LOUISA, Ky. — Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe announced today that he completed his inspection of the petitions turned in by groups of local citizens demanding a vote of the nickel/dime tax imposed by the LC Board of Education two months ago, and found there is enough signers to demand a vote on the tax.
Tonight, the BOE voted unanimously on motion by Garnett Skaggs and second by Madellene Roberts to hold the vote on the regular General election day November 7, 2023. Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher said it would cost more than $30,000 for a special election.
Fletcher advised the board to accept Jobe’s conclusion and set the issue to the voters.
Fletcher told the board that much of the talk he is hearing is “confusion” over what the petitions are for.
“There were 1,416 signers and Clerk Jobe eliminated almost 400 because of errors or signing out of precinct,” Fletcher said. “But there were still 1,047 qualified names on the petitions that were good.”
One of the petition leaders, Kay Swafford told The Lazer recently that the opposite is true.
“We were asked to walk the line on this, but we had no problem getting twice what we were told we needed (705), and there were many more who wanted to sign but we had already turned them (petitions) in,” Swafford said. “There were people asking to sign but we just couldn’t get to them all.”
Fletcher says not knowing the facts is the problem.
“I have spoken to several people who signed the petition but they really didn’t know what they were signing,” Fletcher told the BOE tonight. “One man told me he was told he had to sign the petition so we could get the new school.”
Supt. Fletcher said the length of time left between now and November will give the board time to “better educate” Lawrence Countians in what the new tax will pay for and why there has to be a vote on the tax.
The new tax money is to be used for a twenty year, $40 million construction project that includes a $27 million K-2 school to replace Louisa West Elementary, and merging all 7th and 8th graders to Louisa Middle School. Improvements would also be made to Blaine and Fallsburg lunchroom facilities.
Soon after the tax vote by the five person LC BOE, petition committees were formed as the law allows for any tax raise over 4% in Kentucky.
Below are the names and addresses of the petition committee that have filed and won the challenge.
- Sherry C Burchett 24 Old Rt 23Ulysses, KY 41264
- Cheryl Gowan 71 Shandy LnLouisa, KY 41230
- Leona Swafford 238 Hwy 1760Louisa, KY 41230
- Daniel Ward
74 Greenapple Rd Louisa, KY 41230
- Rick Cyrus
97 Treasure Chest Dr Louisa, KY 41230