Letters to the Editor, Dec. 16, 2015

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Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse…


Earlier this year, I submitted a letter to the paper expressing concern with our token Human Rights Commission (HRC). Shortly afterwards, the commission director, Gary Walls, and several other members resigned.

For a brief moment, I had the arrogance to think that perhaps my letter had something to do with their resignations. However, I soon learned that my letter had little or no impact on these resignations. The reason these people abandoned their posts en-masse was because the Kentucky state Human Rights Commission had just passed a resolution that flew directly in the face of their antiquated, biblical-based notions of human rights.

The message from the state was clear that Old Testament, fire & brimstone discrimination based on sexual preference is no longer socially tenable.

Sadly, rather than step up and engage in a post Bronze Age, modern-day conversation, several of our local Human Rights Commissioners chose instead to tuck tail and run.

After several months, the vacant seats on the Human Rights Commission are finally being filled, including the assignment of William Matthews.

Unfortunately, after reading Mr. Matthews’ recent My Word submission entitled, “A shifting change in our culture,” (The Sentinel-News, page A4, Nov. 25, 2015) I fail to see how assigning this man to the HRC represents anything but a change for the worse (which I wouldn’t have thought possible).

Mr. Matthews’ submission to the paper was an incoherent, revisionist, prejudiced rant, which effectively removes any doubt that the man is a multi-faceted bigot. And Shelbyville’s response – we recognize him as “Citizen of the Year” and assign him to our Human Rights Commission.

I’m at a complete loss to understand how this fares well for our community, and I stand alongside Mr. John Henry in calling for the immediate removal of Mr. Matthews from the Human Rights Commission.



Rich Lane




Shelby County just getting started in 1795



As would be expected, the state government permitted our county to levy taxes upon the citizens so that our county government would have some revenue.

In 1795, three years after the county was formed, the total tax revenue was about £119 (pounds silver money) and there were 697 taxpayers, all white males. Thus their average tax was £0.17 or 3.4 shillings, when six shillings was equal to one dollar. The tax was based upon the usable land values plus personal property, which included a tax on slaves and livestock. The actual summery of taxes is enclosed.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the present county government only needed only $793.33 per year, or even if they could get along on about 60 cents per taxpayer?

I might add that in 1795, I think the Kentucky governor was earning £300 per year.



Neal Hammon