April 2, 2014 —
During the last health department meeting, information was provided to employees regarding the closing of the Olive Hill Health Department branch, which I had previously asked about.
They informed me they did not have the revenue to keep it open. If the health department was not closed in Olive Hill it would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red.
I told the employees to try to keep it open until May to see where the money was in the budget. Employees presented this to the board and it was voted on to close Olive Hill Branch. I was the only board member that voted to keep it open.
The employees got mad at me because I didn’t vote with the board to close it. I have had dozens of people calling from Olive Hill asking why the Olive Hill Health Department was closing? As a taxpayer, I have the right to ask questions. We did not have a meeting for three months. At the March 2014 meeting we were told that we had $53,000 of surplus money. At the 2013 October and November meeting we were told that we were going to be in the red hundreds of thousands of dollars. How many people were involved in falsifying the figures where it went from $53,000 of surplus to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red?
One employee said the budget was wrong. Another told me and Elliott County Judge-Executive Carl Fannin the numbers had been changed to make it look good.
If someone falsified figures and it was presented to the Fiscal Court in June for Fiscal year 2013-14, the court accepted it at what was presented. Was this wrong?
The people of Olive Hill need to express their opinion. I will do everything I can to re-open the Olive Hill branch.
Editor's note: The questions raised in this letter to the editor were addressed in the March 26 edition of the Journal-Times.