Thursday, September 18, 2003

Kenton County to roll out hot line



By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Kenton County taxpayers will soon be able to call a central number to resolve county-related questions or concerns within 24 hours.

Starting at 8 a.m. Oct. 1, Kenton County Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd will launch Kenton County Cares. At a press conference Wednesday, Murgatroyd said the program is designed to improve customer service and make county government more accessible to taxpayers.

Scott Gunning, now a county administrative assistant, will serve as the We Care Coordinator. Gunning will work about 30 hours a week handling county residents' questions and problems through calls to a dedicated phone line, (859) 392-1999; a direct e-mail address, wecare@kentoncounty.org; and a customer service survey card that will be distributed to all county government departments.

"Having come to this office after a lifetime outside of government, I am cognizant that all too often folks get frustrated when they call a government agency and get transferred to multiple extensions before they get an answer,'' Murgatroyd said. "Today we are taking one more step to open the lines of communication between county government and the citizens who are footing the bill."

Through Kenton County Cares, taxpayers' questions will be forwarded electronically to the appropriate county department for response.

If an agency can't respond within 24 hours, the resident will be told within 24 hours when the problem will be addressed. Legal inquires covered under Kentucky's open records law will be told of the circumstances within 24 hours and the request will be forwarded to the County Attorney's Office for response.

The Kenton County Cares program, which is included in the current budget, will involve about $1,200 in startup costs, said Scott Kimmich, Kenton County deputy judge-executive.

Murgatroyd said the program is part of county officials' ongoing efforts to make government accessible to taxpayers.

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




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