A Message from Mayor Charlie Cleves
December – it’s time to celebrate, reflect, appreciate, and create new goals.
Time to Get Into Shape!
Another new business has just opened on the Avenue to replace the lingerie shop in the 300 block of Fairfield. We just had a ribbon cutting ceremony December 4 for energi Total Wellness Studio. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to sign up for one of the classes. Bellevue native Michelle Madden (nee Reynolds) is the owner of energi. A lot of folks in Bellevue know Michelle. We wish the best in her new endeavor. Between L.A. Fitness, QFit–which is next door to energi at 336 Fairfield–and now this new yoga studio, you have no excuse for not making the New Year healthier and happier. Get busy!
We have established the Bellevue Ambassadors Club. At least once a month, Frank and I visit a business or school or institution in Bellevue. Our purpose is to simply reach out and let them know we’re here and try to understand what we need to do to do better. We’ve implemented numerous changes as a result of our visits. We ate lunch at the Bellevue High School with Dr. Robb Smith. We had a very interesting visit with Ken Grause of Pilot Lumber. We met with Pat Patel of the Bellevue Commons. We met with Steve Crawford of Assured Partners. And, Jeff, Mallory and Whitney Fisher of One Stop. And, others. Most recently, we met with John Stiles of the Party Source. We took a tour. What an amazing place. They are an important friend to Bellevue. They contribute to our annual Art in the Park event, and other events in Bellevue. They have at least 60 full-time employees, and the majority of them live in Bellevue and Dayton. The humidor in the Party Source is a multi-million dollar business. They have the largest climate controlled wine storage in the state. The prices and variety of product there is fantastic. They are a great asset for the City, and we appreciate all they do.
Ring-a-ding-ding App for Safety
Ring Doorbells now has a new app called “Neighbors.” This app allows you to see video clips from other Ring Doorbells and provides alerts immediately about crime in your area. At this time of the year, package thefts have been one of the most common events recorded. The homeowner can view a package theft while at work and then choose to send it to our Police Department. Within minutes of this happening, homeowners in the system also decide how big an area he or she wants to receive an alert. You can also choose a two-block area around your house or a one-mile area, your decision to choose. Whenever something happens within that area to a neighbor, you all receive the alert. The only way police can view the video is when a homeowner shares it with the police.
Get Into the BED and Shop Until You Drop
The kick-off for the Bellevue Entertainment District (“BED”) was far better than we could have imagined. We owe much of our success to Jay Fossett and Danielle Bell of Strategic Advisors who did a fantastic job of drafting our press release. By the way, Danielle is the daughter of Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell. Jay is a former City Manager of Covington. They did this for Bellevue, no charge. The print and online articles were to be found everywhere from social media to news organizations. Three of the local television stations came to Bellevue and filmed for a couple of hours each and Cincinnati Refined visited and did a wonderful photo gallery.
During the television interviews, I made sure to mention that it coincided with our annual Christmas Walk. The Northern Kentucky Tribune and River City News both ran great articles with pictures. They are consistently there for us when we need them.
I noticed that there were more men walking around with wives and girlfriends than in the past years. They all seemed to have one thing in common. They were ally carrying their favorite alcoholic drink in the BED cups while shopping. There was not one mention in the news about other entertainment districts, only Bellevue.
Our City Attorney Dave Fessler was instrumental in developing the BED program after studying other entertainment districts and looking at what other cities are doing. It was followed by our City Administrator Frank Warnock going to Maysville to check out its entertainment district there. They reviewed and scrutinized various cities’ approaches to entertainment districts. It did not take much convincing to talk the City council members and me into creating our own entertainment district. A number of planning meetings prior to the BED being approved. The committee included City Attorney Dave, City Administrator Frank, City Clerk Mary Scott, Community Development Director Jody Robinson, Police Chief Leland Estepp, Fire Chief Chris Adkins and myself. We tried to be prudent and careful in our approach.
Remember: The times and days for allowing the use of the BED cups are noon to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; the rules are on the BED cups, at participating business entrances and street signage; and, that participating is voluntary—if a business owner does not want BED cups in his or her business, they don’t have to allow it. Please don’t be rude if you’re asked to leave your BED cup out of a business. Say, thank you, and take the cup out of the store; then, go back in and
We’re trying to enhance our local businesses chance for success. We’re trying new ideas. Utmost here is to be clean and safe, but we want to stand out and be the best city we can be. The BED program is an experiment. Let’s give it a try and see if it will work.
Merry Christmas from City Hall
It has almost been one year since I took office as Mayor of the City. There was nothing fun or even pleasant for most of the first couple of months. First off, I have never been a Mayor. I had a lot to learn. Second, the City was confronted with a number of serious challenges, to say the least.
We put our heads down, and got to work. We re-established a working Code Board, hired professional engineers to manage Lincoln Road, the FEMA Hillside Stabilization Project, road projects, traffic issues and other infrastructure projects. We focused on grant applications. We undertook visioning with our elected leaders and City staff. We created goals. We established weekly staff meetings to open up communication and efficiencies between departments. We talk freely and openly at these meetings and at times disagree, but agree to disagree. I have opinions, but I try to listen and be flexible and understand. We are engaging in an ongoing effort to make it easier to do business in Bellevue.
I can now honestly say that each and every employee of our City is working hard for you and is very dedicated to the City and their jobs. We’re a small but efficient engine.
Just recently, Frank and I were leaving for a meeting at Southbank. We received a call that there was some glass in the street. The Public Services Department members were at a training session and unavailable. Assistant City Clerk Lois McBee volunteered to go clean it up. And, members of our Police Department agreed to do that, too. Frank or I would have done it, too.
Teamwork is a good word to describe the attitude present at City Hall today. We are here for you. You don’t have to wait for a Council meeting to bring a problem to the City’s attention. If you have a problem, just call Frank instead of me. If you want to let us know how great we’re doing, call me! (Just kidding).
So, from everyone here at City Hall—our City Council member, and City staff—we wish you a very Merry Christmas.