The best interests of Letcher County citizens should be “in the hands” of Letcher County Attorney Jamie Hatton when it comes to enforcing the county ordinance and Kentucky State Law for removal of abandoned, blighted and deteriorated houses in Letcher County. However, Mr. Hatton told me this matter was “out of his hands” when I visited his office recently.
I had gone to Mr. Hatton’s office to ask him to make a phone call to a corporate law office to ask about a continuing delay in drawing up a form letter to be signed by homeowners relieving volunteer workers of liability for any damages incurred while razing deteriorated houses and either removing rubble from the property or burying it on the property. Mr. Hatton said he didn’t want to get in the way of progress being made the form letter. When I asked for a telephone number so I could call to inquire about progress, he strongly advised against it and warned me that I might cause problems with progress being made. He further stated that I might even make my husband angry.
Many of our citizens are working at removing their own houses and buildings which have been designated deteriorated houses to help out the county after being warned by Judge/Executive Jim Ward that they were responsible for such removal if they didn’t take advantage of the Letcher County Fiscal Court’s program helping them with the razing of deteriorated and blighted houses and removal and/or burial of offending houses or buildings. Why doesn’t Jamie Hatton feel the need or responsibility to help Jim Ward with the program and therefore with the Letcher County ordinance and Kentucky State law?
Feeling very frustrated and angry with all that had transpired, I stated to Attorney Hatton that I hated living somewhere that didn’t care any more than this for its citizens. His advice to me was, “Move.” I told him there are many deteriorated properties in McRoberts which I consider to be dangerous and he said, “I’ll bet there are.” I asked him if he had any such houses near where he lived and he said simply, “No.” He eventually glanced at his watch and said, “Well, it’s 4 o’clock. Quittin’ time.”
I am now an offended citizen and voter.
JOAN L. SCOTT