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LETTER: Citizens need to seek answers from city commission

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank the editor for the editorial “Open the doors on city government” in the May 18, 2011 paper.
On Tuesday, May 10,  I attended the Taylorsville City Commission meeting and was very surprised to see no residents there. This prompted me to write this letter to the editor.
People, we need to get involved and realize the things that are happening with our community. These meetings are open to the public. Things are happening there that will affect our lives, our children’s lives, our grandchildren’s lives and so forth.
Going to the polls and voting is not all you need to do. Follow up with the candidates’ campaign platforms and see if they are attempting to do what they promised.
There are many issues that we, as tax-paying citizens, need to be aware of and by sitting at home and not researching them we are placing ourselves in danger.
Some of the issues that I would like to see addressed are as follows:
* When an emergency arises with the City of Taylorsville, what do we do? Don’t call the City of Taylorsville after hours because you are told to call back during working hours.
* Who is on call for the City of Taylorsville?
* Who is allowed to take the City of Taylorsville vehicles to their homes after hours and why?
*When will the meeting, which was promised to the residents of Houston Court in a letter from the mayor and commissioners dated October 21, 2009, be held?
* Is all the flip-flopping of this commission legal?
*When will the commissioners follow through with their campaign promises to the citizens?
* What part-time position pays any type of insurance or insurance reimbursement? (A campaign promise was made to do away with this.)
* Where are our taxpayer dollars going?
* Why do you always have an executive session? What goes on during these? These are for personnel issues, legal issues, acquisition of lands, etc. You cannot make any decision on regular issues in this meeting. Check out the Open Meeings Law and you will see this.
* Where is the updated web page? Could the minutes be posted here?
* Why are so many special called meetings held? It seems that things are being done to avoid citizen input.
I was denied permission to speak at a meeting because I had not called ahead to be placed on the agenda. How can you allow several people permission to speak that clearly knew that the issue they were there for was going to be discussed, but hadn’t called ahead? Was this legal?
If you want to see where the taxpayer money is spent, here are a few of them:
* maples for landscaping,
* paving of side streets,
* the placement of a sidewalk outside City Hall that leads to a busy intersection (The board did not even vote on an outside company to do the sidewalk.),
* sidewalks on back streets,
*new street signs.
I could continue but I hope you understand what is going on.
Whether using stimulus funds, transportation money, transportation enhancement grants, tax revenue funds, money in the accounts or wherever you get it – it is still foolish when the whole city floods during a rain.
This is the taxpayers’ money and in no way should we stand back and continue letting this commission spend it foolishly. We don’t understand how that the commission can find the money for new projects, and can’t find it to fix an ongoing problem in our community.
I personally was told by the commission that the money had been awarded to the City of Taylorsville by FEMA to fix the flooding problem, but representatives with FEMA and the Commonwealth of Kentucky told me it had not been awarded. Yes, the money had been allocated only, and the application process was in the hands of the city.
To attempt to beautify the City of Taylorsville so that business will come in is foolish when some of the buildings on Main Street cannot even be occupied safely due to their conditions.
The ceilings are falling down, there is no heat or air conditioning, and the wiring would not handle any appropriate heat or air units. Parking spaces are another concern.
A city park or any other beautification project should not be done as long as we have severe problems that need attention.
When is the next election and who will we citizens vote for then? The bottom line is the commission members need to listen to what each other has to say and do what is right for the city as a whole.
Research as I have done and see what can be done before you vote. Voting for the easiest thing sometimes is not the right thing.
If the charter government question is placed on the ballot, which way will the people vote? Wake up residents – your input and support for our community is needed.
We are all different and have different opinions on things. We should all pull together and lay it all out on the table and open our minds to what is being done. Some of these members have been on this board longer than others, and I do hope that they can open their minds to new voices and work together with them and not against them.
Citizens get involved and review what is taking place in your community. Be aware of how your money is being spent.
We do not have an open government in Taylorsville.
I am only one person. Imagine what could be accomplished, found and researched if the citizens of Taylorsville would only get involved.

Ellen Redmon
Taylorsville