2:41 PM EDT, November 1, 2012
Editor’s note: The following letter is being printed again after it ran with errors in Wednesday’s edition of the Sun.
Mayfield wrong on House Bill 1
In the past week or so there have been some letters lauding Donna Mayfield for her opposition to House Bill 1. Let me share a few things on the subject.
The office of the inspector general identified 44 facilities in Kentucky as pain management clinics in 2012. Since HB1 was passed just a few short months ago and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear, 18 of those have closed up shop and left the state. Certainly not all pain management clinics are “pill mills,” but those statistics speak volumes. Has the legislation been effective? How can you view it otherwise? Is it a perfect piece of legislation? Of course not. There rarely is. The HB1 Implementation and Oversight Committee was established for that very reason and met this summer to take testimony from the Kentucky Medical Association and others who have expressed a desire to make some changes in the methodologies set forth in regulations established by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure — a board made up of 15 members, 10 of whom are physicians.
It’s president, Dr. Preston Nunnelley of Lexington, stated that “The abuse of prescription drugs is an epidemic in our state and we have to have strong, enforceable and practical laws and regulations to protect patients. I have no doubt that HB1 is saving lives.”
Folks, we have a house on fire here. There are a few in Frankfort like Mayfield that would rather play kick the can and debate the merits of using a yellow fire truck versus a red fire truck while the house burns to the ground. That’s really not looking out for the best interests of the homeowner is it? This situation was spiraling out of control and it mandated action, not obstructionism and rhetoric. Interestingly, the Legislative Record shows that when HB1, in its final language form, was presented to the House of Representatives for final passage, Mayfield did not even cast a vote. Perhaps her common sense told her that it was not so important to represent us in that final day of the special session, financed by taxpayer dollars.
Thankfully, next week, we have the opportunity to make a positive change in our representation for Clark and part of Madison counties. JoEllen Reed is a lifelong educator whose knowledge and compassion give her a firm foundation for public service. In representing us for many years, in both city and county government, she has always been extremely accessible, responsive, decisive and a woman of action. She puts special interests and partisanships aside in favor of what is in the best interest of those she was elected to serve. She will be a strong and representative voice for the 73rd District in Frankfort, and I urge you to join me in supporting her on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Whatever you do, go vote.
School board vision good for all students
Although no longer a resident of Clark County, but a parent whose child attends school in the district, I urge residents to vote for visionary and progressive school board members.I read with interest the report of the Clark County forum held Oct. 26 which featured discussion amongst six candidates running for school board positions.
It is time for forward thinking by all in the community. Continued derisive talk of the decision of the facilities planning committee of a few years back is counter-productive. The committee formed of representatives from school administration, teachers, board members and community took six months to research, visit facilities, fact find, and explore options, and made a decision that was best for the future of students and fiscally responsible for the district.
It is time to embrace that decision and envision the great possibilities. A short drive out Boonesboro Road gives one sight to the future jewel of the county. The state of the art facility, long overdue, will prepare students for their future and provide immeasurable community service. An excellent education system and state of the art facilities attracts growth-new families, new business, new revenue, innovation.
The combining of current middle schools into a renovated GRC building opens up possibilities. Instead of fearing large numbers, aspire to create a true middle school made up of schools within a school with team families, a lively intramural program, and exploration of careers. With visionary leadership on the board, at the district level, in the building and in the classroom, a safe, sound middle school with a rigorous curriculum and whole child approach can be achieved.
Travel 16 miles to the west to a collaboration between the University of Kentucky and Fayette County schools where the creation of a STEAM school embraces technology complete with flipped/blended classrooms that move learning outside brick and mortar.
Georgetown Road leads to Elkhorn Crossing School in Scott County, a high-tech high school that infuses technology through all instruction with a focus on problem-based learning. Still another direction leads to Woodford County, where students receive an iPad as standard equipment replete with access to iTunes U and in the words of University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, “a 21st century library at their fingertips.” Discussion of the purchase of additional textbooks as “more beneficial” is simply short-sided and obsolete.
Visionary, progressive leadership is needed to prepare Clark County students with the same next generation learning as the students in surrounding counties who will compete for the same college admissions and job opportunities.
