Editor’s note: On Nov. 6, the residents of Nicholasville will be asked to make a choice to keep the current commission form of city government or switch to a council-ward form of government. Two months ago, The Journal asked representatives from both sides to pen a guest commentary presenting their cases. Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer, who has publically stated he does not plan to seek re-election in 2014, wrote the pro-commission view, while Perry Barnes, chairperson for the Nicholasville Council Petition Committee, penned the pro-council view.
Let’s bring Nicholasville into the 21st century with a “yes” vote for the ballot referendum to approve the change from a commission to a mayor-council-ward form of Nicholasville city government. You, the voters, need to remove the current good ole boys big government and replace it with a more efficient responsive city council. Here are a couple questions to consider:
• How many third-class cities (population 8,000 to 19,999) are there in Kentucky?
• How many third class cities operate as a commission form of government?
This might surprise you but Nicholasville is the largest of 19 third-class cities with 27,001 residents. It is the only third class city operating as a commission form of government. The city changed from a council to a commission form of government in 1972 by a two-vote margin of 559 to 557. It’s time to correct that error.
This issue is non-partisan for the benefit of all the city residents. However, It seems to have become very partisan with a few special interest party loyalists and entrenched city officials fearing they might have to do some work and have to answer to the voters. Most city workers, as well as voters, favor this change; however, a political issues committee (PIC) opposing the change has spent thousands of dollars defaming this issue. The chairman of this PIC is none other than the streets department superintendent, Gary Goldey, and the treasurer is the current city clerk Roberta Warren. Now wouldn’t this make you wonder if this is ethical or even legal and why they feel they have to spend thousands of dollars and so much time trying to sway the voters. Where did they get their money? How much unaccounted city time, that you the taxpayers are paying for, have they spent on this issue? They even opposed letting the voters have this choice on the ballot. More than 3,500 petition signers disagree with them and feel the voters should have this choice. Don’t let them disenfranchise you, the voters. You can figure out this deception.
The choice is becoming very clear where a “yes” vote is for a more efficient, common sense, conservative, city government, with better city and neighborhood representation while a “no” vote is to continue the good ole boys big government with liberal wasteful spending. It’s just that simple. No matter how much certain city officials spend to retain their jobs, where they have the power to hire their own relatives and party affiliates, they can’t fool you. You do have a choice.
What happens when it passes? The new (four) 2013-2014 city commissioners will have to equalize the existing six city voting districts and prepare for the 2014 election to select six or 12 councilmen or women from those districts/wards.
The candidate filing and election deadlines will remain the same. It shouldn’t cost the city any more money. It’s your choice, act now.