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Letters to the Editor

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By The Staff

Residents not angered by appointmentTo the editor:I don’t know why it is felt that the residents were angered. Four people came to a meeting prepared to do the job they were elected to do. They did not procrastinate about doing their job. Just went on and did it. There was no time to waste as it had already been wasted. Thirty days is all that is allowed by law to replace a council member, 25 had been used with all the waiting. After 30 days the governor would appoint our councilmember. We prefer to do our own business, not pawn it off on someone else. Also if the people were angered, why did the room erupt in applause when the mayor announced the results of the council vote? Again when Mrs. Knight made her way to the podium, and once again when Mrs. Knight was sworn in? Being a councilmember is not a job you apply for, or are interviewed for, as it is in the business world. It is a job elected by the people. It really doesn’t matter what your resume says, it is who your neighbors think will represent them the best.James Beaumont was a very dedicated and punctual person, with a heart as big as they come. I feel that he would have been proud of our city council because for once they did their jobs in a punctual and timely manner.Kathy Gadberry,La Grange

Errors made in article damagingTo the editor:I am an elected official and am proud to serve the people of Oldham County. I recognize my obligation to manage the taxpayers’ money in a cost-efficient manner. I was extremely concerned when I read the article in the Jan. 10 edition of The Oldham Era that was factually incorrect in many instances, and tends to place the clerk’s office and the Oldham County Clerk in a negative light with the people of Oldham County who have the right to expect absolutely sound fiscal management.Though there were many incorrect statements in your article regarding the finances of the Oldham County Clerk’s Office, there were three major errors.1. The Oldham County Clerk’s Office does not consume any of the county’s budget. In fact, it does just the opposite. This office generates its own fees, and from those fees, pays all of its own operating expenses, and then turns the excess fees over to the Oldham County Fiscal Court to add to, not detract from, the revenue of Oldham County government to assist in paying the general operating expenses of the county.2. The excess fees for 2007 are 264 percent greater than the 2006 amount, not 43 percent less. Those same 2007 fees are 168 percent greater than the prior five years’ average, not 43 percent less.3. The operating budget for 2007 is $1,667,200, not the $2,100,000 reported in The Era. And, of that amount, $345,000 is budgeted to turn over to Oldham County Fiscal Court in 2009 as excess fees for 2008.This office would be happy to share any further details with The Oldham Era, if by doing so, the people of Oldham County would be better informed about their government.Julie Lentz, Oldham County Clerk

Council’s appointment not ‘hasty’To the editor:As a La Grange City Council member, I wanted to make two comments regarding articles in the last edition of The Oldham Era, related to the Jan. 7 city council meeting.First, it was reported the council unanimously voted to raise the insurance tax rate for the City of La Grange from 6 to 10 percent. This is incorrect. I voted against this increase. In fact, I made a comment on the record at the meeting that “just because the county made a bad decision to raise the tax rate did not mean that the city needed to follow the same course.”Second, there was an article indicating that city residents were angered at the council’s “hasty” decision to fill the position previously held by James Beaumont. As your article noted, longtime resident and former council member Jean Knight was selected to fill that position by a 4-3 vote. Interestingly, in that article there were only three residents noted as being upset at this selection. Two of them were council members who voted against Jean Knight (namely Faith Brush and Lucy Ricketts), and the other was a resident who had applied for the vacant council position herself (Denise Watts-Wilson) and who had hoped to be chosen. This is hardly an indication that residents were angered at the decision. In fact, most of the large audience at the meeting cheered loudly after Ms. Knight’s nomination was approved.James Beaumont was a great man. He loved La Grange and he loved serving its citizens. He was a friend to me and many others, and it was simply a pleasure to know him and talk with him. I had the pleasure of meeting James in 2004. We lived in the same neighborhood and campaigned together. While he will never be replaced in our hearts, the city council had a duty to fill his position in a timely fashion, and a majority of the council agreed with my nomination of Ms. Knight. Like Mr. Beaumont, Jean cares about our city and doing what is right for its citizens. She has prior city council experience and she also ran a spirited “write-in” campaign for mayor in 2006. She is hard-working, fiscally responsible and is a pleasure to work with. I welcome her back on the La Grange City Council.Jason E. Taylor, La Grange City Council member