Press Release: Hardin County United Announces New Community Forums

HCU to Present Unified Government Study Findings to Interested Citizens In Five Hardin County Communities

Elizabethtown, Kentucky (August 22, 2011) – Hardin County United (HCU) today announced five new forums to be held around the Greater Hardin County community which will present findings from the Hardin County Unified Government Study. The forums, which are open to all interested citizens, are scheduled as follows (each forum will begin at 6:00 PM and conclude by 8:30 PM):

  • Radcliff – August 25th, Meadowview Elementary School, 1255 West Vine Street
  • Elizabethtown – September 19th, Heartland Elementary School, 2300 Nelson Drive
  • Vine Grove – September 20th, J.T. Alton Middle School, 100 Country Club Road
  • Sonora/Upton – September 22nd, Creekside Elementary School, 151 Horseshoe Bend Road
  • Cecilia/Stephensburg – September 27th, Lakewood Elementary School, 265 Learning Place Lane

“Each of these forums will provide an excellent opportunity for interested citizens to learn more about unified government and how it might work in Hardin County,” said Luke B. Schmidt, consultant to HCU. “HCU has already posted a lot of information – including the complete Unified Government Study – on its Web site (www.hardincountyunited.com), but the forums will enable citizens to engage in the dialogue.”

HCU is focused on scheduling meetings and presentations with numerous groups and organizations throughout Hardin County. In addition to the five forums listed above, another 18 events have been scheduled and/or held, with additional events yet to be scheduled.

“HCU is committed to taking our story to the people of Hardin County,” said Hardin Circuit Judge Ken Howard, who chairs HCU’s Governance Subcommittee. “We want people to attend one or more of these events, which will be posted to the HCU Web site.”

Schmidt said, “The Unified Government Study has prompted lots of questions from elected officials and citizens. The forums will give us the opportunity to begin answering some of these questions.”

HCU’s goal is to encourage Hardin Fiscal Court and each of the six city councils to pass an ordinance which will establish a Unification Review Commission. Once the Commission has been formally established, it will draft a plan (charter) for the new unified government, which will ultimately be presented to the voters for review and approval. The plan adopted by the Unification Review Commission will address all aspects of the proposed new government, including such things as how many representatives will be elected to the new legislative council, taxing districts, services to be provided, etc.

“The most important thing to note, however, is that in the end only one group can unify local governments and that is the voters,” said Judge Howard. “The mere establishment of the Unification Review Commission by Fiscal Court and the city councils does not merge government. The development of a plan by the Commission does not merge government. Only a majority vote of the voters in each jurisdiction will unify local governments.”

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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; One Knox Executive Director 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.

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