Council honors Warfield
The Midway City Council Monday voted unanimously to honor a fallen colleague by declaring March 4-10 “Libby Warfield Week” in the city.
Warfield died Feb. 24 after a long battle with cancer. She was in the middle of her second term on the council. Several immediate members of her family were there, including husband David Warfield, her mother, former Council Member Jean Sharon; and sisters Peggy Sharon and Cindy Karrick.
The resolution praised Warfield for being hard-working, outspoken and passionate, and for her service as chair of the council’s Cemetery, City Property and Blighted Properties Committee.
Mayor Grayson Vandegrift presented Jean Sharon with a copy of the resolution. After Warfield’s death, Vandegrift said she had made him a better mayor.
Council members also discussed how to fill Warfield’s vacant seat, which state law gives them 30 days to do. After that, the governor can make the choice. Warfield’s term expires at the end of the year.
Vandegrift said it was important that the council made the decision, in part because Gov. Matt Bevin would likely “pick some lunatic.” He suggested the council ask for applicants who would write a letter explaining why they’d be a good replacement for Warfield and include a short biography. After a few minutes of discussion, the council decided to set a deadline of Wednesday, March 14, for submissions. Candidates must be a resident of the city and be registered to vote. After the meeting, Vandegrift said the ideal candidate would pledge not to run for the seat this fall. The deadline for filing to run for the nonpartisan council is Aug. 14.
In related news, Vandegrift appointed Council Member Sara Hicks to fill Warfield’s committee chairmanship.
“No” on extended alcohol hours
The council voted 3 to 2 against an ordinance that would have extended the hours for package and by-the-drink alcohol sales to 1 a.m. Monday toSaturday and on New Year’s Eve until 2 a.m.
Before the vote, B.J. Bentley said she was concerned about noise bothering nearby residents when they were trying to sleep. She agreed with Vandegrift’s proposal that he write a letter to restaurant owners asking for their help in keeping their areas quiet.
Vandegrift said he’d been wrestling with the issue for weeks and decided that he didn’t like the idea, adding that if restaurants had come to the council asking to stay open later, he’d support it.
Council Member Bruce Southworth, who voted for the ordinance along with Council Member John McDaniel, said he was just going by what some restaurant owners had told him.
Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher said she didn’t think the city needed the later hours. Hicks said if there was public transportation available during late hours, she might support it, adding, “The later it gets, the more people have had to drink.”
Asked for his opinion of that theory, Assistant Versailles Police Chief Mike Murray said studies show DUIs increase between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Council Member Steve Simoff said he’d spoken with representatives from five restaurants, three of whom supported the later hours and two who said it wouldn’t affect them. He also said when he was a young man in Iowa, his 24-year-old brother was killed while driving drunk, as were three others involved in the collision.
St. Patrick’s Day parade
The council unanimously granted an event permit for the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will begin on Bruen Street travel through Gratz Street, loop around North and South Main streets, go back up Gratz Street and end at Midway Christian Church.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. and the parade at 3 p.m. Downtown parking
After several minutes of discussion about adding parking spaces for motorcycles and bicycles behind the Goose and Gander restaurant, Vandegrift said he’d check to see if council action was required for the proposal.