Happy New Year! Do you have a wish list for the New Year yet?
As 2016 gets started, our new governor, Representative Jim Stewart, Senator Robert Stivers and all the other members of the new legislature are now at work up in Frankfort. And as we move into 2016, here are the things I would put on the “Wish List” for Knox County. See if you agree with these:
Fund the plans for the Knox Jail. Knox County got state approval for a new jail almost a year ago. But, the state promised funding for architect fees plans and engineering has not showed up! Our county is still spending $30,000 to $50,000 tax dollars per month in transportation, handling and other fees that would go away if we had a new jail. Hey Frankfort, pay for our plans as promised. Help us get that project going!
Drop the hammer or drop the investigation. This one is for the feds. We know a federal grand jury was presented evidence back last year about alleged wrong-doing involving use of county gravel, road construction equipment and staff. They summoned multiple witnesses to testify, but months and months later, still have taken no action. Having a cloud hanging over our county is bad for all concerned. Make your case, bring charges, or drop it and let us move on!
Let the ponies run! Construction of Keeneland’s new quarter horse track and entertainment complex in Knox County was held up first by Indiana bats, and now by lawsuits over paperwork. This $30-$50 million investment project in our county needs to “break out” of the starting gate and hit its stride. Here’s hoping that happens in 2016.
Handle alcohol responsibly. Locally, our city council and mayor will need to make sure this process is open to the public, totally transparent, and complies with all state rules and regulations. Rumors are already running rampant. Opponents are talking about another vote in three years to “undo” this “mistake.” Actual revenue from the sales is a big unknown. Everyone will be watching, so my hope and expectation is that out city leaders will handle this well.
Break the addiction cycle. Addiction to illegal drugs use still is the number one problem in our county. My prayer is we find new ways to begin to win this battle and free our community from this scourge.
Well, that’s my list. Are there other things that should move to the top of the list? Is there something else that’s coming up in 2016 we should be watching out for?
What do you think?