Mercer Schools and the tourist commission

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Barney

Harrodsburg, KY

#1 Jun 27, 2013
There are a couple of interesting items in the paper lately.
The Mercer County boys and girls coaches asked permission to take both basketball teams on a trip to the Bahamas. The school board split and the trip was denied. The coaches had another request ready for Florida if the board denied the first. One has to wonder who will foot the bill for the Florida trip if the board does approve it. Will the parents have to kick in. What if some kid's parent can't afford this. Will he or she be left home. What if the bill falls to the school system. The same article indicated that the school could lose up to 10% in federal funds. The school board approved a trip for the football team to practice a couple of days in Tennessee. Who pays for that. Athletics are good. But schools are for educating kids and taking tax money (if that is the case) and taking sports teams on trips is foolish, especially since there appears to be a money crunch.

Then there is the tourist commission. Tenants have left the offices of the tourist commission building to the tune of some $31,000.00 + dollars. In order to make it up they are going to take that sum out of the money which was supposed to advertise tourism and spend it to pay their rent. In the meantime, Fort Harrod has a money crunch and part of it has closed. The commission was asked to help fund someone to keep part of the park open. They gave $1,000.00, which will probably do little good. Fort Harrod is the biggest tourist draw in the city of Harrodsburg. What is wrong with these people?
crazy

Harrodsburg, KY

#2 Jun 27, 2013
this is why things are so in a mess.
Honestly now

Harrodsburg, KY

#3 Jun 28, 2013
I love sports. Taking an entire football team to another state to practice on a mid major football complex. Travel, food, lodging , insurance, packing all the equipment for 50, 60 or 70 kids. Paying for 10 or 12 coaches.???? Taking 25 to 30 basketball players to Florida if you don't getting to go to the Bahamas. Parents and I suppose coaches stomping out when they did not get their way?

Come on now. The expense of a large sports complex with indoor football practice facilities for a high school team. Coaches who don't teach, but get paid a teacher's salary.
betterthingstodo withmoney

Harrodsburg, KY

#4 Jun 29, 2013
I know years ago my dad coached a baseball team and at the end of every season him ad the assistant coach would buy each child a ticket to a reds game and pay for anything the wanted to eat whiled they was there. Yes I now this trip the are asking for is way more expensive then what my father did. but if these coaches are wanting to do this for there players let me pay for it.Let the coaches put in a couple hours over every day for the next year, so the parents or the school wont have to pay for it Just y opinion, hop I didn't make anyone mad.
Barney

Harrodsburg, KY

#5 Jun 30, 2013
betterthingstodowithmoney wrote:
I know years ago my dad coached a baseball team and at the end of every season him ad the assistant coach would buy each child a ticket to a reds game and pay for anything the wanted to eat whiled they was there. Yes I now this trip the are asking for is way more expensive then what my father did. but if these coaches are wanting to do this for there players let me pay for it.Let the coaches put in a couple hours over every day for the next year, so the parents or the school wont have to pay for it Just y opinion, hop I didn't make anyone mad.
Coaches are not going to put in extra time or take an extra job in order to earn money to pay for these trips. They want the tax payer to pick up the tab. We are not talking about chump change. This is big bucks and I expect that the school would have to pay. I don't know if parents or booster clubs would be expected to pay.

I would like for these coaches and those school board members who voted for these trips to explain exactly what educational benefit these kids would get our of practicing on a Tennessee football field or going to Florida.

I keep reading that money for schools are short. Is that a lie? If it is and the school has plenty of money that is one thing. But if coaches that don't teach and indoor practice facilities and trip are taking away from kids in the class room something is wrong. Kids have to come before ball games.
sam

Chicago, IL

#6 Jun 30, 2013
Parents and fundraising pay for the trips. It appears everyone posting hasn't had a child in sports or it's been a while. What do you want the kids to do do... Stay in this lost town forever. Give the kids a chance to do something different. I'm sure the school will not give them a dime for the travel. I also guess by the comments that none of you are involved in any school function. You are the cause of the problem. Get involved and help fix them. Donate some time and money for the kids.
SNL

Louisville, KY

#7 Jun 30, 2013
sam wrote:
You are the cause of the problem. Get involved and help fix them. Donate some time and money for the kids.
Please explain how those of us who don't have kids in Mercer County schools are "the cause of the problem". Available information would suggest that lack of foresight and basic budgeting skills by school administrators and the school board is the problem.

