, Corbin, KY

November 28, 2012

Williams’ name off Arena sign

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

On The Arena in Corbin’s sign, the name “David L. Williams” has been removed.

Officials with the City of Corbin say the sign had been damaged by the weather earlier this year. Since they’re not happy with the former Senate President’s stance on the occupational tax revenue issue with Knox County, his name came off when work was done on the sign earlier this month.

“The work was done on the sign about two weeks ago. There had been some damage do to it by the winds. Action Outdoor Signs of Prestonsburg, the company that installed the original sign, replaced it,” Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams said Tuesday.

He added Mayor Willard McBurney talked to the City Commissioners about taking Williams’ name off the sign, and they all agreed. The decision was made before Sams took over as interim City Manager on May 28, replacing Mike Phillips, who resigned May 14.

The decision was also made before Williams resigned from the state Senate earlier in November, to accept an appointment by Governor Steve Beshear to become Circuit Judge in the 40th Judicial District, made up of Cumberland, Clinton and Monroe counties.

That position came open after Judge Eddie C. Lovelace unexpectedly died Sept. 17. Williams is serving the remaining two years of Lovelace’s term.

City officials feel Williams could have done more in their dispute with the Knox County Fiscal Court over revenue from the occupational tax, which Corbin feels should go to them. Earlier this year, legislation by state Senate Floor Leader Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) prevented the city from collecting 25 percent of the occupational tax from Knox County.   

While Williams’ name was only taken off the sign, his name remains on all the legal documents pertaining to The Arena — officially known as the David L. Williams Southeastern Kentucky Ag & Expo Complex.

“It was just a cosmetic change. Williams’ name is still on the paperwork,” said Sams.

According to the Associated Press, Williams said he did work for the occupational tax revenue to go to Corbin.

“Anybody who says I didn’t stand up for Corbin and stand up for what I think was right is inappropriate,” Williams told the AP last Friday.

The former state senator from Burkesville added that removing his name from the sign was OK with him.

Williams said to the AP, “I never asked that it be put on there, so that’s fine with me. As a matter of fact, at the time, I asked them not to put it on there.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.