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Editor &Publisher - Dr. Mark H. Grayson, (DoL) Hon. 2005 EKU
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May 15, 2018

Letter to the Editor

Mark:


I would like to make a statement in response to the letter sent to the Lazer about the assessment notice. I have attached a Legal Notice that is published in the Big Sandy News at the beginning of each year. KRS 132.220 requires each property owner of the county to list their property with the PVA office each year between January 1st thru March 1st. I know that everyone doesn’t read the Big Sandy News, but there is no way of reaching each citizen of the county individually and notifying them of this KRS. No one is punished for not following this KRS in Lawrence County.

In response to the claim made that the PVA made no attempt to call them about the ownership or value of their mobile home, this is what the 2018 Property Tax Assessment Notice is for. We received notice from the 911 office that the Holders had applied for an address at this location. We drove to the address, took a picture and sent this notice. The notice states that if the assessment or ownership is incorrect to contact our office between May 7th thru May 21st. This process ensures that property ownership is correctly identified.

This entire process is required by the Revenue Department in Frankfort, KY.


Sincerely,
Chris Rose

MAY 15, 2018

To the Editor:

Total Overhaul, Anyone?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the upcoming primary and who might end up Lawrence County's Judge/Executive. With 8 candidates running in the primary, it kind of feels like wagering on the Kentucky Derby. However, I can't help but wonder if we aren't due for a complete overhaul of the powers-that-be.

Consider for a moment this county's Property Valuation Administrator (PVA), Chris Rose. Now, don't get me wrong. I like Chris. He's a good guy. Nonetheless, do we really need to keep electing people just because we know them? That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call 'identity politics' and, quite frankly, this useless way of doing things is how we ended up in the current economic slump we're in. It's that 'good ole boy' system at its best!

Also consider this: the PVA is responsible for valuation of properties in the county, which is the basis for our property tax bills. The records of who owns what are recorded and maintained by the county clerk's office, currently occupied by Chris Jobe. I don't personally know Mr. Jobe but, again, I hear he's a great guy. What I wonder, however, is if either is qualified for the jobs they are paid to do, if they're burnt out from doing said jobs too long, and if it's time for us all to move on in this November's election. As of this writing, both Rose and Jobe stand unchallenged, but it's not too late for some new blood to step up to the plate as write-in candidates. Now, before I get ahead of myself, allow me to expound on this thought of mine.

Today, I received in the mail my 2018 Property Tax Assessment Notice for my mobile home. The PVA says my property is worth $8,000. As I was reading this notice, I made this face. It was a very 'Al Bundy' face, for those of you who are old enough to know it- you know, that face where your eyes squint and your forehead wrinkles. As I'm sitting there reading this notice and channeling my best Al Bundy, all I could think was...”huh?”. See, I wasn't confused because of the 8-grand number. I don't know if it's accurate or not because I'm not a real estate connoisseur. The problem was... I don't own a mobile home!

So, about a year and a half ago, my would-be wife and I moved into this place owned by her grandmother. The trailer is situated on land owned by her mother. We couldn't get a phone line hooked up without an E-911 address, so we spent 2 weeks calling and leaving messages before finally getting in touch with the director and getting an address issued (off subject, but how is it acceptable that it even took 2 weeks?). He asked the names of all the adults in the home, so I explained that it was just Vanessa and I and we were renting.

Then, POOF!, like magic, we're homeowners! To add salt to this big, gaping wound, the notice was sent to Denton, Ky, which is in Carter County! I would really like to know, as a taxpayer and (apparently) homeowner, who is responsible for this level of incompetence. I mean, the PVA salary, based on county population, is between $77,401 and $83,355. For this kind of money, I really need to know if this is his screw-up or if Chris Jobe owns this one.

There's this little concept called 'due diligence', an ethical concept, that requires professionals to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure they haven't acted unprofessionally. Where is the due diligence here with this property valuation? Neither my mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, wife, nor myself have been contacted to ask even a single question, such as the one burning a hole in my brain right this second: who owns this mobile home? I mean, for the kind of money they're paid, is it really too much to ask that someone make a phone call or send a letter to even pretend an attempt at ascertaining the truth?

So, if we're in a place where this kind of ridiculousness can happen, is it not time to reconsider how we elect our officials here in Lawrence County? The Lazer has all but begged for statements from the candidates for Judge/Executive, receiving responses from only 3 of the 8. And I understand that they are under no obligation to speak to the press, but their choice not to makes me wonder why they won't. How can I trust that someone will run a transparent administration if they're not even transparent in campaigning? How have any of the candidates (for any of the offices) told us how they're going to bring change for all of us? And I don't mean stating in a more complex way that this or that needs changed, but actually laying out a solid plan and presenting it to the citizens. Enough is enough with the identity politics! Most of us are suffering and many are leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. So, I pose this question: Come November, how will YOU vote?

 

Cole Holder

Denton, Ky. (near the Lawrence, Boyd, Carter county lines.)

 

May 7, 2018

Are Americans Crazy?

 

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Has America simply gone crazy? We never want to think that we are a bit crazy or that people we love are experiencing craziness but it is reality. America has an overwhelming problem with craziness or I should say mental health issues.

Over a 12-month period, 27% of adults in the U.S. will experience some sort of mental health disorder, making the U.S. the country with the highest prevalence. Mental health disorders include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and substance abuse. Over one's entire lifetime, the average American has a 47.4% chance of having some kind of mental health disorder. Yes, that's almost one in two. The projected lifetime prevalence is even higher: for people who reach age 75 it is 55%. World Health Organization data does not take into account eating disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia; the incidence of these disorders together is about 15% in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The incidence of mental health disorders varies widely across the globe, and determining the patterns is tricky. After the U.S., Ukraine, Colombia, New Zealand, Lebanon, and France have the next highest rates of mental health disorders of any kind, all falling between 18.9% and 21.4% in a 12-month period. Japan, the People's Republic of China, Nigeria, and Israel have the lowest rates (between 6.0% and 7.4%), especially for depression. For substance abuse, the U.S. is up there, but not the highest: We are topped by South Africa and Ukraine. As with the U.S., when you look at lifetime prevalence in any country, the risk for any disorder goes way up.

Despite ongoing research, the predictors of mental health disorders are still evasive, even for the most common, like depression. While a nation's wealth factor would seem to have an impact, it's clear from the data that the relationship is complex. Ron Kessler, Ph.D., the Harvard researcher who headed much of the WHO's mental health research, says that by and large people in less-developed countries are less depressed: After all, he says, when you're literally trying to survive, who has time for depression? Americans, on the other hand, many of whom lead relatively comfortable lives; blow other nations away in the depression factor, leading some to suggest that depression is a "luxury disorder".

There is a zero cure for mental health issues. However, here are some suggestions for improvement. Have a daily schedule. Get up and go to bed routinely. Get adequate sleep but you don't need more than seven to eight hours. Engage in meaningful activity daily. Work a job. Work in a garden. Clean your house. Mow grass. Pull weeds. Go to school. Have some type of daily exercise. Breaking a little sweat every day is healthy. Engage in meaningful relationships at church, a club, work or with friends and family. We all need real people in our lives. Limit your technology, television and social media time. Too much can drain and depress you.

If you have mental illness or family members suffering from mental illness get it out on the table and start talking about coping, a strategic plan, counseling and working together to make life manageable. Ignoring it only results in everybody going crazy.

Credits: World Health Organization and The Atlantic.

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Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

 

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