The City of Elkhorn unanimously passed a new entertainment ordinance. However, the meeting during which the ordinance was passed was overshadowed by a discussion that escalated into a heated exchange between council members.
The ongoing debate regarding the upcoming wet/dry vote in Nov. continues to divide residents in Elkhorn City, as during its special called meeting a heated exchange broke out between Mayor Mike Taylor and council member Roxanne Blankenship. The exchange stemmed from a discussion regarding the recent vandalization and theft of signs, either in support or against the alcohol sales, that have been displayed throughout the city.
According to the council, a number signs that have been placed in the city have either been vandalized, stolen or relocated in the recent weeks.
“That morning when we went out,” Taylor said. “And I’ll put it on the bible if I have to, there was not one “wet” sign touched.”
According to Taylor, “wet” signs had even been placed in a church elder’s yard, despite that person being against the sale of alcohol. Taylor also said one resident had their signs completely removed from her yard, and the signs had been thrown out into the road.
Blankenship added that one sign which had been designed by a resident had recently gone missing as well.
Taylor said he wanted to clarify something before dismissing the council meeting and then proceeded to pass out a document which, according to him, detailed how money from alcohol sales could be spent.
“I think we need to let the people of the town know,” Taylor said.”Here’s a plain copy of it and the man listed on this document said he welcomes anybody to call if they have questions.”
According to Taylor, if Elkhorn City goes “wet” in December then taxes and “everything” will have to be raised to pay for officers and salaries because he said “you can not pay it with the money.”
Taylor also said “an ABC person” will have to be paid for, to which Blankenship replied “the ABC person can be the chief (of police),” to which Taylor quipped “No, it will not be the chief here.”
“I will not put that responsibility on (city clerk) Hope (Ramey) either,” Taylor said.
Blankenship said that the tax would be placed on the sales from alcohol and not the people of the city, to which Taylor quickly replied.
“It will be on the people,” Taylor said. “How are you going to pay two more officers?”
Blankenship replied that they would argue about all that when “we get all the facts.”
“Keep it up Roxanne,” Taylor said. “You’ve slandered everybody to the ground.”
Blankenship quickly replied she had not slandered anyone, and that it was Taylor doing the slandering before Taylor made a motion to adjourn the meeting.
The special-called meeting was originally set in order to give two new city ordinances its second reading, in order to be voted on by the council. One in particular, was a new entertainment ordinance regarding outdoor tourism and festivals.
According to a copy of the ordinance, all persons wanting to have an event/festival in the city, must obtain a permit from the city clerk.
Fees for said event are:
• Single event $25
• Series of events (2-3 day weekend event) $50
• Per year $500
• Non profits shall pay no fee but must complete the permit application
The ordinance also states that outdoor music in downtown during permitted events or series shall cease at the following times and permitted events shall be exempt for any ordinance relating to noise or sound.
• 12 a.m. Friday-Saturday (1 a.m. by special request and approval)
• 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
The discussion regarding the wet/dry vote and the theft or vandalism of signs was not listed on the special meeting agenda.
According to “The Kentucky Open Records and Open Meetings Acts” from the office of Attorney General Andy Beshear, the public agency must provide written notice of the special meeting consisting of the date, time, and place of the special meeting and the agenda. Discussion and actions at the meeting must be limited to the items on the agenda.