Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Oct. 25

Ferguson, Barnett independent

One leadership role described by the Kentucky School Board Association is to “hold the system accountable.” Amanda Ferguson (District 4) and Doug Barnett (District 2) take this role seriously.

They questioned the financial discrepancy in the school budget when it was brought to their attention and were supported by Auditor Adam Edelen’s findings. The Herald-Leader acknowledged, in a Nov. 5 editorial, that “Ferguson and Barnett were right that the board was not getting a clear picture of the district’s finances.” Unlike community, non-profit or regulatory boards whose members are often appointed, school board members are elected by their constituents to have governance and oversight for the school district.

Candidates should represent their constituents, not the school administration. Unlike their challengers, Ferguson and Barnett are independent of the latter and should be re-elected to the Fayette County Board of Education.

Carol Komara


Kay helping local food markets

I support Steve Kay for council because he understands the economic potential of developing our local food system. In his first term, Kay successfully advocated for a coordinator position to develop Lexington’s local food economy.

Lexington’s first local food coordinator is now at work building food business opportunities that will add decent jobs for Lexington and the region.

A local food economy creates markets for farmers and provides fresh food for local consumption. The resulting jobs go beyond the farm. Hospitality, food processing and manufacturing also benefit.

Kay made sure the majority of initial funding for the position came from outside sources. That means a modest taxpayer investment is yielding substantial economic opportunity and improving health and quality of life for many. Smart.

In a second term, Kay will continue building on this good start.

Ouita Michel


Schrader helps veterans

How fortunate we are in Fayette County to have John Schrader as a family court judge. He is a man of integrity, impartiality and legal experience of 34 years, the last seven in family court. Beyond his valuable work on the bench, he is an innovator and goes the extra mile to serve our community.

He requested and received permission from the Kentucky Supreme Court to preside as a volunteer judge for the Fayette County Veterans Treatment Court and has done so for the last year, in order to attend to the more than 20,000 veterans who live here. He has verified his compassion for those veterans who battle substance abuse, PTSD and subtle head injuries with creative programs for mentorship and accountability.

Schrader is exceptional in his willingness to find creative and appropriate solutions to the increasingly serious problems that confront our families. We should re-elect him.

David Burandt


Richmond incumbents burned

Richmond voters: In 2012 the city commissioners allowed the burning of 16 acres of trees, shrubs and poison ivy in a residential area.

This project pushed ash and toxic fumes into the air for over two months, while adults and children in severe respiratory distress had to seek medical help.

The Environmental Protection Agency said the burning shouldn’t be permitted, but couldn’t be stopped, since the city had given approval. Neither the mayor nor city manager returned calls about this.

Richmond city officials didn’t care about health and safety. They allowed a politically connected contractor to burn debris instead of paying extra to dispose of it properly.

The five people responsible are Mayor Jim Barnes, current commissioners Donna Baird and Robert Blythe, and former commissioners Jason Morgan and Richard Thomas. They are all asking you to vote for them Nov. 4. Please don’t do it.

Ronald Gosses


Palmer gets things done

I applaud the Herald-Leader for endorsing my friend Sen. R.J. Palmer. He is a real leader who knows how to craft a compromise.

He did so on legislation to bring more accountability and transparency to our “ghost government” special districts, such as fire departments, airport boards and health departments.

Palmer also was instrumental in passing a measure last year to safeguard taxpayers’ confidential information online and make sure that if their data is lost in a cyber breach, they are notified. I put forth both of those taxpayer protection measures and could not have gotten them through the legislature without Palmer.

I urge the voters of the 28th District to send a leader who knows how to get things done and work in a bipartisan manner back to the Senate.

State Auditor Adam H. Edelen


Gridlock and Bankenstein

Senator Gridlock and Representative Bankenstein show selective amnesia about the results of GOP tax policies favoring the rich at the expense of the working middle class, the loss of 600,000 jobs a month at the end of the Republican terms in the White House.

They hope voters will forget these facts and Senator Gridlock has even promised the Koch brothers that he will again try to use extortion to get the Affordable Care Act repealed.

