Letter: Claims newspaper ‘pushing a false narrative’

Published 5:40 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

From Randy Gip Graham, Danville —

It seems The Advocate-Messenger relishes in pushing a false narrative involving our mayor and magistrate which begs the question; when is “enough,” enough?

In diversity/sensitivity training, attended by both elected bodies after a Sept. 10 incident at fiscal court, the “diversity/sensitivity trainer” stated that what was said to the local tourism director was “NOT” sexual harassment but inappropriate behavior. So why does the newspaper and a select few individuals in leadership positions continually push this false narrative which now seems to be at expense of community? Common sense outsiders must think we’re nuts!

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Recent actions and inactions involving reporting seems to also validate another question. “Is this a collaboration?” If so, for what purpose and to what end? While the paper reports heavily on sexual harassment claims “disputed” by the diversity/sensitivity trainer, they’ve refused to report on an incident involving the tourism director’s arguably harassing act witnessed at a commission meeting while the meeting was still going on, until a police officer stopped the debacle. Professional? Fair?

In addition, the newspaper’s editorial regarding Magistrate Cullen’s comments, grossly took out of context Magistrates Sammons apology. For what purpose? Shouldn’t the “fourth estate” have a responsibility for printing the full truth?

Our local CVB is a special taxing district set up by state statute. Not every county has one. They’re an association of just over 70 across Kentucky. They receive funds from hotel taxes to finance tourism. Although standing alone, they derive their power by ordinance from city and county governments. What have they done with this power? In recent months;

  • Promoted false sexual harassment narrative?
  • CVB State Director wrote a letter claiming our local governments don’t properly support local tourism. Where did he get that idea?
  • Use over 58% of their budget to pay salaries.

Since CVB actions define priorities in spending tax dollars, shouldn’t local governments consider rescinding CVB status as a special taxing district and create a fairer one, more interested in promoting tourism instead of promoting false agendas, excessive salaries, and personal ideologies at expense of community? In the meantime, hotel owners could consider speaking up against the use of funds legally confiscated from their coffers.

This could be a positive step forward for the entire community. And the kind of creative thinking and bold leadership that isn’t thinking “outside the box,” but recognizing “there is no box” in making Danville-Boyle County a better place to live.