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Pleasureville clerk responds
In response to the recent My Word (“Pleasureville issue needs clarification,” March 7), there are inaccurate statements I would like to address
No. 1: It was stated that the initial incident began with me asking for a $350 per month increase in my salary due to my health insurance being cancelled as I was eligible for Medicare. That is inaccurate. The reason my insurance was cancelled was due to the City of Pleasureville not being eligible for a group rate as in the past, and a single plan was not available. I asked for a portion of the premium applied to salary to help pay for my Medicare premium and supplemental insurance. However, I did not get any money to help defray those expenses.
No. 2: It was then stated that I was paid for the whole 160 hours of vacation time that is allotted to employees of 20 years or more. This is also inaccurate. My workweek consists of 32 hours per week, which constitutes five weeks vacation time. I was paid for four weeks (128 hours), which left me one week (32 hours) of vacation time, which I took.
No. 3: A timesheet was not prepared for me nor was one ever presented to me. It was not mandated in the Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual that I do this, as I am a salaried employee. I had never seen a timesheet, nor did I know exactly what was expected of me. I was never advised as to how to do it or even asked at any city meeting to see it. However, after the controversy began, our city CPA presented me with one that I currently use.
No. 4: As far as the bonuses being paid, the commission had approved it for the past several years. At the December 2011 meeting I inadvertently missed putting it on the agenda. I did not think they [commissioners] would disapprove, for they had always approved it in the past. After such controversy over my vacation pay, I did refund my bonus of $289.89; however, as I refunded the bonus the taxpayers were not out the $33.11 (Social Security taxes) as stated.
As far as writing the bonus check to the fire chief, I will not apologize. His dedication alone is worthy of the bonus. I wish each and every member of the fire department could receive a bonus, for they volunteer their time and services. Thus far, they are allotted $3 per fire run for expense from fire department funds. The fire chief’s bonus, payment of utilities and the insurance on the fire trucks is the only money provided by our city.
I want to publicly thank each and every person that has lovingly supported me; those that attended our city meetings, the cards, phone calls, stopping by city hall and their prayers. I also deeply appreciate and thank the mayor and remainder of the city commission for their confidence and support. It has been my pleasure to be your city clerk for 25 years, and I continue to serve with pleasure.
Verna T. Stivers
Pleasureville City Clerk
Voting down monopoly
The role of government is not to correct or control all things, nor is its role to determine which lawful businesses succeed or fail. But recently 16 Kentucky Senators attempted to use their offices to protect one particular business – existing Kentucky horse-racing tracks. Specifically, those senators voted in favor of Senate Bill 151, a bill that Gov. Steve Beshear and many in the media tried to tell us did nothing more than authorize a referendum to amend the Constitution of Kentucky to allow casino gambling in the state.
The truth is, however, that the bill went much further than that; it sought to enrich existing horse-racing tracks and to afford those tracks monopoly protection by allowing casinos at no more than seven locations and by prohibiting casinos from being built within 60 miles of a competitor’s horse-racing track. In essence, those who voted in
favor of Senate Bill 151 sought to ensure that horse-racing tracks would have a gambling monopoly in Kentucky.
Gov. Beshear and 16 senators tried to camouflage their legislative favoritism with claims of wanting to let the people vote on expanding gaming. Twenty-one principled statesmen in the Senate voted against crony capitalism and sided with our state constitution
to prevent monopolistic protection to one industry. I applaud state Sen. Paul Hornback for being one of those statesmen.
National agriculture month
March is celebrated as National Agriculture month in many areas of the nation. Did you know agriculture and food industries employ approximately 24 million people nationwide? The U.S. agriculture exports generate more than $100 billion in business activity annually.
Nearly 90 percent of U.S. farms are operated by families or individuals. The farmer of today uses less land, water and energy than previous generations and grows enough food and fiber to feed 154 people.
Farming is a dangerous occupation, but it is an essential job that contributes to the well-being of each of us through the production of food and fiber.
As our farmers and ranchers head to the fields this planting season to plant their crops, it’s important to recognize the hazards that exist and to work to try to minimize those risks. It is important to farmers and others to carry out property safety techniques.
Farming is a way of life to produce the safest, most affordable and most abundant food in the world. This involves all members of the farm family in age appropriate tasks.
Let’s be safe this planting and mowing season.
Katherine Tingle, women’s committee co-chair
Shelby County Farm Bureau