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For years, maybe decades, this newspaper has opined that there is a need for a planner in Bullitt County.
Our comments are not new. The only thing new is that there are a few more people who are jumping on the bandwagon.
However, not trying to be with the “in” crowd, there would be conditions which must be met before county government decides to start hiring new people.
And, while thoughts of a planner begin to dance in the minds of some, there might be some other jobs with specific expertise entertained by the county and/or the cities.
It is quite shocking that talk has arisen on having a planner. Maybe it is just that the time is right.
In fact, the parks committee talked about the need for a planner (yes, the parks committee) for about five minutes and decided it was a good thing.
Well, it is a good thing.
As we try to remember our most recent argument, let us attempt to rehash the positives of such a position.
First, the person would have to be involved daily with the planning commission. In fact, that person should be headquartered in that office.
While the general opinion is that the planning commission is basically a zoning board, there is reason to contest that.
With the pending update to the comprehensive plan, it will soon give the planning commission and its staff much more up-to-date information.
It will place better information for the planning commissioners, as well as the legislative bodies, who really make the final decisions.
It may even cut down on litigation if the plan is followed.
But the planner is more than just working with the planning staff.
A comment commonly heard is that there is no communication or cohesiveness between the county and city officials. That is a lack of leadership from the largest agency in the county.
The county must make a point to reach out to the municipalities. And, for the most part, that is not being done.
The planner would be able to be a key liaison between the parties. But that person cannot replace the leadership by the elected officials.
Another task of the planner would be to bring information from the various agencies. Everyone needs to know what infrastructure improvements are being planned in the future.
That person would also be the point person to attend regional meetings, along with county officials. It is groups like the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency who need to be very familiar with Bullitt County.
The person would need to work with any agency that has anything to do with Bullitt County - on a local, regional or state level.
And that person needs a job description before the first man or woman is interviewed.
What other jobs may be looking for attention in the county?
Maybe an engineer could be hired that could be shared with the cities?
How many times does the issue of drainage appear at a rezoning hearing and there is no one with expertise available - with the exception of the applicant’s engineer?
This could be an area of cooperation and partnership.
Maybe the county is in need of some type of financial director or maybe that could be combine with a human resource officer.
We could make arguments for any of the above positions. At the same time, if not done and presented properly, we could argue against the creation of any new job.
Or maybe it is time for some type of metro government? As we pull shocked officials from the ceiling, we send out a big LOL on that one.
Bullitt County isn’t quite ready for that just yet.
Or is it?