Before their vote the Cumberland City Council raised many important questions. Unfortunately, in the rush to pass an ordinance, these concerns were swept aside. Council members, including Eugene Stagnolia, raised questions about the Kentucky law that the proposed ordinance was falsely based on. Mr. Stagnolia and other council members were also concerned about what services would be combined. They wanted to know the magnitude of the proposed merger.
These events present us with an opportunity to form a committee. We can now begin to study our options and their consequences. Membership should be drawn from the three city governments and councils. It should also include citizens from the greater Tri-City community. The committee should have experience in finance, the law and each city service.
The first step of this committee would be to review the Inter-Connect Study commissioned by the cities a couple of years. The state and our area development district sponsored the Inter-Connect Study. The Harlan County Fiscal Court could help get copies of this study.
Finding the least expensive way to provide high quality, essential services should be a guiding principle of the investigation. We deserve a comprehensive study that outlines possible benefits, challenges and costs.
With a thoughtful and thorough study, we can achieve a better quality of life.If we do not then we could wind up with a “pig in a poke.”