Bellevue, KY – June 22, 2015 – Former Mayor Thomas J. Wiethorn passed away this morning. He had a long history of service in Bellevue first as a councilman from 1980 to 1985 before becoming mayor in 1986 to 2001. He returned to elected office as a councilman from 2011-2012. While serving the city he initiated many programs, including his favorite, establishing a historic preservation ethic with the National Register of Historic Places nominations of the Taylor’s Daughters and Fairfield Avenue Historic Districts in 1988 and establishing the Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1989 that led the City of Bellevue to becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG) community. In 1992 he won the Ida Lee Willis Service to Preservation Award.
Mayor Ed Riehl said, “Tom was the most passionate man I know when it comes to Bellevue. He set a standard when it came to public engagement. He kept us moving forward while holding elected office and as a citizen. It’s a huge loss for our community.”
Mayor Wiethorn was involved in many projects like the city’s motto, “Preserving the Past, Preparing for the Future” and logo, initiating Bellevue’s Tree USA Designation and our tree planting program, and creating the Bellevue Senior Citizen Appreciation Picnic. He worked hard developing relationships in Frankfort that led to Community Block Development Grants (CBDG) for the conversions of St. Anthony and Center Street Schools into senior citizen housing. He was instrumental in the development of the Bellevue Beach Park and The Party Source as well as assisting in the creation of the Bellevue Urban Renewal Community Development Agency chartered with riverfront development. Many credited him with helping make Bellevue more beautiful, by bringing statuary to the city and his emphasis on preservation, parks and plantings.
Mayor Wiethorn’s commitment to Bellevue went beyond elected office. He was involved in the Bellevue Civic Association and the organization to follow, the Bellevue Neighborhood Association. He also served on the board of the Friends of Bellevue. He also started Wardstock, a concert on Ward Avenue, which is now the Second Saturday Concerts in the Park. He could be found planting flowers in our parks, giving preservation tours, helping neighbors, walking through the city making sure it’s in top-notch condition and overall adding to Bellevue’s sense of community. He will be missed, but he leaves behind a legacy for future generations to enjoy.