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I never attended a city council meeting and I can honestly say I’m not impressed.
At the first meeting, not a lot of rules were explained to us—actually no rules were explained. The only thing we were told was you had to sign in before the meeting started to be allowed to speak. We all left this meeting feeling that we needed to get our message out, that we did not want to be annexed by the City of Hillview. They could not offer us anything for our money and they, the council members, needed to know we didn’t need or want them.
At the second meeting, the first thing happened that upset all of us there was we were told we were not allowed to speak before the vote. When Kenny Hester, our president, began to protest because “we were not told this before”; he was asked to “Sit down and be quite, He was out of order”. Kenny Hester along with several employees continued to protest—wanting to speak, the Mayor asked for Kenny Hester to be removed from the building by police escort. Now all the employees of WIT were upset. Some remarks were made about the recent arrest of the Mayor’s son having to do with the making of drugs—-the Mayor threatened one of our employees. When he realized what he said, he then asked the police officer to remove that person. How impressive was all of this!!
One of the council members read a letter she had compiled about why we should feel honored to be a part of the City. The City gives to charity, helps out people in need, under privileged children…..etc. Not once we were allowed to say “We do all of these things and we didn’t need the City of Hillview to take our money to do so”. We don’t need the City of Hillview to be our conscious. But we were not allowed to comment at this time. Another council member justified wanting to annex our business because several months ago, police from Hillview came into our parking lot and made an arrest and took someone to the hospital. We did not call for them—didn’t know they were there——and this is a reason to take our money, to pay salaries of their police officers when Bullitt County police have always taken care of whatever we needed.
So the council voted—-2 NO—4 YES. Now after all our efforts to say “NO”; after all our signage for the council to “Do the Right Thing” we are now annexed into the “City of Hillview”. Over 100 people asking for the council member not to annex us—we do not want this—did not make a difference to them. We felt like we were small children being told we did not know what was good for us. Like we were not in America were the majority rules but in Russia where you are told what you can do.
At the close of the meeting—after we were asked to leave—sit down—be quite—after we had our feet kicked out from under us—then anyone who signed up before the meeting was allowed to speak. There were several who did. They made very appealing speeches. Asked the council not to take the money they needed for their children, for their livelihood. The council was told we would gladly donated to their charities had they asked—they did not have to “steal” our money. Several were to the point of tears—-but it was too late. Too late—the vote was done—it was passed and even though we are not physically located close to the City of Hillivew, even though we pleated not to be annexed—we are now annexed by them and will have to give them a portion of our salaries.
As I said in the opening, I had never attended a city council meeting, and after these two meetings—I feel sick, embarrassed, belittled, angry, hurt, threatened and cannot believe this happened is a “Nation of Free People”. Our forefathers gave us the right to VOTE and the City of Hillview took that freedom away.
Theresa A. Shields