Letters to the editor
Supporting school employees
Editor, The Sun:
As members of the Woodford County Board of Education, we express our support, respect and gratitude for all of the employees of the school district. Each plays a critical role in providing a safe, healthy, and compassionate environment in which our students can grow and learn, and receive an education that will give them the future they desire and deserve. The teachers are the face of this effort. They have dedicated their professional lives to the betterment of our children and by extension, our communities. We owe so much to these people, as well as the administrative and classified staff that support them and their work in the classroom.
For the last few months, their futures have been rocked with uncertainty and anxiety, culminating in last week’s historic action by our state government. Their frustration and anger is completely understandable, and is shared by all of us. Despite the indignities and unfairness that our educators have been subjected to from our highest leaders, they continue to show up for our children and give them positive examples of civil engagement.
It is often said that our children are our future. Well, our educators are on the front line of that future every day. We must stand with them and, by doing so, keep our public education system strong.
Ambrose Wilson IV
“Remember in November”
Editor, The Sun:
Kentucky Retirement Systems stakeholders are shocked and appalled by the actions of the General Assembly regarding public pensions.
Last week, in the space of about nine hours, the majority party produced a 291-page pension bill and voted it out of the House and Senate. Senate Bill 151 awaits Gov. Matt Bevin’s signature.
Taxpayers need to understand three important points about this bill as it relates to Kentucky Retirement Systems. First, KRS pensions were comprehensively reformed in landmark legislation in 2013. That legislation reduced future liabilities by eliminating retiree cost-of-living adjustments and adopted a hybrid cash-balance plan for new hires in which future risk is shared between employees and employers.
Second, the new pension bill produces no significant reduction in KRS liabilities, according to the KRS actuary. Third, stakeholders believe strongly that the benefit reductions in SB 151 violate the contract rights of members. Attorney General Andy Beshear and others will litigate.
We urge taxpayers to remember these three points when the November election approaches. If your legislator voted “yes” on Senate Bill 151, it was a vote to make illegal benefit cuts that produce no significant savings for a system that had already been comprehensively reformed just five years ago. We urge citizens to vote accordingly.
President, Kentucky Government Retirees
Editor, The Sun:
On behalf of the Woodford County Community Fund, I want to thank the more than 180 people who participated in our On The Table discussions on Wednesday, March 28. More than 20 tables filled with local residents had intense, open, and respectful discussions on their issues of interest and concern. If you had the opportunity to listen to each conversation, you would have heard about many different, important topics – and many common themes.
An event such as this does not just happen. This is a shout of great thanks to our partners: Life Adventure Center, a county treasure whose amazing facilities and programs focus on resiliency, communication, and respect. Blue Grass Community Foundation, members of which shared their expertise on how to do On The Table and guided us through the process.
Sweet Lilu’s – for their catered culinary delights throughout the day.
I also want to thank our sponsors: The Woodford County Farm Bureau, Bill and Laura Dake of Citizen’s Commerce National, and The Joe and Debbie Graviss Charitable Fund.
We must also thank the Woodford Sun for its fair and comprehensive reporting about life in Woodford County and its advertising support for events such as this.
Please look forward to a report to the community on the themes emerging from these discussions and an opportunity to step forward and work on action strategies and their implementation.
Remember, none of us can do anything alone, but all of us working together can do anything!
Woodford County Community Fund Chair