Tuesday, February 16, 2010

KDFWR UPDATES: STALLING FOR TIME?

My apologies for not updating sooner as I have been busy with my own run for State House of Representatives and a few other things. I have contacted the League of Kentucky Sportsmen Vice President Bill Haycraft for more info on the shenanigans at KDFWR and wanted their response.

Mr. Haycraft gave me a copy of an LKS resolution equating to a no confidence vote in the KDFWR leadership.


Resolution

The League of Kentucky Sportsmen

WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources was established to operate solely on the receipts of hunting and fishing licenses, permit and fees paid strictly by sportsmen; and

WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources receives no appropriations from the general fund; and

WHEREAS, KRS 150.150 clearly states that the game and fish fund be used to carry out the purposes of KRS Chapter 150 and any other law or regulation for the protection of wildlife and may not be used for any other purpose; and

WHEREAS, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen expresses its concern with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources use of fish and game funds to collect and use data that is questionable, potentially inaccurate, and unreliable and to predicate department policies on that data; and

WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources currently receives monies outside of the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and fees paid by the sportsmen and may co-mingle those monies in the game and fish fund making it difficult to distinguish separate revenue streams and the appropriateness of expenditures from that fund in accordance with KRS 150.150; and

WHEREAS, The League of Kentucky Sportsmen expresses concern with reports of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources excessive spending and hiring as well as the amount of litigation that names the department as a party; and

WHEREAS, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen finds that the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is migrating outside of its statutorily defined mission and abusing the financial resources of the League’s sportsmen in the process; and

WHEREAS, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has become so cavalier that is no longer considers itself accountable to the sportsmen of the Commonwealth, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, the Secretary of the tourism Cabinet, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or the Kentucky General Assembly; and
 
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen unites in a declaration of "NO CONFIDENCE" in the management and in the current commission of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.  The League of Kentucky Sportsmen requests the Legislators of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the original creators of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, to execute a full management and financial audit conducted by a private independent CPA firm to ensure transparency, managerial performance, accountability, and restore confidence that all sportsmen’s dollars are being properly accounted for and spent in a manner consistent with the statutes and the intent of the Kentucky General Assembly. 

We further request the audit be conducted every two years and include:

I. A list of all organizations that have provided subsidies, contributions, and/or grants to the Department during the past five years, including, but not limited to the following organizations; (a) the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, (b) the National Wild Turkey Foundation, (c) Ducks Unlimited, and (d) Quail Unlimited;
II. A list of all contracts which the Department has entered into with external organizations and/or state or federal government agencies or departments during the past five years, including, but not limited to, any and all contracts entered into with the United States Coast Guard;
III. The criteria for receiving these subsidies, contributions and/or grants including whether the funds received were to be used for restricted or general purposes;
IV. The exact amounts received under each contract, subsidy, contribution, and/or grant and all receipts derived there from;
V. All stipends and/or expenses paid from amounts the Department received under each contract, subsidy, contribution, and/or grant;
VI. A list of all contracts, subsidies, contributions, and grants for which the Department applied or were eligible to receive during the past five years, but did not receive due to failure on the part of the Department to meet the required criteria; and
VII. A list of all contracts, subsidies, contributions, and grants that the Department previously received but lost during the past five years due to failure on the part of the Department to meet the required criteria.
VIII. A list of all expense vouchers and travel documents for all non-merit fish and wildlife employees for the last 5 years
 
We further ask the General assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to: 
A) Consider changes in the current laws to limit the power of and increase the accountability of both the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife such as requiring term limits for commission members and changing election and appointment processes to ensure that commission members will become more accountable to the sportsmen of Kentucky; and
B) Take any and all other actions it deems necessary and prudent to restore the credibility and accountability of the Commission and the Department to the sportsmen of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and to protect and preserve the wildlife resources of this commonwealth for this and future generations.

This Resolution has been passed and approved by the Board of Directors of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen.
 
Signed ________________________________
Rick Allen, President LKS
 
 
Signed_________________________________
Bill E. Haycraft D.H,. Vice President LKS



Additionally, LKS approves of SB 64 sponsored by Senator Gary Tapp and mentioned in previous stories.

Here is a copy of the minutes:


Special Notice To the Kentucky Legislature From The League of Kentucky Sportsmen
 
From: Rick Allen President League of Kentucky Sportsmen
Subject: Senate Bill 64
Date: 2/12/2010

On February 6, 2010 The League of Kentucky Sportsmen Board of Officers and Directors holding a scheduled meeting in which Senate Bill 64 was discussed at length.

Senate Bill 64 contains provisions for the following:

Commission Member qualification
Commission Member length of appointment
Audits conducted by the State Auditor and reporting accountability
Accounting procedures
Transparency to the sportsmen of the Commonwealth
A vote of endorsement was held by The League of Kentucky Sportsmen Board of Officers and Directors. The vote of endorsement was passed with no objections to any provisions contained in the new proposed SB 64.

The voting record follows.

Attendance Vote
1st District-Dan Cayce Yes
2nd District-Greg Slone Yes
3rd District-Bill Haycraft Yes
4th District-Vacant -----
5th District-Ron Kilmer No
6th District-Ron Dampier Yes
7th District-Mark Doss Yes
8th District-Ronnie Wells Yes
9th District-Mr. Cambell,

President Yes

According to sources SB 64 has hit a snag in one Senator Brandon Smith who is refusing to let the bill out of committee for a floor vote. Why is Senator Smith playing hardball with this bill? One can only wonder but there is speculation that his reasoning may go beyond the intent of SB 64.

Consider that Senator Smith had no problem introducing SB 196 from 2008 that would authorize the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority and other governmental entities to enter into recreational land use agreements through contractual arrangements. Also consider the relationship between Senator Smith and Lt Governor Dan Mongiardo.

Will SB 64 create a conflict for Senator Smith because of his involvement with SB 196? I am researching now the details and will alert you readers when that is complete.

In the meantime Representative Damron has sponsored HB 429 which will go even beyond the tenants of SB 64. The right thing to do is for Senator Brandon Smith to get off his butt and do the job he is elected to do.

Simply put. Quit killing legislation for personal reasons and let the Senate members vote. At the very least work with Rep. Damron and merge these two bills into something both can live with. To do nothing is one more slap in the face to those who elect you and who you purport to represent.

We have the right to be heard do we not?

So get on with it.

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