Darren Doyle, story and photo
A closed executive session was held in the middle of Monday's fiscal court meeting, something not normally done.
Closed sessions are not uncommon but they are usually held at the end of fiscal court meetings. According to a printed copy of the fiscal court agenda, which is available to the public, item (i) was listed as "Executive Session-Personnel hearing-KRS 61.810F."
The KRS listed specifically says "Discussions or hearings which might lead to the appointment, discipline, or dismissal of an individual employee, member, or student without restricting that employee's, member's, or student's right to a public hearing if requested. This exception shall not be interpreted to permit discussion of general personnel matters in secret."
The public and media were asked to step out while the court went into Executive Session. Over an hour and a half later, the meeting was again opened to the public.
Item (j) was listed as "Personnel Decision" and item (k) was listed as "Appoint Ann Bullock-County Treasurer.
After the meeting was reopened, the court opened up the floor for the court to vote on the privately discussed personnel issue, to which the court made a motion and voted to take no action at this time.
By simply reading the court agenda, one can see that the position of the current county treasurer, Margret Skaggs was at least one of the subjects of the closed meeting. Judge Wil Cannon said very little about the matter.
"I obviously can't say too much about the closed session because the discussion was private," he said. "My official opinion is this: I can't talk about the meeting but I can say that I believe because of it, I feel that things will work out and the county will be better for it."
He also briefly addressed the possibility of appointing a new county treasurer today.
"You can read the agenda and see what the subject was. Ann Bullock had nothing to do with the cause of this meeting. She has always said she'd be ready to help the county in any way that she could, and she's always done that. We knew Ann would be ready to help the county again in the event she was needed, and that's the only reason her name was on today's agenda."
Ann Bullock is a former county treasurer who retired in 2014.
Usually, specific and private questions are asked during closed sessions. According to Cannon, all discussions of the said subject take place in the closed session, and the findings and decisions based on those discussions are then open to the public.
In other fiscal court news, Sheriff Shane Doyle reported his office had been working on several cases that are fighting ongoing drug problems. He also said there were no major issues at the recent county fair. He gave an update on a recent theft of a backhoe belonging to the state highway department. He said it had been recovered thanks to help from the Butler County Sheriff’s office, although no arrests have been made at this time.
He added that the sheriff’s office now has purchased the K9 unit but it won't be a working officer until all the training is completed, which is estimated at another five weeks. He ended his report by discussing the possibility of leasing cars instead of continuing to buy worn out vehicles and having to spend an estimated $15K per year in repairs and maintenance.
Parks and Rec Program Director Greg Hudson is recovering from recent health issues and has plans to be back at full capacity soon, according to Magistrate Mark Woosley who gave the Parks and Rec report. He said little league soccer season will be starting soon, and the basketball signup deadline has been extended to October 15th. He said the plan was to start the season sooner in order to play more games.
Hellervik Oil representative Jim Brown reported that their operation is progressing and the new plant location property is being surveyed. He said they want to have the plant completed sometime this month. He assured the court that this was not a residential area and it's surrounded by 110 acres of woods. He said the plant was a much smaller scale than the failed Rocky Hill Plant.
He said he couldn't disclose the exact location of the plant until all the paperwork was complete on the purchase. Magistrate Clark Wood then asked, "Is it going to be in Rocky Hill?" as the court chuckled.
Brown laughed as he responded, “When I left Rocky Hill, I never wanted to go back. Those folks tarred and feathered me there."
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 9am in the upstairs courtroom of the Edmonson County Courthouse. Normally held on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, Monday October 10 is Columbus Day.