Letters to the editor

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By The Staff

Don’t miss your opportunity to vote

To the editor:

The Oldham County Clerk’s Office wants to take this opportunity to inform all voters of some upcoming election information.

The 2008 General Election is Nov. 4.

For the upcoming election, I would like to remind you of your responsibility to make sure your address is correct in the Voter Registration Department of the Oldham County Clerk’s Office; that you know how you are registered and in what precinct you are to vote. Registration books will close on Oct. 6. If you have any questions, please call 222-0047 before Election Day.

Absentee voting will be conducted in the La Grange office beginning Oct. 7. Those eligible to vote by machine are voters who shall be absent from the county on Election Day; students temporarily residing outside the county, military, their dependents and overseas citizens; voters or spouses who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day; precinct election officers and alternates; members or staff of the County Board of Elections, deputy clerks; women in their last trimester of pregnancy; and individuals or their spouses who experience a medical emergency within 14 days of the election.

Today (Sept. 25), the Oldham County Board of Elections will travel to the South Oldham Government Center located at 6710 W. Ky. 146 in Crestwood to examine the voting machines and determine whether the requirements of KRS 117.165 have been met.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Voter Registration Department at 222-0047 with any questions.

Julie Lentz, Oldham County Clerk

Utility workers felt welcome in Oldham

To the editor:

To the residents of Buckner and Oldham County, I speak not only for myself, but the whole work force of Nashville Electric Service. We have worked many places and met and dealt with a lot of customers – good and bad.

That being said, we would like to thank everybody for your politeness and being so patient. The people here showed us unlimited courtesy and understanding. Thanks so much for the great accommodations and great food.

To the children who took the time to write notes and cards to us, a very special thanks. Also, a special thanks goes to 12-year-old Jacob, a resident of Halls Hill Road.

To have a great community, you need good, caring people, and to us, you have a great community.

Marc Logan, Franklin, Tenn., Nashville Electric Service

Teacher issues are priority over raises at board of education

To the editor:

Oldham County teachers were somewhat stunned to find out the board of education voted in August to give our superintendent an 11 percent raise. By adding this to a previous raise, his pay increases total 25 percent since 2005.

Over the same time period, Oldham teachers received 3 percent in raises. With out-of-pocket expenses increasing because of recent changes in our health care plans, and an inflation rate that is between 3 and 4 percent, our miniscule raises have been completely nullified.

As teachers in Oldham County, we believe Mr. Upchurch has done a fine job, and has the best intentions of our students in mind. However, we feel that parents need to be aware that if we do not come together to better compensate Oldham teachers for their efforts, we will continue to experience a talent drain to surrounding counties.

Oldham County Schools demand excellence from teachers. That is exactly why many of us choose to teach in this system because our superiors cannot possibly expect more of us than we do of ourselves. Teaching is a calling, and most of us could not picture ourselves doing anything else.

Our community needs to be aware that our system has lost a number of talented educators in recent years to surrounding counties. Many have left because they can be better compensated for extra hours and duties, which often must be done for free in our system.

As teachers, administrators, and parents, we all want what is best for our kids. Losing quality professionals to other school systems is not what is best for the students of Oldham County.

As teachers, we are well aware of the financial restraints Oldham County Schools are under. Much of the financial pinch we experience comes from the fact that our county is rich in subdivisions, but poor in taxes from operational businesses.

Outdated laws from Frankfort do not help us either. Our funding is based on the number of pupils from the year before, which does not adjust for the explosive growth Oldham County has experienced in recent years. Under Kentucky law, the last homeowners’ tax increase our board passed could only be allocated for facilities, not teacher pay. As dedicated instructors, it was hard for us to watch multi-million dollar expansions to our athletic facilities considering the pay levels for teachers in our county. In order to correct these problems, our board and our community will have to help us take the cause to Frankfort, not just the county.

We hold no animosity toward our superintendent, and we compliment his efforts to improve our schools. However, we do feel the board of education needs to make some of the teacher issues we have discussed a priority before considering raises for anyone at the board level.

Many of our friends and colleagues who have moved on to other school systems report back that there are no educators in our region that put in more work for less compensation than the teachers of Oldham County. Right now, many members of our community may not be concerned about this issue because Oldham continues to post outstanding test scores. But, if we do not do something to correct this problem, the results will soon show up in measurable ways.

