Hardin County Residents Support the Formation of the Unification Review Commission

Nearly Two Thousand E-Mails Sent by Residents to the Members of 
Hardin County Fiscal Court and the Elizabethtown City Council 
Encouraging the Adoption of Ordinances Which Will Create the Commission

Elizabethtown, Kentucky (July 20, 2012) – Hardin County United (HCU) today announced that 1,855 E-Mails have been sent by over 120 Hardin County residents, calling for the establishment of the Unification Review Commission to the members of Hardin County Fiscal Court and the Elizabethtown City Council. Support for the establishment of the Commission is widespread:

  • Total of 1,855 messages sent
  • 99.8% support the establishment of the Unification Review Commission
  • Only 0.2% oppose the establishment of the Unification Review Commission

“It is clear that people would like to have a choice when it comes to considering the future of government in Hardin County,” said Hardin Circuit Court Judge Ken Howard, who also chairs HCU’s Governance Subcommittee. “The margin of supporting E-Mails is especially gratifying, as it illustrates that citizens are beginning to become engaged in this issue. It is important that citizens continue to speak out and let their elected officials know where they stand on this important issue,” said Howard.

Earlier this summer, and as part of its ongoing leadership on this issue, HCU members along with Board members from the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation and members of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce began sending E-Mails to all Hardin County magistrates, Elizabethtown city council members, Judge/Executive Harry Berry and Mayor Tim Walker, encouraging all to consider and pass ordinances which will soon be introduced which, if passed, will formally establish the Unification Review Commission.

Hardin County Fiscal Court and the Elizabethtown City Council are the minimum legally required to approve the Unification Review Commission under state law. Once this occurs, HCU then intends to begin outreach to elected officials in each of the remaining five incorporated cities in the county: Radcliff, Sonora, Upton, Vine Grove and West Point to encourage their participation in the Commission.

“Establishment of the Unification Review Commission does not automatically merge local governments,” said Luke B. Schmidt, President, L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC and consultant to HCU. “The Commission simply provides the legal platform by which 20 to 40 Hardin County citizens, appointed by the participating governments, can begin developing a plan for unified government. Once the plan has been completed, it will be presented to the voters for careful review and an up or down vote in November 2014,” said Schmidt.

Hardin County is not alone when it comes to the issue of merged government in Kentucky. Louisville and Lexington each consolidated with Jefferson and Fayette counties respectively in prior years. Currently, voters in Paducah and McCracken County are considering a plan of merged government. Leaders in Kenton County have begun a dialogue concerning merged government. HCU believes that there are four compelling reasons to formally consider unified government in Hardin County, including:

  1. The attainment of a new level of clout that will assist the entire community with economic development, the creation of new jobs and which will create Kentucky’s third largest community
  2. The ability for the community to speak with one voice and more efficiently target grants and appropriations which will benefit the entire community while improving the community’s standing and stature in Frankfort and Washington, D.C.
  3. Streamlined government which will result in the more efficient delivery of government services to all citizens
  4. The achievement of economies of scale which will result in the more efficient use of public resources (tax dollars)

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Hardin County United (HCU) was established for the purpose of examining the various strategic goals which were established by the Hardin County Vision Project in 2010. The intent of HCU is to prioritize the goals and to develop implementation strategies. HCU’s leadership team includes Hardin County Judge/Executive Harry Berry who chairs the Steering Committee; Hardin County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Richardson, who chairs the Community Development Subcommittee; North Central Education Foundation President/CEO Al Rider, who chairs the Education Subcommittee; and Hardin Circuit Court Judge Ken Howard who chairs the Governance Subcommittee. Luke Schmidt, President of L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC, provides management and consulting services to HCU. Web: www.hardincountyunited.com

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