TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Letters

March 12, 2012

Constable urges call-in campaign

CORBIN — I write with great urgency to all citizens of Whitley County.

Unbeknownst to us in Whitley County, our General Assembly in Frankfort is working hand-in-hand with outsiders from Northern Kentucky to abolish the Office of the Kentucky Constable through the legislative process: HB240 HB437 and SB30.

HB240 calls for the abolishment of the Constable’s office through a Commonwealth-wide vote. Rural Kentucky cannot afford to entrust our safety and welfare to a group who is in favor of taking over 500 peace officers off our streets. Unlike larger cities with huge budgets, our local law enforcement officers are stretched thin as it is. Our sheriff’s office and local city police departments are operating on tight, limited budgets.The constables office, however, which receives ZERO tax dollars to operate, provides services to each district from fees generated by providing process service for the court system. In fact, constables’ services are funded completely from arrest fees, service of legal documents and working details within the county. Does it make any sense to arbitrarily remove these services that cost the local tax payer nothing from our community just because some Northern Kentuckians are dissatisfied with their constables? One must wonder, if they are so unhappy with their constables, shouldn’t they address this come election time when they re-elect their constables instead of interfering with the constables that Whitley County voters elected to serve here,  miles away from the big cities up north? Those big cities up north must not be affected as we are way down here in rural Kentucky with the growing pain pill, methamphetamine and crime problems. Do you really want to take a chance on losing the constable’s office in Whitley county that has a proven record of providing services to the citizens within their districts?

The other proposed bill, SB30, leaves the decision to abolish the constables office with the fiscal court. While I have the utmost confidence in our current fiscal court to do the right thing by supporting the constables office and keeping it, why is this even an issue that our county officials should be bothered with? More importantly, this type of legislation is not even legal and tramples all over the constitution of our state. The constables office is created and guaranteed to exist by our Kentucky Constitution. Simply put, when our constitution is to be changed, it’s up to you, the voters of Kentucky, to change it. The law tells us that entrusting the decision to anyone other than you the voters is unconstitutional.

I urge you to send a message to Frankfort to leave the Kentucky constables office alone and, more importantly, our Constitution alone and get busy working on bills to improve of quality of life, improving services and recruiting much-needed jobs to our state.

Absolutely nothing would be accomplished by abolishing the constables office except taking more than 500 peace officers off our streets and out of our communities. Your Whitley County constables require ZERO tax dollars to operate, yet your constables have worked hard patrolling our churches, making arrests, and serving legal paperwork for the betterment of Whitley County. If these services your constables provide are removed by Frankfort, I can guarantee one inevitable result: higher taxes. The Kentucky constable services are absolutely necessary in our Commonwealth and will have to be filled by tax- funded offices if abolished. This money will not simply magically appear; it will come directly from your pockets.

Send Frankfort a message from Whitley County: Call the Legislative Message  Hotline at 800-372-7181 and tell your state representative and senator you support your Whitley County Constables and to vote “no” on HB240, HB 437 and SB30

Constable Ron Bowling,

2nd District, Whitley County

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