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Spring break in the county a bit different

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My Views

By Thomas Barr

 For the first time in five years, spring break is being spent in the county thanks to my son’s graduation.

In the past, my only real vacation of the year has been spent following his high school baseball endeavors.

This year, while North Bullitt is playing ball in Myrtle Beach, my son is at the University of Louisville and I’m at home.

It’s not all bad. We can’t complain about the weather. And it is a whole lot less expensive.

At the same time, there’s not much sand or waves in Bullitt County.

With that being said, lets take a few moments to reflect.

Seldom have I gone to a meeting of the Bullitt County Sanitation District that a confrontation has broke out.

In fact, with the exception of some tense moments when sewer rate structures changed for some residents, the meetings are pretty boring.

That was before the three new members of the board had their first meeting. A discussion over attorneys for the district led to the newly-elected chairman David Hatcher deciding that 10 minutes into his term that it was time to resign.

Or course, it was just a bit more bizarre than the last meeting of the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority - another normally quiet group of guys.

At its last meeting, a heated and quite personal exchange occurred between board member Bob Hill and attorney Eric Farris. The gloves flew off when Hill’s first question to Farris, who represents the Heritage Hill owners who are seeking a rezoning, was where he lived.

From that point on, Hill made some very pointed comments and Farris fired back.

At the end of the day, Hill’s term on the EDA board is set to expire and county judge Melanie Roberts looks to be in line to recommend a new appointee.

Of course, that appointee, Debby Carter, had to first go to the Bullitt County Ethics Commission, another less than glamorous agency. The question was whether Carter could serve on the EDA board since her company, Truck America Training, has been in a legal battle with the city of Hillview over a land purchase for the past eight years.

The board correctly ruled that there was no conflict of interest for Carter serving on the EDA.

Carter’s appointment must still be approved by Bullitt Fiscal Court. And, as we have seen over the past five years, nothing is guaranteed.

One real disappointing comment came from the ethics hearing, where Roberts was questioned about the EDA and she stated there had been little communication with the agency. She qualified that by stating that she spoke with EDA executive director Bob Fouts.

The interesting thing is that the county judge’s office has a standing invitation to the monthly meetings and someone has normally been there from the office.

Another interesting point is that while campaign rhetoric is to state to the public that you are pushing for more jobs, the budget the past couple of years from the judge’s office had no money for EDA.

In each situation, the magistrates have restored around $100,000 in funding for the agency.

I don’t see how you can push for jobs and economic development if you don’t have an engine pushing the train. I would hope that when the proposed budget is presented to the magistrates no later than May 1, the EDA money will be there.

Of course, the normal meetings, such as Shepherdsville City Council, are always full of excitement - whether it is spring break or not.

As some of your fellow Bullitt Countians are relaxing and enjoying their week on the beach or some other destination, I’ll just sit here thinking of some of the crazy things we get to cover - on a weekly basis.

There is no vacation from the interesting stuff that goes on Bullitt County. Job security at its finest.

Enjoy the rest of spring break. Who knows what next week will bring.