A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington commissioners pass Crown Act, approve KYTC contract; urge Halloween safety, and voting

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

COVINGTON – She said she would do it, and she did.

Covington Commissioner Michelle Williams promised the board she would show up Tuesday night in her natural curls, and she followed through to help celebrate the passing of an amended ordinance that will support the Crown Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.”

Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the amendment Tuesday night at their regularly scheduled legislative meeting (they were again meeting virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions), and Commissioner Tim Downing allowed Williams to make the motion to approve it. After the vote, she thanked her fellow commissioners, as well as the city staff.

“I showed up today in my natural curly hair just like I said I would,” she said. “I put myself out there.”

She then noted how she appreciated those who helped Covington become the first city in the state to support the effort.

“I appreciate all the work you’ve done on this,” she said. “So let’s get this done. I’m ready!”

With that, the board voted in favor, and an idea that had been in the works for the last month officially became law.

Williams said she originally heard of the movement from Downing, who brought the issue to her attention. The Crown Act, which has steadily gained popularity across the nation, was created in 2019 to ensure protection against discrimination based on  “race-based hairstyles,” and “hair texture,” including “styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.”

It is the hope of city officials that no Covington citizen will ever be discriminated based on their natural hair again.

“I want to commend Commissioner Williams for taking that ball forward,” Downing said. “We have the unique ability to realize the differences that make up our city is one of our greatest strengths.”

KYTC contract approved

City commissioners approved an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to maintain the state highways within its limits.

Last week, Chris Warneford, the city’s public works director, presented a proposal to enter into a contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways for the “minor maintenance” and repair of 14.98 miles of state-owned roadways by city staff at “fair compensation.”

Now the city will be able to handle the repairs while being reimbursed by the state, with payments not to exceed $31,363.50 annually. The order will cover an initial term of Oct. 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, and will give city officials the opportunity to evaluate the benefits of this service, to possibly determine whether to renew the contract or even expand the boundaries of the agreement, Mayor Joe Meyer said.

City officials hope this helps curb residents’ frustration at state roads not being repaired quickly enough.

The Mayor noted that the proposal is only for maintenance of just about 15 of the 25 miles of state highways within the city limits. After about six to eight months, the city can re-evaluate and possibly expand the agreement.

PILOT agreements

Commissioners approved two PILOT agreements (or Payment in Lieu of Taxes) — one an amended version for the Bourbon Post/YMCA project at 614 Madison Ave. and another for the Arlington Project at the old Chase Law School site at Pike Street and Dixie Highway.

Halloween safety

At the beginning of the month, the city released its guidelines for trick-or-treating, which can be found here.

Election Day

Outgoing Commissioner Denny Bowman wished his fellow commissioners good luck on Election night, which is next Tuesday, Nov. 3., Bowman will be retiring this year and will be replaced by Ron Washington.

Click image to go to the NKyTribune’s Election Guide, for all the information Northern Kentuckians need on where, when and how to vote. It includes candidate profiles.

Commissioners Downing, Williams and Shannon Smith all congratulated Bowman on his service and spoke fondly of the former Mayor and Parks and Recreation director.

Lastly, Meyer reminded citizens that there will be no commission meeting on Election Day. The reason? Because everyone should get out and vote, he said.

Next meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., Nov. 10. The meeting can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, the TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and the TBNK Roku channels.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment