Home News Archives June 17, 2015


City's "Foreign Matter" Ordinance: Number 2

Last week I wrote a blistering editorial, sharply critical of the city council and their first reading of the nuisance ordinance. And it served its purpose. It started a great deal of conversation throughout the community.
My phone stayed busy all week. I received favorable calls from Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians; from old, young, and in between; from men and women, and even from a couple of children.
I received more Letters to the Editor on this one subject than on any other we have covered.
And yes, I even heard from a number of city council members.
Through these conversations, a number of points have come up this week that ought to be shared:
City Council
All city council members who spoke to me emphasized that they are not anti-Amish, anti-agriculture. Many of them grew up on the farm and have a deep, abiding love for that life. When they insisted the ordinance was not geared at any one group of people, I stubbornly stuck to my guns and asked, "Who else comes to town in horse and buggies?"
So we agreed to disagree.
But, I will have to agree with them that my editorial demonized the city council members more than they deserved. Debby Ecton made a comment that illustrates this very well, "We are just six people doing our best to make decisions for 2,000." She also said, "You may find people in this community who love this town as much as I do, but you won't find anyone who loves it more than I do."
I think the same can be said for each one of them. I am sure, as I think of each on by name, that they ran for public office because they love the community and want to do good.
Additionally, in last week's article about the city council meeting, the comments of some council members unintentionally received more coverage than others. This could give the incorrect perception that one or two council member, such as Mrs. Sandy Ritchie, who was quoted frequently, were the ones "calling the shots." This was not the case. There was good participation from all members of the council, as well as the mayor.
The Amish
Although some of the Amish have expressed appreciation for my support, at the same time they have requested, "Please don't make this about the Amish. We don't want to be seen a nuisance by anyone. We would prefer if this could be worked out another way, but if the city passes an ordinance requiring us to use bags to catch the manure, we will do it. We are grateful for the way this community has welcomed us."
The Amish don't participate in elections. Instead, they pray for all elected officials, that God will guide them and direct them, and give them the help that they need to make wise decisions for the entire community.

The Community
Something mentioned by all city council members who spoke with me was acknowledging how strong this community is tied to horses. We have a lot of horse people in this community, or people with extended family members with horses. There are many in the community who love seeing horses in the parades.
Many have expressed how horses are a symbol of their fond memories of the good, simple lives they remember from their childhood - even if their family never owned horses.

I hope, if my editorial hasn't accomplished anything else, that it will serve as a reminder that in a small town of less than 2,000, and a county with less than 3,400 households that we should pause first before we act and ask, "Is this the neighborly thing to do? Is there another way we can work this out that can benefit everyone?"
I have come up with one possible solution - an alternative to the ordinance - please see the "Shovel Brigade" article on page #. If you don't like my suggestion, please submit one of your own!

NC Fire Board adds new fireman; approves officers for 2015-16

by Stephen Scalf

The Nicholas County Fire Board met to conduct their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 10 with five of the seven board members present. After reading and approving the minutes from the May meeting as well as the Treasurer’s report, bill were discussed and the payment of them approved.
Chief Doug French told the board that four of the firemen had recently attended a training program in order to better equip them for the rescue of large animals at a cost of $400. In addition, he explained that all of the previously approved repairs and maintenance on fire vehicles has now been completed, the total charge for which was $9,388.60.
In his report, Chief French relayed that the department had made a total of seven runs since the May meeting: one structure fire, three motor vehicle accidents, one fuel leak, one alarm drop and a run to direct traffic for the Kentucky State Police as they investigated a fatal traffic accident.
The board went briefly into closed session to discuss personnel matters, and upon returning to open session made it know that they had approved the addition of Brandon Price to the department. Old Business Chief French told the board that the grant to fund structural repairs and upgrades to the front of the fire station moved a step closer to becoming a reality when Andy Barr’s office in Frankfort sent a representative to Carlisle to look at the building.
“I called and invited him, and she (his representative) called yesterday and said that he couldn’t make it, but she would like to come,” explained the Chief. “She was here today, toured the building and took pictures which stressed how bad we need the grant.”
After an inspection, she told Chief French that she would make sure a letter of recommendation would be issued to go along with the grant request.
While the firemen had planned to set up and serve concessions as a fundraiser during the recent 400 Mile Yard Sale, that plan was scrapped at the last minute when it was discovered that there had been a water issue in the trailer. The Chief said that the problem was being attended to, and that the concession trailer would be good to go for the Blackberry Festival.
The picture fundraiser is taking place now, with pictures being sold throughout the county. Chief French said that to alleviate any concerns from citizens, he has been advised of descriptions of five representatives going door to door seeking donations. Anyone with questions or concerns may contact him.
The Fish Fry fundraiser is still on schedule to happen in August, with Modern Woodmen agreeing to give a matching donation up to $2,500.
The board discussed the expiration of Pat McCarty’s term as a board member. Mr. McCarty holds a Fiscal Court-appointed seat, and in the hopes that the Fiscal Court would approve another term prior to the next fire board meeting, a motion was made, seconded and carried to accept Mr. McCarty for another three year term beginning on July 1, if approved by the Fiscal Court

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