we began four years ago.

Why run for Council after being Mayor? After discussing options with family, friends, public officials, and civic leaders, I decided with the support of my amazing wife and four kids, I could not make the same 100%+ time commitment to serve as both mayor and volunteer city administrator. But if elected to Council, I can pledge to dedicate the time necessary to fulfil the duties and obligations to be an effective and inclusive legislator.

Why I choose to serve? I truly believe that we, as Americans, have a civic responsibility to serve our country and community. With more than 20 years of collaborative design and planning experience, a professional degree in architecture, and four years of public service leadership, I want to continue to encourage residents to get involved with the decision making processes in Park Hills, which my family and I have called home since 2012

I have welcomed more than 50 residents and business owners to volunteer to serve on committees and boards with council and me. Residents and the public are welcomed and regularly attend our Monthly Business and Caucus Meetings, and actively participate in our Public Forums and lecture events. Under the new leadership team, the Park Hills Civic Association has flourished and expanded the traditions that were begun many years ago.

For the first time in years, Park Hills is blossoming with optimism, civic engagement, and community pride.

Why vote for me? Over the past four years, I have led by understanding the community issues from 50,000 feet above the ground and at street level concurrently. This was achieved by building relationships with our residents, fellow elected officials, public service professionals, and scores of community leaders. But my greatest strength is my unbridled commitment to collaboration.

I’ve worked with council and residents to introduce many policies that will ensure our future success and give residents the assurances that our city is governed consistently and transparently. From OpenGov, introducing a 10 year Capital Improvement Plan, and hiring a professional municipal financial consultant, we are moving forward.

Currently, I am a Board Member on the Kenton Conservancy, Secretary of The Kenton County Mayors’ Group, a two term member of the Planning and Developments Services of Kenton County’s Management Board, and graduated from Leadership Northern Kentucky this spring. I was awarded the “Level I- Achievement in City Government” by the Kentucky League of Cities after completing more than 30 hours of coursework.

What do we need? Much has changed in Park Hills over the past four years, most of which has been positive, but some transformations occurred because we were simply not prepared. We must develop a Comprehensive Plan which preserves our unique residential characteristics, protects our historic neighborhood streets and trees, and promotes sustainable economic development along the Dixie Corridor and for all of Park Hills.

As Mayor, I assembled a Financial Oversight Committee comprised of elected officials and residents, to develop budgets that have been succinct, accurate, and transparent. If elected, it will continue to be my responsibility to review all expenditures, projects, and policies to ensure residents receive the best value for the tax dollars collected by the city.

Cities will continue to face economic pressures to cover the anticipated increases for municipal services, mandatory pension obligations, and the replacement of aging equipment and infrastructure. We must assess the cost of services and determine what we can afford.

Imagine where we’ll go when community needs are prioritized over politics.

Why Vote Matt Mattone? Progress is the power of an engaged community; I will continue to fulfil my role as a collaborative leader who seeks to connect residents and businesses with the best public policies.

I will work to keep our tax rates down, maintain our autonomous Police and Fire Departments, preserve our historic community charm, protect our streets and urban canopy, promote responsible development along the Dixie Corridor, continue to expand safe pedestrian pathways across town, look for partnerships to expand our City’s parks, and continue to encourage residents to get involved.

I have not, and will not run against another candidate, but for a better future in Park Hills and the region.

This time, when you vote, you won’t even have to remember how to spell my name!