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Covington Commission to Host Workshop for Selves on How the Government Works

UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): City Commissioner Michelle Williams says she will not attend this seminar next week. Posting at Facebook, Williams writes, "It has been brought to my attention that the Kentucky League of Cities will be in town next week to to give an informal training on City Manager form of government. As a new commissioner I went to the KLC for three days of training on this subject, and I'm am fully aware of how this city should operate. ... As a taxpayer watchdog I will not waste our dollars attending this meeting. Everyone on this Commission knows we have a city manager form of government. We don't need to waste time on this. The problem is that the City Manager doesn't treat all the board members equally when it comes to handing out information we need to make informed decisions for the citizens of Covington."

THe Kentucky League of Cities is not charging Covington anything for the seminar.

ORIGINAL POST:

A verbal altercation at City Hall involving the Covington mayor, city manager, and multiple city commissioners, a workshop has been scheduled next week to explain to the governing body just how the government is designed to work.

(SEE PREVIOUSLY: Verbal Confrontation Erupts at Covington City Hall Between Commissioners, Administrators)

Representatives from the Kentucky League of Cities will be on hand next Wednesday to present a seminar on procedures and best practices for Kentucky municipal governments that operate under a city commission/city manager form of government. The presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Commission Chambers and is open to the public, though it will not be televised and public comments are not expected to be part of the evening.

KLC is offering the seminar free of charge to the city.

The event follows months of tense city commission meetings and reports of behind-the-scenes squabbles that have left the government in Covington seemingly fractured. Mayor Sherry Carran and City Commissioner Chuck Eilerman, who spoke to The River City News, said they hope that this presentation will lift some of that tension.

"We current Commissioners are the fortunate heirs of the inspiring progress and focus brought to Covington by (previous) Mayor (Chuck) Scheper and the previous Commission," Eilerman said. "Their hard work resulted in the promise of renewed vitality as we approach our third century. We have a committed, capable, and energized city staff which is working to realize the opportunities before us. The staff has worked to develop an ambitious, balanced $46 million dollar budget for (the next fiscal year) and an unprecedented $72 million, five-year infrastructure and development investment program."
 
"We see the meeting as informational or training on our City Manager form of government," Mayor Carran said. "Hopefully it will  clarify the differences between the role and responsibility of the commission and the role and responsibility of the city manager."
 
"We encourage citizens to join us in reviewing this information and recommitting to the tenets of the Social Contract which the Commission and senior management signed last December," Eilerman said. "These included dedication to the values of teamwork, mutual respect, patience, and a professional atmosphere."
 
"We can, must, and will do better. I encourage folks to join us next week ."
 
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
 
Photo: Covington City Hall/RCN file