Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 22, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Shift to noon-only  meetings bad idea

The idea of moving all Ashland Board of City Commissioners meetings to noon was clearly not thought through.

When one monthly was originally scheduled for noon, it opened the meetings up to a part of the population that it was not available to before, thus increasing attendance. It only worked because many were unable for various reasons to attend at dinner-time, even once a month. But if both meetings are changed to noon, then  many, if not most, of those who attend in the evening will be disenfranchised.

Few low- and middle-income workers get a full hour for lunch. Those working the graveyard shift would only get a couple of hours of sleep. Small business owners would have to close the store or pay for someone to work while they are at the meeting.

In fact, many city workers wouldn’t be able to attend, either.

A better experiment would be to make the noon meeting on the third Thursday instead of the first. A large percentage of our population are on fixed incomes. Thus, the first few days of the month they are paying bills, have doctor appointments, etc. That makes it difficult to squeeze in a noon meeting.

Since the buses stop running around 6 p.m., an evening meeting is difficult for those without transportation. The ones who currently make the noon meetings could still make them on the third week as well. Plus, unless it’s a school project, no one younger than 18 would be able to attend without skipping school.

There was a reason the meetings were in the  evening for years (seriously) and it wasn’t  because no one ever came up with the idea of meeting at noon. Change is good. Total overall rarely works well except in complete disasters.

Sylvia McClelland-Morrison, Ashland

Remember pets on this holiday

As Memorial Day approaches and everyone is remembering loved ones who have passed on, I remind everyone not to forget any four-legged friends who have passed on as well.

We as a society are reminded daily of the riches and joy that these animals bring to our lives. Whether it is a dog, cat or any other cuddly animal, no one can deny the impact they have on us.

I know as an Afghanistan war veteran, I have my dogs to thank for helping me through some tough times.  Whether it is enticing me into a competitive game of fetch, or just a simple sit down in our favorite recliner for a quick nap, the joy that comes from it is a blessing.

I encourage everyone who reads this and knows where I am coming from to join me in honoring deceased beloved friends by donating to the Boyd County Animal Shelter this Memorial Day. During the second annual “You are remembered” campaign May 26 through June 1, the animal shelter will display the pictures of your beloved pets in the shelter and, with your permission, post them online for all to see.  Just bring a bag of dog food and picture of your pet to the shelter and they will proudly display your pet for all to see how much they were a part of your lives. 

This is a great way to honor your pet and help the many other homeless and abandoned pets still in need. You can call the animal shelter at (606) 324- 0745 for more information.  I hope to see you all there and am looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful pictures.  You never know, while you are there, you may find another best friend.

 Kelly S. Sallie, Boyd County

McConnell can be defeated in 2014

Living in Louisville, I have followed U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell throughout his political career. Lacking statesmanship skills, he mastered what it takes to be a consummate, career politician who wins elections.

McConnell, Congress’ staunchest supporter of “money is speech” and “corporations are people,” knows how to raise huge amounts of money from rich special interests who buy his votes in the Senate. Negative campaigns too often win elections; no candidate I know does negative campaigning better than Mitch McConnell. Over the years, his votes in the Senate have shown his lack of concern and compassion for the middle class and poor. They cannot contribute big bucks to re-election bids like his rich donors can.

Senator McConnell did everything he could do to make President Obama a one-term president. He failed, but as Senate minority leader, he is still doing what he can to obstruct positive movement forward. His almost 30 years of experience in the Senate have been mostly about him and his lust for dominating power. The adjective which best describes McConnell’s legacy is “negative.”

I believe Democrats will have a candidate soon to run against McConnell. I hope it will be Alison Grimes, currently our secretary of state. I heard her speak at Fancy Farm last August. She was/is very impressive, and if elected in 2014, will bring to the Senate a youthful, energetic, positive, constructive outlook which will serve Kentucky and America well.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Louisville