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Erlanger Officer Expects to Be Back at School Next Year; Budget Approved

The City of Erlanger received an update on the condition of the school resource office struck by a car on Friday, May 21.

Police Chief Kyle Rader said that Officer Joel Shepherd was happy to be back at was grateful for the outpouring of support from the community after he was hit. Shepherd visited the department recently, Rader said, without the use of a cane or a walker.

It happened at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Baker Street near Lloyd High School.

Shepherd was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He had been wearing his reflective vest and holding a pedestrian stop sign at the time.

Francis Hendy, 65, was charged with driving on a suspended license, negligence in an accident, and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

Shepherd is expected to make a full recovery.

"He said he will be back for the next school year," said Rader.

And that is good news since Rader said that it has taken four or five people to fulfill Shepherd's responsibility at the corner, even in the waning days of the school year.

In other news, Rader said that the Erlanger Police Department scored a perfect 100 on the Kentucky League of Cities liability audit. Training Officer Doug Eagler was in charge of getting that done, and the police department received a plaque for the good work. 

City council also approved the budget for the new fiscal year with Councilman Gary Meyer the lone vote against it. At the beginning of the meeting, Meyer attempted to have the budget vote removed from the agenda so that council could discuss it at an upcoming caucus meeting. His motion received no second, so it died on the floor.

He said that he had hoped to cut the budget by around $800,000, calling the new budget the worst that he has seen.

Meyer stated that in seven years, spending increases totaled  $700,000, and in this budget the spending in the general fund has increased $1.7 million. He said that there is nothing conservative about this budget, and it sets a future baseline of spending.

"If we set the general fund spending at this level, it is going to be real hard to pull back from this in the future," he said.

Councilwoman Rebecca Reckers said that if Meyer were that concerned with the budget they all could have talked about it at the budget retreat council had on April 24, but he wasn't there.

Mayor Jessica Fette applauded the council for its budget vote. She noted that the budget increased from last year which was not easy, Fette said.

A proclamation was read which declared June 2 to be Erlanger-Elsmere School District Cafeteria Staff Day in Erlanger for their extra efforts to feed all the children throughout the pandemic.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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