Call industrial foundation’s bluff

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dear Editor,

RKG consultants call for a reorganized 20-member economic development board. City and county governments who represent over 29,000 Boyle residents would appoint only three each. However, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation (BCIF), a private corporate entity who owns property and thus competes with other commercial property owners, would appoint six positions. Fair?

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RKG emphasized this as typical preference for private investors. Our city manager indicated BCIF desires majority representation or an unwillingness to risk investment. So much for being team players. Should city and county governments call their bluff? They need us more than we need them.

Other commercial property owners would enjoy participating, but they don’t like coming to this competitor (BCIF) for consideration. Since the EDP president receives 80 percent of his salary from the BCIF, where will loyalties lie? Currently, aren’t our local governments supporting crony capitalism? The new board must represent fairness.

RKG consultants suggest tying representation on the board to only those who pay to play. This is short-sighted for the following reason. With this rationale, why not have one person write a check for the entire amount, allowing them to name the entire board? This shows fallacy of such thinking. Obviously, it should involve more than just money. Representation by taxpayer population should be predominant.

Currently, the voting public and other commercial property owners aren’t being fairly represented. Although RKG has made good suggestions, BCIF naming six causes unfairness to continue while punishing Perryville and Junction City residents. Prostituting the board to the highest bidders over taxpayer representation risk keeping the industrial foundation in monopolistic control.

Why not have city and county governments name majority of the board (five each) as other communities? The industrial foundation should have no more than three, with other commercial property owners organized and represented. Wouldn’t this represent a fairer public/private partnership?

Current EDP Platinum Partners will continue making financial contributions if not represented on the new board for the following reason. Money exposes individuals regarding true character. Money’s neither good nor bad. If Platinum Partners and BCIF intentions are noble and about community, financial support should continue and good intentions magnified.  If financial support ceases, actions are easily noticed and both will be exposed.

Goals and objectives, we seek can be accomplished without monopolistic control by the Boyle County Industrial Foundation. It can be a simple fix if all parties are genuinely dedicated to the good of all parties.

Randy Gip Graham