Government briefs: What happened in Florence, Park Hills, Lakeside Park city council meetings this week


Florence city council witnessed the swearing in of five members of the Florence Fire/EMS Department – Ryan Born promoted to Assistant Fire/EMS Chief, Danielle Stiner hired from St Elizabeth Hospital to be Battalion Chief of EMS, Joey Marcum promoted to Fire/EMS Battalion Chief, Jon McNamara promoted to Fire/EMS Captain, and Jimmy Rose promoted to Fire/EMS Lieutenant.

Five employees were promoted to new positions in the Fire/EMS Dept. in Florence (Photo by Patricia Scheyer/NKyTribune)

Mayor Julie Aubuchon declared May 12 to May 18 as National Police Week, and May 19 to 25 as national Public Works Week. May 19 to May 25 was also proclaimed as Emergency Medical Services Week. Aubuchon also proclaimed the month of May as ALS Awareness Month, and she gave the proclamation to Ray Townsend and his family. Ray suffers from ALS.

Boone County Planning Commission Executive Director Kevin Costello gave a presentation on the budget. He told Council that the total budget is $2,363,000, and that Florence’s share is $421,949. Costello said that Florence’s amount is only $11,800 more than last year which comes out to a 2.8 percent increase.

Council voted to pass an ordinance relating to personnel, updating job descriptions, authorized positions and pay plans, which includes the job description of the Human Resources Coordinator, a position that should be filled soon.


Park Hills Mayor Kathy Zembrodt addressed the concerns and accusations made by resident Gretchen Stephenson in last month’s caucus meeting. Zembrodt pointed out specific times when the new building purchased by the city had been discussed by council, and how all the money spent is shown in reports on the website. She cited dates that council was kept informed on the progress of the lawsuits.

Mayor Kathy Zembrodt of Park Hills (Photo by Patricia Scheyer/NKyTribune)

“If anyone knows me, I’m about money,” Zembrodt stated. “I don’t spend money frivolously. I use it prudently and spend it prudently. What I’ve learned in my career is ‘as an elected official, you are to use the taxpayer money properly, keep the budget in the black, or green as some say, keep the infrastructure in good order, and the city safe.’ I’m a rule-follower, and I’ve upheld my duties to do those three things.”

Later in the meeting Stephenson spoke again, contradicting some things Zembrodt said, and asking for more details on the police sick leave legislation. She accused the city of gaslighting their residents.

Deacon Schwarber, an Eagle Scout, came to ask approval to do a project of a garden to attract pollinators across from Trolley Park, and council agreed.

His father, Aaron, spoke later, reminding council that he had attended a meeting three years ago where he asked for speed bumps at Lawton and Audubon, and he said nothing was done even though they were promised. He said the success of council is abysmal on some issues, and he attacked the agreement of the city with Covington about Park Pointe Drive, which is a public street that Park Hills takes care of, but it has a gate, and last year he was asked to leave when he was there to watch fireworks. If it is public, he has a right to be there, he stated. Mayor Zembrodt agreed to look into it.

Another resident, David Costas, was in outright attack mode as he accused Councilmember Pam Spoor of influencing the direction of the city. He read a statement saying that no one in the city wants the tree legislation and accused Spoor of pushing the legislation and having selfish motives.

“Okay, you have slandered me,” said Spoor, who is an attorney. Mayor Zembrodt told him that Spoor did not sponsor the bill, and he was wrong about Spoor influencing the city.

Council had agreed to withdraw the tree ordinance at the beginning of the meeting.

In other legislation, council agreed to hold meetings at the city building unless someone who cannot negotiate the stairs wants to attend and then they can hold the meeting in the firehouse.

They also voted to amend the personnel policies regarding sick leave.


Lakeside Park city council passed the second reading of an ordinance forming a rental registry for residential and businesses in the city. There is no fee, but there are penalties. Mayor Paul Markgraf said that they need to be able to reach owners in case of emergencies.

Another ordinance amended the nuisance ordinance to say that unusual or unreasonably loud noises are prohibited between 10 p.m, and 7 a,m. The ordinance passed 4 to 1, the opposing vote coming from Chris Gongola. Several council members were concerned how the ordinance would affect Barleycorns and their ability to have musical entertainment.

Mayor Markgraf reminded council that the deadline for filing for council in the county is June 4.

“I wanted to tell you because I would love to have you all back,” Markgraf said. “I think we work well together.”

Mayor Markgraf also proclaimed May 19 to 25 National Public Works week in the city.

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