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Emergency financial announcement a hoax? Clerk says property tax monies now coming in;

LOUISA,Ky., -- There were heated moments Thursday night during an emergency special session of the Louisa City Council.

 Louisa Mayor Teddy Preston explained that the emergency meeting was called when it was first thought there would be no money to make payroll next week. Preston explained that just after a meeting was called he was notified by City Clerk Kathy Compton that city tax bills had arrived. "Before Kathy let me know this I didn't know how we would make the payroll because we were informed the water company could not loan us any more money," Preston said. "We used up all their cushion and I was told they needed what money they still had to pay their bills."

Some city workers were told by supervisors that there may not be money to make the payroll this time and several of them attended the meeting last night )shown above).

Compton told council that the water company had fronted the city over $67,000 over the past two months and could not afford to go any further.

Preston said he was advised by City Attorney Eldred "Bud" Adams to call the meeting to discuss how the city could find a way to make the payroll and both WSAZ-TV News and WHAS-TV were there to cover last night's meeting as well as TheLevisaLazer.com.

"I believe we are OK," Preston said. "We will be OK for a while, however, we have to find a way to get more revenue in because the tax money from tax bills won't last very long. It may last until January and maybe February but we have to find a way to make it through till the next fiscal year. I will give up the car that was bought for me if that will help. The council can vote to make it surplus and sell it."

Later in the meeting the council did just that on motion of Gloria Johnson. Council members Rita Rose, Chris Daniels, Brad Stark and Johnson were present for the hastily called meeting.

Lawrence Co. DES Harold Slone, left, attended last night's meeting after he heard of the "emergency"Lawrence Co. DES Harold Slone, left, attended last night's meeting after he heard of the "emergency"Preston asked the council for any suggestions that might help the financial woes.

Council member Gloria Johnson spoke up and asked about the excessive cell phone bills for city employees.

"After looking through the bills I came across 400 text messages by a city supervisor that were written within two days," Johnson said. "How was he getting any work done?"

Johnson also asked how many employees had cell phones that were being paid by the city. Preston told Johnson that only he and his department heads had phones.

"It is important for us four to have them so I know where the workers are at all times," Preston said. But Johnson asked how the city operated before cell phones. The mayor replied they used radios. Johnson fired back with the idea of using radios again until the financial problems were under control.

"I don't think these workers need cell phones especially to be texting to private indivduals when they are supposed to be working," Johnson said.

Road and Sanitation Department supervisor Greg Slone, then angrily handed his phone to the city clerk and stated that he did not want a cell phone and that he would not take it back. But Preston said he did not want Slone to turn in his phone and that he would have to take it back.

Compton said they could not do anything about the cell phones because they were under contract for several more months. However, she said the service had recently been stripped down to basic service with no texting.

Compton advised the council that the city was being penalized thousands of dollars by two agencies. The first agency was the city's insurance company for not having the premiums paid on time and also not having the retirement fund payments sent in on time.

"If that's the case maybe we ought to go back to the original decision to require city employees pay twenty percent of their insurance coverage instead of the ten percent that was voted on," Johnson said.

Johnson also brought up the fact that the city is paying someone for housekeeping at city hall and also at the Louisa Community Center.

"The community center that is run by the county charges a deposit when it is rented (which the city gets no part of) and if it is not cleaned by those renting it, the county keeps the deposit so why can't we do that," Johnson asked. "And why is it that we are keeping a full time assistant for the city clerk? She should be part time or if she wants to be kept full time she should do the housekeeping around city hall."

Compton said every city clerk has had an assistant except for just a couple of years since decades ago. Compton commented that "the council had the mayor over a barrel with he budget and that's is why they are acting out in this way."

City council member Brad StarkCity council member Brad StarkCouncilman Bradley Starks immediately fired back on Compton asking her for an explanation to the remark she made.

