John Drake will be missed

Published 6:39 am Saturday, June 23, 2018

Dear Editor,

After 23 years of service to the community, Parks and Recreation Director John Drake is retiring. He could have stayed longer. However, he was probably tired of the petty BS some leadership in city government were spewing.

John grew up in Georgetown, Kentucky, in the 60’s and 70’s, a great place to grow up at the time. The population was only 8,000. It’s where I spent the first nine years of my life where dad was a teacher and coach. John was my third-grade classmate.

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Georgetown, like Danville, had a strong foundation. Earlier leaders allowed us to grow up in a great community. Our third-grade teacher was Ms. Reading. Her husband was a professor of religion at Georgetown College. Ms. Reading was a sweet Christian lady and a golden fiber of the community. Such individuals helped mold the children’s and community’s character.

One sure sign of weakness in leadership is when leaders are in intimidated by someone they cannot control. The fact is John is his own man and took ownership of the position he’d been entrusted. The Parks and Recreation director is not a city employee. John knew more about what was going on in Parks and Recreation than city government. Certain leadership had a problem with that.  

Enlightened leadership welcomes talent and wants to be surrounded by it because they’re confident in themselves and know good people will make them stronger. Flawed leaders feel threatened by differing opinions. It’s my way or the highway.

Our greatest strength in life will always be our greatest weakness and this applies to organizations as well as individuals. Understanding this fact helps keep us balanced. The strength of a city manager form of government is that communities can hire individuals schooled in finance. They are beholden only to the city commission. The weakness is they are only beholden to the city commission and if the commission allows, they can weld dictatorial powers playing all types of petty financial games in order to game the system.

No one is irreplaceable. This includes recreation directors, politicians, heads of economic development, city managers and city engineers. Especially when patterns define a glaring weakness of leadership. John Drake is not such a leader. To the contrary, he’s one of the golden fibers that gives the fabric of Boyle County society its strength. No man meaning mankind is irreplaceable, but John Drake will be missed.

Randy Gip Graham