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Things that might not be on front page

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

 Oh, the stories we could tell if we could only tell them.

So many times, people have commented on the stories that couldn’t be printed over the past 28 years. They also comment on the need to write a book.

Well, I don’t think its book material since the readership would be limited to this particular area.

Instead, I figured I might as well take some of the more interesting tidbits and throw them together occasionally and put them in a column.

Not Quite Fit for the Front Page will be presented in column form - which allows me a little poetic justice - and maybe a little Stephen Thomas-type humor.

Some of the items will be funny. Others won’t.

Sometimes the discussions will expose some things that are said and probably shouldn’t be said in a public meeting but might not be worthy of a separate story.

There won’t be a lot of structure and, it is hoped, not a lot of rules.

Sit back and enjoy.

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Listening to the scanner recently when a call was made for an officer to report to the new Nasty Gal distribution center off Cedar Grove Road - do you wonder how many law enforcement officials might respond to the call?

A dispatched call that will always bring a chuckle to those listening.

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An exchange that occurred at a recent meeting of the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission.

Commissioner Thomas Givhan took offense at David Conn’s vote in a recent zoning case in Hillview.

Conn is an employee of the county’s planning office and does enforcement work and handles the numbering system. He also is the timer for the planning meetings.

Recently, the Bates family and Rogers Group sought a rezoning for its property off Bells Mill Road. The planning commission voted to send an unfavorable recommendation.

It went to the Hillview City Council, where Conn is an elected member. He made the motion to overturn the planning commission’s recommendation and to approve the zoning with a list of restrictions.

Now, you know the background.

At the September planning meeting, Givhan questioned Conn on whether he felt there was a conflict.

He said Conn’s duty was to support the planning commission and its actions. While planning attorney Tammy Baker tried to offer a different perspective, Givhan said it was his perception that there was an issue. And he felt others had that same concern.

“It looks bad,” Givhan said of having Conn vote in opposition to the planning commission.

Conn said that he does his job for the planning commission and he also fulfills his job for the people of Hillview.

In this particular case, Conn said he based his decision on the presentation made by both sides of the argument. At the Hillview meeting, the applicant gave a full presentation, which wasn’t given to the planning commission due to recent procedural changes.

While Givhan said it looked bad, Conn said he didn’t see it that way.

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It has become clear that Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts is not a fan of Mount Washington businessman Mark Stout.

First, there was an attempt about a year ago to remove Stout from the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority due to a possible conflict. The county fiscal court has annually awarded a contract to Stout’s A&M Oil to supply items to the road department.

It is a bid situation and Stout’s company has long been the low bidder.

Asking the Bullitt County Ethics Commission to look at the situation, the three-member panel said there was no conflict. 

At its Sept. 4 meeting, fiscal court dealt with an issue involving a fuel tracking system for the road department.

Of the three bidders, Stout’s company was second lowest, about $2,000 away from the low price.

However, due to the company’s location within the county, fiscal court members Rick Clements, Joe Laswell and John Bradshaw voted to award A&M Oil the contract. Roberts and magistrate Ruthie Ashbaugh voted against.

Roberts went a step further. She said it was another situation where the good old boy system won out. And even though the ethics commission said there was no conflict, she disagreed.

The theme of good old boy system has been a recurring one recently. It is one that is offensive and needs to stop. But, I guess, politics will be politics. Shouldn’t we be more worried about voting on the right things for the right reasons.

Until our next batch of stories.....