The terms of two long-term members of the Kenton County Planning Commission ended recently. The departures of Commissioners Barbara Carlin of Ryland Heights and Jim Cook of unincorporated Kenton County took with them 30 years of experience serving their community on the planning commission.
By action of the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly, the City of Ryland Heights moved from sixth to fifth class status. This move provided the central Kenton County community with a seat on the planning commission for the first time. It also necessitated Carlin’s departure since her seat was designated to represent the county’s sixth class communities as appointed by the Fiscal Court.
When the Ryland Heights City Commission filled its new seat on the planning commission, Carlin’s eligibility ended. She had served since 2000.
“Remember that you’re planning for the future and that you’re there for everybody, not just a few,” responded Carlin when asked if she had any advice she would like to pass along to her colleagues. “Your decisions have to make good sense and follow the guidelines set out the in comprehensive plan.”
Cook was first appointed to the Kenton County Planning Commission in 1998. By all accounts, his tenure on the county board was marked by a strong belief in and voice for southern Kenton County and the opinions held by those who live there.
Cook’s tenure ended in December when he completed his fourth term on the planning commission. Judge/Executive Steve Arlinghaus appointed Gailen Bridges to a four-year term replacing Cook.
“Remember that you represent the people, not the elected officials,” is how Cook responded when asked about thoughts he would like to pass along to the current planning commission members. “I served 16 years and wish I could continue to serve.”
Cook exhibited a good deal of pride in pointing out that he was first appointed by a Democratic judge/executive and reappointed by three Republican judges/executive to serve his neighbors in southern Kenton County.
Members of the planning commission gave each departing member a plaque and standing ovation during their last meeting as commission chairman Paul Darpel recounted their many contributions to the cause of planning in Kenton County.
“Barb and Jim were good commissioners and represented their constituents well,” said Darpel. “We obviously hate to lose good people with this much experience. We’ll miss them, both as colleagues and friends.”