Covington KY: Drop mayor's election and the $45,000 salary
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Frank: Drop mayor's election -- and the $45,000 salary

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Repeatedly asked at a Facebook page if he would consider a run for Mayor, Steve Frank responded a few days ago: "The magic 8 ball says, 'Hazy, ask again later.'"

But now, Commissioner Frank is questioning whether the city really needs a mayoral election, given that Covington has a city manager form of government.

"Why even have an elected office of Mayor?," Commissioner Frank asked Tuesday at the same Facebook page. "We could save $45,000 by eliminating the position. Have five run for commissioner and the highest vote getter becomes the ceremonial mayor."

"All the power is in the hands of the city manager as long as he or she has three votes of support," Frank wrote. "The Mayor has no more power than a Commissioner."

His thought process on city elections perhaps began when Frank was asked about the possibility of running for Mayor himself, but really got going during a written exchange at the Facebook page, called C.KY (short for Covington KY) between himself and fire union president Mike Clendenen.

Frank said a "debate (at the Facebook page) between myself and Union President and fireman extraordinary Mike Clendenen has been going on about whether to reinstitute a ward system where Commission races are decided head-to-head in a winner take all ward system or if we should keep our present field race system where you get four votes ... and the four highest vote getters win."

The debate evolved after a posting by a C.KY user named Jeff Murden.

"Personally, I like the old system they had in Cincinnati before they went to direct-elected Mayor," Murden wrote at C.KY. "Top vote getter gets to be Mayor and second Vice-Mayor, etc. I also like the open field (non-ward system) method as you can vote for 'up to' so many on the ballot."

Frank responded, "I like Jeff Murden 's idea. Why even have an elected Mayor if it's a city manager form of government and the Mayor is only a ceremonial head?

"We could save $45,000 and just let the highest vote-getting commissioner be mayor?," Commissioner Frank wondered.

"I can tell you from a candidates perspective, running every two years is a tall order, but it does give the voters the choice of tossing someone out they do not like."

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CovingtonUSA is a daily online newspaper for the Covington, Kentucky, USA area. Includes news updates, both internally and linking to other sites.
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