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Enquirer Voter Guide

Independence Mayor

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  • Candidate picture

    Chris Reinersman

  • Candidate picture

    Joe Ulloa

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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) 356-9833
Age 52
City/town Independence
Community Involvement Current Mayor of Independence, Two Term City Councilmember, Independence Small Business Owner, Board Chairman-Northern Kentucky Independent Health District, President-Planning Development Services of Kenton County Council, Member-State Route 536 Scoping Study Committee, Vice Chairman-Independence Strategic Action Committee (ISAC), Chairman-ISAC Historic Preservation Subcommittee, Member-Zoning Steering Committee, Board of Directors-Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), Member-Kenton County Transportation Advisory Committee, Independence Business Association-Charter Member & Leadership Committee, Independence Christmas Walk Organizing Committee, St. Cecilia Festival, Festival Committee and Booth Chair, Independence Ball Veteran's Day Dinner Dance Committee, Memorial Oaks Veterans and First Responders Memorial Organizing Committee, Brought Independence Farmers' Market to downtown, Kenton County Courthouse Centennial Celebration Organizing Committee, Armed Forces Appreciation Day Organizing Committee, Helped Establish Independence Veteran's Office, Helped Establish Veterans of Independence veteran's appreciation program,
Endorsements Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes Park Hills Mayor Matt Mattone Ft. Mitchell Mayor Jude Hehman Lakeside Park Mayor David Jansing Former Independence Mayor Donna Yeager Former Independence Mayor Chris Moriconi Councilmember Carol Franzen Councilmember Greg Waite Former Independence Police Chief Shawn Butler Commissioner and Former Taylor Mill Mayor Mark Kreimborg Former Independence Business Association President Dianna Kloeker Former Independence Business Association President Mike Dominach American Legion Post 275 Commander Rusty Mardis Former American Legion Post 275 Commander Wayne Lohmoeller
Campaign Message Experience Matters to gain Smart Growth, New Business and Small Town Appeal
To continue the momentum of my last four years. Four years ago I ran promoting the ideas of Smart Growth, New Business and Small Town Appeal. I stated clearly and in great detail how I planned to do this. I’ve followed that course and we’ve made progress on all three fronts. The concept of Smart Growth suggests that you use tools like zoning, land use planning and other resources to determine the landscape of the community you want in the future. New Business is also a key component. When compared to most other suburban cities, Independence draws a disproportionately high percentage of its revenue from property taxes. This is not a sustainable model. There are those that think the city can simply “order up” whatever business they want. It’s just not that simple. It takes careful planning. You must lay the ground work that will attract the new development. You can learn much more about all three of these on my website.
Simply put, EXPERIENCE. While it may not have been the course I set out on years ago, I followed a path to this spot. When I moved to Independence, I fell in love with the community and began to get involved. First as a volunteer on a committee to help implement the Small Area Study to plan for growth. I thought my years of experience in real estate could be beneficial. From there I ran for City Council in 2010 and served four years. There were a lot of great lessons there as the City was dealing with a recession that threatened to set us backward, but we continued to grow and still wanted to implement the lessons of the Small Area Study. These lessons served me well in my first term as mayor. In addition to moving forward my three primary principals, we've held property tax rates the same for three years, invested more in our roads than ever before and still ended FY 2017-18 nearly $600,00 under budget. We've increased transparency and enhanced services (more info on website).
As outlined previously, I’m a fiscal conservative and have been able to maintain a balanced budget while holding the line on taxes and enhancing services. My four years on City Council and four years as Mayor have certainly taught me that there are times you have to make hard choices. Coming out of the recession, Independence really did cut to the bone in many areas. We’ve carefully restored some necessary services, while leaving some on the trash heap. I don’t anticipate a need for major cuts in the near term.
Similar to the prior answer, we’ve worked hard within our bounds to hold the line on taxes. The primary goal is to diversify our tax base so that we are not so reliant on property taxes. At the same time, we need to maintain a level of service. I’ve worked to make some of our recreation events more self-reliant through sponsorships and enhanced concession sales. Critical services such as police and infrastructure, however, can’t rely on that. When it is apparent that revenue is not sufficient to cover costs, I have a history of only taking what is needed. As a Councilmember I worked to determine exactly what rate was needed to cover costs, rather than simply take the compensating rate. Most recently, I addressed a substantial increase in our mandatory retirement contribution by recommending an incremental adjustment to our franchise taxes so that we only covered the projected deficit, rather than increase property taxes. Again, experience and track record matter.
Campaign Phone (859) 667-4855
Age 39
City/town Independence
Endorsements Pat Taney, Current City Council Member, Retired 25 years City Clerk; Bill Aseere, Current City Council Member; James “Jim” Ellison, Former Mayor; Scott Holton, Former Council Member
Campaign Message Go with Joe!
I want to be the voice of the people. There is always a defining moment. Our neighborhood felt dismissed by the current administration. I have encountered other neighborhoods that feel the same way. As a veteran, I strongly believe that if something does not seem right then there is a responsibility to stand up. It will be easy for me to be objective because I do not have ties to anyone.
My communication skills and management experience put me in the unique position to be able to go see problems for myself and meet the people where they are. Any time someone goes and sees a problem from both sides it creates the opportunity for better outcomes that make both sides walk away feeling heard.
I have seen the budget and noticed several places where spending can be decreased by inviting specialty groups to come in to donate time doing what they love best. It helps the city and gives them advertising. I would cut stipends to myself because if I can pay for things that the community needs that way then that is what should be done.
At this time, I would focus on cutting spending to get the community some things that it really needs. We need to look at ways to bridge the two sides of Independence. Cutting spending in some areas should allow for more funds to be focused on expediting the process of joining Independence.
If you need any help as a candidate, please email Carl Weiser at cweiser@enquirer.com