"Hold on. Why are you saying WE have the mayor over a barrel," Starks said. "WE did not make this crisis we inherited it and every time we all, like Gloria, tried to make suggestions to try and fix the problems YOU have some reason why it won't work. All you want to do is raise taxes and we are trying to solve the issues of why we are in this shape," Starks said. "Didn't we approve a balanced budget that was supposed to take care of all these bills and payroll? What happened to that?"

Compton said that was what was on paper but not necessarily what actually came in.

"Didn't you make the budget?" Starks asked Compton.

She replied "no the council and the mayor did".

Starks said he, along with the council, did not make the budget and that was her job to get the numbers. "We voted on it because we are not here every day and that's what we rely on you for is to give us accurate information for us to base our decisions on."

Johnson said that because so many of their suggestions were shot down that she would no longer suggest anything she believes will help the city.

"Brad is right you are always saying, no matter what we suggest, you say it can't be done," Johnson said to Compton.

It's because I am here every day and I see what can be done and what can't," Compton said.

Starks reminded her that was what they relied on her for, however, he also told her that things were gonna have to be done and said she needed to quit turning down their suggestions on ways to solve the city's problems.

"How can I do that," Compton said. "I have no control over what you all decide to do."

"No but you always tell us when we try to come up with a plan that it can't be done," Starks said. "All you want to do is raise taxes and trash rates and we are trying to find cuts elsewhere to keep from having to do that."

After more arguments, the council did vote to sell the mayor's car and asked to go over the budget at the next regular scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.

Comments  

 
#27 Jess 2011-10-11 15:39
rebel lady I think the people has paid enough for what they have in SPRINGHILL and beside other then you who wants to be in the city..I think they should consider the POINT SECTION if they want some money, now bring that up at the meeting and see who squawks the loudest..more revenue over there then SPRINGHILL go look for yourself REBEL LADY..
You made a statement let them at SPRINGHILL pay for what the city is giving them, gezzz where are you in cyber space? Those people pay for everything they have...REBEL LADY I still think they should go for the POINT SECTION they have everything the city has don't you think REBEL LADY???? should have known you would see the side of the fire dept hahahaha
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#26 rebel_lady 2011-10-11 11:02
if they cant work together fire them all get new people in who can It seems to me if everyone would stop trying to blame each other and try to spend more time fixing the problem instead of placing blame it would help. I agree the fire dept shouldnt be buying new stripes when things are bad but they do need things to but just to run a tight ship in we need fire dept and police dept really bad I tell you what I think we would get lots more money if spring hill was in city limits which it is really let them pay for their share of the benifits of living in city and we wont have this money problem.
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#25 Joe 2011-10-11 08:08
Quoting Editor:
The Louisa City Code Enforcement officer Cory Longstreth makes just over minimum wage according to records at city hall, not $25 per hour. In fact nobody in city government makes $25 per hour.

Thanks,
Mark Grayson



Well thank you Mr Grayson for this information..In my years living here I"ve never ever heard of a "CODE ENFORCER" I want ask (you) what her responsibility's are,I'll look it up on the net...Oh!!she's the one who reported that Mr Stark had to clean up around his house when other places looked like a CITY DUMP..I see no need to pay a person the min. wage when Mr Preston or anyone of the CITY WORKERS could do that JOB JUST ANOTHER WASTE. And as far as the asst.CLERK send her on her way no need for two people when one person can do it..Don't get me wrong I'm not picking on those two just don't see paying them when times are hard as they are...
And thank you again Mr Grayson for the clarification on this keep up the good work... your paper is really great to those who have a computer...
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#24 Editor 2011-10-10 10:14
The Louisa City Code Enforcement officer Cory Longstreth makes just over minimum wage according to records at city hall, not $25 per hour. In fact nobody in city government makes $25 per hour.

