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Today is the first day of 2014. Make it a good one.
With a new year comes a new start, another chance to get it right.
We are certain all of us have some regrets from 2013. Things we did. Things we didn’t do. Things we should have done. And while we can’t turn back time, or erase any of those regrets, we have 365 days in front of us to try again. We can push the reset button, so to speak.
We don’t want to single anyone out (oh, who are we kidding, yes we do) there are certain people, groups and entities that we hope push the reset button in 2014.
Locally, we hope the Marion County Public School System is able to have more stability in the new year. Our heads have been spinning ever since Chuck Hamilton unexpectedly announced his resignation. Since then, Taylora Schlosser, the only person the school board interviewed, was hired and she has made some lightning fast hiring decisions and changes in staff. (See our top 10 stories starting on page A1.) Not only have people’s positions changed but she has also rotated and swapped their job responsibilities. For instance, when Stacey Hall was hired for the newly created position of director of federal programs at central office in July (he resigned four months later) Diane Evans, who had been in charge of federal programs for years, was handed brand new job responsibilities as the director of food service. That seemed odd to us. Evans is an expert on the complicated and ever-changing world of federal programs, so why hand over those responsibilities to a new employee in a brand new position? It didn’t make sense to us then and it still doesn’t make sense to us now. Some people might have assumed Evans would just give up and retire. Or, was that the goal all along? No matter, to her credit, Evans has taken her new role and responsibilities in stride.
With all of that said, it’s understandable why Marion County Public School employees might feel uneasy. Some are downright scared that their positions could be the next ones modified, rearranged or eliminated. The school system and its employees needs a sense of security and normalcy. We hope school employees can concentrate more on what’s most important, the education of our children, and less about the stability of their jobs.
Another wish we have is for the Williams and Boardwalk folks to leave us alone. They spent much of 2013 trying to convince landowners throughout Marion County and elsewhere to allow surveys of their property for possible easements to locate the Bluegrass Pipeline, which would carry natural gas liquids (NGLs) from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Louisiana.
Like many citizens, especially the Loretto community (which includes the Sisters of Loretto and Loretto co-members), we are concerned about the potential impact an NGL leak could have on the local environment, specifically the water supply. Given Central Kentucky’s extensive system of caves, sinkholes and underground waterways, a leak could have wide-reaching and long-term effects. We don’t want the pipeline in or anywhere near Marion County. We enjoy being able to drink water from our faucets and to breathe clean air in our backyards. So, stay away, Williams and Boardwalk. Just stay away.
Speaking of pipe dreams, wouldn’t it be great if everyone involved in 2014 political campaigns would stick to the issues? In our personal lives, we manage to have disagreements with people we know without being disagreeable. It would be refreshing if politicians and their “supporters” could do that, too.
The supporters we’re most concerned about are unauthorized campaign committees. Unfortunately, we’ve seen firsthand how misleading those groups tend to be.
And for everyone, it would be wonderful if we could go a whole year without reporting on fatal accidents or a tragic criminal event. Every year, families, friends and our community at large are affected when people die in what are not always but often preventable circumstances.
With that in mind, we wish all of you a safe and happy New Year. Let’s make it one to remember for as many good reasons as possible.