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Taylor Mill commission tried and failed to eliminate caucus meetings they established a year ago

By Patricia A. Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

Taylor Mill City Attorney Jack Gatlin read an ordinance for the second time last week at the regular Commission meeting which would eliminate the relatively new caucus meetings which were set up for the fourth Wednesday of most months at ten o’clock in the morning.

“A little over a year ago we had added a caucus meeting as a regular meeting of the city, and what this ordinance does is eliminate those caucus meetings at 10 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each calendar month,” explained Gatlin.

A motion was made and seconded, but before the vote, discussion was permitted.

“All I’m asking is for you guys to please reconsider this,” said City Administrator Brian Haney. “This is a good opportunity, I just think it is a very effective way for me to communicate with all five of
you at the same time. I just ask you to think about that.”

The vote was held and Commissioners Caroline Braden, Dan Murray, and Mayor Daniel Bell voted no, while Commissioners Mark Kreimborg, and Ed Kuehne voted yes.

Commissioner Kreimborg was almost stunned at the vote.

“Mayor, at the caucus meeting, we were all for this,” he stated.

Mayor Bell said if Kreimborg wanted to know why he changed his mind, he would tell him.

“I changed because I think Brian makes a good point,” he explained. “I have always said if we could just talk to each other on an impromptu basis…”

“My opposition is simple – I got a lot of feedback saying we were trying to hide something,” said Commissioner Murray. “I would do away with the caucus if we would have another regular meeting. I don’t want somebody coming up to me saying, what are you trying to hide? I’m not trying to hide anything. I’m just saying lets have a caucus, that way you can’t look at me and say you voted to do away with it, let’s have the caucus and that way they can’t say I’m trying to hide something.”

Commissioner Braden offered her explanation.

“I’m just reiterating what I said before, I think the caucus is important,” she said, telling Commissioner Kreimborg that everyone was not all for the elimination of the caucus. “People in the public can hear what is going on in the city prior to the main meeting. I think it is important for us to have a discussion because my ideas are not always the best and neither is anyone else’s. If we don’t have those discussions we end up with not the best for the city.”

Kreimborg objected.

“We can have those discussions in an open meeting where everybody is here and it is televised,” he stated. “People have the ability to speak up and say their say so. In the caucus meetings you don’t want to let people talk, you don’t want it to be advertised. In the last caucus meeting you had your back to the people.”

Commissioner Kuehne spoke up and said “Why ten o’clock in the morning?” He said most people are working, and why not have another meeting at 7 o’clock in the evening?

Discussion was held as to whether to have another ordinance that would change the time of the caucus meeting from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday, because Attorney Gatlin said changes in
meetings have to be done by ordinance.

Since the original ordinance failed to pass, there will still be a caucus meeting on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m., and Mayor Bell said they could discuss a time change at that time.

Commissioners still seemed unhappy with each other, and emotions appeared to be running high. The split with the commissioners on the caucus matter is the same as the split on the firehouse vote, and the almost two-hour meeting ended on a strained note.

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