City government's move to 20 W. Pike St. was supposed to be temporary. But recently the City finished its five-year lease and renewed it for four years.
COVINGTON, Ky. - A diverse group of 16 people who live or work in Covington will make up a task force that will help shape the vision for a new City Hall, if and when the City decides to build one.
The residents hold a wide range of occupations and come from different neighborhoods and backgrounds. They include a retired IT expert, a former Covington city manager, a marketing strategist, an educator, a pastor with expertise in new uses for old churches, a sales manager, an innovation consultant, and an architect.
Most had answered a call for applications issued by the City.
“It’s a good group, full of people carefully picked for their creativity, level of engagement, interest, work ethic, and diverse backgrounds,” Covington Mayor Joe Meyer said.
The list was approved by the Covington City Commission on a 5-0 vote tonight.
The task force will help YARD & Company, a Bellevue-based urban growth firm, explore possibilities for the role, function, uses, and goals of a potential new home for Covington city government.
The Commission voted in late September to use private funds to enter into a contract with YARD & Company for what is expected to be a five-month process that will be heavy on public engagement.
Covington moved most of its administrative offices into its current home at 20 West Pike St. in 2013 after selling its then-location for the new Hotel Covington. It’s the City’s second time around in the Pike Street building, which itself is a former J.C. Penney store.
The move was meant to be temporary, but a five-year lease was recently extended by four years.
The current City Hall was never designed to be a public office building and is inadequate and ineffective to meet the needs placed upon it.
While the 2013 retrofit made best possible use of the available space, the layout prevents efficient and confidential operations. For example, with no authentic lobby area and no private space near the lobby, citizens are forced to conduct their business with the City out in the open.
Many employees who work closely together are cut off from each other, and employees whose work requires collaboration with other departments and outside partners have few places to meet or work in groups.
In addition, the age and obviously temporary setup of the building does not reflect the pride that residents and businesses here have in their City, the Mayor said, nor does it present the best face to developers and entrepreneurs that Covington leaders are trying to persuade to invest in the City.
“A City Hall should be more than a building. It should be a vibrant center for a community, a meeting place, and a hub for efforts to create a better city and a better life for its families,” Meyer said. “This task force is the group of Covington residents that is going to help us figure out how Covington City Hall can fulfill that responsibility not just now but also 50 to 100 years from now. I look forward to seeing their work.”
The task force members:
- Andrew Hargis.
- Angela White.
- Brittany Brandenburg.
- Chris Henry.
- Janet Creekmore.
- Jim Guthrie.
- John “Jay” Fossett.
- Lori Eifert.
- Peter D’Angio.
- Quentin Koopman.
- Richard Hamel.
- Rob Fischer.
- Shannon Smith.
- Stephen Hayden.
- Taylor Lowry.
- Tim Downing.
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