‘Now it’s time for governance’

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With former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Donald Wintersheimer presiding, City Commissioners Tim Downing, Denny Bowman, Michelle Williams, and Shannon Smith (left to right) take the ceremonial oath of office.

Four City Commissioners take ceremonial oath of office 

COVINGTON, Ky. – With their right hands raised, newly elected Covington City Commissioners Denny Bowman, Tim Downing, Shannon Smith, and Michelle Williams were sworn into office tonight before 100 to 110 people in the main gallery of The Carnegie theater and art gallery on the City’s Eastside. 

The ceremonial oath of office took place in an atmosphere charged with optimism but overlaid with a note of solemnity. 

“Campaign season is over,” Downing told the crowd. “Now it’s time for governance. Now it’s time for work.” 

The oath marks the beginning of the Commissioners’ two-year terms after they finished as the top four vote-getters in the November election. Downing and Williams are incumbents, Bowman previously served several terms as mayor and commissioner, and Smith is new to office. 

Mayor Joe Meyer – the fifth member of the Board of Commissioners who is in the middle of a four-year term and thus wasn’t on the November ballot – spoke of the “nobility” of elective office and praised the talent and knowledge of the four. 

With the five members hailing from five different neighborhoods in the City and representing an array of demographic characteristics, he called the new Commission the most diverse that Covington has possibly ever seen. 

Meyer cited a list of exciting development projects and other initiatives that should come to fruition in the year ahead, adding momentum to a widespread sense of vibrancy downtown that has gained national attention. But he also spoke of problems and issues that will need to be addressed. 

“We recognize these challenges but they’re not an excuse to take our foot off the accelerator,” Meyer said. “This is an exciting and challenging time for the City of Covington, and this Commission is up to that challenge.” 

The short ceremony, during which the four Commissioners gave brief remarks to thank supporters and voters, came in the middle of a three-hour meet-and-greet at The Carnegie. 

Retired Justice Donald Wintersheimer, a former Covington City Solicitor who went on to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court, issued the oath of office, and City Manager David Johnston served as emcee. 

Noting several former City Commissioners in the crowd, including Bill Wells, J.T. Spence and Steve Frank, Johnston spoke of the continuity of progress. 

“As much as this group (of new Commissioners) will continue to move Covington forward, we would not be here without the hard work of those who served before,” he said.


The first official meeting of the new Commission takes place Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Chambers at City Hall.


 Mayor Joe Meyer spoke of the "nobility" of elective office.