Old habits are hard to break

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dear Editor,

A new beginning with a new board offers hope for our Economic Development Partnership. However, it seems it’s only taken months to see old patterns arise. We understand power is hard to give up and old habits are hard to break, but our new board needs to be wise to the ways of old. Understanding the past and games played helps keep us from repeating it.

The Boyle County Industrial Foundation wanted six positions on the new board but thanks to the city commission and magistrates led by the mayor, they were limited to three. However, they still control the board through Platinum members who were represented on the Boyle County Industrial Foundation board and were also awarded three positions on the new EDP board. Three positions were also awarded to the both city and county governments.

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Three “at-large” positions were to be voted upon by the full board. However, the chairman of the EDP recommended instead a committee of four should select the best candidates out of those recommended, followed by vote of the full board. The board accepted the Chairman’s recommendation.

Why did the chairman suggest a committee whittle down the names of those recommended? Why not let the full board decide? Emphasis was made that committee members had served on previous EDP boards, as if this somehow made them wiser in judging potential candidates. Could this be another way the “Old Guard” controls the appointments?

The chairman of the BCIF is on record he considers the BCIF and EDP “one in the same.” Considering he accompanied the new vice president of the EDP and addressed Junction City’s leadership, suggesting property they could develop, is this stepping outside his area of responsibility?

Perhaps the new board should make sure:

• The EDP vice president understands he’s not accountable to the BCIF, but to the full board.

• He represents all private property owners and “state spec forms” should be brought to their attention as well.

• The president and CEO of the EDP served in the same capacity for the Boyle County Industrial Foundation and there should be total separation for fairness.

• The president and CEO is on record calling local business owners and community leaders “an insignificant fringe” for standing against an agenda they thought harmful to their livelihoods.

A new board offers hope for fairness and better accountability, but old habits are hard to break.

Randy Gip Graham