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Letters to the editor - 6.17

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By The Staff

Spray garden? Taxpayers hosed again

To the editor:

The city of Lawrenceburg is proposing a “spray garden” so children will have a place to cool off on hot summer days.

While I applaud some members of the Lawrenceburg City Council for looking to improve recreation options for the children of Lawrenceburg, is a spray garden the best way to spend $90,000 of taxpayer money? Why not build something that residents of all ages will likely use, like a swimming pool?

The only residents likely to use a spray garden will be small children. Teenagers, young adults, adults and senior citizens will likely not use a spray garden. The response to residents’ request for a swimming pool has been, “we don’t have the money.”

Well how about we save enough money in order to build a swimming pool? I suggest we take a big Mason jar and put it on a shelf in Mayor Baker’s office. We then take the $90,000 we propose to spend on the spray garden and place it in the Mason jar and put the top on really tight.

Then in the future, if Lawrenceburg City Council members come across more money burning a hole in their pockets, we take that money and put it into the Mason jar, too.

Pretty soon, maybe in three years or so, we might have enough money to build a swimming pool, a facility all residents from young to old could use for recreation.

When I was young, my town saved the $90,000 on the spray garden. Instead our mothers turned on the lawn sprinklers and we all ran through them. That cooled us off, too, and it didn’t cost $90,000.

Anyone wonder why cities and states across America are broke today?

Andrew Blackhurst

Anderson County

C’mon, elected officials, show us the money

Last week I was looking at the front page of our newspaper when one of the articles caught my attention.

The article was about the “spray garden” the city of Lawrenceburg is thinking about putting in.

It would cost the city $90,000. In my opinion this is a big waste of money.

As I was reading I wondered what happened to the money Anderson County citizens raised for the public swimming pool. I remember being in elementary school and we would have fundraisers for our upcoming pool. The city says this is a better option because it would be free to kids, but wouldn’t this be a $90,000 waste in the long run?

There would be nothing to pay back for it when everyone knows the economy is not so good anyway. Not to mention the money needed to pay for the water to run it. I think kids wouldn’t want to go to this spray garden anyway because it’s basically a bunch of sprinklers.

What fun is that?

Why go and waste gas money when you could do pretty much the same thing at home?

How many kids are going to run around and play in the sprinklers? Maybe the younger kids but not really the older ones.

This may not take up as much space, but the park has a lot of space anyway because there’s not a lot there.

A public swimming pool may cost more but it would be worth it even if you do have to pay to get in. It would not only pay for itself but give the city some money, unlike the proposed spray garden.

For most of us $90,000 is a lot of money. It is money that could be put to better purposes because it would be free of cost and would never be paid back.

Local government agencies don’t make wise money choices. For example, in the previous school year my class had a field trip to the board of education where we had a mock constitutional convention. In the board room they had several chairs, but the one thing that got my attention were the two very large televisions hanging on each side of the rather small room. I could see the point in one medium sized television, but why would they need two large televisions in the same small room?

There goes a large sum of money that could be put in something fun and useful. I want to know why they need such unhelpful things and who is it benefiting?

As a 13-year-old living here in Anderson County, I believe I speak for most kids when I say there really isn’t much to do here. Yeah, sure, there are ball fields (some of which cannot be reached unless you are on a team, which leaves those who don’t play to the two small T-ball fields). There are two small playgrounds that are usually full. We have a golf course, a volleyball field and a walking track. What fun is this though when it is hot outside, or there are lots of people using it?

What more would a spray garden do? It’s basically sprinklers which, let’s face it, aren’t that fun for very long. Wouldn’t it be so much better to have a pool with water slides?

It would save the people of Anderson County money because they wouldn’t have to drive to Versailles for a pool. It would bring money in from not only us but from other close counties that don’t have public pools. Would they do this for a spray garden? Why would they?

This idea could also be pretty much paid for with the tax money, fundraiser money and a little help with the money decisions of the county and city officials. I also am reminded of the skate park that was supposed to be “coming soon” for what seems like the past year or so.

Where is that? They always used to complain about how kids were loitering around the town, but that problem could and is supposed to be resolved with the “coming soon” skate park.

All of this makes me start to wonder where is everyone’s tax money going? What are they saving up for? What are they doing for the county and city or are they doing anything? It sure doesn’t seem like they are doing much to benefit us. Maybe they are for themselves — they sure have some nice things. I think it would work so much better if they spent that money on things for the kids and adults of Anderson County to do and to have fun with. So, I want to know, where is the money going?