Michael E. Slider, Nancy Palmquist, Stephen Holbrook, Clay Holbrook, Bev Luciano, Drew Hoffer, Heather Johnson, Colleen Davis, Bill Cofer, Norman Effingham, Erik Huber, Becky Law, Frank Wright, Meredith Fergason, Diane Poe, Judith White, NixB N. Slider, Michael P. Herakovic, Marguerite Vance, Karen Ford, Dr. Charles Bentley, Keri Polevchak, Jan Gibson and, Heather Montgomery, all of South Oldham High School, Shawna Pohlman, North Oldham Middle School

Friends of Freedom support efforts

To the editor:

We would like to thank all of our Friends of Freedom for their generous contributions to the upkeep of the monument grounds and keeping the flags of freedom flying over Oldham County:

U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth and Chief of Staff Julie Carr; Duane Murner, Oldham County Judge-Executive; Bill Tucker, director of Oldham County Building Permits and Inspections; Bill Hoelscher, Oldham County Deputy Clerk; Bill Howard, Fastline Publications; Ron Winters, Oldham County PVA; J.D. “Jay” Koontz of Crestwood, Farmers Bank of Milton, OCPD Chief Mike Griffin, Heartly and Kathy Winters of Ballardsville, Bedford Loan and Deposit Bank in La Grange, J.W. Hall of La Grange, Sheriff Steve Sparrow, Knights of Columbus La Grange, Magistrate David Voegele, Pewee Valley Lodge No. 829, State Rep. David W. Osborne, State Rep. Rick Rand, Jim and Louraine Trafton of La Grange, The BANK–Oldham County in La Grange, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Nauert of Crestwood, Magistrate Bob Leslie, Sen. Ernie Harris, North Oldham Little League, Oldham County Moose Lodge No. 2415, La Grange Rotary Club, Ballardsville Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of La Grange, Oldham County Democratic Club, and Leanne Kommer, Oldham County Health Department.

The board members of the Veterans Monument Fund are proud to say God Bless America to all of our supporters, their families and their friends. We urge all of our friends to continue their financial support.

Sammy Steele, chairman

Ironman equals opportunity for city

For the second year our county has been fortunate to literally have the world at our doorstep. This year’s Ironman competition included about 2,800 competitors from 24 countries and 49 states, with 20 from Oldham County. With about 6,000 people in La Grange for the Ironman Festival the economic impact on the immediate historic district is significant. One business owner said it’s special events like Ironman that sustain businesses through tough times. Several nonprofits and churches used the opportunity to fundraise, including the Oldham County History Center, CASA for Henry, Trimble and Oldham counties; Grace Baptist Church, Immaculate Conception’s high school youth group, La Grange Presbyterian and Masonic Lodges of Oldham County, Fortitude # 47 and Pewee Valley # 829. Through the generosity of sponsors and the sale of cowbells, Discover Downtown La Grange covered event costs and raised funds for community projects like Light Up La Grange.

Discover Downtown La Grange thanks the people and organizations who worked to make the festival a huge success, including our sponsors – the Oldham County Tourism Commission, Ironman, Tri-County Ford Mercury, KFC and Bluegrass Bicycle. We owe gratitude to the volunteers who gave their time that day, especially Craig and Nancy Basler of Cornerstone Family Church in La Grange, who coordinated 70 volunteers for crowd control, parking and clean-up. They prepared breakfast and lunch for volunteers, police and EMS workers in La Grange. Thanks to the La Grange Police Department and Chief Kevin Collett for working with us. Oldham County Chamber of Commerce Director Deana Karem worked with the Greater Louisville Sports Commission negotiating marketing opportunities for businesses to offset the cost of countywide police and EMS services.

And thank you to the Oldham County residents who came to La Grange or cheered on the athletes from their neighborhood. Because of our hospitality there are complimentary words for Oldham County all over the Internet. People all over the world are blogging about how beautiful it is, and how coming through La Grange is the highlight of the often lonely bike course.

For the next three years we will have the opportunity to showcase Oldham County, the City of La Grange and our people to the world. We have an opportunity to witness and teach our children about the power and endurance of the human spirit. Let’s embrace this opportunity — the date for 2009 is Aug. 30.

Barbara Edds, director; Ann Zimlich, board of directors

Discover Downtown La Grange