Crit Luallen endorses Joe Meyer

Former State Auditor Adam Edelen:

As both State Auditor and chief of staff to Governor Beshear, I’ve enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Joe Meyer in the pursuit of effective, efficient and honest government. Given that fact, I’m disturbed that recent attacks on Joe seem to rely upon my work as the taxpayer watchdog. The fact is that Joe worked closely with me to quickly address concerns that resulted from our regular and annual audit of Kentucky State Government.  

Closer to the home of the citizens of Covington is the blistering report I issued in 2014 of the massive embezzlement that occurred at City Hall. I have no doubt that Joe’s integrity, competency and strong leadership will prevent any further abuse of the taxpayers occurring in Covington again. He’s a fine man and public servant.

Meyer told WVXU that, if elected, his first act would be to try to "bring some sanity" to the way city government operates.

"Believe it or not, the very first thing I want to have done is for the city commission to adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of city commission meetings,'' Meyer said.

Read more at WVXU.

I decided to run for Mayor, in part, because City Hall smears people who disagree with them. Rather than encourage discussion, engagement, and participation, the Carran administration retaliates against people who bring different views to the table. That attitude holds Covington back and needs to change for Covington to reach its potential.

The false allegations, personal attacks, and petty retaliation that have defined Sherry Carran’s City Hall have now spilled over into the Mayor’s race. For supporters who would like to respond, here are the real facts:

Sherry Carran’s allegations about the Covington School District are false and reckless.

Rather than speaking for myself, here’s a statement from Southbank President Jack Moreland:

"As president of Southbank Partners, which works with Covington and five other of Northern Kentucky's river cities, I've done my best to stay neutral in this year's city elections, including the campaign for Covington mayor. But I am compelled to respond to the accusation that Joe Meyer "shook down" the Covington Independent Schools when I served as superintendent. Here are the facts:

In 2005 The Covington Independent Schools received a preschool grant that allowed us to hire three staff members. We did not have room to house the program in property the district owned near John G. Carlisle Elementary School. As we began exploring alternatives I learned that Joe Meyer owned a building directly across from the school. I approached Joe and initiated conversations about leasing his property for the preschool program. We signed a lease in 2005 - not in 2009. It was renewed in 2008 - the year I left the district - and again in 2011. Eventually, the program ended in 2014 when the grant was apparently not renewed."

I hope this clears up any misconceptions, misunderstandings and falsehoods regarding the lease.

Former Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen offered a statement on my commitment to ethical government:

"When I served as State Auditor, Joe served as my Senior Policy Advisor, where he worked tirelessly to improve accountability and responsible policy across the Commonwealth. In prior positions I held with Kentucky Governors, I watched Joe serve with distinction in the State Senate and build a solid reputation fighting for education and for professional, ethical, government across the Commonwealth."

Sherry Carran lied about my record as Secretary of the Cabinet of Education and Workforce Development.

Sherry Carran’s mail piece quotes a 2014 report that deals entirely with decisions made by my successor. I had no knowledge of, or part in, any of these decisions. I informed Sherry of this on October 14; she knowingly made false allegations.

Sherry Carran distorted a 2013 report.

Sherry Carran’s website selectively quotes a 2013 report, and doesn’t provide a citation. The report notes that several clerical errors were found in the Cabinet’s books, then notes that we took immediate and effective action to correct the errors and prevent their recurrence in the future (pages 58-60). That’s the essence of good government, and a lesson that needs to be brought to City Hall.

Two different Covingtons have clashed in the city's mayoral race.

Incumbent Mayor Sherry Carran has depicted a sunlit Covington where new homes and businesses have flourished since she took office in 2013.

Her challenger, former State Sen. Joe Meyer, sees a city staff that has squandered opportunities and is difficult to work with.

Read more at the Enquirer.

Moderator Scott Wartman then asked the candidates to list three reasons why voters should vote for them.

Carran began by saying that she is proven to care about the community, citing the positive energy and new developments, namely Hotel Covington. Her second reason was her background in architecture and how it has helped in her knowledge of knowing what developments work and wouldn't work in Covington. And her final reason for why voters should vote for her was that she is “the hardest working mayor that Covington has ever seen.”

Meyer's first two reasons go hand-in-hand, saying that his first reason is his leadership and management skills. His second reason is his experience in local and state government, touting his time as a state legislator and his life-long advocacy for the city of Covington. His final reason is that he believes in a government “by the people, for the people,” saying that government does not serve itself, but the people it governs.

Read more at the River City News.

“There is more debt than the city can afford…and we have a city government that’s hard to work with,” Meyer said. “My vision for Covington – a far more transparent government, clear rules, clear direction from the commission and eased regulatory burden. I want Covington to have a government that people want to work with, that’s reliable and trusted to do the right thing and a place where the City’s word is respected.”

Read More at the Northern Kentucky Tribune

Q:   What are your top three goals as mayor?

1. Economic Development: Covington must grow the number of jobs in the city. Encourage investment in homes and business by improving the regulatory environment; develop comprehensive plans for housing, social services and code enforcement.

2. Government Reform and a major change in attitude at City Hall: Adopt fair, open, and consistent rules that apply to everyone in the city; Welcome public participation and embrace transparency. Ease communication with the City by an accessible advocate for residents and businesses within City Hall.

3. Reliable and efficient public services: Improve delivery of basic services like trash collection; Reverse staff reductions in public safety agencies and restore full services in South Covington; Reduce the burden on public safety agencies by improving planning for social services and housing.

Read More at the Northern Kentucky Tribune

How will the city deal with the forthcoming job losses brought on by the shocking announcement from the IRS? "That's ten percent of the jobs in Covington today that will be lost," said Meyer, a state representative from 1982-88 and a state senator from 1989-96, before serving as secretary of education and workforce development under Governor Steve Beshear.

There will be an impact on surrounding businesses, Meyer stated, not to mention the drain on the city's payroll tax revenue, its main source of funds. "We can't grow services that our people want without growth in jobs," he said.

To replace the payroll tax lost with the departure of the IRS, property tax revenue would need to be increased by 25 percent, Meyer said. "That's not competitive. Those who say this is a great opportunity and that we're gonna hit the ground running in three or four years are engaged in politics, just pure political speechmaking," Meyer said. "I've been through this process before in closing down buildings and having them declared surplus. It takes three to five years after the property is vacated before it can be awarded to the next property owner."

Read More at the River City News

A dispute over bulletproof vests further eroded the union’s trust in leadership, Dames said.

The police union in 2014 filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when the city didn’t replace outdated bullet proof vests.  Dames said the city manager told them he wanted to discuss it first with the union.

“We had to file an OSHA complaint,” Dames said. “It’s completely unacceptable. I don’t see how safety should be negotiable.”

Read More at the Enquirer