City commission honors Horseman, increases police salary

Published 9:21 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

Tuesday night’s Winchester City Commission meeting at city hall featured a celebration for one of Winchester’s longest-tenured employees and a discussion over salary increases for police officers.

Eric Horseman, who has served Winchester for 30 years as a videographer and operator of equipment for broadcasting city meetings, was honored.

“This is a very special night,” said Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner. “This has been something Eric [also] does for fiscal court. It’s something that he [also] does for WMU [Winchester Municipal Utilities].”

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In the early 1990s, during the days of VHS tapes, Winchester became one of the first cities in Kentucky to broadcast committee meetings – with Horseman at the helm.

Over the years, although technological changes and advancements have taken place and Horseman has taken on additional responsibilities, he has continued to perform the same role to success.

At a minimum, Horseman has worked at least 720 meetings. He has likely done more due to special or emergency sessions.

“Eric has done a great job at that,” Mayor Burtner said. “Not only do we have a live feed of these meetings right now, but we also have a video recorded edition that we keep in addition to what the [city] clerk does.”

With Commissioners Kitty Strode, JoEllen Reed, Shannon Cox, and Joe Chenault present near the podium, Mayor Burtner declared Sept. 6, 2022 to be Eric Horseman Day in the city of Winchester.

Horseman also received an honorary key to the city in celebration of his efforts.

Police salary increase

The commission also discussed and voted to approve an order granting a salary increase of 10% to all personnel of the Winchester Police Department from the general fund. The salary increase will be effective September 11.

Robin Kunkel, a resident of Winchester, spoke of concerns regarding the decision.

“I’ve heard the first discussion on this, and it really feels like there were some concerns brought up about working-class votes in Winchester, which I completely agree with,” she said. “However, if that’s actually what this is about I think that’s a very sloppy way to go about it. I think there needs to be a bigger discussion, and it needs to be across departments because this one is not more important than all the others.”

Commissioner Joe Chenault was one of several commissioners who responded.

“We did not exclude every employee. We said we would look into it, giving the rest of the employees down the road,” he said. “The order might not be there, but that’s what we discussed last meeting.”

The order passed 4 to 1, with Commissioner Shannon Cox dissenting.

Storm sewer project

Jonathan McCracken of Prime AE spoke about the N. Main Street storm sewer project.

The intersection of N. Main Street and Linden Lane is a priority due to particular issues that have previously been reported.

Currently, a preliminary project cost estimate is $967, 216.

A final design proposal has been presented to the city, although no order has been approved.

“It would be at a future agenda,” said city manager Mike Flynn. “There is monies that were allocated and set aside in the budget. We’re just going to have to make a determination.”

In other news, the commission…

• Is set to keep a valorem tax on motor vehicles and watercraft that has remained the same for 34 years that would be imposed for 2023. The rate will be 19.5 cents per $100 assessed value.

• Jon LaRrett was promoted from police officer III to police sergeant. T

• The time for trick or treating on Monday, Oct. 31st will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., after being 5 p.m. to 8 p.m last year.

• Main Street. from West Washington Street to West Broadway will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 24th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m for a car show benefiting Clark County Community Services.