To tamper with the full faith and credit of our government is sheer madness. The consequences of a default on our debts would be catastrophic for the U.S. and world economies.

These men know this is the only way they can keep the money flowing for the attack ads that keep them in office. The senator even complains about the slow recovery when it is his party that has blocked all efforts to bring the jobs that would increase buying power and tax receipts.

What unmitigated deception. He hopes he can wreck the economy enough to discredit President Barack Obama and thus get another Republican in the White House. Don’t let the selfishness of these two men fool you.

Walt Dickenson


Cegelka for council

We are fortunate to have several qualified candidates running for council at-large. Both of us know the top four who survived the primary last May.

We worked alongside Bill Cegelka when he served on council and, though we may not have always voted the same, we feel that Cegelka has a real interest in the integrity of our great city and is young enough and smart enough to lead us into the future with creative ideas for keeping Lexington viable with smart growth policies.

We believe that he will serve the citizens of Lexington with vision and integrity. We urge all those who supported us during our joint 27 years on the council to vote for Cegelka for an at-large position.

Dr. David Stevens and Dick DeCamp


Ellinger’s experience helps

I am pleased to recommend Chuck Ellinger for council, District 3. I have known him for many years. He does not speak unless he has something important to say. His attendance on the council is outstanding. He has served as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee for the past four years.

Ellinger knows how government works. Experience does count. A vote for him is a vote for good government.

Jay T. Rider


Lamb a natural choice

District 4 council voters will have an easy pick. Susan Lamb is without doubt the natural choice. Her experience (15 years as the deputy clerk, and six years as the council clerk), provides her with skills that no other candidate can offer.

I have worked with Lamb on public projects, being planned or under construction, being presented to the council. She was professional, courteous and efficient and the office was a great example of taxpayers getting our money’s worth.

Lamb will not require a learning curve. She is a model of the education, experience, temperament and spirit that will provide the council with an ideal new mind and the ability to immediately assist in the complex business of the legislative branch of our merged government.

All citizens of Lexington-Fayette County will be better represented by Lamb’s presence on the council.

Charlie Milward


Who not to vote for

Mayor Jim Gray says he saved the government $6 million. Where is it?

Richard Moloney wants the government to be in the livestock business. Why? The private sector takes care of livestock sales already. Moloney also wants the Mayor’s Training Center brought out of mothballs. Why? It will be a duplicate business, just as it was when it was shut down. The private sector is full of job-training schools.

Steve Kay wonders what government is going to do when all the homeless come to town. He should have wondered that before he got the council to vote on affordable housing. This will be a great burden on the taxpayers.

Kay said he was going to halt frivolous spending, but has never seen a tax dollar he did not want to spend.

Kevin Stinnett wants government to get access to books for n students. That is the business of the school system. He also agrees with Moloney on job training. Be careful who you vote for because you could be getting more money removed from your bank account and purse than you can afford.

Stan Houston


Coroner Ginn serves well

Gary Ginn has served the community well during his terms as Fayette County coroner. He holds himself and his deputies to a high standard of excellence. He is always available to families and to our businesses at any hour of the day or night.

We truly appreciate his ethics, professionalism, knowledge of the laws and willingness to help us. His compassion and empathy for the families and friends of the deceased are evident when he works with them and our businesses to help them through their difficult time.

We fully endorse and support Ginn in his bid for re-election and encourage our community to vote for him also.

Robert E. Milward

Milward Funeral Directors

John H. Kerr, III

Kerr Brothers Funeral Home

Stein for family court

The choice for family court judge in Fayette County is clear. Honorable Judge Kathy Stein should be chosen to continue serving.

Stein worked extensively in the Kentucky General Assembly on family issues for 17 years, before being appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear in 2013 to the bench. She is now enforcing laws she helped create and has gained familiarity with the programs and public agencies that serve families, children and the courts.

Before her work in the legislature, Stein also served as the director of domestic violence prosecution in the Fayette County Attorney’s office.

Stein is committed to the families of Fayette County and to ensuring that all families are treated fairly and equally. Fayette County deserves a family court judge who has experience and that person is Kathy Stein.

Stephanie M. Oghia