Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Covington Rocks

Actually, not just Covington, but much of the rest of Northern Ky, too.

To start, the DMV Rocks! I know, you think I'm nuts. I'm a former Ohioan. I would have thought I was nuts too. But let me tell you, the folks at the Kenton Co. Clerk's office are wonderful. First, they are thorough. When you call and ask what is needed to transfer a title or get new plates, or whatever, they tell you EVERYTHING. Secondly, they are efficient. I never wait for more than a minute or two to get my tags. Not in 7 years. Thirdly, they are all about "customer service". They're polite, nice, willing to go out of their way, and they have such niceties as a phone with every major auto insurance company AND a public fax so that you can have your proof of insurance faxed to them. And never a frown. I don't like paying tax and the various license fees, but they never add insult to that injury. Those folks are everything civic servants should be. BTW, they're pretty great to work with when you get a marriage license too.

Next up is the City of Covington. Now, these folks are bound by the same silly politics that every other city has to deal with, which is unavoidable, but I have to say that they really try hard to get out of the way of businesses and to make Covington a great place to locate. Things get DONE here. Cincinnati is still talking about the Banks after years and a billion dollars, but the Ascent went from a concept, to ground breaking in a matter of months and is now virtually done--and it's amazing (http://www.yourascent.com/ ).

I'm not saying this local government is perfect, but I've seen an awful lot of successes and I've personally watched the City Commissioners and Mayor put in long, long hours listening to concerns, dealing with the boring, annoying and unavoidable minutia, and getting important things done, regardless. Now, maybe I'm wrong, but to a man (or woman), regardless of party or politics, they all seem to deeply care. Frankly, one look at this town and it shows. And, by the way, it's not just the big guys--the folks that are "on the ground" clearly care quite a bit. They seem to be coordinated around the shared vision of a vibrant community. Without going into too much detail, I just want to say that there are some typically under-appreciated folks working for the city who ought to be very proud of their work. I'm impressed.

But wait, there's more!

The folks at the Northern Ky. Area Planning Commission have managed to get almost everything a builder, business person, or homeowner might need under one roof. In fact, you can even get a permit on-line! On-line! http://www.nkapc.org/ Not only that, but from our experience so far, the folks down there ALSO share the same responsive attitude.

It just seems like all the things that local governments seem to screw up for folks in other areas, don't get screwed up over here. The necessary functions of government seem to occur with a minimum of inconvenience to the citizen. In fact, it sure seems like the only times that there are hassles, it's where the state or federal government regulation interferes with the local operation.

So, maybe these guys aren't perfect, but they're very, very good and they deserve a serious "atta" from us. They kick the stuffing out of anywhere else that we've ever lived and they are succeeding in turning this area into a place that anyone would want to live, work, and play.


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