As for donating money, every taxpayer in this county has been forced to "donate" already, in the form of higher taxes to build the new high school. Speaking of which, I wonder how many more computers or books or staff salaries could have been covered by the money spent on that lavish "sports complex"?
Barney

Harrodsburg, KY

#8 Jul 1, 2013
The Harrodsburg Herald stated that the Mercer County Schools may be receiving sizeable cuts in federal funds. I have read that teachers have been cut. There is a shortage of text books. Then there are coaches who are paid teacher's salaries but do not teach, the lavish "sports complex", proposed sports trips. A full time athletic director now, when just a few years that was an insignificant part of the job description of a principal or coach which was matched by a tiny stipend. What is important to the Mercer County Schools. Sports? Education?

Is it not true that the superintendent and some of the male administrators are ex coaches? Could that be part of the problem? Would it be wise for future superintendents and other male administrators to come from a strong academic background rather that a background in athletics?
chris

Harrodsburg, KY

#9 Jul 1, 2013
yes I also would like to know how the parents are to blame if they don't have kids playing sports. another thing why should I get involved and donate my time and money when I don't have kids in that school. Hell I cant afford a vacation for my own family each year.
Justified

Harrodsburg, KY

#10 Jul 1, 2013
Barney wrote:
The Harrodsburg Herald stated that the Mercer County Schools may be receiving sizeable cuts in federal funds. I have read that teachers have been cut. There is a shortage of text books. Then there are coaches who are paid teacher's salaries but do not teach, the lavish "sports complex", proposed sports trips. A full time athletic director now, when just a few years that was an insignificant part of the job description of a principal or coach which was matched by a tiny stipend. What is important to the Mercer County Schools. Sports? Education?
Is it not true that the superintendent and some of the male administrators are ex coaches? Could that be part of the problem? Would it be wise for future superintendents and other male administrators to come from a strong academic background rather that a background in athletics?
I think you might look at a couple of the board members who I have heard are pushing sports funding!
ridiculous

Harrodsburg, KY

#11 Jul 9, 2013
As long as the superintendent kids play sports then these coaches will expect special treatment!!!! We're short on textbooks & things for education,i mean come on sports is important but; not as important as education! I've seen first hand how the priorities are, its funny cause administration bitches and says we can't spend but 60 bucks on a senior for senior night but yet let's take all the kids to the Bahamas!!! And then you have someone from administration threatening the board on a social website cause of Bahamas trip.... I mean really???? I suggest mercer schools get their priorities straight& soon.!!! If this town knew what I knew & have seen.... shew, some would be sick!!!!
Barney

Harrodsburg, KY

#12 Jul 10, 2013
sam wrote:
Parents and fundraising pay for the trips. It appears everyone posting hasn't had a child in sports or it's been a while. What do you want the kids to do do... Stay in this lost town forever. Give the kids a chance to do something different. I'm sure the school will not give them a dime for the travel. I also guess by the comments that none of you are involved in any school function. You are the cause of the problem. Get involved and help fix them. Donate some time and money for the kids.
Sports are important, they just should not wag the dog. If the school had lots of money it would be fine to give coaches a teacher's salary and a soft non teaching job, hire a full time athletic director and pay him a teacher's salary and a stipend for being athletic director, take kid athletes out of the country (if athletes can go because of the experience, why neglect the non athletes), and have a massive sports complex. I would be fine with that, but I doubt that the Mercer County tax payer would want to pony up more money to pay for these extravagant sports practices.

I am told that the school system does not have enough text books. If that is true, I would say that I'd put text books way ahead of the extravagances mentioned above.

