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'I can't beat the city. The city has won this fight'

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Family rejects city's offer when couple offers stone cross for grave

By Shannon Brock

Becky Meadows was presented with two offers, and the City of Lawrenceburg’s just wasn’t the best.

The Public Works Committee of the city council offered to provide a flat stone grave marker to each of Meadows’ family members whose graves are currently only marked by wooden crosses.

Those wooden crosses are in violation of the city’s cemetery ordinance. However, Meadows said she didn’t receive a copy of the ordinance until the crosses had been up for several months.

Committee members recognized that the city had wronged the family.

“Unfortunately, they didn’t know about the ordinance, and we need to try to make it right,” said Bobby Durr, committee chairman, during a committee meeting on Aug. 21.

Councilman Thomas Vaughn originally suggested that the city make an exception and allow the families to keep their crosses up, but forbid any more to go up.

“We let the Cox family down,” he said. “We need to make it up to them.”

The committee ultimately decided to make the offer to the families.

However, Meadows received another offer from a local couple, whom she decided not to name.

That couple has offered to purchase a granite cross to stand over her father and uncle’s grave at the cemetery.

During a Thursday evening work session of the city council, Vaughn asked Mayor Edwinna Baker if she had had a chance to extend the city’s offer to the families.

Baker said she had talked to Meadows and at the time was unsure of the family’s decision.

However, in a letter to the editor submitted to The Anderson News on Friday, Meadows makes it clear that she has turned down the city’s offer in favor of another.

“I have realized now I can’t beat the city,” Meadows writes. “The city has won this fight.”

Meadows thanked the couple for agreeing to purchase her father and uncle a monument.

“It was very heartwarming to me and my family,” she writes. “We highly appreciate them from the bottom of our hearts.”

Also during Thursday’s work session, Councilman Ken Evans asked for some method to be implemented to keep all of the councilmen informed on each of the city’s committee meetings. Each committee is made up of two councilmen and several other city officials.

Some of the councilmen who are not on the public works committee said they were caught off guard by the publication of the city’s offer of grave markers to the families with the wooden crosses before the full council was informed of the decision.

Council members are awaiting clarification as to whether they are allowed to attend the meetings of committees of which they are not a part. Doing so would create a quorum, meaning formal action could theoretically be taken. Kentucky open meetings laws require a 24-hour notice of any meeting involving at least a quorum of members.

From now on, after committee meetings, all councilmen will be contacted via e-mail with a summary of the meeting.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.