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Mayor Wants Cold Spring to Have Plan if City Should Ever Be Without Leaders Again

There was a strange day in April when after firing the city administrator, police chief, and city attorney, Cold Spring Mayor Nancy Bay abruptly resigned, too, leaving the Campbell County city without four key positions.

Mayor Mark Stoeber, who was appointed following Bay's resignation (and was mayor before her), announced a plan on Monday that would revise how the city operates in case such chaos should ever again ensue.

Stoeber, who said this plan will hopefully be finalized during the upcoming caucus meeting, includes two mayoral executive orders and two suggested ordinances that he hopes council will pass. He said he wants to get this plan in effect before the upcoming mayoral election where he will leave office after replacing Bay in April.

“This is in response to April 8th” Stoeber said, referencing the date that Bay resigned. “This has nothing to do with the two candidates who are running for mayor.” Those candidates are Jerry Sandfoss and David Penque.

Stoeber’s plan will include: 

  • An executive order that will require that 72 hours following a termination of employment to a non-elected city employee, the mayor must call a meeting of council to discuss the termination.
  • An executive order that will establish an “order of responsibility” in the event of a vacancy in the mayor’s office. Stoeber said that this particular order is in response to citizens and other city employees believing there was “no order” following Bay’s resignation, including not paying bills.
  • A suggestion that council pass an ordinance that will give council the authority to order the city clerk to publish and distribute any mayoral executive orders to the city website and to city officials.
  • A suggestion that council pass an ordinance that any newly-elected or appointed mayor may not terminate any city employee at will for the first 90 days of being in office. The mayor will, however, have the authority to terminate an employee with just cause.

Stoeber’s plan is in response to the turmoil during and following Bay’s term as mayor, where she fired multiple city employees including the city attorney, police chief, and city administrator.

Other notes:

  • Police Chief Brian Messer announced that the police department has invested in new body cameras. Messer said that the city had been using a body camera that was of lesser quality and “cheap.” The new cameras are more durable and very secure with higher quality video. The issue of body cameras has been running high in the Cincinnati area after a University of Cincinnati Police Officer shot and killed an unarmed motorist during a traffic stop.
  • Messer also announced that the police received a new accreditation from the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. Messer said that department has now been accredited for 20 years.

Written by Clayton Castle, RCN contributor