What we think: It's time for action on these issues

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By The Staff

We understand that during election season issues that have no immediacy will be placed on back burners by legislative bodies, allowing them to remain just warm enough to be alive but not gurgling and bubbling loud enough necessarily to be noticed.

Members of those bodies campaigning for re-election are sensitive to decisions that may attract controversy, and they don’t want to see these campaigns waylaid by a vote on an item that just as easily could be done in December as August.

So with that in mind, today we suggest five topics that have been set aside long enough. It’s time for the heat under these to be elevated to percolation level:

§       Shelby County Fiscal Court should honor its commitment from last spring to consider a county-wide smoking policy for restaurants. Some counties have implemented complete bans of smoking indoors, and others have endorsed separate areas for those who smoke. Neither has happened in Shelby, despite requests from the public for something to be done to address this important issue of public health. We believe Fiscal Court is responsible for establishing guidelines that our municipalities would follow, and magistrates have promised to consider action. Let’s clear the air on this one.

§       Fiscal Court also should resume its discussion begun last summer about eliminating the wasteful cost of employing constables. Those offices were set for another term in the recent election, but that allows plenty of time to clear the paperwork and establish how the county would operate without those positions. We encourage Magistrate Michael Riggs to continue his leadership on this concept and develop a plan to save taxpayers money or possibly redeploy constables’ salaries to hire more help for the Sheriff’s office.

§       The Simpsonville City Commission should step forward with a plan to honor native son Mike Casey in some sort of permanent manner. With Casey’s name on the gym and court at Shelby County High School scheduled to be dedicated later this month, we find it difficult to understand why the gym in Simpsonville in which Casey first showed his basketball talents and the street where he grew up – Maplewood Drive – couldn’t be renamed in his honor. Simpsonville is a small town, and Mr. Casey established a big name. Why would there be further delay?

§       The Shelbyville City Council should return to the subject of the Shelbyville Police Department’s shooting range that is near Clear Creek and Southside elementary schools. Given the emerging plan to build a new school at Southside that would be closer to the range, there is even greater need for attention. The council showed little interest in discussing this concern and left the matter to the Shelbyville Police Department to address. But we believe the public safety issue is paramount and that this issue must be reviewed in a public forum. The City Council is the correct place to ask questions and review plans for eliminating even the potential for a tragic mishap.

§       And, finally, Shelby County Fiscal Court needs to ante up with a contribution to the study of the proposed downtown City Center. This entertainment and convention facility that would be constructed in downtown Shelbyville would be a terrific enhancement to the community, and other partners – the City of Shelbyville, Shelby County Public Schools and the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative – all have stepped forward to fund its development. Fiscal Court had a workshop earlier this fall to review this issue. It’s time for magistrates to place the funding on an agenda and move it along.

We understand that none of these has a simple solution, but we also believe that none of these should be ignored.

Our citizens deserve to see that they are addressed, and they don’t deserve to have the passage of time become pocket vetoes.

The election has passed. It’s time for action.