Cave City Controversy

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Miscommunication between the Cave City City Council and city employees is making their working relationship tense. After finding out city cell phones were used for things like dating services, The Cave City City Council asked city employees to turn in their cell phones.

Although nine of the 11 city-provided cell phones have been turned in, city workers we spoke to said their phones haven't been misused.
"There's been a dating service called hundreds of times, not just once," said Hack Borden, council member. "It's not just one person."

"The research my deputy clerk and I did, we only found one and it wasn't even misused," said Pam Hunt city clerk and treasurer. "The person that used their city-issued cell phone to call a dating service paid for it with their own credit card."

Council members Borden and Todd Esters said the city's plan that includes 11 cell phones at 10,000 minutes a month is costing Cave City tax payers thousands. Borden and Esters said between 2004 and 2006 their records show several months where the bills went over the regular $650.

Esters is adamant about noticing city police cars out and about.

"They have been misused in various ways. I've seen them in different counties and states. I've seen them at the mall in Bowling Green. I've seem family members in the vehicles," Esters said.

According to Esters, if a Cave City officer lived inside the city limits they would figure out a system where they could have a take home car, but "we don't have a single police officer that lives in the city limits," Esters stated.

Esters also said the Cave City Police Department always has two officers on duty at all times with city-owned official cars. "If person has an emergency and they call in for police, which only has two officers on duty at all times, if for some reason those police officers can't come, the dispatcher will call Barren County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police."

The relationship between the city council and police department has been so strained, Police Chief Bill Minton has decided to retire.
Minton said it's because of the rules and regulations the council is trying to install.

"There will be rules and regulations in this town and they're going to have to abide by them," Ester said demanding respect.

And with the situation with the cell phones, Hunt said the city council is more than welcome to check their records against hers, something that hasn't happened yet.

The Council members we spoke to today, Feb. 19, 2007, said they're thinking of holding a Special Call Meeting to discuss the cell phone discrepancy. During Special Call Meetings only items on the agenda are up for discussion.