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Numerous people have asked what happened at the Sanctuary Center and why people are so angry at “the city.”
In a nutshell and in my case, the city poured concrete over my access at 95 E. Main St., The Sanctuary Arts Center, home of characters, storytellers, music makers and artists.
I didn’t agree to that. “John’s plan,”, created as an unpaid volunteer in 2007 on behalf of the Taylorsville Main Street Committee as a conceptual drawing to apply for possible funding and beautification improvements through the Main Street Program, has no authority to request or demand that. The State Highway Department did not request or demand that.
The city was advised of those facts, sent written notice, copies of information provided from the state highway department and an appropriate change order submitted prior to the removal of the original grandfathered access and before pouring the new “sidewalk closing off [the] access to Main.” They were asked to stop by us, the property owners, and the Main Street Committee, under which these very limited federal and state grants are specifically earmarked, obtained and funded.
When ignored on these fronts, legal notice was sent advising “the city” has “no right to eliminate the access”; to continue “creates a trespass and alteration to the property to the detriment of the business” and to “cease and desist all plans to trespass upon the property...”
Finally, after all that, a special city meeting was also called in order to ensure the city commissioners had all this information necessary, so as to prevent further inappropriate actions with regard to the access. One commissioner so clearly explained the issues involved as to remove any confusion of fact or “not knowing any better.” He then challenged his fellow commissioners to “do the right thing here” and made appropriate motion to rescind prior inappropriate actions taken by the commissioners before “all of this information was available.”
At that point, this entire matter could have been resolved, with minimal effort at less cost than the proposed sidewalk that was not even poured. The mayor and one commissioner voted to do the right thing. Three commissioners voted not to.
I was then told to “get out, stop running my mouth and (the commissioners) were in executive session.” The contractors were told to “proceed with the project” and poured concrete over the access the next day.
Who has this much time, effort and personal peace to waste, simply to get the city to do the right thing that shouldn’t have happened in the first place? And why should anyone have to? These are paid jobs. The role of the city commission is to manage the city under the laws of the state of Kentucky fairly and without ignorance, willful intent or malice.
Managing a city can be complex. It requires genuine knowledge and ignorance is no excuse, especially in this day and age when via the internet and our wonderful public library anybody can research, anything anywhere. Further, the city has paid advisers — city attorney, engineers and others.
It’s not enough to continue saying “well (the commissioners) just don’t know” or “that’s the way they’ve always done it” or “they’re just people” or “rumor has it” or worse “I can’t believe you expected anything better and/or are surprised.” That’s not good enough. I am surprised. I do expect better, and so should you as a city voter.
A wise man wrote, “A government that is allowed to recklessly endanger people’s lives with little or no financial responsibility is one that is out of control and above the law. It is clear when government does not have to worry about any duty of accountability or responsibility for their wrong doing, it encourages reckless behavior and breeds arrogance.”
The city has an election coming up. Two of the same city commissioners that voted against doing the right thing are running again. Four other Candidates are also running - three for the first time (Paul Gaddie, Richard Johns and Ellen Redmon). One has served before (Jack Proctor). One is a real engineer, one chaired Kosair Childrens Charities for years, one worked for the transportation department for 18 years and one knows parliamentary procedure well (and is also a cool artist that made my wooden car).
I’ve met three of the four. They are smart people — that you may not know — running for these commission seats.
Meet them. Question everyone. Look at your options. Demand more — it is your right as a Citizen.
There is a forum being hosted by The Spencer Magnet on Thursday to meet all running for the commission seats. Come, then vote.
What happened at the Sanctuary? My access was taken. We have a great town with good people, but good people cannot operate effectively under bad government. It allows wrongdoing under the disguise of an agenda, a majority vote or lack of a second. It erodes everyone’s trust that “the right thing” is being done and/or will be done and forces us as citizens to fight against “the city” and ultimately one another — because fairness and reasonable action isn’t assured — or even expected. When the rights of one are infringed upon, the rights of all are threatened.
Hope to see you at the forum on Thursday.