We seek fair and positive change

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dear Editor,

After all’s been said and done more will be said than done. Perhaps true politically but hopefully not representative of our future regarding economic development.

We have opportunity for positive change. However, this won’t happen if leadership of the Economic Development Partnership continues their negative games, dividing community by their communication and actions.

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As reported, in the June 13 fiscal court meeting regarding EDP name change to “Develop Danville,” the name change unveiling (potentially tender to Boyle County residents) was scheduled at a time of a fiscal court meeting. Convenient? Furthermore, the EDP board approved the change without any representation by local government, publicly declaring it a unanimous vote! 

What kind of leaders do such things? Are we confronting a control issue, incompetence or both? Obviously, EDP leadership doesn’t like differing viewpoints, evidenced by the director of our Chamber of Commerce recent critique of opposing opinions. Perhaps the problem is lack of principled leadership? It’s easy to continually say; “I will do better next time.” 

Having recently been referenced by the newspaper as “a perineal critic of the EDP,” we can learn historical lessons regarding leadership. 

Calling someone “a perineal critic of the EDP” is like calling our forefathers “perineal critics” because they opposed taxation without representation. 

• George Washington wasn’t against government, he was against an unfair system of government and that was a positive thing.

• Abraham Lincoln wasn’t against harvesting agriculture, he was against an unfair system that required slavery to do the job. He wanted positive change.

• Washington and Lincoln’s detractors called them “perineal critics” because they stood up to unfair policies. By EDP standards the EDP Chairman would call Washington and Lincoln “Don and Debbie Downers,” but both enacted positive change.

As one local property owner told one of our magistrates regarding the conflict of interest with a Boyle County Industrial Foundation representative showing his property: “I just want to have a level playing field.”

Chairing a group of downtown merchants interested in stopping Main Street lane reduction, we tried to develop rapport with leadership of the EDP. We were stonewalled and told falsehoods. Our attempts at rational conversation was like talking to a wall. Through Open Records we found disturbing patterns of manipulation. Our only hope was taking facts to the public. 

Don’t we all seek fairness and positive change, a level playing field? Doesn’t it all rise and fall on a fair system of leadership?

Randy Gip Graham