Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Independence: Four who opposed insurance tax win



By Cindy Schroeder
Enquirer staff writer

INDEPENDENCE - Four challengers who fought an insurance tax last year were elected to City Council Tuesday in this fast-growing Kenton County suburb.

Incumbent Donna Yeager was the top vote-getter among 11 candidates running at large for six Independence City Council seats. The two-year term pays $3,000 a year.

Yeager will join incumbent Carol Franzen and newcomers Mike Little, Margaret Cook, JoAnne Cobble and Kent Kelso on council in January. Yeager, Little, Cook, Cobble and Kelso fought an insurance tax - a tax on homeowners' and auto insurance premiums - last year and called for fiscal responsibility and responsible growth.

Jeff Hemsath, who also campaigned with the anti-insurance tax group, finished seventh Tuesday. Others defeated were incumbents Mary Pat Behler and Jim Bushong; Jim Kudera, a former councilman and interim mayor; and Daniel E. Koch, a member of the city's board of adjustments.

Yeager attributed her first-place finish to "being fiscally responsible and trying to have a good quality of life for citizens of all ages.''

"Obviously, the insurance tax was a deciding issue in this election," said second-place finisher Little. "The citizens are tired of the taxation and spending.''

Little said the race came down to issues.

"The mud-slinging, half-truths masquerading as campaigning that my opponents used were unfortunate," Little said. "The citizens were well aware of the issues and voted accordingly. My hope is that future campaigns will be issue-oriented, rather than of the personal-attack variety."

Most of the challengers said they were drawn into the race because of concerns about tax and spending issues in a city that saw its population jump 43 percent between 1990 and 2000. Other issues included better land-use planning and road improvements.

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




OHIO ELECTION RESULTS:
Ohio provisional ballots may decide presidential election
Voters repeal amendment on gay rights
Ohio Supreme Court: GOP's justices appear to be buttressing majority
Voinovich has no trouble winning 2nd Senate term
Sycamore levy passes; four others fail
Kerry effort falls short in Ohio
Ohio Republicans aim to maintain grip in House, Senate
Ohio election briefs
Ohio Issue 1 passes
Turnout heavy in suburbs
MU students hit the polls
HAMILTON CO. RACES
Cincinnati school levy passes
Hospital tax leading despite opposition
CLERMONT CO. RACES
Clermont County: Republicans remain choice in early count
Clermont County tax issues: Long lines delay counting
BUTLER CO. RACES
Fairfield levy passes
Butler commission: All incumbents being returned
Butler levies: Support strong for health, social care funding
Butler County Sheriff: Jones likely successor to Gabbard
WARREN CO. RACES
Heavy turnout, long lines delay vote count
Kings levy passes by slim margin
INDIANA RACES
Indiana governor: Daniels prevails after tough, costly slugfest
Ballot misprint may affect Ind. school board race

KENTUCKY ELECTION RESULTS:
LOCAL RACES
Alexandria: Voters stick with City Council's six incumbents
Bellevue City Council: Two incumbents losing seats with 4 of 5 precincts counted
Covington: Sanders and Stricker joining City Commission
Campbell County: Ward holds on to retain seat on Circuit Court
Florence City Council: One newcomer, five incumbents win seats
Independence: Four who opposed insurance tax win
Newport: Mayor, all four on council will be keeping their seats
Suburban schools: Campbell, other area boards get fresh faces
Villa Hills, Taylor Mill: Taxes to fix, replace city streets rejected
Urban schools: Newcomer ousts incumbent, snags Newport board seat
N. Ky. election briefs
STATE RACES
Popular president dominates Kentucky
Ky. Senate: Bunning wins - but race was close
Ky. House: This time around, Davis prevails
Issue One: Kentucky overwhelmingly says yes to no-gay-marriage
State's determined voters brave long lines, waits, rain
23rd Senate District: Westwood survives challenge by Groob
Ex-Gov. Carroll wins Frankfort seat
State Senate: Republican Thayer wins a full term in new seat
67th House District: Keene's win preserves spot for Democrats

IN THE TRISTATE
Shelter director traveled from needing to helping
Help Habitat by hiring yard rakers
Father inspired mission journey
Cone throw may bring legal action
Police dogs could get TV time at competition
Harrison man charged in auto fatals
Exhibit to spotlight 350 years of Judaism in America
Medal of Honor graves get special markers
Local news briefs
Neighbors news briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
Gay Weber designed jet engines for GE

KENTUCKY STORIES
Time of change in Crestview Hills
Waltz or swing, timid students learn to let go
Florence Freedom has a deal
$545,000 grant to bolster Ky. health-care work force
N. Ky. news briefs
Jewelry gone after autopsy of corpse
N.Ky. schools' education guide available online
Murder counts filed in wreck that killed 2