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Reduction in Erlanger Council Size Returns for Consideration

The City of Erlanger is again considering a reduction in the number of council members, a move that appeared to be universally endorsed by the council candidates who appeared in a forum hosted by The River City News and Fort Thomas Matters earlier in the week.

As similar proposal was shot down last year, and would have reduced the council from twelve members to eight.

On Tuesday, council listened to a first reading of an ordinance that would reduce the number to ten council members ahead of the 2022 election cycle.

One resident, Diane Brown, attended the council meeting to object. She said that she feels blessed to have twelve people on council representing all areas of the city, and that it offers a balance between traditional and new ideas.

Brown also argued that the mayor would have a stronger role with the reduced council, changing the balance of power.

A second reading is required before the ordinance is adopted.

Meanwhile, a council member's husband also attended the meeting to criticize Mayor Jessica Fette's response to Facebook comments made by Councilman Tyson Hermes.

Tom Pitts, husband of Councilwoman Corine Pitts, said that his wife wanted to add a little library (a small box installed to offer free books to be taken or deposited), an idea that eventually led to two such libraries being placed in the city.

Corine Pitts took to social media to applaud the libraries, but Hermes posted in comments that Pitts is a "do nothing council member".

Tom Pitts said that Hermes exhibited bullying behavior, and said that the mayor could have stepped in but did nothing.

Mayor Fette thanked Pitts for coming.

Council also voted to appoint Councilman Randy Blankenship to the code enforcement board through the end of the year.

Mayor Fette announced that the Chelsea Ryan Festival of Hope will take place on Sunday, October 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Lloyd High School's parking lot, and it will be a drive through event where people can experience live music, treats, a camel, and  princesses. 

Council agreed to set the hours of Halloween at 6 to 8 p.m., as usual, and those who want to participate can turn on their porch lights.  

Mayor Fette said that the city will still hold a movie night on October 17, at 6 p.m., at Railroad Park. Casper will be shown, but there will be no other activities.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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