Note: Commissioners Carol Gault and Allan Rhodes were unable to attend this meeting.
Gene Edwards with the Veterans Day Planning Committee invited everyone to attend the 2013 Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11. He thanked the Paducah Parks Services Department for its help in organizing the parade. This year’s parade will have 36 entries plus two bands. An opening ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the gazebo at 2nd and Broadway. The opening ceremony includes the presentation of the 2013 Distinguished Veteran who will serve as the parade’s grand marshal in addition to the naming of the non-veteran who will receive the Patriot Award. The winners of the DAR’s Veterans Day Essay contest will be introduced. This year there are 827 entries in the essay/picture contest. The annual Paducah Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at 2nd and Broadway and travel along Broadway to 17th Street.
The Mayor and Commissioners adopted a resolution amending the name of Dolly McNutt Plaza to Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza. Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “The Plaza has developed into honoring veterans. This [name amendment] does not take away from Dolly McNutt, our great, first female mayor.” A rededication ceremony is being planned for 9 a.m. on Monday, November 11 at the Plaza. Currently there are three memorials in the Plaza located in the City block between Washington and Clark Streets and 5th and 6th Streets. The memorials recognize veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In August of this year, Dr. Gordon Williams of the Vietnam Veterans of America approached Mayor Kaler about amending the name of the Plaza. The City has received a letter in support signed by representatives of American Legion Post 31, VFW Post 12022, DAV Chapter 7, and VVA Chapter 337. A portion of the letter states, “The proposal is thus made that the name of Dolly McNutt Plaza be amended to Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza to more accurately describe what the beautiful plaza has become – a lovely park-like, fountain laden gathering place in downtown Paducah which allows the community to continually honor citizens who have given much for the common good of all.” The letter also states that an additional memorial to honor those who have served in the Middle East is under discussion. The plaza, formerly known as the City Plaza, was renamed Dolly McNutt Plaza in May 1986 to honor former Mayor Dolly McNutt for her service as City Commissioner, Mayor, and state legislator.
Officer Gretchen Morgan and Chief Brandon Barnhill provided the Mayor and Commissioners an overview of the Paducah Police Department’s Anti-Bullying Awareness Campaign that focuses on middle and high school students. Officer Morgan has compiled a slide presentation that begins and ends with a reminder of the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. Officer Morgan says, “It’s a lot of information we already know, but we often need simple reminders to help us become aware.” Clips from the movie, “Forrest Gump”, also are used in the presentation since there are several scenes showing the bullying of Forrest. The awareness campaign also focuses on bystanders. Officer Morgan says, “They can be part of the problem, or the solution to the problem.” The campaign also asks students to think about their answers to several questions to help them determine if they are a bully. Then, solutions are provided to help the students make better choices. Since some students may not be aware that they are bullying others, Commissioner Richard Abraham says, “This is a tool that will help self-recognition.” The Paducah Police Department plans to start presenting the awareness presentation at McCracken County High School later this month. Contact the Police Department if your school or organization would like to hear the presentation. As one of Mayor Kaler’s first initiatives as Mayor of Paducah, she organized the Mayor’s Anti-Bullying Task Force which has a variety of members including representatives from the Paducah Police Department and the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department.
At the October 22 City Commission meeting, Greg Carlton, Senior Vice President Employee Benefits & Wellness with Peel & Holland, provided a preview of the City of Paducah’s 2014 health insurance plan through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as the City’s third party administrator. The City has a self-insured health insurance plan which means that the premiums paid into the plan are used to pay the claims. Also at that meeting, the Mayor and Commissioners approved a municipal order for the health insurance premiums. Those who participate in the City’s plan will have no change to their premiums as compared to this current year. Dental and vision plan premiums will be unchanged as well. One of the recommendations for 2014 is to contract with a company called Edumedics to provide concierge-type medical service to the employees especially the employees who have chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and/or diabetes. That contract will be forthcoming.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance to abolish and then recreate Chapter 6 in the Paducah Code of Ordinances regarding Alcoholic Beverages. After a six month study by the Governor’s Task Force on the Study of Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 13. The bill became effective June 25, 2013 which has resulted in cities needing to update their ABC ordinances to reflect the State changes. These changes simplify and clarify many of the prior laws including the consolidation of several licenses and the simplification of state forms. Commissioner Sandra Wilson brought up the fact that the State now allows cities the authority to determine if they want to allow alcohol sales on election days. Currently Section 6-4 (e) of the Paducah Code of Ordinances states, “All alcohol sales are prohibited during the hours the polls are open for a primary, regular, school, or special election.” The Mayor and Commissioners asked the City Manager to review if other cities are changing their ordinances to allow alcohol sales on election days.