Tuesday, August 9, 2011

N. Ky Tea Party pulls it off: Gathers nearly 25,000 signatures to put issue on ballot

Collaboration between freedom-loving citizens and business leaders in Kenton County, Kentucky, has borne abundant fruit.

A petition drive sponsored by this coalition has collected signatures of nearly 25,000 residents of the county who want a right to vote about the continued operation of the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission or NKAPC.

NKAPC was created decades ago to coordinate area development in the three major Northern Kentucky counties of Kenton, Boone and Campbell. The law that enabled creation of the NKAPC stipulated that more than one county must be a member and at least one city with 50,000 residents must be included.

Of key interest, the law allowed the NKAPC to be a separate taxing entity with only rather loose control from officials actually elected by the citizens.

Still, this would make sense, if the commission really operated as a multi-county planning and zoning operation.

However, Boone County never joined.

Later, Campbell County left NKAPC, leaving this organization basically operating in just Kenton County. Furthermore, the latest Census shows the population in Covington, Kentucky, the county’s largest city, has dropped well below the 50,000 figure stipulated by law. Thus, continued operation of the NKAPC no longer appears to comply with the original intent of the law.

The current situation renders Kenton the only county in Kentucky where zoning, planning and building inspection is actually rather far removed from the control of elected county officials who are ultimately responsible.

And, while exact figures are in hot dispute, it almost certainly makes the operation of these functions much more expensive in Kenton County than in any of adjoining counties.

In any event, it looks like Kenton County voters will now get to decide for themselves. The Tea Party/Builders Association team needed to collect something less than 18,000 signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. Even allowing for the almost inevitable disqualification of some of the petition signatures, there is so much overkill in the number of signatures submitted to the Kenton County Clerk’s office that a ballot item seems all but inevitable.

No comments: