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May 8, 2014: Our readers write

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Call for fiscal responsibility

Hardin County residents, please take note. The Hardin County School Board announced on Sept. 4, 2013, that it was raising property taxes. Eighteen calendar days later, Sept. 22, 2013, it announced the approval of its budget.

What is wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t this process have been completed in reverse order? Finalize the budget, then determine if there is a reason or need to raise taxes.

There are three budget meetings held during the year. Technically speaking, three meetings over the year to address the massive budget and the millions in tax revenue that board is supposed to responsibly administer is definitely not a sufficient amount of time spent on the budget, unless it was just slapped together in a haphazard manner in 18 days. From the date of raising taxes to final approval of the budget, it’s very possible that is the case. It’s also possible that this board’s approval of the tax increase prior to the final budget could have been its attempt to remedy the poor fiscal job it did the year before?

The recently concluded state legislature provides teacher and staff raises for 2015 and 2016 so there is absolutely no justification for tax increases over the next several years for that reason.

I doubt seriously that the School Board in its current form can properly manage the remainder of the budget without further tax increases in the near future. Since this is an election year, why don’t we voters get together and do something about that problem? Let’s elect some fiscally responsible people who are able to properly manage the school budget, cut back on the rampant spending and show some concern for the local taxpayer. We do pay their salaries.

This can be done if voters unite as a county voting block. Change is definitely needed.

Paul Rose

Rineyville

 

Consider impact of race on politics

African-Americans, like 80-year-old baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, experienced racism all their lives. They, better than anyone, know racism when they see it today. Far too many people on the right don’t want to address America’s race problem. That’s probably a reason why the Republican Party is primarily a white people’s party. When a person of goodwill does address racism, that person is usually called racist by those who don’t see racism as a problem.

I have a hard time figuring out why a substantial majority of Kentucky voters bitterly oppose Barack Obama, our first African American president, twice elected. Kentucky voters voted for Bill Clinton in two presidential elections (1992 and ‘96). Clinton and Obama are liberals whose progressive economic policies and vision for America are similar.

In this year’s very important Kentucky Senate race, our senior U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is running against President Obama instead of running on his record as Senate minority leader. From day one of the Obama presidency, obstructionist McConnell vowed to do everything he could to see that Obama was not re-elected.

In 1996, when McConnell was running for re-election to the Senate and Bill Clinton was running for re-election to the presidency, I sure don’t recall McConnell running against Clinton that year. In 2014, I guess it is safe for McConnell to run against Obama due to Obama’s unfavorable polling in our state.

Why was Clinton able to carry Kentucky twice, while Obama did not come close to carrying Kentucky in two presidential elections? Why does the GOP, Fox News, right-wing talk radio and many Kentucky voters show such blistering, easily recognizable disrespect for Barack Obama, a good person, a better president? 

Paul L. Whiteley Sr.

Louisville