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Revamped Fox Chase board gets down to work

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By Stephen Thomas

 FOX CHASE - In the past year citizens from the city of Fox Chase showed as much concern for their city as any other in Bullitt County.

Increased attendance at monthly council meetings led to lots of community discussion and occasional heated debates.

As a result, a large number of names appeared on the 2012 election ballot.

Beginning at its January meeting, five new council members joined current member Owen Taylor to see what they could do for their city.

New council members include Rocky Comito, Mike Higgins, Sandy Osborne, David Selby and Lois Whitis.

The first meeting began with getting things in order following the change.

Mayor William Broughton starting by suggesting council members for the city’s road committee.

The Fox Chase road committee keeps an eye on city streets, watching for problematic areas such as erosion, pot holes or other needed upgrades.

Council members Comito, Higgins and Taylor were approved for the committee.

The council also addressed a potential issue involving the city’s Ethics Board.

One of the board members, Sandy Higgins, is the wife of new council member Mike Higgins. Broughton said that raised a potential conflict of interest issue.

“It’s perception more than actual fact,” he added.

According to Broughton, the Kentucky League of Cities said there had been no previous complaints involving similar situations within the state. 

Therefore, the mayor left it to Sandy Higgins to decide what she would do.

She said she had no problem stepping down, if necessary, but was also happy to remain in the position. The council approved leaving her on the board.

Council members also approved a renewal of current Ethics Board member Lou Cooper and added long-time city council member Jim Hall.

Broughton said Hall served 22 years on the council prior to the 2012 election, one that he had lost by a handful of votes. Hall replaces former board member Daymon Strange, whose term expired.

In other business:

- The new council members planned to attend a Kentucky League of Cities special training for new appointees.

Some members had already attended training, noting there was much to learn pertaining to the responsibilities of community service.

“It’s very informative,” said Mike Higgins. “The training is very well put together.”

- The council approved a resolution providing two signatures on all produced city business checks.

The purpose of the resolution is to maintain scrutiny when handling city funds, calling for two official signatures on each check.

The resolution allowed council member Taylor to fill in as an official check signer when either the mayor or city clerk are unavailable.

- The city’s emergency disaster contract with former council member Philip Puckett expired.

A collection of emergency assistance items were collected by the city in the past year. The items are currently being stored by Puckett.

The council discussed a new plan of action in regards to emergencies and item storage.

A consensus was to table the discussion until new council members attended further KLC training. Puckett said he could continue to keep the items until such time.

- The council approved a resolution designating January as School Board Recognition Month in Bullitt County.

- The next meeting of the Fox Chase City council takes place Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., at the Jewish Hospital Medical Center South meeting room. 

The public is invited to attend.