Tuesday, November 18, 2014

West Buechel Open Records Request



November 19, 2014

To:

Sherri Gillock, City Clerk

Marti Sitz, City Clerk/Treasurer

Sharon Fowler, Mayor

City of West Buechel
3705 Bashford Ave.
West Buechel, Kentucky 40218

DELIVERED AS PDF FILE ATTACHMENT TO EMAIL

Open Records Request
To City of West Buechel, Kentucky
KRS §§ 61.872 to 61.884


Dear Ms. Gillock, Sitz & Fowler;

I don’t want to guess which one of you is the official custodian for the records I am requesting, so I send this to each of you.  I assume you are familiar with Kentucky’s Open Records Law and what it requires of you as elected or appointed officers with the City of West Buechel. If not, please consult with the City’s attorney who, I presume, is familiar with the law.

This Records Request is for duly enacted City Ordinances authorizing compensation for City Council Members, if these City Ordinances are currently in effect. Repealed or superseded City Ordinances are excluded from this request, 

Specifically, I am requesting a duly enacted and currently effective City Ordinances which authorize the purchase of health insurance coverage for City Council Members.

The purpose of this Record Request is to establish the legal basis, if any, for health insurance being part of City Council Member’s compensation. If there is no City Ordinance authorizing the purchase of health insurance as part of City Council Member’s compensation, then the practice is improper and it should be stopped. Yes?  

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Tom Fox


Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

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Monday, November 17, 2014

West Buechel probe #1

The idea of West Buechel City Council Members being compensated with health insurance coverage at City expense, to the tune of about $900 per month for each Member, in addition to their $350 per month stipend, annoys me. It annoys me in so many ways I get tired of thinking about it. If it does not annoy you too, that is probably because you are a West Buechel City Council Member yourself.

Anyway, what to do about it?

From what I've seen, short odds are that the West Buechel City government never properly established health insurance coverage for City Council Members in the first place. It's void for lack of procedural correctness and subject to collateral attack by way of a taxpayer's civil action to squelch it. Call out the Jefferson Circuit Judges!

Returning to our friend KRS 83A.070(1), "The legislative body of each city shall by ordinance fix the compensation of every elected city officer not later than . . . . "  Although health insurance is a "fringe benefit," it is universally recognized as being part of an employee's compensation package. As such, providing this health insurance to City Council Members has been a valid City action only if it was authorized by a duly enacted City Ordinance.

Therefore, my first step is to submit an Open Records Request to the West Buechel City Clerk asking to inspect the City Ordinance authorizing the expenditure of City funds on health insurance for City Council Members.

If it really exists, then back to the drawing board. If not, then let loose the dogs.





Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

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This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer.