Pictured above are the members of the 2013-2014 Newport, Kentucky Board of Commissioners. From left to right: Frank Peluso, Beth Fennell, Mayor Jerry Peluso, Vice Mayor Tom Guidugli, John Hayden.
The City of Newport has a Mayor and four Commissioners and operates under the City Manager form of government as constituted under Kentucky Revised Statute 83A.150. The Board of Commissioners appoints a City Manager as the chief administrative officer, whose responsibility is to carry out the decisions of the Board and manage the day-to-day operations of the City.
The Commissioners serve two year terms while the Mayor serves a four year term. The Mayor has the statutory responsibility to preside at Board meetings, recommend appointments to designated boards, and is the signatory of authorized documents on behalf of the City while the City Manager serves as the chief executive officer.
Jerry "Cheyenne" Rex Peluso served as a Commissioner from 1988 until 2008, began his first term as Mayor in 2009, and is currently serving his second term as Mayor. A Newport native, he has worked in retail for over thirty years.
As a lifelong resident of the city, Jerry says it was a great honor to be elected mayor by the people in the city you grew up in, the city you love, and the city you care very much about. During his time in office since 1988, Newport has not only changed in a good way but in a phenominal way. He believes it is important that as elected officials and, as a city as a whole, that we continue to work together to improve the quality of life for everyone.
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Tom's first term on the Board of Commissioners began and he was first appointed Vice Mayor in January of 2011. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance. Tom has been employed with Local 5 Stagehands for nearly 25 years and since 2000 has served as the Business Representative for the Cincinnati chapter managing a multi-million dollar budget and over 400 full and part time employees. He is married to Heather Rahn Guidugli and they live with their young daughter Giabella in the East Row Historic District of Newport.
Tom has served as the President of the Performing Arts Technical Scholarship fund (an initiative of the Corbett Foundation) for over 12 years. He has been a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) for nearly 25 years and holds state wide positions within IATSE, is a member of the Campbell County Democratic Executive Committee, and serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club. Tom was a 2009 recipient of the Cincinnati Business Courier 40 under 40 Award.
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Frank began his service as a Commissioner in January of 2007. He is Newport native and a 1973 graduate of Newport Catholic. Frank is currently a Client Service Representative with EDI, Inc. He has attained designations as both a Certified Municipal Clerk and a Certified Government Buyer. Frank resides in the Clifton neighborhood of Newport with his wife Susan Shields Peluso. He is the proud father of two grown children, the proudest Papa in the world of his beautiful grand-daughter, and the proud grand-paw to two grand-dogs.
Frank is a member of the Newport Optimist Club, the American Water Works Association, and the National Institute of Government Purchasing. He has stated he is proud to be a member of a successful, transparent team that has seen an economic upturn in both business and housing markets in a city that still holds a hometown feel while welcoming and appreciating varying thoughts and ideas.
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Elisabeth "Beth" Fennell began serving as a commissioner in January 1993 and was Vice Mayor from 1996 – 1998. She is a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser holding a BA in Communications from Purdue University. A Newport resident for three decades, she has owned her home in the Clifton neighborhood for 28 years, her father’s family dates back in Newport to the 1840’s and her mother is from South Newport. Beth’s great grandfather started the George H. Fennell Company in Newport in 1896. First located at Fifth and Monmouth, it morphed from residential stoves and boilers to residential heating and air conditioning to mechanical contracting and has been located at 7 E 4th Street since the early 1900's. Beth has been a member of the OKI Board of Directors since 1992 and the Executive Committee since 1998. She is a Former Director of the Greater Cincinnati Boys and Girls Club Board. Beth was recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Northern Kentucky, is a Graduate of Leadership Northern Kentucky, co-author of "Newport, A Bicentennial History", and served on the Newport Bicentennial History Committee.
She states, “Exciting changes have occurred in Newport during my tenure, from transformation of the Riverfront and Newport Pavilion to increased housing opportunities, revitalization of Monmouth Street, expansion and creation of Historic Districts, rehabilitation of our parks and increased involvement of neighborhood groups.”
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John was first sworn in as a Commissioner in January of 2009. An attorney, Newport native, and graduate of Newport High School, John holds a BA in History from Thomas More College and received his Juris Doctorate from NKU/Chase. Together with wife Nikki Hayden, they are kept busy at home raising the six children in their household.
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