• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff 16

Council passes anti-discrimination resolution

The Versailles City Council Tuesday voted 5 to 0 in favor of a resolution saying discrimination against several classes of people “will not be tolerated.”

Council Member Ken Kerkhoff, who offered an alternative resolution that was not considered after the original passed, abstained.

The resolution was authored by Mayor Brian Traugott in May and carries no legal weight. It was introduced as an alternative to a Fairness Ordinance after backers decided a gay and transgender rights measure didn’t have enough support to pass.

The third paragraph reads, “Whereas, the values of this city government and the city of Versailles dictate that any forms of discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, physical condition, religion, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated.” Kerkhoff asked, “Is it appropriate that for a local city government to decide specific protected classes or classes that we want to single out? Personally, I don’t think that’s what we should be doing. While a non-binding resolution is not an ordinance, it nonetheless makes a strong statement how this council, voted by all our constituents, want our city to stand for.”

Kerkhoff’s ordinance read, in part, “… It is the policy of the city to reject unjust discrimination against any person whomsoever and of any kind whatsoever, above all in the hiring, promotion, or firing of employees, in the provision of goods or services, or in the buying, selling or leasing of housing …”

Council Member Laura Dake said she thought it was important that the resolution cite classes of people.

“And to say that we don’t discriminate against anybody – that is the ultimate goal, and if we were all our better angels, that would be the way it would be …” Dake said. Debate on the resolution lasted about 11 minutes, and when the discussion ended, Traugott said he was surprised it didn’t last longer.

Abandoned properties

The council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the city’s Code Enforcement Board to put five properties on the Abandoned Properties list.

Owners of those properties will be sent a letter notifying them of the designation and will have one month to respond.

Penalties would increase the city’s property tax rate on the following addresses from 5.6 cents per $100 of assessed value to 75 cents: • 75 McCracken Pike • 261 Church Street • 145 Stout Avenue • 214 East Green Street • 110 Maple Street (the old Woodford Middle School)

City Attorney Bill Moore said the listing would serve as a way to get the owners of the old middle school, who have received a demolition permit from the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission, to tell officials their plans for the historic building.

Appointments

The council unanimously supported the reappointments of Frank Starks for a four-year term on the Board of Adjustments and Kevin O’ Reel to a two-year term on the Versailles-Woodford County Parks and Recreation Board. Bid

The council unanimously supported a recommendation from Public Works Director Bart Miller that the city purchase a Ford F-750 from Jack Kain Ford for $64,444.36. The vehicle will be used as a brush and leaf box truck.

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