Newport City Commission | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Newport City Commission

There are seven candidates vying for a seat on the Newport City Commission. The top four vote getters in the nonpartisan race win two-year terms. Voters may vote for up to four of the candidates.

Thanks to all seven candidates for responding to KFTC’s survey.

Jerry Peluso

Political party: Nonpartisan

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

I feel that we have been very proactive in working to make Newport both pedestrian and bicycle friendly. In our comprehensive plan our mission statement includes this as one of our main goals. We have worked with the State and local advocacy groups to provide bike routes both permanent and temporary. We worked with Red Bike to bring bike stations to our City which has been very successful. We also continue to support the installation of bike racks throughout our community. As we move into the future, we continue improvement to Riverfront Commons and are partners on the Purple Bridge. Both of these are heavily used by both by cyclists and pedestrians on a daily basis.

Beth Fennell

Political party: Nonpartisan

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

It is my honor to be Newport’s OKI Board and Executive Committee representative. All federal transportation dollars for our region go through OKI for project selection and funding. In my time with OKI, millions of federal dollars have flowed to Newport for bike paths, Red Bike installation, improvement or creation of safe sidewalks and other road projects that promote exercise, improve walkability and create safer traffic patterns in all parts of town. Community activists and the City of Newport insisted bike lanes were added to the reconstructed Route 9 project. With funding from OKI, Newport recently opened a pedestrian bridge connecting the floodwall path to Newport on the Levee at the Taylor Southgate Bridge. Although streetcar in Cincinnati is politically hot, an extension to Newport has been considered a logical next step. I’ve been working with OKI and the citizen driven Northern Kentucky Streetcar Committee, to pursue federal funding for preliminary engineering and other first steps. All of the above promote safe, alternative transportation that lessen traffic issues and provide alternatives to driving.

John Santini

Political party: Nonpartisan

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

Did not respond.

Jason Walter

Political party: Nonpartisan

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

Newport can continue to chase private and public grants that will provide them the ability to install bike lanes. We can also continue to embrace the new forms of transportation. Ride sharing and short term electric vehicle rentals are the future. We should embrace this while dealing with the side affects as they come up. Not fight them.

Ken Rechtin

Political party: Nonpartisan

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

I have always been and will continue to be a supporter of safer, more economical transportation modes which will decrease our carbon footprint. Evidence of this is the bike lane on Route 9.I will continue to advocate for cost effective ways to lessen the impact of "cut through" traffic thereby making our residential streets safer for pedetrians. When the potential for cutting westside bus services was floated by TANK, I attended input sessions and advocated for not only not cutting services but also for expanded services within the urban core of their service area!

Frank Peluso

Political party: Nonpartisan

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

Without doubt, Newport has been a leader for years in alternative transportation from walkability, encouraging bicycle activities and partnering with Tank and Southbank in the creation of the Southbank shuttle. We worked with the Transportation Department to add bicycle lanes to the recently opened Route 8/9 connector, worked with Red Bike and have provided 7 stations for residents and visitors to use. Some of these stations are among the most heavily used in the Red Bike system. We have also been experimenting with flashing stop signs and vehicle speed signs that can be moved to problem areas. These measures help to reduce traffic hazards which allows for increased reliance upon pedestrian/cycling activities. Historically, other activities or functions that I have supported and voted for are, proclamations for Bike Month, Riding Forward, and bicycle/pedestrian corridor feasibility studies. We have examined several traffic calming methods and are currently in the design phase of significant pedestrian safety improvements to the Monmouth Street corridor. We also recently completed the walking trail around the new dog park which connects Nelson Place to 6th Street next to the library.

Gordon Henry

Political party: Nonpartisan

Question 1:

We’ve seen a lot of focus on making biking and walking safer in northern Kentucky through projects like Vision Zero NKY and community groups like Ride The Cov (with paths in Newport). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and budget issues, we are at the same time seeing a decrease in bus routes. What steps can the commission take to promote safe, alternative transportation in northern Kentucky that will lessen traffic issues and provide cost efficient alternatives to driving?

Commission can look at ways to collaborate with different organizations that are active in the transportation community. The walkability of Newport is one of the best features of the city and we need to highlight that more. Creating bike lanes, rideshare programs are just a few options to explore.