County seeks appointees to charter government commission

-A A +A
By Shannon Brock

The Spencer County Fiscal Court is seeking interested citizens to serve on a new charter government commission, Judge-Executive Bill Karrer announced at Monday night’s meeting.

Following Judge Charles Hickman’s ruling in late April that the process by which a charter government can be formed – outlined in Kentucky Revised Statute 67.830 – is constitutional, and on the heels of Hickman’s final and appealable order, which was entered within the last couple weeks, Karrer said the county is moving forward to start a new charter government commission.

During his comments at Monday’s meeting, Karrer asked anyone interested in serving on the commission to contact him via email at bkarrer@spencercountyky.gov or through regular mail at P.O. Box 397, Taylorsville, Ky. 40071.

Interested parties should include their names, contact information and a short resume including why they would like to serve on the commission, Karrer said.

More than 1,800 citizens initially endorsed a petition to explore a unified government between the City of Taylorsville and Spencer County Fiscal Court.

That petition was filed with the Spencer County Clerk’s office in late 2007 and called for voters to ultimately decide the fate of a unified charter government in an upcoming general election.

The City of Taylorsville challenged the constitutionality of the statute that outlines the process by which a charter government can be formed saying it is “void for vagueness, unconstitutional special legislation, violates the city’s due process rights and discriminates against and denies equal protection to the residents of the city of Taylorsville.”

However, in his April opinion, Hickman disputed those claims and determined the statute was constitutional.

Not much has changed since that ruling, Karrer said Tuesday morning.

The biggest change over the past few weeks is the interpretation of how the commission should be made up.

Fifty-five percent of the members on the previous commission, which was selected under former Judge-Executive David Jenkins, came from the county and 45 percent were from the city, Karrer said.

Hickman’s ruling produced several interpretations of what the makeup should be according to statute, and ultimately, Karrer said it was settled to let the makeup remain the same – 55 percent county and 45 percent city.

There are so many other points of contention that the decision was made not to let the makeup be another one, Karrer said.

Taylorsville Mayor Don Pay said Tuesday afternoon that the city is appealing Hickman’s decision, and he’s not sure how it will impact the process of seating a new commission.

Pay said the city’s position is that the statute is unconstitutional, and said his position has not changed since the issue first came up four years ago.

Karrer said the county chose to move forward with the process so as not to lose time.

“We can go ahead and move forward on assembling the task force,” Karrer said.

“[The city] may appeal and the process get stopped, but at least we haven’t lost any ground.”

In other business, at Monday's meeting, the fiscal court also:

*Voted to renew its contract with the Shelby County Detention Center through June 30, 2012.

*Announcement a full-time and a part-time vacancy at the recycling center. Kenneth Curtsinger, who was employed full-time by the fiscal court, tendered his resignation last week.

*Approved on second reading its 2011-12 budget by a vote of 5-1. Magistrate Hobert Judd cast the dissenting vote.

*Approved on second reading an ordinance to withdraw its funding from the Economic Development Authority by a vote of 4-2. Judd and Magistrate David Goodlett cast the dissenting votes.

*Approved a dog contract with the Shelby County Animal Shelter. The county will pay shelter on a monthly, per-dog basis.