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Homeowner & city council candidate pays $2,000 to avoid jail for contempt

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 — Annette Beavers, the Bardstown woman being sued after she ignored a stop-work order and proceeded to remove and replace wooden siding on her historic South Fifth Street home without proper approval, presented a check for $2,000 at Tuesday’s council meeting to avoid going to jail for contempt of court.

After handing a check for $2,000 to Tracy Hudson, the city’s chief financial officer, Annette Beavers had comments critical of the city and the council.

Beavers had been found in contempt of court on two occasions by District Judge Jack Seay in connection with the city’s enforcement actions regarding the improper siding on her home. Tuesday was the deadline for Beavers to either pay $2,000 to the city for legal expenses and remove the contempt charges, or for her to spend two 30 day sentences in the Nelson County Jail that would run concurrently.

During the council meeting’s public comment period, Beavers said she was there “to pay the fine you all placed on me for basically a crime I have not committed.”

She credited her parents’ help for allowing her to pay the full amount. “Otherwise, I would be going to jail without bail for 30 days,” she said.

With emotion and anger in her voice, she was critical of the city for pursuing the legal action against her.

“I have been nothing but an asset to this community,” she said. “I repaired a home that was wasting away.”

Mayor Dick Heaton told Beavers the contempt of court action was an order that originated with Judge Seay, not the council.

“It shouldn’t have ever gotten to Judge Seay,” Beavers said of the dispute regarding the siding on her home.

City Attorney Tim Butler reminded the mayor and council that the issue was still under litigation and should not be discussed at the council meeting.

“This shouldn’t have ever gotten to litigation — if there was a man or woman of integrity on this board,” Beavers said before she turned and left the council chambers.

Beavers filed Monday as a candidate for Bardstown City Council.

CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD REPEALED. As discussed at its last meeting, the council voted to repeal the ordinance that created the code enforcement board. The council also repeated the penalties established for the code enforcement board to apply.

The changes don’t mean the city no longer has property maintenance codes, City Attorney Tim Butler told the council. “The codes remain in place, but not the code enforcement board,” he explained.

In other business, the council:

— approved a request for a 5K Color Run to benefit St. Joe’s Montessori Children’s Center on Nov. 3, 2018

— approved a request for 5K run to benefit the New Life Center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

— approved updates to the city’s classification and compensation plan. The changes raise the low of each pay range by 3 percent.

— Heaton told the council that a five-year contract with Standard Communications for PLG-TV 13 would be brought to the council for renewal at the next council meeting.

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