Ken Rechtin

Political party: 
Question 1: 

Over the past several years many residents have found it difficult to find meaningful employment that is accessible to them. What steps will you take to ensure that residents in our more urban neighborhoods will be able to have the same opportunities as other communities, and to ensure that every part of the city benefits from economic development?

Yes, I do believe it is true that many of Newport's citizens have not benefited from the economic development efforts and "giveaways" of the past. I will guide future development with that in mind. I believe that economic development must be focused on benefiting our citizens, not the developer. Properly focusing on job creation that meets the skill set and abilities of our residents as well as proximity to their homes.

Question 2: 

Redevelopment in Newport has resulted in the relocation of affordable housing units and the present/former occupants. Given the model of concentration and isolation of the former generation of public housing, this relocation presents both challenges and opportunities. How do you plan to provide greater opportunities to low income residents while affirmatively furthering fair housing? 

Yes, relocation of affordable housing has occurred....somewhat! Much of the new affordable housing units does little to decrease the concentration. Newport needs to be part of a region wide recognition that concentration of low income housing is not only not good for the urban core, it is bad for our NKY region as well. To have as many public housing authorities in three counties as we have here in NKY not only is inefficient, but it continues to promote concentration. A beginning point will be to begin to discuss the benefits of working cooperatively among all the housing authorities. Possibly to begin a discussion on consolidation!

Question 3: 

Newport is one of the most diverse cities in northern Kentucky when it comes to racial and ethnic make up, and has many vibrant neighborhoods. Yet some residents see a distinct lack of representation on city boards or in city employment. What steps can the city take to make sure that community boards and city employment are representative of the city as a whole? 

The answer is to put in place some standards of representation so that board/employment reflects the make up of our community!

Question 4: 

Currently there are several 'brownfields' scattered throughout Newport. The most well known of these include the L&H Tool & Die site at 12th and Lowell, which was profiled in an USA Today article detailing brownfields and lead contamination, and the former Newport Steel location. What can the city do to help clean up these and other sites, and promote development that will enhance the communities surrounding them?

The brownfield sites are well know to our community. It is in the city's interest to facilitate the cleanup or capping of these sites so that they can be returned to productivity. Within the financial abilities of our city, I am committed to returning these sites to productive use.

Question 5: 

Citizens returning home from incarceration, and even those who have finished their probation and parole, often have trouble returning to their communities. Several cities and states have fostered initiatives aimed at helping these members of our community get back on their feet. Louisville and Cincinnati, for example, have removed questions about previous convictions from hiring applications. What steps do you feel Newport can and should take to help folks re-enter our community?

In conjunction with the other river cities and with the support of Campbell County (since Campbell County operates one of the largest county "prison" facilities within the City of Newport), I am committed to supporting legislation as has been outlined.

Question 6: 

Currently people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+) lack protection from discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodation under state or federal law. Eight cities in Kentucky have passed their own expanded human rights ordinance, often referred to as a Fairness Ordinance, to extend protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. These cities include towns as small as Vicco (population 334), as large as Louisville (population 760,026), and as nearby as Covington (population 40,640). Do you support a Fairness Ordinance for Newport to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination?