Issues & Solutions
Build A Better Tomorrow
In Erlanger, we have experienced unprecedented growth and progress as a result of continued lowering property tax rates. Despite our lower tax rates, we are still collecting more revenue than we were 7 years ago. In the upcoming 2 years, I would like council to continue the property tax rate decreases, but would also like to explore decreases in our franchise fees (utilities taxes), insurance premium tax rates, and payroll tax rates. We’ve had so much growth over the last few years – however, the job is not done. We must continue to focus on promoting development until we get things accomplished like filling up the vacant Toyota office building. Ultimately, the purpose of all of this is to lighten the tax burden on our residents.
● Our Police Social Worker program has been a huge success, thanks to Becky Strouse, Chief Rader, and Matt Kremer, our City Administrator. However, there has been a public outcry for more help. Becky Strouse needs help to continue these services. An additional social worker would be a huge help.
Hand-in-hand, I would like to also see proper funding to help support our E-angel program. It is currently funded with donations and fundraising.
● I’m looking forward to finalizing the plans for the implementation of the 2021 Summer Sendoff! The Mayor and staff have plans for a huge end of Summer festival! It has been my honor to have been included on the planning, as well as working on the sponsorships! We have transformed a mediocre mid-September event that used to cost the city $6,000 – $9,000 per year, to a spectacular end-of-Summer blowout including live entertainment, food, drinks, art & craft vendors, Cincinnati Circus entertainment, and fireworks by Rozzi (sponsored by Silverlake Recreation).
The best part is that the entire event is completely sponsored by our local community partners! Thank you to Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating & Air for committing to be the title sponsor! It’s going to be a blast!
There are a handful of projects that should be completed in the next two years:
● New restroom facilities at Silverlake Park
● Much needed repairs and maintenance on the city facilities
● Continued road and sidewalk repairs
● More streetlights in cul-de-sacs, where desired
● Locust Street Park improvements
● Misty Creek Park Improvements
There are some lofty possibilities that exist for other improvements! They include:
● An amphitheater in one of our parks for live performances.
● The repairs/ improvements of the Dixie Hwy. railroad overpass
● Erecting a salt-storage building on the East side of our city to improve efficiency and responsiveness during snow emergencies
● More parking in some of our parks. Some of our 13 parks have zero parking spaces. Most of our parks have very few parking spots.
● Expanded activities and options in our Silverlake park.
As the chairman of the Fire/ EMS Committee, I would like to see Erlanger start its own New Recruit Training Program. Currently, there is not a standard training program in this region, or in the State of KY for new recruits to attain the “400 training hours” required in the first year of service. Erlanger has a unique opportunity to develop and implement a training program that could be utilized by multiple departments in our county, our region, and our State. Kudos to Chief Whitaker, and Assistant Chief McQuerry for their tireless efforts toward their vision. I even believe this could become a money-maker for Erlanger!
There are 12 council members who serve on Erlanger’s City Council. Most of them have been “serving” for too long and are content with the status quo. Others of us are eager to make progress and improvements in our city (Hermes, Meyer, Niceley, Elmore, Knipper). Due to the variation in the perceptions and tolerances of our different council members, there are certain hurdles that are almost impossible to overcome. In a perfect world, there are a few changes I would make to the structure of our city government:
●Fewer Council Members – If we could reduce the number of council members from 12 down to 6, we would increase the value of the seat (making people have to work harder to win the seat), and eliminate the ability to “hide” amid the crowd. Six council members would have to be accountable for their accomplishments, and do-nothing council members would no longer be able to be re-elected based on name recognition.
●Set a Cap on our Cash Reserves – I have tried for several years to get our council to either set a limit on our city cash reserves, or use the money (as our auditors recommend) for the benefit of our residents. They will not do it. With a budget of approximately $16,000,000 per year, our auditors and the Kentucky League of Cities would recommend we have about $4,800,000 (30%) in reserves for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. Currently the City of Erlanger has about $11,000,000 in reserves! More than double the recommended amount! It is a great position to be in, but unfortunately, we had to “steal” that money from the hard-working people of Erlanger. If we don’t plan to use the reserves, then we need to stop “stealing” it, and DRASTICALLY reduce our tax rates.