I recently had the honor of catching up with Kathleen Zech, or Kitty, as she prefers to be called. A longtime Cheviot City Councilwoman who is up for reelection. Kitty, along with Republican colleagues Amy Luken-Richter, and Kerry Smyth constitute three of the five candidates in the City Council field up for reelection or election. Gail Griffin, a Democrat, and J. Danielle Petermann, an Independent, account for the other two.
With the numbers scaled in the Republican's favor, I asked Kitty how she felt about the parties' chances.
"I have learned that anything is possible in an Election. We have some excellent candidates running, but it is all up to the voters. After all, they really are the Government, they choose who will represent them. Their voice is what matters" -Kathleen "Kitty" Zech.
Kitty speaks from experience being a Councilwoman for 25 years. She was first elected in 1994, a time when Council didn't have access to the City's "Laws and Ordinances", this was quickly her first priority and still is to this day. Kitty is also responsible for introducing the "Folio System", which allows easy online access to the City's Laws and Ordinances like the handy link above.
Kitty, now retired as a Self-Employed Marketing Consultant, has lived in Cheviot for over 50 years. She fell in love, and married her Husband Charlie here. "I married a Cheviot boy', said Kitty. Charlie's parents, as a wedding present, gifted them a piece of land where the newly-weds built their home and raised a family together. Kitty has no plans of leaving either, "My husband passed a few years back, but I still call this house and Cheviot home. I intend to spend the rest of my days right here. I love Cheviot, my heart is here!"
Kitty's 25 years on City Council is impressive in and of itself. She seems to have a hand or at least makes it a point to be in the know on everything that happens. "I make it a point to attend all Committee Meetings, even those I am not a member of, in an effort to stay informed". Kitty serves as Laws, Rules and Ordinance Committee Chair, President Pro-Temp. She also has served on City Committees like the Bicentennial Committee which was responsible for the City's Splash Park. She was also apart of the Family Day Picnic and a participant in the City's recent Clean-Up Day event.
From securing grants for much-needed City projects to introducing new innovative concepts to govern more effectively, Kitty says, "I will continue to always put citizens needs first, ensuring their voice is heard, remain pro-active, accessible, to listen, to always care and to do everything in my power to maintain and improve our quality of life in Cheviot."
It would be hard to be an effective member of City Council for so long without having a good working relationship on both sides of the political aisle. Kitty does not appear to have her priorities weighed down by partisan politics, but I asked her to pick her favorite Democrat anyway. "I personally respect and enjoy working with all members of Council and the Administration, no matter what party. We are the team the voters choose to work for them. I suppose if I had to name a favorite Democrat, the Mayor, Sam Keller would have to be declared the winner based on our longevity of working for the City together. We may not always agree, but share a mutual respect for each other and genuine care and concern for the City."
The Election is November 5th, be sure and get out and vote! Here are some fun bonus questions and answers with Kitty.
Cheviot Gazette: Are you a cat or dog person?
Kitty: Being a Mom, a Grandma and even a Great Grandma, I have had my share of both cats and dogs. Dogs are definitely more fun, but I think cats are easier to take care of. I still have a cat that was born in our shed 17 years ago, she was beautiful but was the runt and her Mom kicked her out. My husband told me not to feed or bring her into the house. I caught him feeding her – then he brought her in! Go figure!
Cheviot Gazette: You are stuck on an island with one other Council member who do you pick and why?
Kitty: Who I would pick to be stranded with on an island is just too difficult of a decision! So I will solve that problem by never visiting any deserted islands!
Cheviot Gazette: Who was your celebrity crush as a teenager?
Kitty: Bob Smith on WCPO TV's Bandstand.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Councilwoman Kathleen Zech, Republican Candidate for Cheviot City Council.