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State of the City: Cold Spring Mayor Recaps Tumultuous 2015, Looks to 2016

After becoming the second mayor elected in as many years, Cold Spring Mayor Angelo Penque addressed city council and the citizens in his first State of the City address on Monday night, recapping the city’s tumultuous 2015 and laying out his plan and vision for 2016.

Penque began his speech by announcing that the city is financially stable, stating, “Cold Spring continues to be in very good financial shape, with current reserves in excess of $5 million.” Penque also acknowledged that through the first six months of the fiscal year, Cold Spring is currently running $265,000 under budget.

The first mention of a personnel change from former Mayor Nancy Bay’s administration was when Penque discussed the police department. Cold Spring hired a new chief of police in 2015, Brian Messer. The police department also hired another full-time police officer and is currently recruiting another. Cold Spring’s police department also conducted the largest drug bust in Northern Kentucky history in 2015.

In spite of the tumultuous 2015 when Bay removed the city administrator, police chief, and city attorney, before resigning abruptly a few months into the job, Cold Spring managed to make progress, Penque said. Mark Stoeber, who was mayor before Bay, and stepped into replace her when she left, ushered through an ordinance that would have a system in place the next time that the city could find itself in such a bizarre situation.

Council also passed the 2016 budgets, as well as "continue to represent the citizens in raising issues and concerns for the city to address," according to the speech.

Looking forward to 2016, Penque stated that he will follow through on his campaign promises, most notably keeping the city and its citizens safe.

“Working in conjunction with our police department, we are busy reviewing current coverage and looking at ways to provide even better services, which includes the continuation of the successful DARE program and ongoing community policing programs,” Penque said.

Penque also announced the creation of the volunteer Mayor’s Advisory Board. The board will be created to gather and collect feedback from the community to determine the wants and needs of the city.

Other notes:

  • The city is exploring a new design for the city website in response to feedback from the community.
  • After a successful “Coffee with the Mayor”, Penque said that the event will be continued and held throughout the year.
  • Penque stated that the biggest event of the year for Cold Spring will be the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of Cold Spring. The event will be a celebration on June 25, 2016 with games, music, and fun.
  • Cold Spring resident Joe Haas was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Committee. According to Penque, Haas is a war hero who served in the Vietnam War. Haas was stationed in Saigon and guarding the U.S. Embassy when he was captured. He later escaped and was recaptured, according to Penque.

Written by Clayton Castle, RCN contributor