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Pension issues causes tension in Kentucky cities Melissa Reinert Amy Chapman of the Lakeside Park and Crestview Hills Police Department is in “NKY Women in Blue.” PHOTOS PROVIDED BY KATIE WOODRING

The Kentucky pension system is a sore topic for Dave Hatter and many other Northern Kentucky leaders. “The more people learn about the pension system in Kentucky, the more they’ll realize how insane it actually is,” Hatter, the Fort Wright mayor, quipped. “It’s ludicrous, really.”

Background The issue lags back to the early 1990s when the legislature stopped fully funding some of its pension obligations. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS) Board made a few bad investments, according to Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell. “They were counting the return on these investments to be 7 percent, they were only 3 percent,” Bell said. “It was a well-kept secret what they were investing in, as well.” Hatter said the recession in the late 2000s furthered the problem. “It all left a massive Dan Bell smoking hole of debt,” Hatter said. “That’s a significant problem and I don’t know the solution, but I do know that it’s unfair to force the costs on the cities who have kept up with their contributions throughout the years. We have done what we were told to do.” Like many cities, Fort Wright grew tired of their “lack of control and being billed for a large sum of monies and future projections of even more required funds from us,” Hatter said. Dave Hatter

Lawsuit details So in spring 2014 Fort Wright City Council decided to file a class action lawsuit against the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS) Board of Trustees. The suit calls for the separation of the investment portfolios of the County Employee Retirement System See PENSION, Page 2A

NKY policewomen strip down barriers for calendar Melissa Reinert

Female cops throughout Northern Kentucky are stripping down barriers and making a difference in their community. Not only are they working hard to serve and protect, but they’re posing proudly for a charitable cause. “NKY Women in Blue, a female officer calendar that focuses on fitness, strength and confidence,” said Fort Mitchell Detective Jill Stulz. Stulz, 34, came up with the idea for the charitable project in 2015, after seeing a friend’s Facebook post that shared a link for a fireman calendar out of North Carolina. “I clicked on the link, not for the half uniform dressed, greased up, puppy holding buff fireman, but rather to read the article associated with it. I was wondering what the point of it was and how in the world they got approval to be greased up in their uniforms,” Stulz said. Stulz learned it was for a fundraiser the fire department does every year for its local animal shelter. Immediately she got the idea of police officers in Northern Kentucky doing something similar, but not focused on sex appeal. “I researched and settled upon a Northern Kentucky female officer calendar,” she said. “I wanted the proceeds to go to an organization whose clients could connect with the message we were trying to convey – promoting women as being strong, confident and fearless. We first worked with the Women’s Crisis Center, and this year’s bene-


Alesa Collinsworth of the Independence Police Department is featured in the “NKY Women in Blue” calendar.

ficiary is the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky.” Welcome House exists to end homelessness by guiding clients from housing uncertainty to housing stability through its services such as housing, service coordination, and income and benefits. The second edition, a 2018 calendar, will feature tasteful, professionally taken photographs of 13 regional female officers. Advance orders are being taken at NKY Women in Blue’s Facebook page. In the last few years, NKY Women in Blue has also become an organization with roughly 35 members, representing

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Melody Parker of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office is part of the “NKY Women in Blue” calendar.

law enforcement agencies across Northern Kentucky. Stulz said the group is aiming to participate in more fundraising events this year, as well as working with additional local organizations. See CALENDAR, Page 2A

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