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Covington Mayor Joe Meyer calls for more regional cooperation

 Covington, KY as seen from Devou Park
Bill Rinehart
Covington, KY as seen from Devou Park

Covington's mayor is calling for more cooperation between local, regional, and state governments. Speaking to the Covington Business Council Thursday afternoon, Joe Meyer says too often, there are conflicting goals over short-term interests.

"Right now, Northern Kentucky is a territorial description. Our commonality is that we all live within these three counties. And what else? What else do we have in common?" he says. "The region cannot ignore the interests and roles of cities and try to superimpose other structures atop the formal governments and be successful."

He points to a request to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to change Scott and Greenup streets into two ways — a request that was initially rejected.

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"Their interest is limited to traffic. The city's interest is obviously much broader," he says. "We're interested in improving the quality of life in the neighborhood by creating a better environment so that people can take advantage of the incredible housing stock. The change that's happened is that KYTC has broadened its vision to include the interests of the city."

Meyer says Covington and the KTC are now working together, and other entities should follow suit. He says the "communication, collaboration and compromise" also resulted in a redesign of approaches to the Brent Spence Bridge companion bridge to acknowledge Covington's needs.

Meyer told the luncheon crowd too often local and state governments are working without each others' interests in mind. He cites Kenton County hiking its occupational license fee last year.

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"They'e trying to grow their revenue. I have no problem with that. I have a problem that the interests of Covington and the other local governments were not considered and taken into the calculations. The city's work is so much more challenging."

Meyer says it's irresponsible for other governments to ignore the values that have made Covington successful. He says Covington alone saw more job creation in the last three years than in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties combined.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.