The Richmond Register

Local News

May 15, 2013

King twice accuses mayor of lying

Commission meeting

RICHMOND —

Twice at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, Commissioner Laura King accused Mayor Jim Barnes of lying.

She also said the mayor “likes to discriminate against women.”

The mayor banged his gavel for order, when King called him “a disgrace to this town.”

The confrontation began after Larry Frakes, an unsuccessful 2010 city commission candidate, criticized the removal earlier this year of one of three girls softball fields from Irvine-McDowell Park at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Crabbe Street.

“Where are the girls going to play softball,” Frakes demanded to know.

Barnes said at least one new girls softball field will be created at Lake Reba Park in time for the 2014 season.

“Everybody but a few people” want all youth ball fields place at Lake Reba, the mayor said. Having boys and girls playing on fields in separate parks miles apart is inconvenient for families with both boys and girls who play ball. Some parents are forced to choose between letting a son or a daughter play ball, he has said in the past.

“We want Irvine-McDowell to be a quiet, passive park,” Barnes said.

King took exception to the mayor’s use of “we” and “the commission” when he talked about the decision to remove the Irvine-McDowell softball field and give the park a new orientation..

“None of us have agreed to do what the mayor has said,” King said. “He doesn’t speak for me or my constituents,” who she said tell her they want the Irvine-McDowell softball field restored.

“He sits right here and says, ‛We have decided,’” King said. “That’s a lie, a bold faced lie.”

Removal of a girls ball field could have been a violation of the statute known as Title IX that requires entities receiving federal funds to provide equal sports opportunities for men and women, King continued.

“Our mayor likes to discriminate against women,” she said. “I know because I’ve felt it myself.”

“It’s a disgrace to this town that we have a mayor who sits here …,” King said, but she was interrupted by the mayor who banged his gavel and told King she was out of order.

When Commissioner Donna Baird attempted to speak in the mayor’s defense, King said, “Donna, don’t try to take up for your man.”

Barnes again banged the gavel, interrupting Baird, and said the commission should move on.

Commissioner Jim Newby said leaders of the girls softball league had told him they didn’t protest removal of the softball field “because they didn’t think they had a choice.”

A league official had been scheduled to address the commission Tuesday, he said, but did not attend.

Later, King said she would submit a motion in writing calling for the Irvine-McDowell ball field to be restored. An order to that effect would be drafted for a vote at the May 28 commission meeting.

Kings motion at the April 9 commission meeting to restore the ball field failed when she and Newby voted for it, the mayor and Baird voted against it and Commission Robert Blythe abstained.

With conflicting accounts of whether the youth leagues wanted fields moved from Irvine-Dowell to Lake Reba, Blythe said he needed more information before he voted.

King said Blythe would have time to have his questions answered before May 28.

As he did, April 9, Barnes said he had never acted as mayor without at least the consent of a majority of the commission. Blythe said then he could not recall voting on the issue or giving his assent, but Baird said she had. Former commissioner Jason Morgan, in a message to the Register, said he had not given his assent to removing the field and that no vote had been taken.

However, former commissioner Richard Thomas said he had given his assent during a discussion about renovating the park’s Irvinton House.

Tuesday night, City Manager Jimmy Howard said he started plans to remove the ball field in December, when the former commission was still in office. The city’s 2008 comprehensive park plan, recommended by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, had called for ball fields to be moved from Irvine-McDowell to Lake Reba, he noted.

However, the park board was not involved in the decision to remove the field, Howard said.

“That was a mistake,” the city manager said, and the park board would be given an apology.

King and the mayor clashed again, when an ordinance to annex the property on which Madison County Ford sits passed 3-2, with King and Newby casting negative votes.

When asked by the mayor why she had voted no, King said she was opposed to involuntary annexation. The city had never involuntarily annexed property until Barnes became mayor, she said.

 King said she had voted to annex another relatively small parcel of business property on Boggs Lane only because she believed the mayor when he said it was a voluntary annexation.

“But, you lied about that,” she told Barnes.

Although the mayor had not asked him, Newby said he wanted to explain his vote.

When the issue had been considered once before, an attorney for property owner Ken Ruhl arrived at the meeting after a vote had been taken. The attorney was not allowed to speak, and Newby said he wanted to hear from the property owner.

The issue was back before the commission, according to the annexation ordinance, because all requirements had not been met by a previously submitted version.

Howard said he had begun the annexation move because the Madison County Ford property was completely surround by the city. It receives city services “without paying anything to the city,” which he regards as unfair to the other businesses, including car dealers that do.

King this called on Richmond Utilities Superintendent Scott Althauser if Madison County Ford pays city utility fees. It pays the city for water and sewer services, he said.

That showed the dealership pays money to the city, King said.

However, it pays no property or net profits tax, Howard said, and its employees don’t pay the city’s occupational license fee.

Forcible annexation of the dealership cold prompt it to move out of Richmond, King said, resulting in loss of revenue to the city.

(See later editions of the Register this week for more about Tuesday’s city commission meeting.)

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results