Beach a dedicated leader
I am writing in support of Rick Beach’s candidacy for city commissioner. Rick has been very active in his role as Winchester commissioner. He has accomplished great things for the citizens of our community, and I believe we are better off because of his efforts.
Rick is the kind of person who does the right thing regardless of whether someone is there to witness it. As well, he has strong moral and ethical standards and a work ethic that never quits.
Rick is a problem solver. I have found him to always listen to those he represents and to always research issues and try to see things from both sides. He has always been ready and willing to help each and every one as commissioner and has the experience to do just that. He has been an educator, small business owner, commissioner and an advocate for more jobs and a fighter against the horrible surge of drugs in our community.
In short, Rick Beach is a great choice for city commissioner.
Steven Lee Justice
Mayfield example of common sense government
The constituency of the 73rd House District are fortunate to have such an asset as Donna Mayfield to represent us. I commend her message of common sense government and her common sense representation of Kentucky values. We got more from Mayfield than promised. We got trust, honor and integrity sitting at the 73rd’s seat at the table.
The results of the so-called “pill mill” bill that Democrats hastily pushed through, have local doctors afraid to prescribe certain medications that result in higher health care costs because patients are now driving to a Lexington pain clinic to get those prescriptions. Haste makes waste.
Increased crime, home invasions and break-ins perhaps are the justification Democrats used to limit the accessability of pain pills to drug addicts. That doesn’t make sense. Democrats pushed HB1 for a political agenda of self-importance.
The attributes and virtues Mayfield bring to the 73rd District are the envy of other districts in the Commonwealth. On Nov. 6, let’s re-elect Donna Mayfield as our state representative so she can continue to bring common sense to Kentucky government.
Why vote yes?
There are several reasons to vote yes on the fiscal court structure question on Tuesday’s ballott:
— More balanced form of government.
— A district race instead of countywide race — will let more people compete for the positions. They will represent the entire county as well.
— Countywide race vs. district race: A countywide race has three districts; a candidate must win two of the three districts, you could lose your district and still win the race or win your district and still lose the race. A dstrict race is just run and elected by your district. Wouldn’t you rather have someone you elected from your district representing you instead of someone other districts elected?
— There will be six districts not three or four.
— All commissioners could come from the city — a representative from the county would not be on the court. Rural communities need fair representation too.
— Salaries should not be an issue — they are now about .27 percent of the county’s approximately $15 million budget. The salary for the in-coming court, election Nov. 2014, will be set in May 2014 by the current three commissioners (salaries could go up substantially if there remains three commissioners — saying the amount of money they make now does not compensate them for the amount of time and work spent on their duties — they are now doing the work of seven).
If there are six members on the court, work will be more equally divided and salaries could be held to a minimum. Doubling the court salaries would only be .4 percent of the court’s budget. Do you want three people working for a larger salary (they set for themselves) or six people working for double the current salary of three? Where would this increase come from?
— Six magistrates would allow for a variety of ideas, more diverse opinions and promotes a better discussion on community issues. Electing three new commissioners will not solve the representation problem.
Shelia McCord, group supporting change
Vote no on ballot question
I am writing in response to the ballot question asking for a change in county government to increase our politicians from three to six. City and county taxpayers are paying one county commissioner — including benefits — $29,546.50 per year. The base salary is over $10,000 per year, but additional benefits bring the total to almost three times that amount. If the ballot question is approved, the cost to taxpayers for three additional magistrates would be $350,000 for a four-year term. Ask the county judge-executive and current commissioners where the money would come from to fund three more politicians.
Today we see private organizations reducing or doing away with many employee benefits. Few private corporations now pay full health insurance: dental and vision insurance are no longer heard of. Very few employers can afford these Cadillac benefits and retirement benefits are becoming a part of the past, even more so for part-time employees. Yet our Fiscal Court continues to provide these fringe benefits and other taxpayer-provided benefits to county commissioners who are part-time employees, as state law requires that you work 100 hours or more to even be eligible for retirement.
There is something wrong with this system when we have many of our county employees working at low or minimum wages, taxes continue to increase and elected county officials receive the compensation and benefits that the fiscal court has approved for themselves. And we continue to pay even after they leave office with taxpayer-paid retirement and insurance for the rest of their lives.
Taxpayers and many county employees are the ones that suffer from these acts or lack of fiscal responsibility of our county government. We, as taxpayers in this county, do not need to vote to add additional members to the fiscal court. Instead, we need to demand that a close look be made of current policies and demand a fiscally responsible local government whose interest is for the citizens of our community and not just for a select few who benefit from current county policies which provide benefits that are totally out of line with what is going on in our economy.
If this ballot question is passed, the necessary taxes will apply to everyone in the city and county because city taxpayers pay county taxes. I hope you will agree that our taxes are already too high and we need to stop the abuse. Join me in voting no to the ballot question and stop the abuse.
Consolidation of government agencies
Everyone should take a look at their tax bill for this year and their checking and savings accounts. How does one impact the other? If it’s like ours, it has a definite negative impact that keeps growing every year. Taxing entities keep raising rates and paychecks keep getting smaller.
In times of growing governmental expenses and decreasing income levels for tax payers, a very hard look should be taken as to the various taxing agencies and just what we are getting in return.
In my opinion, there are agencies that have a priority. Some are mandatory and necessary: police and fire protection, schools and roads. After these, the other agencies quickly lose their value. The county health department has a needed role but is secondary to those listed above. The library, in my opinion, has little to none as a separate taxing entity. Libraries keep coming up with services that have little to do with their original intended purpose to justify their existence. All schools have libraries and all have Internet access of some sort used by the students. Public libraries have become redundant and unnecessary.
I read in the Herald-Leader just this week where Pulaski County is considering eliminating their local library board and bringing the board under the control of the county government. I also remember reading a mention of this same consideration here in Clark County in The Winchester Sun. I would support such a referendum on the ballot, but I don’t think such action goes far enough. I think all taxing entities should be consolidated either under the county of city governments. They would decide the allocations to each entity, if any. Some services could be provided on a fee for service basis such as the health department imposes on sewers and septic systems.
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 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 tak 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.
Its 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 state 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.