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Cold Spring to Pick Council Members from 10 Candidates

This article has been updated with two more candidates' responses added.

Cold Spring voters will select six candidates from a field of ten to serve on city council for the next two years.

RCN's Carrie Crotzer posed questions to the candidates that she was able to reach.

Michael D. Ruscher (incumbent)

What is your motivation to be a part of city council?

I was raised here, so I’ve seen it go from a small farm area to the bustling city that it is now. Really growing up and seeing how it was and moving back I wanted to get involved in the town I grew up in and see what I could do in having a voice in making changes or helping keep it what I remember growing up and that was the main thing in my running for my first term.

What  makes you qualified to be a part of city council?

I hate to keep going back to the obvious, but knowing what this city was like 25-30 years ago I feel like I have a good perspective on where we were and where we are now and how we’ve gotten here. Speaking with a lot of friends and family here in the city, we want to maintain a small town feel, but we also want to bring in things that are going to keep residents here or have things here that keep them from going to other towns.

What issues in your community do you want to focus on in your time on council?

The first two years was a learning experience for me being new to council. Things that I’m looking to do if re-elected are to continue to look at how we’re growing as a city, but making sure that we do things intelligently and correctly. We certainly don’t want to outgrow what we have but I want to look into bring in more businesses and allow them to thrive. I fully realize change is inevitable, we’re along a major corridor with US 27.

How do you plan to engage with community members?

I will continuously work to have an open door policy, not just communicating in person, but we’ve got city emails and people are welcome to reach out to me directly with questions or concerns. My priority is to answer those as quickly as possible and if I don’t know answers I will find them and get back in a quick manor. I also encourage citizens to attend our meetings. Because we are a small town, a lot of information that goes around is by word of mouth, but I feel that residents can have a voice themselves by being present at meetings.

How do you plan to address budgetary concerns as state pension costs are set to increase yearly?

I think first and foremost is working to continue to be fiscally responsible. Cold Spring as a city is one of the most fiscally responsible cities in Northern Kentucky and that’s by the mayor and council working together to find ways that we can be smarter in how we spend the money. A lot of projects that have been talked about, I want to look at those and dive deep into those to find out how it’s going to affect us monetarily and understand if it’s a need or a want for the city. Those are big differences.

Any other comments?

I would be honored to have the support of residents for a second term. It really takes a year or two to learn the role of councilperson and I feel that I’ve had those two years and much more prepared for a second term.

Chris Dennis Meyers

What is your motivation to be a part of city council?

I’ve always been interested in public policy. I interned in D.C. for a while right out of college and I’ve worked on several campaigns. Recently I realized that every candidate I’ve worked for or elected official office I’ve worked in has been a man, so I came to the realization that if I wanted to see that change, I needed to be a part of that change, so I decided to run to be a part of that movement of women being on the ballet and being elected.

What makes you qualified to be a part of city council?

I think that it’s important in an elected body to have leadership, but I also think that it’s important to have new voices and new people. I’m excited to be a first time candidate and bring new ideas. I’m a very hard worker and quick learner, so I’m looking forward to getting in there and learning, but being able to work with other council members and city workers.

What issues in your community do you want to focus on in your time on council?

I’d want to really be constituent focused, so it’s hard to say what would come up in the next two years, but just being on the ground and staying in contact with constituents and departments. Talking to the fire department and police force regularly, and all of these people who make up a citizen of Cold Spring’s day-to-day life. Obviously, right now there’s a lot going on with the drug crisis and also with new businesses coming in. There’s a lot of positive, but there’s also some real concern we have in our community, so listening to the voices that have that on the ground experience on those issues and seeing what solutions we can come up with.

How do you plan to engage with community members?

Our city does a good job of having events where residents are able to come, but I think also having forums, and there’s Coffee with the Mayor, but I would love to see Coffee with the Council too. Having more access to your elected officials.

How do you plan to address budgetary concerns as state pension costs are set to increase yearly?

That’s something I’ve been talking with people a lot on. As the state is cutting its budget, that shortfall goes to cities and school boards. We are fortunate in Cold Spring that we are one of the lowest taxed city, and part of that is that we have space for commercial growth and we can make up a lot of that tax base there. We have to make sure our solutions to these major problems are coming from the people on the ground and listening to experts on the situation. We’d have to look at concerns of the residents and maintain being a fiscally responsible city.

Cindy Moore (platform received by RCN via email)

What issues in your community do you want to focus on in your time on council?

• Maintain a fully staffed law enforcement department trained in all areas along with competitive wages
• Assure all city equipment is up to date and properly serviced
• Ensure the safety of Cold Spring residents
• Assure infrastructures and city streets are maintained/reevaluated for repairs and resurfacing
• Protect Cold Spring green space for residents to enjoy
• Assure these green spaces are used for more activities by all ages
• Keep residents informed of all city business
• Commit to move the city forward under the comprehensive plan
• Assure the city continues to exceed in all areas
• Protect property tax rates!

Paul Kloeker (platform received by RCN via email)

What is your motivation to be a part of city council?

My family is the main reason I am seeking election to Council. I would like to raise my family in Cold Spring for many years to come.  It is a wonderful community , and I would like to keep the small town feel, by promoting responsible growth and insure the city stays one of the safest in the region.

What  makes you qualified to be a part of city council?