Vote for leadership on the board that prepares my child and all students of Clark County for the 21st century.
Vote for change on school board
If you are against the Clark Middle and Conkwright Middle school merger, please vote for the following candidates:
Steve Graves- District 2
Ashley Ritchie-District 5
Michael McGowan-District 3
These candidates care about the safety and security issues that will effect our children if this merger happens too quickly, such as, discipline problems with too many students, longer bus routes, and mold and asbestos problems that take a very long time to properly eradicate. Please get out and vote for these candidates on Nov. 6. They care about your kids.
No need for Fiscal Court change
How many people are under the deception that we need three more county commissioners to make the county government once again magically work for the people? Stop deluding yourself to believe that if we add three more back to the county government commission this will somehow fix all the problems in our county government. Ask yourself as to how the county government will pay for three more? Only one way folks, and that will be to increase taxes because the money is not going to magically appear.
Let me quote you from a newspaper article in the Winchester Sun, January 28, 2010 titled — County officials to get salary boost. “Still, a majority of court members felt comfortable with Branham’s compromise, including Magistrate Bonnie Hummel, who said the current salary already overcompensates magistrates for the job. ‘It is a lot more than I feel like it should be,’ she said.”
Also, Magistrate Joe McCord cautioned that Clark County could not bear the expense of higher salaries if voters return the court to a magistrate format four years from now. Now, two years later some are yelling to return back to the magistrate form that they so warned us that Clark County could not afford.
OK, now you can laugh. In case anyone might have forgotten on July 29, 2011 the Winchester Sun ran the following article: Branham: Members not always prepared. So maybe the problem is not how many are on the county commission but how many county commissioners are really doing what they are being paid to do.
It is simple folks, vote no.
Debbie O. Rose
Larger county government, more taxes, don’t meet the smell test
On the local ballot for city and county voters in the Nov. 6 election is the issue of increasing the number of members of the Fiscal Court to six magistrates from three commissioners. If this is voted in, there are three outcomes that will follow the election — increased taxes for Winchester and Clark County citizens, increase in county insurance tax and/or a reduction in county services.
An increase in the number of elected officials means bigger government, more taxpayer-paid politicians and more costs.
It would cost the county an additional $354,000 over a four-year period to add three members to the Fiscal Court. When the county is not in great financial condition, where are these additional funds going to come from? The answer is increased taxes or reduced county services.
The current system has only been in effect for less than two years. Give it time to work and we can see, with time, if it is an effective form of government. If it does not prove to be effective, then appropriate adjustments can take place.
The county judge in a recent Winchester Sun article appeared to agree saying, “Sometimes I do wonder if all the benefits of this type of government have been explored.” A change will be costly to Winchester and Clark County residents.
Supporters of the change argue there will be more representation for county residents. When checking the facts, you will find that more than one-half of the residents reside in the city of Winchester. Law requires that these city residents have representation. Thus, one-half the new magistrates will represent only city residents. Taxpayers would be paying for up to three magistrates that represent only the city, and county residents would still have just three — the same number they now have at a cost savings in tax dollars of more than $350,000. Common sense says this proposal does not meet the smell test.
Please join me in spreading the word to your friends and neighbors about the serious ramifications involved with the ballot question.
Vote no to increased government and increased taxpayer expense.
Reed has people at heart
We attended the candidates’ forum last Thursday evening and after hearing both State Representative candidates, our prior choice was more than confirmed.
JoEllen Reed was knowledgeable, prepared and familiar with the topics presented. We were surprised that we couldn’t say the same for her opponent.
JoEllen Reed, an educator, community leader and elected official has the love of Clark County and its people at heart. She has proven her genuine concern and compassion for those she serves, coupled with the ability to get things done. If she says she will do something, you can be certain she will. She will not let issues fall through the cracks as has been done in the last two years.
JoEllen Reed follows through. And she will display the same enthusiasm for the northern part of Madison County which is included in the district.
Please give Clark County’s own sister, JoEllen Reed, your vote Nov. 6.
Sallie and Fred Dailey