Sports teams should be coached by certified teachers who also coaches. They should be provided with transportation to scheduled games and uniformed safely and well. Beyond that, I would say, put the money on educating ALL of the county's children.
We Pay

Harrodsburg, KY

#13 Jul 18, 2013
What good exactly is our tourist commission doing for our county?? now we are having to give up 31,000 in needed tourism advertisement so the agency can have a nice plush diamond point office to themselves. the support of the fort by the commission is pathetic and the commissions ability to be a team effort with the community is part of what is holding back Harrodsburg. I say we sell diamond point and put the present offices in the projects. better than that I say we relocate them to the fort!! Which ever, we pay
Not welcome

United States

#14 Jul 18, 2013
We Pay wrote:
What good exactly is our tourist commission doing for our county?? now we are having to give up 31,000 in needed tourism advertisement so the agency can have a nice plush diamond point office to themselves. the support of the fort by the commission is pathetic and the commissions ability to be a team effort with the community is part of what is holding back Harrodsburg. I say we sell diamond point and put the present offices in the projects. better than that I say we relocate them to the fort!! Which ever, we pay
I agree- if you don't have a certain last name then you are not welcomed at any meeting or function...Sad how a few people run the money and this town!
Down Town Danny

Harrodsburg, KY

#15 Jul 19, 2013
We Pay wrote:
What good exactly is our tourist commission doing for our county?? now we are having to give up 31,000 in needed tourism advertisement so the agency can have a nice plush diamond point office to themselves. the support of the fort by the commission is pathetic and the commissions ability to be a team effort with the community is part of what is holding back Harrodsburg. I say we sell diamond point and put the present offices in the projects. better than that I say we relocate them to the fort!! Which ever, we pay
It seems that the powers that be set up a dummy corporation which took the title of ownership of Diamond Point. Money was borrowed to renovate it and money was expected to come in in rent from various Harrodsburg agencies who agreed to have offices there. Now they have backed out leaving the tourist commission or rather the tax payer holding the bag. Now the lost of about $31,000.00 each year must be made up by the tourist commission. It will be interesting to see if the commissioners will cut the elaborate salary of the woman who is the CEO or if they will cut some of the advertisement for Beaumont Inn or Shakertown, both of which get the majority of the restaurant tax money spent for advertisement.

So every time you eat in a Harrodsburg restaurant or by a Big Mac you are paying for the Diamond Point Folly and for the Tourist Commission CEO to raddle around in a near empty building.
Up Town Tony

Lebanon, KY

#16 Jul 19, 2013
Down Town Danny wrote:
<quoted text>
It seems that the powers that be set up a dummy corporation which took the title of ownership of Diamond Point. Money was borrowed to renovate it and money was expected to come in in rent from various Harrodsburg agencies who agreed to have offices there. Now they have backed out leaving the tourist commission or rather the tax payer holding the bag. Now the lost of about $31,000.00 each year must be made up by the tourist commission. It will be interesting to see if the commissioners will cut the elaborate salary of the woman who is the CEO or if they will cut some of the advertisement for Beaumont Inn or Shakertown, both of which get the majority of the restaurant tax money spent for advertisement.
So every time you eat in a Harrodsburg restaurant or by a Big Mac you are paying for the Diamond Point Folly and for the Tourist Commission CEO to raddle around in a near empty building.
You may choose to have whatever opinion of the tourist commission, diamond point and the restaurant tax you wish. Certain statements you have made are incorrect.

Harrodsburg first borrowed a very small amount of money to help finance the purchase of Diamond Point several years ago. The loan was close to $50,000.00. The restoration, which was more than 10 times that amount, was paid by state and federal grants with no additional cost to local tax payers. Federal law limited the amount of the purchase price that could be financed with the grant funds, necessitating the loan. The only debt on the building is the balance of that loan, which was significantly reduced from its original amount through monthly payments. The diamond point foundation was set up as requirement of law that the building be run and administered by a legally distinct entity. It is not run by the tourist commission; they are unrelated. The tourist commission is a tenant of the Diamond Point foundation.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industrial authority were rent paying tenants at Diamond Point since it was opened. Several months ago, for reasons unknown to me, they announced they were leaving the building and moved locations. Since they were tenants in the building, that is certainly something they are free to do. Their relocation has reduced the income received in rents by the Diamond Point foundation. Their rent was not $31,000 per year, it was at a market rate that undoubtly was significantly less. The tourist commission made an agreement to prepay their lease for a period of years to enable the Diamond Point foundation to pay the remaining mortgage off early to free up cashflow for repairs and to maintain the building. This is done, often, in longer term commercial leases. The Diamond Point foundation has space available to rent to offset the loss of income from the Chamber/Industrial Authority when they moved. I would hope that efforts are being made to attract tenants to fill the empty space. Given that the spots have just opened since the beginning of the summer, I'm not casting stones that they haven't been filled.

The commission does not set the salary of the director of the tourist commission. Tourist commission has its own set of directors.

