Changes in Covington city government

By Dan Wells - bio | email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - There is a lot of moving and shaking is going on in Covington city government.

The city commission fired the Covington city manager in a closed door meeting on Tuesday. It's exactly what mayor Denny Bowman and commissioner Shawn Masters promised before the 2008 election - that they would vote to remove Jay Fossett.

Fossett was responsible for enforcing policies and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the city, but soon, his fourth-floor office at the city building will be empty.

"When you have a relationship that doesn't work, you try to amend that because our goal is to move Covington forward to bring back jobs to bring residents back to our city and we felt a change was necessary," said Bowman. "Jay, I hope, will continue to be a friend of mine. I will be a friend of his. We just made that decision as commissioners with a three to two vote."

Some say Fossett was fired in the name of politics.

"Suspired by the move, but I knew that it was going to happen because Mr. Shawn Masters said in his election campaign, promised that he was going to replace Jay Fossett," said Covington resident Brenda Ramsey. "Sometimes you have do what you have to do."

The resignation takes effect July 1, with the assistant city manager Larry Klein becoming interim city manager the following day.

When asked if Fossett was surprised by the move, Mayor Bowman declined to answer that question, but did say, "He got a severance package based on the contract he signed several years ago and we're moving forward now."

Covington is northern Kentucky's largest city, with some 40,000 residents and nearly 400 employees who answer to the city manager.

Department heads like police chief Lee Russo say as far as they're concerned, the change will not affect any city service.

"Business in the police department and in the city continues. That is what the department directors are here for, to run the day to day city operations," said Russo. "When the interim city manager takes over we'll keep equally as informed as the current city manager."

Fossett served as the city's top administrator nearly four years.