Enquirer Voter Guide

Newport City Commission

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  • Candidate picture

    Beth Fennell

  • Candidate picture

    Thomas Guidugli

  • Robbie Hall

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    Frank Peluso

  • Ken Rechtin

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    Jason Walter

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Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What makes you the best candidate?

What specific services are you willing to cut?

What fees or taxes are you willing to raise in order to keep or expand government services?

Campaign Phone (859) 431-4334
City/town Newport
Education/Degrees B.A. Communications, Purdue University, West Lafayette Indiana. Continuing education and certificates in a variety of disciplines.
Community Involvement Current City Commissioner. Board Member and Executive Committee Member, OKI, (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Regional Council of Governments). Committee member various OKI transportation studies. Former Clifton Neighborhood Rep. Former Board member Greater Cincinnati Boys and Girls Club. Leadership Northern Kentucky
Campaign Message Working together; our success will continue.
To continue the current unprecedented residential and business success, while maintaining and improving the quality of life in our unique historic environment. The foundation for Newport’s current success is stable staff and government, working in partnership with residents and businesses, on shared goals.
Experience and proven results. Newport has been radically reformed as the region's premier location to live, work and play. Unprecedented residential and business growth have occurred while guarding our unique historic fabric in a safe environment. Electing commissioners with a variety of skills and viewpoints, who are willing to work positively with other Board, staff, residents and businesses, is critical. It is my privilege to be the City’s OKI (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Regional Council of Governments) Board and Executive Committee member for many years. Most transportation dollars that come to the region are filtered through OKI. In partnership with staff; millions of dollars have become available including the reconstruction of Carothers Road, future improvements to the underpass and funds to build safer sidewalks and curb cuts. Residents and businesses tell me I am easily accessible, if they have questions or concerns. My contact info is on all campaign literature.
The City of Newport has one of the lowest city tax rates in Northern Kentucky. In addition, Newport is one of the few full service cities in Northern Kentucky. Unlike many municipalities, we do not impose additional taxes to cover services like Fire/EMS or residential street repair. Despite increasing pension costs, which are out of our control, we have managed to maintain services and not prohibitively raise taxes. Due to the pension crisis, which only the State can cure, we will be continually looking for new sources of revenue to offset the cost of services. The current administration has been hugely successful bringing in new businesses as well as encouraging existing businesses to expand. This has resulted in increased revenue. We have experienced the growth of hundreds of new jobs and dozens of new companies during the last few years. We continue to work on economic development. Simply raising taxes is not a good long term municipal strategy.
The Board and administration do not have any current plans to raise fees or taxes above what is allowable by state law without a referendum. Continually raising fees and taxes is not a good business model. See above answer. We have discussed instituting a city sticker which could bring in a small amount of revenue but more importantly decrease the number of out of state cars parked on our streets and avoiding Kentucky taxes. The city sticker concept will be thoroughly vetted if implemented, as there are exceptions to this rule that need to be considered; like company owned cars based in other states.
Campaign Phone (859) 653-0311
Age 48
City/town Newport
Education/Degrees Bachelor of Science, Marketing and Finance. 1993 Masters of Legal Studies- Active
I have a heartfelt desire to serve you with honesty and integrity. Furthermore, I will always be accessible, actively listen and make sound judgment. My interest and experience in managing people, budgets and organizations has proven valuable in serving the citizens of Newport. I am excited to continue to bring my leadership, professional skills and demonstrated work ethic to the Newport City Commission. As your commissioner, I am committed to moving Newport forward while honoring our shared history and all that makes our city so special. While I am excited by our progress, I am also fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead. Creating a Newport that works for everyone is important to me. After all, I was born in Newport and raising my family here.

This is home. Always has been. Always will be.

I hope I have earned your vote. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 859-653-0311 or email me at

Respectfully, Thomas L. Guidugli
Together, in Newport, we are improving our city in a fiscally responsible manner balancing our budget each step of the way.

