EDP/BCIF relationship out of balance

Published 4:03 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

In a “Great Awakening,” it seems a truth is resonating. The relationship between the Boyle County Industrial Foundation (BCIF) and the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) is out of balance. This isn’t knocking individuals who volunteer their time on both boards. It’s always been a handful of three or four whose decisions behind scenes represent what’s best for one and not the other. Of course, the recent Diageo/BCIF decision not to offer 100 acres of BCIF land to Diageo, where the company and tax revenue found a home in Marion County was a catalyst, while not informing EDP partners in a timely manner.

Like leadership, selling is an art. Considering Marion County was outside Diageo’s specifications it shows not only a sale of omission but selling incompetence? In quoting our mayor it also begs the question, “what businesses have we lost” that we’re not aware?

What’s the reaction of the chairpersons of both boards and EDP President? They want to target leaking by EDP board members although as The Advocate-Messenger appropriately pointed out, the Lebanon paper reported it in December and BCIF decision was made in October. Now the EDP chairman wants board members to re-sign confidentiality agreement, further perpetuating a gross misunderstanding regarding enlightened leadership. But isn’t such the pattern that’s defined the EDP President and current chairman of both boards?

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Like when Open Records showed the EDP President misled this community regarding his support of Main Street lane reduction while calling local business owner’s “insignificant fringes” who opposed it. What were consequences? None, because he was protected by the BCIF board at the time. It seems some are more about muzzling messengers who disagree than what’s best for community.

Some things should stay in the locker room but the game is played in public. And given enough rope some hang themselves.

We should consider questions.

• Was the former EDP COO told he had to clear communication with privately held BCIF chairman?

• Have chairmen of EDP and BCIF accused innocent of leaking?

It seems to me the answer is, yes!

EDP/BCIF chairmen and president talk good games regarding teamwork, however more like warming up but never playing the game.

Time for a new team? A new point of economic contact? A balanced playing field for all private property owners? It’s a simple fix. Success happens when opportunity and preparedness meet. Opportunity is here. Hopefully elected leaders are prepared.

Randy Gip Graham