Councilman responds to editorial

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By Bill Bennett


ISSUE: City needs Bennett’s lien money immediately for Japan trip

MY VIEW: It must have been a slow news day at The News-Enterprise


It never occurred to me upon giving my word a fine would be paid on my lawless 1967 Oldsmobile, that the editorial board of The News-Enterprise had implemented a time limit. I didn’t get the memo. It also never occurred to me that challenging a capricious unconstitutional law, standing up for the elderly and poor and representing taxpayers instead of city hall would be deemed a lack of credibility. Maybe a News-Enterprise sensitivity class/charm school will correct my poor attitude. 

I just might have been labeled more credible if I lied about the city classification of Elizabethtown and was a proponent for a restaurant tax that takes in $2.6 million a year; which happens to be controlled by non-elected individuals and used as corporate welfare for the “heads in beds” hotel crowd. 

I also could have enhanced my credibility by endorsing a $29.5 million sports park our local youth only get to use when out-of-state teams are not playing. Sorry kids, the fields are off limits — this week it’s Hawaii vs. Alaska. But don’t feel too bad, your parents are using your college money to help pay for it, who needs college anyway when you can become a professional Little League athlete. However, when available, your parents can rent these fields for a sizable fee, even though they already are paying for them with their taxes.  

I certainly would have been crowned the prince of credibility if I only had approved using $1.5 million from the property and occupational tax, which puts us over budget each year for the next 30 years, to maintain our wonderfully enormous sports park. What a minute, that means the sports park will actually costs us: $1.5 million x 30 years = $45 million + $29.5 million = $74.5 million (not adjusted for inflation). Sorry, kids, no more city pool. We must give all our money to the tourism bureau to help keep “heads in beds.”  

Certainly, the most audacious glory of all credibility would have been for me to vote yes (or a hesitant yes) for the sale of our water treatment facility for $8 million. After all, why would a fourth-class city need to treat its own water when a youth baseball megacenter is much more important? Let’s see now, we no longer have our own water treatment facility and all $8 million will be wasted in just five years for maintenance fees on the sports park to keep our poor hotel owners from going out of business. “I smell water.”     

So let’s do the math by using my official News-Enterprise credibility calculator:

$15,000,000 (current City of Elizabethtown general reserve fund) + $8,000,000 (sale of water treatment facility) - [$1,500,000 x 30 years] (deficit incurred for maintenance fees of sports park) = a deficit of $22,000,000.

Then calculating for the addition of my $268.18 using the official Elizabethtown Tourism Bureau calculator: $268.18 X (Special Secret Classified, It-must-be-true-because-it-came-from-Kentucky-state-government Economic Impact Formula) = $268,180,000,000 in economic impact to Elizabethtown.

After doing the math, it looks like the editorial board is correct. I better mail the $268.18 as soon as possible and start a city hall bake sale, my council colleagues on the Japan trip will need more spending money for sake and sushi.  

William R. Bennett is a member of the Elizabethtown City Council. He is responding to an editorial published Wednesday regarding unpaid liens filed against his property and a council-approved lien amnesty program.