To the point week of 11-8-07


SOMEONE ONCE TOLD ME THAT running for political office was like a dog chasing a car – when you catch it, do you know what to do next?

Like it or not, people “caught the car” on Tuesday, and for at least the next four years will oversee the operations of the county’s two official towns, Patriot and Vevay.

The officials taking office will face some unique hurdles in the coming years – based mainly on elections taking place near us.

With Steve Beshears being elected governor of Kentucky Tuesday, it appears that our neighbor to the south will soon undertake a plan to put riverboat casinos on its waterways and slot machines at horse tracks and race tracks.

What does that mean? It means that Switzerland County officials, Vevay Town Council officials, and Patriot Town Council officials need to be very careful about how they spent riverboat revenue sharing dollars that they are receiving now – and how they commit those dollars for the future.

Imagine the impact when riverboats open along the Louisville riverfront. Will it take business from Caesar’s? Riverboats in Covington and Newport will attract Cincinnati-area gamblers – so what’s that mean for Argosy and Grand Vic?

If slot machines are located at the Kentucky Speedway, will it pull business from Belterra? What about if a boat is located in Carrollton where the Ohio and Kentucky rivers meet? Would it pull visitors from here?

I think the answer to those questions is ‘yes’, and if riverboat revenues shrink – then riverboat revenue sharing will, too.

Now no one has voted for riverboat gambling in Kentucky yet, but when Governor Ernie Fletcher and challenger Beshears made the item the central issue of their campaign, Governor-Elect Beshears certainly has the political clout to walk into the legislature in Frankfort and ask politicians to do the will of the people.

But there are many other issues, because every town faces all sorts of decisions and planning on a day to day basis.

How do you do that and govern effectively?

By making a decision that serving on a town council isn’t about party – it’s about people.

It is historic that Vevay has a town council controlled by the Republican party; but if the community is to move forward, it has to have a town council that sees the issues on a personal level; and decisions have to be made based on sound thought and judgment, not on who had whose campaign sign in their yard.

Tye Sullivan and Kirk Works are very much up to that task, and I believe that they are the right people at the right time; joining Jamie Hayes to form a young, new “face” of Vevay.

I am excited about the two new town councils that have been elected, because I believe that they do bring fresh ideas and a new direction. “We’ve always done it this way” is an outdated philosophy, and if this county is to continue to move forward, its two towns need to lead that charge.

Vevay Republicans: you worked very hard and should be very proud of the success that you had. You got people to look past party and see issues and ideas, and voters responded. You have been handed a mandate much like the governor of Kentucky, and I also see a sense of commitment to long term planning and direction.

Vevay Democrats: some may say you shot yourselves in the foot, because internal division late in the campaign left a voting public wondering if anybody was on anybody’s side at all. It’s your job to support this new town council and help move the community ahead without regard to party, because everyone’s in this together.

To the three candidates in Vevay and one in Patriot who didn’t get elected: you should be heralded for your willingness to serve the community in which you live.

Many people have ideas about how things should be run; but very few actually step forward and offer themselves and their time to do it. Your candidacies showed that you love the communities you live in, and you care about the people who live there.

Truly, although some get fewer votes, everyone was a winner on Tuesday.