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City must be proactive in dealing with major loss

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Our Views

 The Hillview City Council was supposed to meet last night in executive session.

The topic was listed as pending litigation. While that meeting occurred after presstime, we can feel pretty secure in predicting that the discussion centered on the $11.4 million judgment against the city in favor of a local business.

No doubt, the city has little other option but to appeal the Bullitt Circuit Court jury’s recent decision. A decision that was affirmed to the penny by Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress.

But the residents of Hillview need to hear more from their leaders. Let us get past the legal jargon.

What will the city do?

The appeal may buy the city some time and the state Court of Appeals could alter the damages. But in the meantime, what is the city going to do in case that the decision doesn’t change?

Will taxes be increased? Will the city take all 5 percent of the county’s insurance premium tax? Will the city look to increase its occupational tax?

Will it have to begin looking to divest itself of city services?

We would not expect those things to occur immediately, if ever. The city would have the ability to secure a bond issue, similar to the one undertaken by Shepherdsville a year ago.

There is no longer time to look into the past and try to decide why the city didn’t honor its contract with Truck America Training on the 40-acres of property off Ferguson Lane.

It is well past the time to wonder why the city courted two other suitors while the trucking company had an option on the property, which would be used for a heavy equipment training facility.

And it is well past the bewitching hour to figure out why some type of deal wasn’t worked out during the past seven years of litigation.

What we do need is for city officials to talk to their constituents.

What is the future of Hillview?

Leaders cannot stick their heads into the sand and hope the problem goes away or that it might not be decided until after they leave office.

There are not any easy answers. It is a tough pill to swallow that a jury would award a company more money than the nationally-publicized case in Mount Washington dealing with an international restaurant chain and a young girl.

But facts are facts.

The city leaders owe it to their residents to begin a game plan. 

We don’t expect the winners of the lawsuit - but still waiting for possession of the property - would be in any mood to little to negotiations to get the matter completed.

They have all the cards. But their clients would probably like to get the matter settled sooner rather than later.

We hope the leaders will quickly work on a game plan to get the matter resolved. All parties in this long, drawn-out affair need closure.