Shepherdsville without mayor, city council divided

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Many are now calling Shepherdsville a city stuck in limbo with issues community members call serious. Residents feel they lack the leadership to solve those issues.

Tuesday night’s city council meeting was a packed house, where community members were hopeful they would receive answers, but only three of six council members showed up. The meeting was canceled.

Councilman Larry Hatfield said, "I think everybody is very concerned and they have reason to be."

With only three of six members in attendance, agenda topics like appointing a new mayor and approving a tax rate were put on hold. Community members were left with more questions than answers.

"Is Miss Tammy going to continue to be able to pay the bills for the city? I mean to keep the fuel in the fire trucks, the gas in the police cars?” one community member asked at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Hatfield was one of the three members at the meeting.

"My plan was to meet, stick to the agenda and then answer questions from the public but unfortunately that didn't happen,” he said.

The law states council members don't have to go to the meetings, but without at least four members present, nothing can be approved. Hatfield said he's suspicious the members who didn't go didn't want to face what's on the agenda.

Bernie Brown, Randy Hammond, and Larry Hatfield were the members at the meeting. Dana Bischoff James, Ashley Bratcher and Gloria Taft were not. WHAS11 called every member who did not attend the meeting, only Taft returned the call. She said a dental procedure gone wrong kept her from attending.

Hatfield said, "We don't need a mayor for the next 30 days. It would be nice if we had one, but we can function and go right along with the government as long as we can agree to do it by the law and pick a chair and move forward."

Without a mayor, the council is required to appoint a chair person for every meeting. Gloria Taft was appointed chair of the meeting on August 11. She said that means she should be the chair of all meetings for the remainder of her term.

"I was dually elected by the other five council members to sit as chair, and I don't know why they're asking me to give that up now,” Taft said.

Hatfield said he agreed to appoint her for one meeting, not the remainder of her term. He refuses to move forward with meetings where she serves as chair, calling it illegal, but she refuses to step down, saying that's not right.

"Our city can move forward. We just need a way to come together as six individuals with different ideas and try to put our ideas aside and move forward,” Taft said.

Even if all members were at the meeting, Hatfield and Taft agree, they wouldn’t see eye-to-eye.
"It’s definitely a problem, and it is hurting the city,” Taft said.

Council members said they will meet sometime over the next few days to finalize the tax rate, but they won't be discussing the mayor vacancy until the next scheduled meeting at the end of the month.


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