Former Governor Joins Campbell Democrats on Boat Ride as Candidates Blast 911 Fees
Former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton joined the Campbell County Democratic Party and its candidates on a riverboat cruise Saturday, as some of those candidates announce a unified stance against the way the county collects fees to pay for its 911 emergency dispatch center.
Unlike its neighbors in Kenton and Boone Counties, Campbell County has a Democrat seeking nearly every county-wide office.
Patton, who served as governor from 1995 to 2003 and who is currently chancellor at University of Pikeville, received a proclamation from the City of Dayton where the cruise originated.
Sixteen candidates and their supporters were part of the voyage.
Fiscal Court candidates take joint stance on 911 fee
The Democratic candidates for Campbell County Fiscal Court issued a joint opinion blasting a circuit court judge's ruling earlier in June deeming a $45 addition to property tax bills as constitutional.
"It might be constitutional, but it is not fair to the citizens of Campbell County," said County Commissioner Ken Rechtin, who is challenging incumbent Judge-Executive Steve Pendery in November. “The fee of $45 per parcel of real estate is the same whether it is the Wal-Mart in Alexandria or for the small cottage in west Newport. This is fundamentally unfair to most of the individuals paying the $45 tax.”
A lawsuit was filed last fall by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Apartment Association which told the Cincinnati Enquirer that it would likely appeal the judge's ruling.
Rechtin and County Commission candidates Rene Heinrich (District One), Melanie Steidel Pelle (District Two), and Mark Ramler (District Three) said that there should be adequate funding for the dispatch center but say it should be "equitable". Residential property owners carry the bulk of the responsibility in funding the service, they said, noting that a homeowner in Bellevue pays the same amount as the Kroger Marketplace in Newport.
Heinrich faces Republican incumbent Brian Painter, Pelle is up against Republican Charlie "Coach" Coleman, and Ramler will challenge Republican Tom Lampe for the seat being vacated by Rechtin.