Doesn’t like Industrial Foundation involvement with EDP

Published 6:35 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dear Editor,

RKG Consultants suggest EDP redefining roles, blaming disagreements and misinformation as culprits. We concur but on what premise?

The Advocate-Messenger’s January 23rd headline said it all. “The State of the Partnership.” If perception is reality, the headline could have appropriately added — Mission Accomplished! We have a third form of unelected government. Local governments serving as partners give it legitimacy.

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To understand our EDP one must understand its relationship with the Boyle County Industrial Foundation and their entanglement. Herein lies the problem. It’s more than personalities, it’s “system” whereby elected officials unintentionally allowed these entities to grow beyond control. 

If RKG consultants had spent years analyzing instead of “months immersed” in the same mire we’ve been fed over the years they’d understand these facts. The EDP confusion is orchestrated by design, knowing an informed public wouldn’t stand for such a system. The authors of confusion now seem to have our hired help mired the same. Do consultants need a rope of reality to help them out of the corner they are painting themselves into?

Through memorandums of understanding/agreement the Industrial Foundation (a private entity) is designated lead partner of the EDP and serves as economic contact to the state. Their employee serves as president of both. Their offices are housed on the same campus and share the same address and phone number. They own property causing other property owners to complain publicly about fairness. Since private entities aren’t supposed to be economic contacts, the EDP allows the Industrial Foundation around this restriction. They keep elected officials informed only on a “need to know” basis. Fair?

Certain entities purchase influence on the EDP/foundation boards through financial gifts. As recent as 2015, the president of both Farmer’s Bank and Centre served on foundation boards and their employees comprised EDP boards.

Our Heart of Danville and Chamber of Commerce are under financial control of the EDP, making the president of the Industrial Foundation an overseer of their purse strings. The Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director is also EDP-employed.

These are not perceptions but documented facts. Facts don’t lie; people do. If consultants cannot discern, aren’t conclusions compromised? Truth is not the author of confusion.

Consultants are, however, confirming what common sense sees as obvious. Restructuring is the only way $84,000 can be justified. Otherwise it’s an expensive price tag for a lesson on vision and goal setting 101.

Randy Gip Graham