I know you may not seem to have the same opinions as me and I respect that. I also don’t want to make the county or city look bad because they really aren’t that bad. I do realize that the county and city do try to make the best decisions and they have good plans for it. I just think that things could be done to make it better.

This is just what I think and feel. I know you have your own opinions and I completely respect that. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider my thoughts and feelings.

Brooke Tindall, 13

Lawrenceburg

Pool donations should be refunded

To the editor:

The people who donated money for a new swimming pool should have the money refunded to them.

Privately build a swimming pool and donate it back to the county.

It would cost much less than $1 million, and be a lot better than a $90,000 sprinkler system.

Tammy Slayton

Lawrenceburg

Pool would serve greater need in city

To the editor:

I’ve never done this, but I’d certainly love to post my opinion in the paper about the city council just not being able to get it.

First the idea of a skate park, now a spray park? How hard is it to realize how good of an idea a swimming pool is for Lawrenceburg?

The spray park is a good idea for small kids, but what about older children, high school aged teens, and what about something for the parents who will be there watching the kids?

A pool solves all of that.

I guess we’ll keep driving to Frankfort, Versailles or Harrodsburg because they have successful public pools instead of a skate park.

If a skate park isn’t a hit in Louisville, how’s it going to catch on here other than for a very small group?

Chip Carpenter

Lawrenceburg

Principal owes apology to students

To the editor:

I was appalled to read the statements made by the Anderson County High School Principal Ray Woodyard regarding not allowing the top graduates speak at their graduation.

I feel his philosophy lowers the quality of education by putting the focus on popularity (honoring those “elected by their peers”) and not academics (honoring the valedictorian and salutatorian of the class).

Mr. Woodyard’s comment about the class officers “being elected” and “knowing” they would be asked to give a speech at graduation supposedly validated his decision to allow them to speak and not the valedictorians.

However, to my knowledge, it has always been a tradition for the valedictorians to speak at graduation. This is something they would have expected to do.

Mr. Woodyard’s comment about “some students would rather not give a speech” didn’t make sense because I am sure the valedictorians could have declined had this been their choice.

The point was they were not allowed to speak. What kind of nonsense is it to punish valedictorians because “possibly, someday, maybe” somebody might not want to give a speech?

Also, Woodyward’s statement about “becoming a valedictorian turns into a battle among students and they tend to lose focus on why they are getting good grades” is absurd. Being a valedictorian is an honor and why is contending for the top honor losing focus?

In the Olympics, people are still honored for excelling in their fields. School is about academics. It is not a popularity contest. What would Mr. Woodyard think if they gave the gold medal in the Olympics to the people that were most popular (i.e., voted on by their peers) and not to the accomplished athletes? Would that not lower the standard for the athletes knowing that no matter how much they trained or how well they did it would not get them the gold medal?

To speak at graduation is an honor and Mr. Woodyard took that away from those that earned it.

It might be acceptable if these comments were made by someone other than a person in the field of education. But to know that academics are not a priority with the principal of a high school was very unsettling.

I feel Mr. Woodyard owes a public apology to the valedictorians and salutatorian of the 2009 graduating class of Anderson County High School. I would like to say to them, I am proud of you and your academic accomplishments and I wish you success in whatever endeavor you chose for your life.

Pat Bullock

Salvisa

Principal earns failing grade

To the editor:

The most intelligent statement in the recent article about the prohibiting of speeches from the class valedictorians at the Anderson County High School graduation was that of valedictorian Alex Cheser when he wondered with the continuing focus on streamlining the event “would 10 years from now they’ll just send your diploma via text message.”

It certainly seems from the comments by Principal Woodyard that the focus is on making the event time efficient regardless of the wishes of the students.

A high school graduation is a once in a lifetime event for a young person and the focus should always be on the students.

This focus now seems to be lost at Anderson County High School. If the decision to eliminate the speeches was made two years ago then the communication of that plan was extremely poor. Even on the day of the graduation, there was much confusion over if the speeches would be made or not.

Principal Woodyard is a good administrator and has handled many tough situations well at Anderson County High School. However in this instance, his decision making and communications receive a failing grade.

Bill McGrath

Lawrenceburg