By JEFF JOBE
Jobe for Kentucky
When I was a young boy we used to play dodge ball. Seems one of the teams ended up having a stacked team and another would get killed. More times than not the old one-potato, two-potato process didn’t seem to work and for a younger than most, skinnier than most, kid like myself it was not at all a compassionate place to learn your life lessons.
Life would come at you real fast when you lived across the street from the city elementary school. We had a black-topped playground wedged between two buildings and in the summer it could get real hot and it seems the heat and sweat would often transcend into the dodge ball game.
Honestly, I can’t recall many summer days of dodge ball when someone didn’t go home with tears in their eyes. I soon learned my best strategy was to learn to truly dodge the ball. This worked for years and it seems that with my dodging ability I found myself in a position to use my skills as a valuable commodity that could be used to compromise with the biggest of the crew and compromise is what I did.
Back then, compromise was not a bad thing. I felt it was a life-saving essential skill. But fast forward 30 years and I am often hearing things like, “I didn’t compromise myself,” or “I will not compromise on the issue.” This seems to be more common than someone saying, “We came up with a compromise.”
In reading our coverage on page one of the Barren County Progress there was an Electric Plant Board story announcing public meetings they describe as an open house and needed, “due to public concern about Glasgow EPB’s rates for residential and small business customers.”
I absolutely agree such an open house is a good idea and I also agree with a statement made in the same story by EPB Superintendent Billy Ray, “it is by design a process for those who agree that compromise is a valuable objective.”
I do hope he is bringing the full program to the table when contemplating a compromise because only allowing a compromise for the specifically-mentioned residential and small business customers is removing the silent but most benefited aspects of his “Infotricity” rate program. Because of the open record details we received, it disclosed communication between Ray and one of his former board members discussing how one of our largest employers will be saving as much as $150,000. While other discussions I have had identified another large government-owned entity that is projected to save a minimum of $80,000 annually.
Is it only me or does anyone else see some disturbing irony here? It seems the purpose of the program was to charge people for what they actually used at the rates they actually used it. Sounds like a concept a right-of-center business minded fella like myself could get behind. What I am having a problem swallowing is it seems those among us who could afford to upgrade their technology to take advantage of such a progressive, forward-thinking program as Superintendent Ray’s are realizing significant savings and actually using more energy with no changes what-so-ever. While, those among us who are budgeting our paychecks to make utility payments and payrolls for small businesses are resorting to shutting off our power during peak demands as our only choice in hope of not being charged too much more for using less.
I do hope Superintendent Ray can find a compromise for his program although it does seem a bit late to meet anywhere near the middle – the end goal for anyone interested in finding a fair compromise. After all, few among us have ever enjoyed the free reign he has had over the past couple years to explore, finance, implement, and now compromise one of our dream projects that he has enjoyed.
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his previously published commentary at www.jobeforkentucky.com