Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 21, 2013

SPCU gets cordial reception in Burnside

Burnside —

The town’s slogan says that “everything’s better in Burnside.” Perhaps “less controversial” should be added to that list as well.
Almost two weeks after a contentious appearance by Somerset-Pulaski County United (SPCU) — a  collection of community leaders spearheading a study to determine the feasibility of a merged city-county government — before the Somerset City Council, the group took their presentation on the road to Burnside.
Besides a warmer welcome from city leadership, the biggest difference between the special called meeting in front of the Burnside City Council on Friday and the Somerset appearance was that SPCU wasn’t in search of any money — just goodwill.
“We have good government here in this community,” said Chris Girdler of SPCU, one of Kentucky’s state senators. “All we are asking is for the opportunity to see if options exist to turn good into great. ... We’re all in this thing together. What’s good for Burnside is good for Somerset. What’s good for Somerset would be good for Eubank.”
For one thing, even if the council was going to take an action — which was never the plan — they couldn’t. Only two councilors, Dwayne Sellers and Bill Leslie, were present for the Friday afternoon meeting, meaning there wasn’t a quorum. Still, since Girdler and fellow SPCU members John Adams, a local attorney, and Leah Taylor, president of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, were present, Burnside Mayor Ron Jones gave them a chance to make their pitch anyway.
Girdler led off by saying SPCU wanted to “dispel any rumors” that might be going around about the group’s intentions — rumors “out of uncertainty, out of discomfort, maybe out of fear,” as he put it. Girdler stressed that SUPC is not actively recommending a merged government, which would allow for one governing body to oversee every community in the county that could opt into such a plan.

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