A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Candidates: Steve Pendery makes case for another term as Campbell County Judge-Executive

Thank you, NKy Tribune, for allowing me to make my case for another term as Campbell County Judge-Executive.

I got into politics for the sole reason of making my community better. With the help of incredibly talented people in our administration, the dedication of my fellow commissioners and the support of the great people of Campbell County, I think we’ve made great progress.

Campbell County’s unemployment is consistently the lowest in Northern Kentucky and – at the current rate of 3.1% — the lowest rate in the whole state. Hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment have poured into Campbell County, bringing needed infrastructure and good paying jobs. Resurfacing and repair schedules are up to date for all 200 miles of County roads. More than 97% of County residents now have access to city water, the highest percentage in Northern Kentucky. Several hundred acres of prime land have been preserved as green space.

Steve Pendery

I’m especially proud that we’ve accomplished all this while still spending less per resident than any other full-service government in Northern Kentucky.

More needs to be done. While we’ve made strides in the opioid fight by helping create innovative programs, pushing for better treatment options, rallying community groups and bringing in money from private sources, we need more help from Frankfort and the feds to help shoulder the burden. More improvements are coming for the unique needs of the County’s South End. The new treatment plant is gradually making sewer service possible for increasing numbers of residents and opens up new areas for development. New technologies and the new state “Kentucky Wired” program offer the prospect of improved internet service for the future.

I believe it is also essential that we not allow Campbell County to fall victim to today’s dysfunctional political climate, where leaders (and especially candidates) are much more likely to tell us what we want to hear than what we need to know. Pressing issues are not even brought up, much less discussed and solved. It is no wonder that the public is angry or apathetic. We need adult conversation and adult behavior out of our leadership, though in this atmosphere, that will be difficult—or even dangerous—requiring political courage.

A great example of this was the made-up controversy over the clean needle exchange. The opioid epidemic has created a huge body of people who are now drug addicts, and addiction causes people to make compulsive and risky decisions, like sharing needles. This, in turn, has led to a dramatic increase in HIV, hepatitis C, and other medical conditions. Providing clean needles combats the transmission of deadly diseases, which is not only compassionate but makes good fiscal sense.

Critically, the clean needle exchange also protects our first responders. The incredible men and women of our police, fire and EMS services are on the front line of the opioid crisis. They already face enough risks. The least we can do is lower their risk of contracting a deadly disease like HIV.

Unfortunately, even an issue as important of this can be – and was – played for political gain. Thankfully, our leadership joined with me in passing this important ordinance.

I hope my fellow Campbell Countians feel that my record warrants their support on November 6.

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