Feb. 20, 2013 — Carter Fiscal Court met Tuesday to pass measures renewing participation in the FIVCO Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (FADE) as well as Operation UNITE and to update the county’s solid waste plan.
By taking action on the renewal of the waste plan, the Court appears to have made a legal misstep in regard to state law regarding public notices.
A letter last Friday from Journal-Times Publisher Keith Kappes to Judge-Executive Charles Wallace and County Attorney Patrick Flannery informed the two officials that the public notice regarding the solid waste plan update had not been published in the Journal-Times but instead in another publication.
KRS 424.120 requires that all public notices be published in the county’s newspaper of record, the one with the highest total circulation – which in Carter County is the Journal-Times.
Neither Wallace nor Flannery made any comment regarding the letter or the Fiscal Court's obligation under public notice laws during consideration of the solid waste plan.
“I would have liked the opportunity to look at the plan,” said Janice Prezioso, who said she had no idea the measure was available for review and public comment until Tuesday's meeting, by which point the deadline had passed for both.
The Fiscal Court unanimously approved the plan with little discussion.
In other business, the Court also unanimously approved renewing its yearly commitment to FADE, which Sheriff Casey Brammell estimates has made more than 90 drug-related arrests in the past two years alone.
County Clerk Mike Johnston then reminded the Court that it needed to take action on a resolution to participate in Operate UNITE, an initiative by U. S. Rep. Hal Rogers to provide funding and resources to schools and law enforcement to combat illegal drugs.
The Court unanimously passed that measure as well.
The next regular meeting of Carter Fiscal Court is 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Courthouse.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.