Letters to the editor from the Feb. 17 edition

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Principal’s public criticism of parent is appalling
To the editor:
My name is Jordan Althoff and I am a former student and athlete of North Oldham High School.
I initially didn’t give this topic much thought, but after I saw a column from NOHS Principal Lisa Jarrett I was completely appalled that she would single Mr. Richards out and make him out to be a bad person.
There were a lot of things wrong about Ms. Jarrett’s Title IX column, but I found one statement particularly doubtful:  “As a parent, Mr. Richards is welcome – and even encouraged – to bring his concerns about our school to administrators,” which is exactly what he did.  
After seeing this column and an e-mail Jarrett sent to the NOHS community, what parent will now feel encouraged to bring any concerns to anyone in the school district?
No one will want to voice their concerns for fear of being publicly criticized.
In order for the district to grow and develop, they have to learn how to accept constructive criticism and not retaliate when someone offers their opinion.
If they’re not willing to do that, then the community will suffer. I believe that publishing this article in the newspaper was out of line and inappropriate.
Jordan Althoff

Principal’s priorities are clear
To the editor:
After reading the Title IX opinion piece entitled “Title IX Distractions Unfair to Students,” it seems to me that rather than talk about the issues, Ms. Jarrett just wants to malign Mr. Richards’ efforts.
If we stick to the issues then this is simple. Was a facility built at North Oldham for only boys? Yes, the fieldhouse doesn’t even have a girls’ locker room. Does this mean that there is inequity? It sure seems that way to me.
Now, if we want to broaden the discussion a bit – Did Mr. Richards follow the proper channels to voice his concerns? Yes, first the administration, then the school board, then the KHSAA, all whom passed the buck back and forth, never admitted that there were opportunities to improve and essentially left Mr. Richards no other option than to proceed as he has today.
If Ms. Jarrett and the school board are so concerned with spending time and tax dollars wisely, maybe they could have accepted the fact that there are inequities and dealt with the situation professionally and thoughtfully by creating equal facilities instead of pretending to do that by allowing the girl’s track team access to a visiting boys’ locker room for four months out of the year.
I think the only thing causing a distraction here is an e-mail to parents and staff and a column that doesn’t address the issue but tries to circle the wagons in an obvious attempt to malign Richards’ character.
Sandi Neat

Nepotism complaint is one woman’s opinion
To the editor:
Unfortunately, some Republicans would vote against Jesus Christ if he was a Democrat.
I am a registered Republican who has lived in Oldham County all of my life, but I am tired of a few Republicans trying to find fault with John Black because he is a Democrat. I have known John for most of his life and believe he is a good person to be deputy judge.
I do not know the woman who brought the ethics complaint against John, but I view it as mean politics.
... I do not understand what makes this one woman’s point of view worth putting it on the front page of the newspaper.
Anybody who has lived here for awhile knows that John was the best mayor La Grange has ever had. He fixed sidewalks, cleaned up the downtown, and brought new business here. He was a leader when our town didn’t have many of them.
He was also a great county judge. He built the community center and pool, he put in Commerce Parkway, fixed roads and got economic development and jobs into the county.
The county was in good shape financially with millions of dollars in reserve when John was voted out by Republicans, many of which ended up darn sorry for what they got.
Instead of attacking a person who is very well qualified to be deputy judge and has done more good in Oldham County than most, I wish people would spend their time doing something constructive, like investigating some of the boards and commissions around here.
It would be time better spent than trying to take down someone who has done a lot for Oldham County.
P.S. There were two other good judges – Wendell Moore and Judge Hall.
Charley Rose
La Grange   

Title IX issue is no distraction
To the editor:
It must have been a slow mail week to devote so much space to the NOHS principal’s column about the Title IX distraction at the school.
I asked a handful of male and female NOHS students and did not find any who knew much about this issue until last week when, in addition to the column, a similar e-mail was sent to the NOHS community.
There may be some distraction at the administration level, but well-run organizations insulate their students from clutter outside the classroom.
Since Ms. Jarrett felt compelled to speak out about an issue that is a matter of record, then surely she could have done so in a manner that would have addressed the facts and left personalization out of her correspondence.
In reading Ms. Jarrett’s column, I am unable to determine the compelling reason for this column other than to conclude that she is crafting a public relations campaign to undermine what is taking place within the legal system.
Instead of letting the process resolve this issue once and for all, Ms. Jarrett’s e-mail and column campaign have now elevated it to the point where it has become a distraction at the student level, and that is something the students simply do not need.
Frank Stewart

Police hiring fiasco, lawsuit ‘unfortunate’
To the editor:
The unfortunate hiring fiasco and lawsuit involving Shelbyville police officer Bruce Gentry has now been settled with a payment from fiscal court to Gentry of $474,000. Fiscal Court was able to obtain an agreement from our insurer, the Kentucky Association of Counties, to pay all but $5,000 of the settlement. Oldham County’s payment represents the deductible for the county’s portion of the employment practices insurance policy.
The individuals involved with the decision not to hire Gentry are no longer employees of Oldham County. The chief of police retired last year and the staff attorney who advised the chief regarding the applicability of USERRA to Mr. Gentry’s application was not continued when the new administration came into office in January.
Oldham County Fiscal Court is not directly involved with hiring new police officers. All hiring is done through a process conducted by the Oldham County Police Merit Board, an independent group of residents appointed by the judge-executive to oversee police management issues. The judge-executive is always a member of the police merit board.
The hiring process involving Gentry had not yet come before the Merit Board when the former chief decided not to hire Gentry, based on the advice of a staff attorney and the chief’s determination that Gentry might not be available to fill immediate manpower needs.  
Gentry’s application for employment was never reviewed or considered by the human resources committee or any other committee at the fiscal court. All steps in the hiring process, as well as the offer of employment, took place at the police department level. The first anyone at fiscal court, including former Oldham County Judge Executive Duane Murner, knew of it was when Gentry filed his lawsuit. After a lawsuit was filed, Gentry was offered a position with Oldham County police at three different times, but each time Gentry declined in favor of continuing his lawsuit.
While there are many opinions circulating about how and why this unfortunate circumstance occurred, the answer is it resulted from mistakes made by two people who decided it was legally permissible to withdraw the offer to Gentry when his availability came into question. The mistakes were not made with malice, but were none-the-less egregious errors in judgment.
We are proud of the men and women of Oldham County who serve in the National Guard. It has been and will continue to be the policy of Fiscal Court to support our employees who step up to defend the nation. Any perception to the contrary is simply wrong.
David Voegele
Oldham County Judge-Executive