The Richmond Register


May 5, 2013

That’s just how it is: Part two

RICHMOND — Today’s column starts off with excerpt from a “fun-spirited” column I wrote in January 2008 titled “Back to the Future.” It was about a fictional dream that predicted the outcome of certain events of much interest or controversy in Richmond and Madison County.

Below is the excerpt where Bonnie is waking me up. Following this are my parting comments for our governments, chambers and tourism organizations in Madison County.

“Nick, wake up the football game is about ready to start. You’ve been sleeping for almost 12 hours and what was all that mumbo jumbo talk about last night?”

I respond, “What are you talking about? I don’t remember anything. It’s the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.”

Bonnie replied, “Richmond joining consolidated 911 dispatch. You know that’s a hopeless case. Then you said something about Jan and Jimmy drinking wine on Sunday at the winery, but they don’t sell wine on Sunday. That’s wishful thinking; however, it is a no-brainer and the fiscal court needs to get’r done. Then there was something about two incumbent city commissioners getting defeated. You know that will never happen, you turkey. And finally, there was something about kids being transported to the aquatic center by Robert Blythe and getting in free. I think you are all wet behind the ears on that one, too.”

I looked up at her with a big grin on my face and said, “Bonnie, I know I’m a dreamer, but if you believe and have faith, dreams can come true and miracles will happen. Just wait and see what this New Year brings.”

When Paradise Cove opened in the spring of 2008, Friday night was deemed community night and admission was free to families. In November 2008, Rita Smart was elected and leapfrogged all current city commissioners. In November 2010, the only incumbent left was Robert Blythe. Consolidated 911 dispatch was approved in December 2009, while Sunday wine sales were passed in November 2010. I guess I got 3.5 out of 4 right, because I don’t ever recall that Blythe drove a bus loaded with kids to Paradise Cove, or did he?

I really can’t predict the future; my predictions were based on my visions that would make our community a better place to live. Changes were needed in city government, and the other predictions just made common sense as do the ones below.

Today EKU, the Madison County Board of Education, and the Bluegrass Army Depot are addressing major budget reductions and tough decisions must be made which ultimately involve people.

When job losses are involved, it has a direct correlation to revenue generated from payroll tax. These three entities are the largest employers in Madison County, so the impact will be significant. There are no facts about the potential tax revenue loss, but it could be millions.

This will severely impact governmental services we take for granted, and it will require all local governments to be creative and think outside the box. It will require them to partner even more on combining services that make sense without compromising public safety. It will require them to question what roles local governments should control or services to provide.

City commissioners and magistrates alike must be visionary, analytical and inquisitive. They must do their homework before they speak or act. They must be good listeners and be proactive rather than reactive. They must let common sense and reality guide their actions or decisions rather than emotions and egos. If they do this, then we have the opportunity to overcome the uncertainty of our future.

At the present time, all three governments are operating well, all things considered. However, they have some real challenges ahead that must be addressed with smart action.

With that said, is it time to seriously consider one local government for Madison County? If that is not conceivable because Berea wants to be left alone, then why not a Richmond and Madison County Fiscal Court? Countywide 911 is working. The city and the fiscal court have partnered with the closing of a fire station that also appears to be working, so why not start the process to go all in.

Madison County has so much to offer, but if we aren’t creative, we will miss opportunities to make it even a greater place to live. With that said, is it time to combine both chambers under one umbrella? If we believe it can’t be done, then it won’t have a chance.

I know this one will raise some eyebrows as well, but can there be just one tourism entity in Madison County? Again, if Berea and Richmond continue to live in the past, the future will be nothing but a dream and opportunities will be lost.

We can’t operate as we have in the past and if we don’t realize that now, then we are in trouble. Private businesses already know the consequences of that mindset; it’s time governments, tourism and chambers realized it as well before it’s too late.

And that’s just how it is!

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  • 06.29 CrystalFarewell.jpg Starting over at Head Start

    All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
    I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ike Adams They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days

    I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
    At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
    I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth

    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
    Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate

    Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
    His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Senate campaign already in full bloom

    Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
    McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG ‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’

    What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
    Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association

    Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
    Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Hitting the campaign trail

    The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
    We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
    McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case of the scary black cat

    If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
    Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.

    May 10, 2014

  • Ike Adams Basking in the spring sunshine

    If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
    I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

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