Thanks,
Mark Grayson
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#23 Citiz 2011-10-10 10:12
Use the money collected from the Fire District to pay the Fire Dept bills. Not the City's money. Don't use the money that comes from the Fire District as an excuse to waste more money.
Yes the budget is public information.. But unless you know who the companies are they are writing checks to and what they bought from that company, then your still gonna be in the dark.
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#22 Citizen 2011-10-10 10:01
I don't believe she makes that much money..Someone is stretching the truth.. I do believe Ted hired her to make Dan Longstreth happy.. Keep the fire dept happy that's what its all about...
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#21 Joe 2011-10-10 09:22
Quoting Ha:
Quoting concerned citizen:
Quoting Spanky:
How much for the car?


do we need a full time code enforcer? I would like to know her salary. I certainly don't think any codes are ever enforced. what are the duties of the code enforcer?

Her salary is 25.16 an hour.


CODE ENFORCER????REALLY $25.16 AN HOUR??? And just what does this person do??? I have never made that much in my life-time of working and neither does my nieces, nephews and friends w/college education make that much..Who hired this person and like I asked before what do they do to make that mach money can someone out there explain it to me..Never knew Louisa ever having one.. also why does the city clerk need an asst. clerk? I for one think it is a waste well just one of the cites waste of money woes..when both can take lunch at the same time don't seem that busy to me..now dose it to you all??? And getting back to the CODE ENFORCER??? isn't she married to DAN the fire fighter just saying!!!!
You know TEDDY I have heard walking is good for a person..you didn't need that car everyone else has to buy their own car buy their own gas, and that big mouth son of yours is spoiled rotten he needs to get out of the fire business..than goodness for Ms Johnson keep up the good work...
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#20 Frank 2011-10-10 07:20
Hard to believe enough tax money came in to pay wages until Jan. or Feb..Hmmm
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#19 No doubts? 2011-10-09 19:14
That $7500. that Eddie bought his toy hats and truck stripes with would very well have paid wages for the city workers. How much more is he wasting? Has ANYONE ever actually looked at the actual fire dept. budget? Who supervises what Eddie does?....No ONE?
Why did the mayor get a $10000. raise, in a time when the city can't meet it's bills?
WHO does one call, to have someone HIGHER UP than the mayor, to come in here and actually check this stuff out? No one else seems to be able to do anything......WHY aren't they being reported to someone who can do something?
To #14 Bill: Why would you condemn the Police Dept? They were the FIRST to be starved out! They did everything possible to get rid of the BEST Chief of Police this city has ever had! They cut that department mericilessly. You never saw that Fire dept. getting any cuts like that, but, the police dept., certainly got sliced! We have drug deals ongoing at every street corner, hookers walking the streets 24/7, break-ins everywhere...but, we don't need a police dept. I'll bet they plan on the fire dept., taking over the police depts duties......right?
Politics!!!! It's all POLITICS!!! They ALL need to be thrown OUT!
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#18 Ha 2011-10-09 16:49
Quoting concerned citizen:
Quoting Spanky:
How much for the car?


do we need a full time code enforcer? I would like to know her salary. I certainly don't think any codes are ever enforced. what are the duties of the code enforcer?

Her salary is 25.16 an hour.
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#17 Citizen 2011-10-09 08:44
I also think it's funny how much control the Clerk has over the city.
CUT the assistant clerks job and the code enforcer.
It's a waste of our money....
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#16 Citizen 2011-10-09 08:43
The Council needs to reprimand Eddie for wasting $7000. And Ted needs to be punished to.. I've been to council meetings and Eddie always gets MAD and gets his way...
Punish him...If anybody else wasted $7000 that the city didn't have in the first place they would be punished... I can guarantee they will be wasting gas money on taking kids rides on the fire trucks this week..
Eddie and Jeff always get loud and get their way... STOP THEM...
When the City is in a budget crisis they need to get over themselves and abide by the rules...
Yes I do appreciate what our Fire Dept does... the thing I don't appreciate is how they waste so much money and get by with it... It's because Eddie is the mayors son....
He needs to be called out on wasting the money the the city doesn't have...
Mark do a story on it and bring it out in the open please.
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#15 Mark 2011-10-08 22:19
Oh Mary, i have been keeping up or trying because every time they say how much they are behind it changes, Yes they all need to resign especially the Mayor! He has been in there long enough to figure something out! how long do you give somebody to fix a problem 5 years? 10 Years? i know on my job if I took this long I would have been fired long ago! take a look back when did this all start oh about 8 years ago?? hmm mighty strange! Why don't they make people who build in the city limits pay for a business license?? thats money they could use. how bout a building permit? The state needs to come in and straighten it out because so far no one in this town seems to be smart enough! and no i don't have the answer either but then again I was not elected for that job!
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#14 bill 2011-10-08 20:12
the police dept.dont want the mayors car ,it dont have air condition ,what a joke .we are really spoiled no wonder city is in such a mess ,i bet they didnt grow up with all the goodies they were getting from city.all good things come to an end.........
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#13 Phil Moore 2011-10-08 15:28
They don't care about your money. They aren't the ones who have to work for it. If they did, they might be more careful about how they spend it.
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#12 concerned citizen 2011-10-08 10:30
Quoting Spanky:
How much for the car?


