WORDING ON BALLOT CHANGED BY FLETCHER, JOBE
WSAZ came to Louisa today to interview Rob Fletcher and Chris Jobe about the recallable tax issue facing Lawrence County voters on November 7. The TV reporters spoke to Lawrence Schools chief Dr. Rob Fletcher at length and allowed him to get his speech prepared concerning the merits of the new 11.4 cents (on the hundred $) of property tax.
Fletcher appeared as he has in every gathering he can find in the pursuit of the new $40 million tax levy that is supposed to end in 20 years. But Fletcher has not mentioned that fact much in his well publicized speech on why taxpayers should pay for a $27-30 million K-2 school which has over $10 million earmarked for site acquisition alone. Taking all 7th and 8th graders to Louisa Middle School including those at Fallsburg and Blaine Elementaries is also an issue in the vote.
The Lawrence Co. Board of Education has moved forward with the tax despite opposition from groups of taxpayers who do not believe the tax is necessary. A petition with more than twice the number of signers required (1,400) was circulated and the issue has been placed on the Nov. 7 ballot.
But the TV interview, nor the ballot question include any comments by the petitioners, which some were prepared to give.
One Petition leader, Cheryl Gowan told The Lazer today that she can’t understand why the wording of the petition on the ballot has been changed from what the petition says – to a promotion for the tax and explanation while making no mention of the opposition’s point of view.
“Someone from the recall committee was supposed to be interviewed as well, but no one was notified, Gowan said. “From how the ballot looks we are wondering is the levy no longer a 20 year recallable tax? IF it’s voted in, will it never end? There’s no mention of it being recallable.”
Lawrence Clerk Chris Jobe said he and other county officials approved the wording and writing of the new ballot question. He confirmed it was written by Fletcher with no input by any of the petitioners.
Another petitioner, Kay Swafford has similar questions about the handling of the most anticipated vote on Nov. 7, along with the race for Kentucky Governor.
“I noticed it (question) left out the “20 year recallable” clause and the very last part of the statement leaves the taxpayers wide open – ‘Related debt services’,” Swafford said.
She said Jobe had contacted her yesterday morning and told her the TV station was in Louisa looking for comments on the tax levy question and issue and they may contact her for an interview – but it never happened.
Gowan was more direct in her QUESTION of the language change. “How can they vote on a levy then change the wording after the fact?”