Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

October 31, 2012

Olive Hill forum brings candidate positions into focus

Oct. 31, 2012 —     Six candidates for Olive Hill City Council participated in a highly touted public forum Friday night at the elementary school gymnasium.

    The event was organized by the Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by several local businesses and community organizations.

    Incumbent members Linda Lowe and Kenny Fankell were joined by Council hopefuls Glenn Meade, Gayle Smith, Angie Johnson and Debbie Baker Harman.

    Current Council members Jerry Callihan, Allen Stapleton and Enoch Hicks did not participate.

    Each candidate’s platform and vision for Olive Hill’s future came into focus during their answers to various questions throughout the evening.

    Lowe and Harman both expressed a shared vision for revitalization of Olive Hill that would involve continued pursuit of grants and other funds aimed at a restoration of the town.

    “I remember the vibrant community we once had,” said Harman. “Not too many years will pass before the generation who remembers is gone.”

    “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail,” said Lowe. “We need to develop a capital improvement plan and go after the financial resources available to make it happen.”

    Glenn Meade, however, expressed a more progressive vision for the city’s future.

    “We need to move into the twenty first century. Our buildings and infrastructure are dilapidated and need to be replaced and public information also needs to be accessible online,” Meade said.

  Fankell and Smith both offered heavy criticism in their responses, each casting blame in different places for the city’s current problems with finances and management.

    “The Council has to know what the finances actually look like before we can do anything about them,” said Fankell. “It’s also up to the mayor and city employees to carry out the Council’s wishes. Right now, there’s a feeling of mistrust toward City Hall.”

    Smith, however, put the responsibility squarely on the backs of current Council members.

    “It’s up to the Council to know what the utility rates are, as well as the finances,” said Smith. “If you have questions, it’s your responsibility to go to the city building and get the answers.”

    Citing his experience as a former Council member and mayor, Smith also asserted that the city’s utilities are a vital source of revenue.

    Meade rebuffed that comment, however, pointing out that according to state law, using utility money to fund city government generally is illegal.

    Smith also was highly critical of the budget resources currently allocated to the city’s police force.

    The most engaging and vibrant candidate at Friday night’s forum, however, was Angie Johnson.

    The political newcomer cited her faith early and often as motivation for seeking a Council seat.

    She also pointed to her track record of overcoming significant life obstacles as proof that she has what it takes to tackle the city’s lengthy list of issues.

    “I’ve been to high places and I’ve been to low places,” Johnson said. “I’ve come out of a wheelchair from multiple sclerosis and when I thought everything was gone, He (God) wouldn’t let me quit.”

    “We have to address our attitude and adopt the same kind of ‘don’t quit’ mentality when addressing Olive Hill’s problems.” Johnson said. “There are solutions. There is a way.”

    The forum was moderated by Keith Kappes, publisher of the Journal-Times.

    Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 16 indicted by Carter grand jury

    Indictments of 16 persons have been handed down by a Carter County grand jury. Although 11 of those were processed June 27, the documents were released Monday to the Journal-Times.

    July 23, 2014

  • Wreck4.JPG Wreck leaves trail of gravel

    Members of Carter County Emergency Management, Norton Branch Fire Department, Kentucky State Police
    and Carter County EMS responded to an overturned truck Monday afternoon.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rex Collins.JPG Package liquor sales begin in Grayson

    It took more than a year, an investment of about $750,000, and a lot of paperwork but packaged liquor went on sale last Thursday in Grayson.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Star Elementary renovation underway

    Ongoing renovation of Star Elementary School was one of the main topics of conversation at Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Board of Education.

    July 23, 2014

  • Standout Youth Rally

    The third annual Standout Youth Rally will take place this weekend at the Olive Hill Shrine Park. The Christian praise and worship experience is free and includes admission, food, camping and entertainment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Stage lighting welcome at renovated OHHS

    Performers at the Olive Hill Arts and Education Center, previously known as Olive Hill High School, eventually will be highly visible to their audiences in the future, thanks to help from the Carter County Community Fund (CCCF).

    July 23, 2014

  • Olive Hill fire chief to step down

    Olive Hill Fire Chief Wes Gilliam has informed the Journal-Times that he will resign from his position effective July 31.

    July 23, 2014

  • DSC_9807.JPG Beer on sale in Olive Hill

    Malt beverage sales began in Olive Hill last Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • store.jpg Packaged liquor sales begin this week

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_7242.jpg Rodeo rides again at Carter County Fair

    After three years with no rodeo, the bucking broncos will return to the Carter County Fair this Thursday and Friday.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Poll