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Speaking of electric cars, discrimination, Christmas

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By Ben Carlson

Column as I see ’em...

A question for those of you who think the answer for America’s auto industry woes is for the Big Three to build electric cars: What happens when tens of millions of people pull into their driveways after work and plug them in?

Might not be too terrible a problem here, but when it’s 90 degrees on the West Coast, California already experiences brown outs due to its aging and inadequate electric grid.

Ditto the Northeast.

Short of filling the Midwest with a billion or so wind mills (on land, by the way, that once grew corn and wheat), guess all that electricity will have to be generated by coal, nuclear or other conventional means.

Boy, those electric cars are sure going to be good for the environment, aren’t they?

Speaking of auto bailouts, isn’t it odd that while the Big Three were shipping jobs overseas, Toyota and the so-called foreign manufacturers busied themselves over the past 20 years building manufacturing plants right here in the good old US of A?

Sure makes the Big Three’s contention that labor costs here are too high a bit hard to swallow. It can’t have anything to do with the unions, can it?

Speaking of labor, it will be interesting to see how the former county janitor’s discrimination claim against the Anderson County Fiscal Court comes out.

The woman claims Judge-Executive Steve Cornish and the fiscal court discriminated against her by eliminating her job due to budget constraints, then awarding a contract to a company to clean county facilities.

Although the county is paying the company about $8,000 more than the former janitor’s salary, it appears she didn’t take into account her benefits, nor did she take into account the fact that the company is cleaning the jailer’s and sheriff’s offices, which she did not clean.

The Kentucky Human Rights Commission is checking into the complaint and it will likely be weeks before any decision is made.

If the former janitor feels she has been discriminated against, she has every right to file a complaint.

My take? While it’s impossible to know someone’s heart without knowing them personally, I find it hard to believe Steve Cornish or anyone on the court made the decision to hire a private contractor to clean county facilities for any other reason than economic ones.

Speaking of contractors, the time has come for them to be held more accountable for leaving half-built homes to rot.

There are a number of them sprinkled across the county, and there is little to nothing county officials can do about them.

Times being what they are, it’s understandable that contractors building speculative homes in subdivisions are sometimes caught short and unable to finish the homes they’ve started.

Understandable, that is, unless one of these monstrosities is in your neighborhood, driving down your property value and creating an eyesore at best, a health hazard at worst.

One that immediately comes to mind sits in the Running Brook subdivision off Frankfort Road in Magistrate Larry Smith’s district. He has complained several times about the structure, including that unfinished basement is neck-deep in water.

Bet that smells good in the summer.

I spoke to the judge-executive about this recently. While certainly aware of this problem, he said there’s little the county government can do to have the structure torn down or finished.

Speaking of Christmas, (OK, I wasn’t speaking of Christmas, but I am now), please don’t let all of your holiday spending migrate to Lexington or Louisville or wherever.

Lawrenceburg doesn’t have every shopping option, but it does have a number of stores that offer a variety of goods and services.

Spreading some of your Christmas dollars locally keeps businesses here operating and paying property taxes which, in turn, helps keep yours down.

Besides, when was the last time a business in Lexington donated something to our schools, scouts or other worthy organization?

I couldn’t think of a single time, either.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.