Liberty Twp. public service icon honored with name on conference room, plaque

David Kern remembered for being modest, humble

The legacy of former Liberty Twp. icon David Kern will now be a permanent display at the township’s headquarters.

Kern died earlier this year — six years after he retired from a total of 32 years as township trustee — and his memory was recently honored by township officials with the naming of a conference room after him.

And the dedication ceremony, which included Kern’s family, also saw the unveiling of a colorful wall plaque highlighting with photos and text describing many of Kern’s significant contributions to the community he loved.

Liberty Twp. Trustee Christine Matacic said picking the conference room where trustees and other township officials meet in private, legally allowed executive sessions was especially appropriate.

“This way, when future (trustees) go into that room, there will be a reminder on how they should conduct their business. That was the most appropriate room,” said Matacic.

Kern was a modest public servant, said Matacic, and asked that if she and others insisted on doing any recognition of his public office contributions, he would appreciate it if it happened after his passing.

“It showed how humble and modest the man was and it was an example of his philosophy you don’t name things for living people. And the beauty of it was I had the privilege of working with him for 14 years and the lessons he taught you every day.”

Kern, a former head of the Butler County Republican Party, would lead by quiet and consistent example, she said.

During the last decade Liberty Twp. has seen a booming population – the latest U.S. Census now lists it as seeing the second highest percentage growth – 18.1% - in Butler County.

Kern was instrumental, said Matacic, in Liberty establishing township zoning, creating a full-time fire department and attracting the $350 million Liberty Center, which opened in 2015.

“His calm demeanor gave credence to what we were able to do over the last 20 years.”

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