do we need a full time code enforcer? I would like to know her salary. I certainly don't think any codes are ever enforced. what are the duties of the code enforcer?
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#11 Mary 2011-10-08 10:22
Mark, I am so tired of people like you who think everyone is not doing there job. Keep up with the program - the Council has been given an ever changing budget and picture of what bills are due. Many City employees have enjoyed and abused cell phones supplied by the City. (I bet some of their familes could be included on this abuse too.) Also they didn't have to pay for any part of their medical coverage. It was great while it lasted but it got the City into trouble. Now the Council, along with a few others are trying to straighten things out for all of us. So don't start calling for resignations - especailly since I am sure you are one of the ones just sitting back not knowing or really trying to know what is going on and then voicing your not needed or wanted opinon.
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#10 Spanky 2011-10-07 22:41
How much for the car?
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#9 Mark 2011-10-07 21:50
I think the council and the Mayor all need to resign! They have failed at their jobs so they should just let somebody take over who can work this out!
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#8 Sally 2011-10-07 19:48
I agree Buzz...why have a assistant if you have NO money to assist? I understand during tax season to get extra help but sit up there and smoke yourself to death is another thing. How much business comes in the office for two office personnel? Town is broke, no money...and two assistants? Get real Teddy...LAY HER OFF!!
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#7 bill 2011-10-07 19:19
and what about the mayors raise? you all said no raises but you give the mayor one that dont seem fair to the empolyes and sures not fair to the budjet!!
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#6 Phil Moore 2011-10-07 18:59
So what if other cities have a deputy clerk? Maybe other cities can afford it but LOUISA CAN'T.
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#5 Phil Moore 2011-10-07 18:54
Why doesn't the mayor publish copies of the $5,000 check he spent for toy fireman's hats and the $2,500 for the stripes for the fire trucks? Does the fire department have money to waste on things like this? Where did they get this money to waste? That $7,000 could have been used to make up the payroll shortages. If the fire department has money for this, their budget is way too big. It looks like toy hats and text messages are the reason the city is so hard up. Why isn't this being explained at the council meetings? Why are the council members so afraid of Eddie Preston? He never answers questions; he just attacks the people who dare to ask questions about the fire department.
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#4 Wayne 2011-10-07 18:33
It is NOT the city clerk's job to formulate the budget. She can only present the bills--the council/mayor have the job of figuring out the budget. Why would you attack her when she is only presenting the facts?!!! And as for Gloria Johnson saying she was no longer going to make suggestions on how to help the city.. that was such a childish statement!!! You don't need to be on the council if you can't handle the pressure.
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#3 Downtown 2011-10-07 16:06
Thanks Mr. Stark, you are correct! Let's keep the pressure on to make cuts and changes. If the clerk cannot come up with a budget, let's find another clerk. It sounds like the clerk has no idea how to formulate a budget. It seems she is trying to get the City in deeper trouble and doesn't want to make cuts in her office, but it is ok for everyone else to take the cuts. Let's get real!
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