A moral responsibility
The historic wrought iron fence, surrounding the Point Pleasant Cemetery that is located in a curve on KY 573, was silently removed last week. Its purpose had been to prevent speeding cars and weather related accidents from demolishing the tombstones. There seems to be no one in the community who witnessed it being taken down.
The “owners,” family members of the deceased, of the cemetery and the community should have been notified by the board of the intent to remove the fence. They should have been informed of the actual date of the intended removal so opposition could have been voiced. All it would have taken was a notice in the Local. That was not done.
I do realize it is hard to get people to serve on the cemetery board. I know it is a responsibility and a thankless position.
The last annual meeting of the cemetery board was scheduled March 11, 2013, as noted in the Henry County Local. Jane Maskalick and I went to this meeting — our great grandfather, a Civil War veteran is buried there. The three others present were the cemetery board members, Diana Young Berry, Carlos Pugh and Stanley Clark.
At the meeting it was noted that the cemetery was short of funds and there was a need to cash a CD. However, the main topic was the wrought iron fence that surrounded and protected the cemetery. It was immediately evident that the three board members had already decided to take it down because it was “too hard to maintain.” Jane and I both voiced very strong opposition to this but the decision had already been made to have it removed.
It was stated that the fence would be taken down as soon as the state issued a permit and installed the guardrail. They were sure the permit could be obtained. Was it obtained? If so, where is the guardrail?
What I did not know was that there was a fence committee chaired by Patti Ethington. She informed me this week she had been unable to attend the annual meeting and had asked that it be delayed. The board would not delay it. She told me the fence issue had been voted down every year since 2005. If there was a fence committee how could the board, in good faith, decide on its own to do this? Especially when the fence committee chair could not attend?
I understand part of the fence was sold for scrap to the Pleasureville Scrap Yard. Patti Ethington paid $148.00 to buy those portions back hoping to get the remaining sections. Those scrapped sections are now in the possession of Leonard Yount who hopes to put the fence back. I was told that Stanley Clark, the cemetery Sexton, has the sections that were in good repair.
Stanley Clark returned on Tuesday of this week to the cemetery to get the remaining posts. He was confronted there by John Yount who asked him to leave the posts. He refused. John asked him to sell the fence back to himself and members of the community. Mr. Clark refused saying, it’s gone. Asked again, he restated, “it’s gone!” He took the posts and left.
Additional questions are: Was this a conflict of interest? Stanley Clark was on the board that decided to have the fence removed without the fence committee chair present, he removed it and now says it is gone. Has he sold it? Did he have a buyer? Why would he not sell it back to the community? Something is not right. Stanley Clark and the board have a moral responsibility and maybe a legal responsibility to return the fence.