The restaurant tax is one of the few taxes that is purely optional. If you object to paying it, you don't have to. You are free to dine at an establishment outside the city that does not charge it. Simple enough.

Hope this clarifies the situation for you.

Since: Oct 12

Baltimore, Maryland

#17 Jul 19, 2013
Not welcome wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree- if you don't have a certain last name then you are not welcomed at any meeting or function...Sad how a few people run the money and this town!
So you're saying that if you don't have the right last name that you will actually be turned away from a meeting that is, by law, open to the public?

I've never heard that one.
Down Town Danny

Harrodsburg, KY

#18 Jul 19, 2013
Up Town Tony wrote:
<quoted text>
You may choose to have whatever opinion of the tourist commission, diamond point and the restaurant tax you wish. Certain statements you have made are incorrect.
Harrodsburg first borrowed a very small amount of money to help finance the purchase of Diamond Point several years ago. The loan was close to $50,000.00. The restoration, which was more than 10 times that amount, was paid by state and federal grants with no additional cost to local tax payers. Federal law limited the amount of the purchase price that could be financed with the grant funds, necessitating the loan. The only debt on the building is the balance of that loan, which was significantly reduced from its original amount through monthly payments. The diamond point foundation was set up as requirement of law that the building be run and administered by a legally distinct entity. It is not run by the tourist commission; they are unrelated. The tourist commission is a tenant of the Diamond Point foundation.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industrial authority were rent paying tenants at Diamond Point since it was opened. Several months ago, for reasons unknown to me, they announced they were leaving the building and moved locations. Since they were tenants in the building, that is certainly something they are free to do. Their relocation has reduced the income received in rents by the Diamond Point foundation. Their rent was not $31,000 per year, it was at a market rate that undoubtly was significantly less. The tourist commission made an agreement to prepay their lease for a period of years to enable the Diamond Point foundation to pay the remaining mortgage off early to free up cashflow for repairs and to maintain the building. This is done, often, in longer term commercial leases. The Diamond Point foundation has space available to rent to offset the loss of income from the Chamber/Industrial Authority when they moved. I would hope that efforts are being made to attract tenants to fill the empty space. Given that the spots have just opened since the beginning of the summer, I'm not casting stones that they haven't been filled.
The commission does not set the salary of the director of the tourist commission. Tourist commission has its own set of directors.
The restaurant tax is one of the few taxes that is purely optional. If you object to paying it, you don't have to. You are free to dine at an establishment outside the city that does not charge it. Simple enough.
Hope this clarifies the situation for you.
So Harrodsburg First is the dummy cooperation that borrowed money to buy Diamond Point. Thanks for that information. You are saying that the Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial decided to leave Diamond Point leaving the Tourist Commission as the sole tenant. Restoration of Diamond Point cost a little over half a million and came from grants for state or federal government. Your statement about taxes and local residents is false. Grants are not free. Governments use grants to spread all of our tax monies around. Someone else helped for this cool half million grant.
I realize that the Tourist Commission hires the CEO and that they collect and spend the restaurant tax. The idea that if one does not like how his tax money is spent he can just eat somewhere else is absurd. We would like to think that our restaurant tax money is spent to bring tourist to Mercer County, not to buy, repair and maintain a large historic house for the CEO to rattle around in. I would like to see Diamond Point sold and the Tourist Commission relocate to some more less expensive location. Maybe something could be worked out with Fort Harrod. What better place for the tourist commission than the historical foundation of the community?
The tourist commission is not elected, yet the collect and spend tax money. It appears that bulk of the tax dollar that the commission spend is on Beaumont Inn and Shakertown.
Not welcome

United States

#19 Jul 20, 2013
One True Digger wrote:
<quoted text>
So you're saying that if you don't have the right last name that you will actually be turned away from a meeting that is, by law, open to the public?
I've never heard that one.
Believe it! you can't get on a committee unless the few members want you ! And they don't want anyone thats not part of their click...why would they ?. Only a few benefit and that's the family that's on the board...
this guy

United States

#20 Jul 20, 2013
Not welcome wrote:
<quoted text>Believe it! you can't get on a committee unless the few members want you ! And they don't want anyone thats not part of their click...why would they ?. Only a few benefit and that's the family that's on the board...
Tourist commission board makeup is determined by statute.

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