Perryville water tower mystery

Published 9:04 pm Friday, August 2, 2019


Contributing columnist

The citizens of Perryville are in a challenging position when it comes to their water supply. Their city leaders sold the city water system to the City of Danville when it became too expensive for Perryville to run it. Since then, their water bills have increased, making many people upset. Rightly so. No one wants to pay more for anything, especially if it’s supplied by the government.

Email newsletter signup

At a recent Pulse of the People gathering in Perryville, several residents voiced their concern about their water bills and the construction process of the new water system. They are upset with the manner in which this project appears to be happening seemingly without notice.

It sounds like it’s time for the fiscal court to ask someone from the city to attend a fiscal court meeting to update the magistrates on the project. That would have been a much better response than the mutual grousing session in which Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt and Magistrates Tom Ellis and Jason Cullen participated.

I cannot understand how grown-ups who are elected to lead continue to act and speak like middle-schoolers.  Hunt said he was told it wasn’t time to ask questions. Who told him that? It’s always time to ask questions. Why would he leave it at that when his job is to keep his constituents informed?

Magistrate Ellis said he wants to get to the bottom of the sewer rate hike. In a quick search of the Advocate-Messenger site, I found where City Engineer Earl Coffey addressed the City of Perryville council on that very issue in June. It’s almost as if the county representatives are staying willfully ignorant in order to foment conflict between the city and the county.

The comment by Magistrate Cullen was the dealbreaker. He said “It’s jealousy.” Yes. The City of Danville bases all of its decisions and responses to questions based on its jealousy of . . .? What exactly? He then went on to posit that the city is taking over property in the county without talking to anyone. Why would he say that, other than to gain cache with the grousers?

Be leaders, gentlemen. Stop stooping to the level of constant complaining and figure out a way to lead without your ego being in charge. You can lead or complain. You can’t do both.

Mayor Mike

Speaking of leading or complaining, City of Danville Mayor Mike Perros could use a lesson in that. At the most recent city commission meeting, the new director of the Heart of Danville, Dustin Duvall, was introduced to the commission. Instead of welcoming the new director, Perros took the time as an opportunity to grill Duvall and Heart board chair Valery McMann.

Perros and McMann acknowledged that they met together the morning of the commission meeting to discuss concerns Perros had about the Heart. Why did he feel the need to revisit that meeting when he just needed to congratulate and welcome the new director? When he met with McMann, were the concerns discussed that of the commissions’, or were they Perros’ concerns?

Leading by ambush is not actually leadership. It’s ego. It comes across as if the person doing the ambush is trying to exert control and power. That certainly is how Perros’s questioning came across.

I recently heard a quote about leadership. Effective leaders support then question. It’s too bad Perros didn’t know this. Why couldn’t he have just asked for a meeting of the commission with the Heart board so both groups could ensure they were working from the same set of expectations?

Maybe it’s time for our local governmental groups- fiscal court and city commission- to take some seminars on effective local government leadership. I’m sure the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties offers this type of assistance. We need fewer angry, complaining, grandstanding leaders and more leaders who will work for the people they represent.

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” Dwight D. Eisenhower.

G. Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.