Op-Ed: Mayor Urges Voters to Re-Elect Taylor Mill Commission
There has been much written about the upcoming Taylor Mill Commission race by Matthew Martin, Phil Peace, and Sarah Frietch who are campaigning to be elected as City Commissioner for the City of Taylor Mill. I have a few suggestions, first for Mr. Martin: if he truly wants to be a knowledgeable commissioner, Mr. Martin should actually attend a city commission meeting and view first-hand what transpires at the meeting and learn how city operations actually work. As of this correspondence, I have never had the privilege of seeing Mr. Martin at any commission meetings during my six-year tenure as Mayor, nor my six years as a city commissioner. Mr. Martin should participate in City Government and form his own opinion, not solely accept information from others who are motivated by their own self-interest and financial gain.
The three challenger candidates have taken sharp aim at Mr. Gary Holland, owner of the Trifecta Building and they have made outrageous claims about preferential treatment and special favors Holland received while building and investing approximately $10 million in a development that houses a Skyline Chili, LaRosa’s Pizzeria, and Graeter's Bakery and Ice Cream Shop. This facility is also home to the Golf Exchange and three Independent accounting firms which occupy space on the second floor. Mr. Holland also is in the process of moving his company’s corporate headquarters to Taylor Mill. In all, Gary Holland has made a significant investment and contribution to the overall economy of our community. In addition, he has followed the established zoning guidelines for the downtown Taylor Mill DTM zone area. Mr. Holland embraced the true vision and concept of our proposed downtown development area and built a quality development that will positively contribute to our community for many years to come.
Many professional developers have approached us pursuing development opportunities but have been unable to acquire property in the downtown area at purchase rates reasonable enough for them to move any projects forward. The property in question is all owned by local residents who will drive the development process, as the current city commission is not interested in pursuing eminent domain for property acquisition. All of the developers who we talked to except UDF have embraced the zoning and would comply with the guidelines.
Another comment made was that the city must work with our first responder team to attract and retain top talent. There were false claims that Taylor Mill is a training ground for first responders but as usual they fail to acknowledge that the City has many Paramedic/Firefighters and Police Officers who have been employed with the city for many, many years. Recently, we raised the salaries for all the staff without raising taxes in an effort to keep our staff intact. The city does salary surveys to be more competitive in our retention and recruiting efforts.
I found most of the current correspondence presented by the three challengers to be confusing as they first chastise the current City Commission for raising taxes, but then claim we need to increase taxes to keep our employees and perform local services. Then, when we did not take a tax increase this year they criticize that, too. When it comes to taxes, the current City Commission reviews the budget each year, expense by expense, then determines what revenues the city needs to maintain and improve upon our service level. If monies are needed, we take only the necessary amount to provide the services the citizens of Taylor Mill have grown accustomed to. The current City Commission has a goal of remaining debt-free.
The two of the three candidates have chosen to listen to the ring leader who stands to gain financially if zoning is changed. They have embraced the thought that a UDF gasoline station is the answer to all of our community’s needs and wants and continue perpetuating inaccurate and untruthful information in an effort to cast a negative light on those currently in office. The truth is that UDF is welcome and is wanted but the management of UDF chooses to not comply with the current zoning. The citizens of Taylor Mill do not need City Commissioners who grandstand from afar, never volunteering for any city events and/or functions, and not understanding how local government must be fair to projects that have complied with the guidelines.
The current Taylor Mill City Commission is comprised of educated, talented, and dedicated individuals who have moved this community forward in the following areas:
1. Created and funded Advance Life Support hiring paramedics on a 24/7 bases.
2. Supported or Police to become CELEA accredited only two in the state of Kentucky
3. Instituted the Senior Citizens Group “Taylored With Time”.
4.Upgraded our Web Site which now contains budget information with plans to provide line item expenses
5. Created a Face Book page which is used to provide community event information
6. The Mayor’s newsletter which go out quarterly to update citizens on what is going on in the city.
7. Created a future Park Plan which is a must in order to apply for grant opportunities.
8. Provided for lighting on Pride Parkway as well as a stop light for Honey Drive
9. Created a Gateway Plan for our city in order to provide our citizens a sense of place
10. Set up files on every street in the city to measure repair needs.
As you can see, our current commission is prepared not only for the present but always thinking of the future. As you prepare to cast your vote on November 8, please vote for Mark Kreimborg, Ed Kuehne, Dan Murray, and Roger Reis for Taylor Mill City Commission. We need knowledgeable and dedicated people who will work for the good of our entire Community.
Mayor Daniel Bell, City of Taylor Mill
Photo: Dan Bell (RCN file)