Council gets primary lesson
MIDWAY – With three members of the city council absent for the first 15 or so minutes of Tuesday’s meeting, Woodford County Clerk Sandy Jones had plenty of time to tell the others about the city’s primary history – or lack thereof. The meeting was moved from Monday night because of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Council member Steven Craig, a first responder, was working an accident until about 5:50 p.m. Council members Kaye Nita Gallagher and Sara Hicks were absent; Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said Hicks was recovering from shoulder surgery. Jones, who’s beginning her second year as county clerk, said at the request of the council last year, she’d researched Midway ordinances and state election laws. She learned that a 2003 Midway City Council motion to waive primaries for city elections failed, and with Midway City Clerk Phyllis Hudson, searched 60 years’ worth of city ordinances. She said Midway has never had a May primary for the non-partisan city offices; instead, a city ordinance set the second Tuesday in August as the filing date for council seats and mayor. However, state law states that the filing deadline for a fourth class city is Jan. 26. “I’m not saying that whatever had been done in the past has been wrong, and I’m going to do it right, that’s not my intention whatsoever. …” Jones said. “The way I have construed this, and it’s been confirmed to me, is that unless there is an ordinance to waive the May primary, that the only way that Midway City Council members … can be on the May primary, is to have a doubled amount of seats, meaning that 13 people would have to file.” Jones reiterated that the proper filing deadline is Jan. 26. Vandegrift said he believed the council should draft an ordinance to repeal the May primary, and agreed with Jones’s assessment of the proper deadline. Jones noted that the Versailles City Council passed an ordinance to waive its primary in 1997. Iron Horse Event Permit The council voted unanimously to approve an event permit for the Oct. 16 seventh annual Iron Horse Half Marathon. Event organizer Chuck Griffis told the council they hoped to expand the race this year to 2,000 entries, about 25 percent of whom wind up not running. John Sensenig of John’s Run/Walk Shop said the Iron Horse is the most successful race his company sponsors. “I got to run the race two years ago, and I’ve got to tell you Weisenberger Mill (Road) hill will get to you if you’re a runner,” Sensenig said. “The volunteers are incredible, and the town’s so nice – I mean, we got rated nationally as one of those races that’s worth traveling to. So I think, from the point of tourism, it’s a real asset to the community.” No one disagreed. Griffis presented a $1,250 check to the city from race proceeds, and said donations would also be made to the Midway Ministerial Association, the Woodford Humane Society (without whose volunteers the race couldn’t be run, he said) and the Versailles Police Department’s Cops For Kids program. Griffis said the Sunday race will occur the day after cyclists roll through Midway for The Bourbon Chase. Human Rights appointment Vandegrift’s nomination of Mary Raglin to the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission was unanimously approved. Raglin takes the place of Helen Rentch, who served two three-year terms on the commission. Council member Libby Warfield said she went to elementary school with Raglin.