If re-elected with your support, I will focus on: *Public Safety-. Properly protecting our citizens is of the highest priority. We must continue focus public safety efforts to prevent crime and responsiveness to emergencies. *Economic Development-Keep our momentum and a positive environment to create the jobs which are critical to the financial success of our city. *Housing-I am extremely excited about the likely expansion our historic district to the west side as it will be a catalyst for investment. *Beautification Projects- We are actively greening our city by improving our parks, gateways, streetscape and adding green space. All making our city more attractive, more accessible with greater walkability. *Partnerships- Our list of partners is long, progressive and making a difference. Forward thinking by the City Commission, city staff, businesses and re
I would prefer to cut no services. Our financial challenges attached to the pension crisis will require disciplined financial management to avoid service cuts. We will have to serve our residents by finding efficiencies.
We are giving serious consideration to the addition of a vehicle parking sticker. We have discussed a creative approach to consider which may provide a free vehicle sticker per household. It would be in response to resident frustration of out of state licensing of vehicles. We have had a vehicle parking sticker in our history. We will be accepting public input in caucus meetings.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Campaign Phone (859) 380-5400
Web Site http://N/A
Age 64
YouTube N/A
City/town Newport
Education/Degrees Newport Schools/Various programs continuing education and certificates
Community Involvement Eucharist Minister Active member of Clifton (Newport) Neighborhood Active member of the tree planting programs in Newport
Endorsements N/A
Campaign Message “The only promise I will ever make, is that I will only tell you the truth. You may not like the answer, but it will be the truth. I do not make promises that I cannot deliver on.
I’m running because I feel that I have something to contribute to the betterment of the City and our residents. I was raised in an environment where public service was crucial to providing a voice to all residents, regardless of their background or social status. This principle still guides me today
I’m not sure that there is one best candidate between us. Everyone has something to offer in their own way. I believe in working together with other board members and staff for the betterment of the City. Personally I have a deep rooted desire to see Newport become the best that it can be. I work hard to advocate for our residents and I’m always truthful with them. I make myself accessible to our residents and businesses, and will always listen to their concerns.
Since being in office we have operated with limited resources and staffing. Due to staggering increases in pension cost imposed by the State, our required contributions have grown by well over 100% over the past ten years. I rely on the recommendations of staff during the budget process to determine the level of services that we provide. As we move forward into the future, I expect additional pension increases that may result in some service reduction. We have been very proactive working on economic development and business retention over the past decade in an attempt to avoid major cuts and will continue to do so.
At this point, Newport has few options in creating new fees due to limitations placed by statute or State constitution. Recently the City Manager analyzed property tax revenue and reported that it would require an 80% increase in these taxes just to pay for mandated increases to the State employee pension fund. Continued economic development and associated job growth is the most viable solution to increase costs.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Campaign Phone (859) 250-3010
Education/Degrees University of Kentucky
Endorsements Northern Kentucky Central Labor Council
My singular goal is to make Newport the best place to live, work and grow in the Tri-State area. I will introduce legislation that will allow us to use a Motel Tax to pay for the creation of Central Park. The creation of a Central Park is key to the revitalization of West Newport and the Monmouth Business district. I will fully fund our Fire/EMS Department first. They are being forced to use antiquated equipment from years of budget cuts. We need to take care of our first responders before the funding of anything else. I will drastically increase the accuracy and transparency of the opengov website. Line item spending will be revealed so our citizens can see exactly where their money is being spent.
I am the only "new" candidate running. Newport is a small town with big city problems that are only going to get worse with upcoming pension crisis. We need new ideas to solve the problems that our city is facing if we truly want to become the best city in the tri-state area. We cannot afford more cuts to basic services, yet we cannot raise funds through the traditional mechanisms that municipalities commonly use due to the archaic Kentucky State Tax Law. We need innovative ways to fund the improvements our city needs, and I am the only candidate that has come up with an actual funding source for these improvements.
Basic services, like Fire and Police, need increased funding, not less. They are the basic services that a city is supposed to provide and I will not allow their budgets to be cut.
I am going to lead the establishment a tourist and convention commission. Once established, this commission will be free to increase the local hotel tax rate. This increase will go directly towards the creation of a state of the art central park. The real benefit of this tax is our citizens will not have to carry the burden of a property tax increase and our local businesses will not have to work around an increase to the payroll tax. This truly is a win win for all citizens and business owners within Newport.
If you need any help as a candidate, please email Carl Weiser at