I have over 15 years of experience in infrastructure systems, road and utility construction, and building maintenance. I feel my knowledge would be a vital asset to decisions made by Council. The city has an aging system of roads, sidewalks, and utilities.  Citizens need someone to make the best and cost-effective decisions when it comes to the repairs and maintenance of these items. Their tax dollars must be spent efficiently and on the most needed projects.

What issues in your community do you want to focus on in your time on council?

The current council has an done excellent job operating the city.  Property taxes have stayed low, the city is operating on a surplus, and many new businesses have come to Cold Spring.  If elected, I would continue this progress. However, I think I can also bring a fresh, new perspective to the Council. Cold Spring has a developing demographic. Many young families are moving to our city, and for a good reason, Cold Spring is, after all, a great place to live.

Cold Spring has reached somewhat of a peak in population growth due mainly to running out of  land to build new homes on. However, our neighbors to our South in Alexandria are experiencing a population boom.  This along with the expansion of NKU in Highland Heights has made Cold Spring a major thoroughfare. This has attracted many new businesses, as well as added traffic to the area.  Traffic is one of the number one problems the city faces today. I would work with Council to ensure only the appropriate types of businesses and developments are approved as to not add to this issue. And work with State and County Officials to develop a plan to alleviate some of the congestion along US 27. 

I am for enhancing the parks and recreation available in the city as long as it is done responsibly. I am very excited for the new lake project behind the Cracker Barrel restaurant.  It will be an excellent area for families to relax, and spend time together. As well as enjoy a little fishing and observe nature.

Lisa Schmidt Cavanaugh (incumbent)

What is your motivation to be a part of city council?

  • To continue giving and being a Voice to the Residents

  • To continue raising awareness of local govt and being fiscally responsible that our tax dollars are being spent effectively & efficiently while ensuring truth & transparency of your elected city officials.

  • To continue growing my Facebook group The Cold Spring Connection and keeping residents informed and updated of city news and community events.

  • To continue trying to do my part to make a positive contribution for the overall good of the community.

What qualifies you over other candidates to be a part of city council?

Although I am classified as one, I don’t consider myself a politician. I am a citizen and representative of our city and I work for you. I get out in the community and have made myself available to every resident. I might not always be able to solve your problems, or might not always agree with them, but I will always respect your opinion, and whether you vote for me or not, I will do my best to help you in any way I can.

What issues would you like to focus on in your time on city council?

  • To form Neighborhood Committees and appoint Council Representatives specific to each neighborhood/area to meet and engage with residents in finding ways to bring more “Unity to the Community”. I will help create and implement new programs and activities based on community input & interest to provide a variety of recreational opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities.

  • To secure a permanent place to display our historical information for the public and to continue researching and documenting our history and to start collecting specific items to bury a time capsule for the city’s 80th Anniversary in 2021.

Any other comments?

I would like to thank the residents for giving me the opportunity to serve on city council for the last 6 years and I hope to continue for 2 more! I truly believe it’s a privilege being elected by my peers in the community and it most certainly is not something I take for granted. I have brought a high level of energy and dedication in what I was elected to do. I have met many of our residents and have received an overwhelming amount of kindness and support and have made many new friends. It has been a very humbling and positive learning experience for me. Please contact me if you have any questions; comments; or concerns. 859-802-4612. I hope to earn 1 of your votes for City Council on Nov. 6.

Adam Craig Sandfoss (incumbent)

What is your motivation to be a part of city council?

I was first elected to Cold Spring City Council in 2010 when I was 23 years old.  My father is a firefighter, my two sisters are teachers and I myself am a nurse. Public service is something that my parents engrained into us at an early age.  I feel that if you are able to serve your community than it is your duty to do so.

What makes you qualified to be a part of city council?

I am a lifelong Cold Spring resident and for the past 8 years I have had the pleasure & privilege to be on city council.  I am a gradate of Northern Kentucky University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing & a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.  

For the past few years I have been on our financial committee which is responsible for crafting our yearly budget.  In those years our budgets have been balanced, our taxes have been low, and we have provided outstanding public services & safety to our residents.  

During the Great Recession, Cold Spring was one of few cities throughout the country that was able to maintain services, work within their budget, and still keep taxes low.  That is something I am very proud to have accomplished.

What issues in your community do you want to focus on in your time on council?

Some of the biggest challenges & issues we will face include some things that in many ways our out of our control.  Alexandria & NKU are both growing at very large rates which, in turn, have increased traffic along US 27. Thankfully, the new AA expansion has just opened which should help to decrease some of the addition traffic, along with the connector to the AA from NKU that is currently being worked on.  

How do you plan to engage with community members?

I get so excited when residents come to our monthly meetings because, unfortunately, it doesn't happen as often as it should.  Community engagement is vital to the growth of a city. We need input form our citizens about all the issues that matter to them.  All council members are available by email as well as phone with each of us having our own voicemail inbox. No issue is too small for a citizen to bring it to council's attention.  

How do you plan to address budgetary concerns as state pension costs are set to increase yearly?

As a member of the financial committee we have been monitoring the pension issue very closely.  Our budgets are not just balanced but we have also planned for the future in terms of our yearly finances.  I am extremely proud that the last few years we have been able to keep taxes low, provide outstanding public services, and plan for any possible new expenditures like the pensions increases.  We did all of this while working within our means. That is a testament to the current council.

Other candidates include:

Chris Ampfer (incumbent)

Gregory Wieland

Stephen Roach

Brenda Rogers Helton (incumbent)

Candidates who would like to have their responses added to the article may contact Carrie Crotzer at [email protected].