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Image 1 of Ballard Weekly April 5, 2012

Part of Ballard Weekly

Volume 9 • Edition 13 ♦ Phone: (270) 665-9335 • Email: weekly@bcky.net • www.ballardweekly.com ♦ April 5, 2012 A Dream Becomes Reality With Opening of Setting The Record Straight…The Controversy Kentucky Veteran’s and Patriot’s Museum Over the Superintendent’s Hiring Package She has talked about it for a long time. Veterans and citizens of Ballard County have watched and waited for the opening day and it finally came. Sandy Hart’s vision and dream has been a work in progress for the past few years and boy was it worth the wait! Saturday, March 31st was the opening day of the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum. There were over 100 veterans in attendance as well as guests and dignitaries. Veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan were in attendance and the visitors and friends were humbled by the heroes in their midst. Motorcyclist from the Patriot Guard Riders, Valiant Souls of Western Kentucky and others showed their support by being in attendance and assisting in the ceremony. Elected officials in attendance were County Judge Executive Vickie Viniard, County Court Clerk Lynn Lane, Wickliffe City Council member George Lane and Wickliffe Mayor Chan Case. Representatives from the offices of Governor Steve Beshear, Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Ed Whitfield’s office were also in attendance as well as Justice Bill Cunningham. The most important attendees were the Veterans. Some shed tears and all smiled from ear to ear as they received recognition and honor from family and friends. Each veteran received a small piece of the ceremonial ribbon and everyone then enjoyed a morning of music and food at the Wickliffe Masonic Lodge. Congratulation on seeing your dreams come true, Sandy Hart. THANK YOU to our veterans for the sacrifices you have made and the service you have done for all of us. Easter Sunrise Services Scheduled for April 8th The Annual Easter Sunrise Service will be held at the “CROSS” overlooking the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers located on Fort Jefferson Hill in Wickliffe, Kentucky, Highway 51 South. A special invitation is extended to everyone.Speaker for the service will be Rev. Jamie Lee from Grace United Methodist Church of LaCenter. Services will begin at 6:30 a.m. - rain or shine - be sure to dress for outside wether. Wickliffe First Christian Church will host a continental breakfast at the church following the Sunrise ceremony. Easter Egg Hunts Friday and Saturday April 6th and 7th Friday, April 6th LaCenter City Park 7:30 p.m. Bring a Flashlight Saturday, April 7th 9:00 a.m. Blandville Fire Department Blandville, KY 10:00 a.m. Barlow House Museum Barlow, KY 1:00 p.m. Wickliffe City Park Wickliffe, KY In case of rain moved to Wickliffe First Baptist By Anita Bugg, Ballard Weekly After listening to the public comments concerning the controversy of the compensation given to new School Superintendnet Casey Allen, I decided to do a little investigating of the situation and found the following: At the March 12 School Board Meeting, a discussion was held over the hiring of a full-time superintendent for Ballard County Schools. At the beginning of the search in February of 2012, three applications had been received and each candidate was considered by the Board. As in all personnel matters, the discussion of the candidates was held in closed session, however, the Board returned to open session to approve the hiring of Casey Allen as Superintendent to replace the late Ed Adami. Following state guidelines the hiring was completed and a compensation package was agreed upon. Since that decision was made, much controversy has developed over the compensation package awarded to Allen under the contract. To put it in simple terms, consider the following: Salary $110,000 - a small raise from previous salaries of $104,990 Insurance –Previously contract reimbursed the superintendent for 100% of his health insurance coverage. Premiums (at the highest option) for a family run approximately $1,595 per month for full coverage. The school board would normally pay $918 for any employee of the school system. The employee would pay the balance of $677 per month. A four year insurance package would cost the employee $32,496 for four years or $8,124 per year. Allen chose not to accept the insurance package, thus saving the school system $8,124 per year or $32,496 over a four year period. Vacation Days – Based on the average administrators 240 school days per year, The previous contract gave the superintendent 20 additional vacation days per year. Those vacation, based upon the contract would amount to $9,160 per year – over a four year period this figures to $36,640. Allen chose to pass up this vacation pay. Sick Days – The average system employee receives 10 sick days per year. In both previous contract and this contract Superintendent received 20 sick days. Life Insurance – Life insurance premiums are paid 100%. Board Automobile – Various meetings, events and other activities related to the school system are necessary and expected. An automobile was and will be made available to the Superintendent for these occasions. It is available for business transportation. This was a condition of the previous contract. And then we come to the controversial relocation expense of $35,000. While it is labeled a relocation expense, it appears to me, it is in part, partial compensation for some of the benefits that Mr. Allen has chosen to take care of on his own accord and not have the