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Joe Meyer announces run for Covington mayor; long-time city advocate spent 30 years in public service

Special to NKyTribune

Joe Meyer, a Covington “urban pioneer,” former state senator and former Secretary of the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, put the speculation to rest today.

He announced his candidacy for Mayor of Covington.

A fourth generation Covingtonian, Meyer is a lifelong advocate for the city. An attorney, he served the legislative and executive branches of state government for more than 30 years.

Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer

“Covington is at a pivotal point,” Meyer said. “This is a great time to choose to live and work in Covington, but I believe our best days are still to come. It will require experience and steady vision from a Mayor ready to usher in the next generation.

“With the right leadership we can build not just for today, but to guarantee that Covington is a thriving, healthy city for years to come.”

Meyer brings a depth of experience and leadership in state and local governance to the race. He presided over a $3 billion budget in his role as Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Prior to serving as a Cabinet Secretary, Meyer represented Northern Kentucky for more than a decade, first as State Representative of the 65th District, and then as State Senator of the 23rd District.

During that time he chaired the House Cities Committee, served as chair of the Senate State and Local Government Committee and as chair of the Senate Education Committee during the historic implementation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

As Secretary, Meyer worked to reform Kentucky’s unemployment insurance system to restore financial stability, overhauled the Kentucky system of secondary career and technical education, and oversaw the creation of the governor’s office of early childhood.

The Joseph U. Meyer Center was dedicated in 2014

The Joseph U. Meyer Center was dedicated in 2014

He was the founding chair of the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. Under Meyer’s leadership, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet received national recognition for workforce investment improvements in Kentucky, including the creation of the Kentucky Career Center system.

Meyer has been instrumental in much of Covington’s progress as well, having been a life-long advocate for the city.

He sponsored the legislation that enabled Fidelity Investments to locate in Covington, was a key leader in the processes that brought the Northern Kentucky Convention Center to Covington, and was instrumental in the development of the new 12th Street —now Martin Luther King Jr.— corridor and the Latonia Avenue-43rd Street underpass.

As one of Covington’s “urban pioneers” Meyer was involved in the rehabilitation of the Old Seminary Square neighborhood in the 1970s. His investments in the neighborhood helped foster the transformation of a blighted area of Covington into one of the city’s most historic, vibrant, and desirable neighborhoods.

Meyer told the NKyTribune that he would be rolling out specifics of his leadership plan over the course of the campaign, but that he will focus on leadership, transparency, good governance and accountability, a healthy economy and healthy neighborhoods — and public safety.

He said he is taking a close look at the city’s budget and its fiscal management.

“The budget is fundamental,” he said. “We are making a close analysis of the city’s financial performance.”

He expects to release “The Meyer Plan for Covington” very soon. He has set up a campaign website at meyerforcovington.com

Meyer received his law degree from Northern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in urban affairs from St. Louis University and a bachelor’s degree from Bellarmine College.

He has also completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been married to his wife, Dale, since 1974. They have four grown children who also reside in Covington.

Incumbent Mayor Sherry Carran announced earlier that she would seek re-election.

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