Sherry Carran

Political party: 
Question 1: 

Over the past several years many residents have found it difficult to find meaningful employment that is accessible to them. What steps will you take to ensure that residents in our more urban neighborhoods will be able to have the same opportunities as other communities, and to ensure that every part of the city benefits from economic development? 

This question states those living in the urban core do not have the same opportunities as other communities, I do not agree.  People who have cars, whether living in the suburbs or the urban core, can pick where they want to work as they have their own transportation.  For suburban residents without cars they are very limited in transit options compared to those living in the urban core.  Covington’s urban core residents can get to the Covington Transit Center, and from there can find routes to major areas in Northern Kentucky.  The Southbank Shuttle gets people to Cincinnati with ease and to where many employment opportunities exist.

Improving economic development in Covington, attracting new businesses and retaining existing, will result in increased City revenue and possibly more employment opportunities.  Increased revenue will allow more investment in every part of Covington in the way of improved infrastructure, parks and city services.

Question 2: 

Covington has provided more affordable housing options than many other communities in northern Kentucky, and yet many of those who are being helped by these programs are concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods and often feel isolated from the larger Covington community. How can the city better integrate all residents into our community, provide greater opportunities to low income residents, and affirmatively further fair housing?

Covington is the largest and oldest community in Northern Kentucky.  The Housing Authority of Covington (HAC) was created in 1937 with the first public housing, Jacob Price and Latonia Terrace, built around 1940.  It is wrong to criticize Covington for having more concentrated affordable housing than other communities when you consider the history.   The City is trying to correct the mistakes of the past.  Jacob Price was 160 units of public housing.  Its replacement is River’s Edge with 43 units of public housing, 30 units of market rate, and 47 affordable units.  Less dense was a request from the Eastside neighborhood.  HAC made up for the loss of public housing by rehabbing blighted and vacant homes in the surrounding communities with the intent of integrating the public housing residents into the community.   The goal is to do the same with City Heights and Latonia Terrace.

Question 3: 

Citizens returning home from incarceration, and even those who have finished their probation and parole, often have trouble returning to their communities. Several cities and states have fostered initiatives aimed at helping these members of our community get back on their feet. Louisville and Cincinnati, for example, have removed questions about previous convictions from hiring applications. What steps do you feel Covington can and should take to help folks re-enter our community?

I believe Covington’s Board of Commission and City Management will support 

A Fair Chance Policy similar to what Louisville has adopted.  This policy would ban the box on job applications and would only inquire into an applicant’s conviction history until after the applicant has been found otherwise qualified.  This policy seems like a logical step to furthering Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance.

Louisville’s ordinance also states that the City prefers to do business with vendors who have adopted policies that are consistent with the City, and that consideration of vendors’ criminal history policies will be part of the performance criteria used by the City when awarding contracts.  This step may take a little longer to get adopted but I believe it can be done.

Question 4: 

Covington is known for being Pedestrian friendly, and having mass transit options. Yet, there are few places in the city that accommodate cyclists with bike lanes or share lanes. What policies do you support to make cycling easier and safer in our city?

I ‘m a big believer in walkability and bikeability, and it is why I agreed to serve as Vice-Chair of Tri-State Trails.   Also as a Board Member of Green Umbrella, I supported the organization becoming the fiscal agent for Red Bike to get it started in Cincinnati.  I support bike lanes and accommodations for cyclist in Covington but our options are limited as many of our road and pedestrian corridors are too narrow to allow.   Bike lanes are being considered in different neighborhood plans, and Covington is working with the City of Park Hills to see where we can implement pedestrian and bike lane connectivity.   Covington is considering a ‘Complete Streets’ policy but we have a little more work to do before adopting.  We are also working with Southbank Partners towards Covington and the other river cities to be designated a ‘Trail Town’ destination through Kentucky Adventure Tourism.

Question 5: 

Could you detail some of the things you most want to accomplish in the upcoming term, if elected?

Here are a few things that have my focus now and will continue to in my next term as Mayor of Covington:

•Continue working collaboratively in facing our region’s heroin epidemic.   I have been serving on the Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Team for the last two years and significant headway has been made in raising awareness to the illness of addiction.  Major state legislation around the heroin issue was also past last year because of the group’s advocacy. 

•Meet Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rules from HUD.  The goal is to have a plan that addresses the need for quality and affordable housing that is sensitive and balanced for all involved.

•Strengthen ‘Sense of Place’ and improve ‘Quality of Life” throughout Covington with the help of meaningful citizen engagement.

•Keep partisan politics out of City government, as serving the best interest of the City and residents is what matters.

Question 6: 

In Covington, we pride ourselves on being a diverse, welcoming community. But many residents are concerned about the increase in activities in northern Kentucky that make many residents feel less than welcomed in our community. What will you do to create a community that is welcoming of all, and that values the lives of all members in our community?

You are right that Covington prides itself on being diverse and welcoming.  The City’s Human Rights Ordinance was the first ‘Fairness’ ordinance in Kentucky.  In 2015 we adopted a ‘Diversity Statement’ that reads, “The City of Covington is dedicated to improving diversity within the City's workforce and maintaining a culturally progressive and socially reflective workforce that represents, supports, and celebrates diversity at all levels within the city.”   The City also recently past a resolution opposing Senate Bill 180 that would have made it legal for a business to discriminate based on reasons such as their civil rights or religious beliefs. 

You are right to have concerns about the increased activity towards making certain people feel unwelcome but the City can only do so much.  What we need is another grass roots initiative like the Awesome Collective to create positive energy to combat the negative.