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Origin of Area Planning: May 4, 1961

On this date in 1961, elected officials from Kenton and Campbell County Fiscal Courts and the Cities of Covington, Erlanger, Taylor Mill, Winston Park, Elsmere, South Fort Mitchell, Bromley, Newport, Fort Thomas, Dayton, Crestview, Woodlawn, and Southgate gathered at Covington City Hall to execute a contract establishing an area planning council and commission pursuant to legislation enacted the previous year by the Kentucky General Assembly.

They elected officers for the Council—Charles Kuhn of Fort Thomas was chosen the first president—and the first eight members to serve on the Area Planning Commission: George Nelson (community unknown); June Lukowski (Fort Mitchell); Paul Swanson (Erlanger); E.R. Morlidge (Fort Thomas); Charles Creekmore (Taylor Mill); Edward Beiting (Alexandria); George Neack (Newport); and, Lawrence Rechtin (Dayton).

Those actions capped off a several-year effort by members of the several chambers of commerce, the Home Builder’s Association of Northern Kentucky, local elected officials, members of the 23 local planning commissions that existed across the three northern Kentucky counties, and ultimately the area’s legislative delegation to the General Assembly to provide for “a more efficient planning operation.” (KRS 147.610)

The post-World War II explosion of suburban development was in full swing.  Bulldozers and other heavy equipment were on the move, connecting Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to the brand-new Eisenhower interstate highway system. And, many were worried that without coordination and the technical support of a professional staff, Northern Kentucky would fail to capture the opportunities presenting themselves through new growth and development.

So, thank you to those far-sighted individuals and the history they initiated that Thursday evening. Thank you to all who have served on the Council and Board these past 57 years. Thank you to those who have filled positions we hold now, who have built the foundation on which we pursue our responsibilities today. And thank you to the Kenton County of 2018, a community much better off than what it would have been without the collective effort of those who came before us.