By SAM TERRY
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
The Glasgow Electric Plant Board has a full complement of directors on its board for the first time in nearly nine months after the Glasgow City Council unanimously approved Tag Taylor’s nomination on Monday night. Taylor will fill the seat that has been vacant since February 1 after the council refused to approve Mayor Dick Doty’s reappointment of Jim Lee in January; weeks later, the council also nixed Doty’s nomination of Rev. Petie McLean.
With Taylor’s appointment, the GEPB board of directors once again has five individuals charged with overseeing the public utility. Since February the embattled board has consisted of city-appointed board member Cheryl Berry Ambach, Jeff Harned, and Norma Redford; Glasgow Councilman Freddie Norris is the representative of the Glasgow City Council.
Perhaps the most closely scrutinized nominee for a city board in decades, Taylor was on hand at the council meeting.
Council member Marna Kirkpatrick was quick to fire a series of questions at Taylor. In one scenario, Kirkpatrick asked if the GEPB should receive another $7 million grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority, would he insist on GEPB Superintendent follow Kentucky Revised Statute 424.260 regulating competitive bidding.
Taylor responded that he is committed to following the law, but noted that there are state-sanctioned procurement methods that insure competitive bidding in addition to the Model Procurement Code Kirkpatrick mentioned. He explained that if it were determined the GEPB should be adhering to state procurement regulations, he would see that they were followed.
Kirkpatrick also asked “if it were proven by the Attorney General they [GEPB] should have followed KRS, would you vote to remove Ray if his contract stated that he should have followed the law?”
Taylor, who is a CPA with the accounting firm of Taylor-Polson & Company, said his experience on several non-profit boards has been that there can be misunderstanding between “what management knows” and the legal advice management receives from legal counsel.
“If there had been a violation of management in which management knowingly violated the law, then absolutely, that calls for dismissal,” Taylor said.
Kirkpatrick’s final question revolved around individuals she termed “homes that are hurting,” citing individuals who are dependent on using medical equipment or persons who cannot afford to improve insulation and other energy-conserving projects to lessen their energy cost. Taylor said his decision-making process would always include such individuals and situations.
Taylor confirmed that he was not a participant in the GEPB’s SET project.
Councilman Freddie Norris quizzed Taylor on his place of residence and his home being serviced by GEPB. Taylor confirmed that he lives in Glasgow and his home is serviced by GEPB but that he does have gas heat.
Last week, Councilman Jake Dickinson requested that the Glasgow Ethics Board give an opinion regarding Taylor serving on the GEPB board of directors while he is a partner in Taylor-Polson & Company, the auditor for the city of Glasgow.
On October 6, retired Circuit Judge Benjamin Dickinson, who chairs the Ethics Board and is also Jake Dickinson’s cousin, responded on behalf of the board, “The contract between the City of Glasgow and Taylor, Polson & Company Accounting Firm has been in effect for well over 30 years. Therefore, the answer to your question, as a board, we do not find that Tay Taylor serving on the GEPB would in any way be unethical.”
New Business Incentives
The council approved a $30,000 forgivable loan to My Visual Package, a manufacturer of marching band uniforms, flags, and accessories, that will be locating in Glasgow. The company plans to operate from a 15,000-square foot building at 820 Grandview Avenue and ultimately employ 30 full-time workers. If the company meets requirements for the number of individuals employed, their occupational tax rate would be decreased from 1.5-percent to 0.5-percent for 10 years.
The council also approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s fireworks regulations. The change will decrease the number of days fireworks may be used by 5 days. If passed on second reading, fireworks could be used June 29 through July 5.