Thumbs up; thumbs down, Dec. 19

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thumbs Up

Junction City invited to rejoin P&Z

We like that P&Z Director Steve Hunter visited Junction City Council last week to start a dialogue and let council members know they’d be welcomed back if they decided to rejoin Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning.

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Junction voted to leave P&Z in 2009, meaning development projects in the city limits are no longer subject to P&Z regulations or protections, and the city’s own ordinances serve as the only check on appropriate and inappropriate building activities.

According to news articles from the time, Junction Mayor Jim Douglas and others on the city council believed that the existence of P&Z regulations led to at least two businesses opening in Lincoln County instead of Junction City; and that P&Z wasn’t consistent in whom it penalized for violations. Regardless of whether the perceived problems were real or not, we wrote in March 2009 — two months before Junction officially voted itself out of P&Z — that poor communication was the real issue.

“Planning and zoning is a valuable tool for any community, and a countywide effort is essential for consistency,” we wrote then.  “Junction City doesn’t need to be without that tool, but it needs to feel like a valuable member of the process.”

The same is still true today: Junction City and Boyle County as a whole would be better off if Junction City rejoined P&Z and became an active participant in county business. But the city must have a respected seat at the table and it must respect the others at the table.

On a related note, We think Junction City also ought to use the opportunities it’s given to have input on matters before the Economic Development Partnership — but that’s a matter for another day.

Junction may still be a long way from rejoining P&Z, but at least there’s an open channel of communication and both sides can hear each other. That’s a big first step.

Thumbs Up

Salvation Army Kettle Campaign

If you’ve been following the totals on our front page, you’ve seen how well the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign fundraiser is going. The latest total puts the non-profit organization at $93,300 raised toward a goal of $110,000.

That money can do a lot of good for people in need. The Salvation Army helps people who are cold, who don’t have a place to stay, who are going hungry. Locally, that $110,000 will go to support services for the needed in Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties. Major Carey Richmond told us when the Kettle Campaign kicked off that the funding would help provide for 190 families in need, including 422 local children. By giving some of the money raised to other local charitable organizations, it could wind up helping 500 kids.

Giving locally is one of the most efficient ways you can be generous and helpful with your charitable gifts. If you haven’t already contributed this year, there’s still time — bell-ringers (many of whom you might know personally) will be ringing through Dec. 23.