board pay them, i.e., insurance premiums, vacation days. With savings totaling $36,640 on vacation days and $32,496 on insurance premiums, a relocation fee of l offset these expenses for the superintendent for a total of $35,000 over four years. Should Allen or the Board decide that the four year contract is nullified, Allen will reimburse the prorated amount to the Board. The Board still incurs savings of $34,136 over the period of the contract. Personnel hiring and firing is based upon need for the personnel and as in most all instances, last hired is usually first fired. The decision on who to let go was based on this premise. Kentucky Department of Education determines the ratio of student to teacher on an annual basis. With enrollment down, the student/teacher ratio is also lowered. Staffing at BCES has been over allocation for some time. As long as a school can maintain that over allocation it works for the system. However, with decrease in enrollment and funding, cuts must be made. This year Ballard County will receive roughly $200,000 less for 20122013 school year from the state fund. The allocation is set to be reduced again in 2013-2014 school year. This is a mandate from the state, not always a local decision. It is unfortunate that some people are losing their position. It is unfortunate that the timing of the layoffs coincides with the hiring and salary package of the new superintendent. Whether the public agrees or disagrees with the decision is their individual right. The events of the approval of the compensation package were voted upon in open meeting and no discussion was held or questions asked by anyone in attendance. The vote was taken and approved. Ballard FiscalCourt Meets in Regular Session The Ballard Fiscal Court met in its regular monthly session on March 20, 2012 with all magistrates and the Judge Executive in attendance. After approval of the minutes from the previous meeting, bids were opened and awarded on the purchase of rock for the current year. The bid was awarded to Kevil Grain base on motion by Martin Flournoy and seconded by Steve Cooper. Bid for the placement of gutters on the Ballard/Livingston/Carlisle Library building was awarded to Cooper Lumber. Magistrate Steve Cooper abstained from the vote and discussion to avoid a conflict of interest. Motion was made by Martin Flournoy and seconded by Robert Renfrew. Motion passed on the gutter bids. Monthly reports were given by individual departments. Ambulance Director Michael Clarke reported that the new ambulance had struck a deer while responding to a call on Ogden Landing Road. The same ambulance struck the mirror of another vehicle just a few days later. Replacement mirrors are being obtained from the dealer of the ambulance as they are aftermarket additions. Clarke requested the purchase of brush guards on the front of the two larger ambulances to decrease the damage caused to the vehicles by deer collisions. The Court authorized Clarke to obtain pricing on the guards and report back to the Court. Emergency Management Director Anita Bugg reported on the months activities which in- cluded Rick’s Electric forming and pouring the pads for three generators provided by grant money from FEMA. Three generators will be installed at the offices of Ballard County Emergency Management; Bandana Family Life Center and Wickliffe Masonic Lodge . Bandana Family Life Center and Wickliffe Masonic Lodge have been approved for shelter locations in case of a disaster or emergency. Additional shelters are being sought at this time. Bugg reported on the tornado that struck on February 29th. One farm received over 2.5 million in damages while two people lost their homes. FEMA representatives have been to inspect the damages and their decision on approval of funding is in the works. Bugg and Judge Executive Vickie Viniard attended a Mitigation Planning meeting at the PADD office . As a result of the recent weather events across the state, Mitigation funding will become available to counties to assist with meeting their storm preparedness needs. Bugg indicated that her wish list for mitigation funding included storm sirens for Wickliffe, Lovelaceville, Blandville, Barlow, Kevil, Bandana and Gage. County jailer Mike Horn reported that the courtroom video camera is broken and the cost to repair it is about $225. The jail is awaiting the delivery of a new cook stove that was purchased through grant monies. Animal Control Officer James Campbell reported on a possible negligence case on a county horse owner. Another horse owner is working with animal control and a local veterinarian on the condition of their horses. Road Foreman Randy Fondaw reported that repairs to sewers, ditching and pot hole repairs will begin as soon as the roads dry up. Fondaw reported on damage to Sally Crice Road caused by a resident attempting to correct a drainage problem. It will cost approximately $5,000 for the road department to repair the damage. The Court discussed the dues to KGRRO of $5,000. The matter was tabled until after the Wickliffe City Council has an opportunity to meet and discuss their participation. Grant money for the purchase of the Ballard Center for use as a county shelter has not been received. The Court approved the treasurer’s report for February 2012. Five residents have been served summons to report to Court for the condition of their properties. Ballard County Jail Budget was approved. Second reading of a county amendment was passed. The Court went into Executive Session on a personnel matter and returned to active session before adjourning.

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