I would like to use the medium of your newspaper to formally thank the citizens and voters of Cave City for the opportunity to serve as their mayor for 17 years. During my tenure in office, I have been humbled by my supporters efforts on my behalf and honored by the city’s employees whose professionalism and work ethic made my time in City Hall so successful.
It has always been my number one goal to endorse and work for projects that would benefit everyone in Cave City. We were able to build a professional and award winning Police Department staffed with highly trained officers with the most up to date equipment our city could buy. We started our own sanitation department to lower garbage collection fees and provide dependable and quality refuse removal. Our Public Works Department took on and excelled in that role. Cave City has always been blessed with a Volunteer Fire Department dedicated to the people living in and around Cave City. It was my mission to support them in their continued efforts on all our behalf. And they continue to be an organization with which we all have tremendous pride.
Over the past 17 years, we acquired funds from our State and Federal governments to complete a wide variety of projects to improve our city’s infrastructure. We partnered with other agencies and cities on projects including fighting drugs and promoting our tourism industry.
I leave office proud of the things my staff and I have accomplished. As with any leader, not everyone agreed with all of my decisions. And of course we made some mistakes, but our efforts were always weighed with what was best for our city. We never did anything for personal gain. And we accomplished so much good for the citizens of Cave City.
We know the philosophy of doing what’s best for Cave City will be our new Mayor’s number one mission. We wish Bobby Reynolds all the best. He is inheriting a wonderful staff who will give him their support to continue to improve Cave City.
Linda and I thank everyone who has supported us these past 17 years. It has been a wonderful experience.
Forest conservation helps farming families
I am a tree farmer in Hart County. Along with Kentucky’s other 467,000 family forest owners, I am proud that my woodland property provides my community with clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and forest products. Most people think that the federal government or big industry own most of Kentucky’s 12 million acres of forests, but in fact most of Kentucky’s forests are owned primarily by family farmers.
Family forest owners know that the threat to our land is real and growing every day. Invasive plants and insects, severe weather, loss of markets and development pressures are constant challenges. They threaten the livelihoods of many who rely on jobs from Kentucky’s forest-related industries.
In Kentucky, 4.9 billion dollars of the state’s annual economy comes from forests and related industries, which provides 33,648 jobs for Kentucky citizens. Because private forests provide such important economic and conservation benefits, it’s important that there be tools available to woodland owners to combat environmental threats, such as ice storms, drought and invasive plants and insects, such as the Emerald Ash borer, which threatens all ash trees in Kentucky.
There programs help us clean up after ice storms, remove diseased trees, protect streamside areas, and create wildlife habitat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill conservation programs provide essential tools that forest owners across the nation use to match our dollars and sweat equity to keep our forests healthy and productive for the benefit of everyone.
Right now, Congress is deciding the fate of these farm bill conservation programs. Some federal deficit reductions are likely to come from conservation programs that help family forrest owners. I realize that we can’t be immune to what needs to be done to get our national deficit under control. It’s important though to be sure that conservation programs don’t take an unfair hit at the chopping block. For example, planting trees is the surest way to ensure the creation of oxygen for all living beings. Planting trees is something the USDA and the Kentucky Division of Forestry have done well for 100 years.
Senator Mitch McConnell and other in the Kentucky delegation have long be champions of family forest owners in Congress. Senator McConnell is uniquely positioned , with his seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee to continue to fight this fight. We’re glad to have a strong leader like Senator McConnell positioned to help ensure that forest conservation programs like tree planting and ice storm management do not take disproportionate cuts.
Comprising only a tiny percent of total farm bill funds, forestry conservation programs are a great deal for this country because they are so effective in ensuring that our will continue to provide clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities and jobs. Maintaining programs in the next farm bill for private forest owners is essential to preserving America’s forest heritage. And that benefits all of us, because without trees we have no oxygen to breathe.
Helping landowners keep their forests as forests benefits all Americans.
Charles D. Williams