By JEFF JOBE
Each week I get notes or letters from our community readers. Most are well thought out and sincere in their request for help with an issue they feel is important to our community.
With more than 20 years of community publishing experience, I have learned that most issues can be resolved by listening and directing individuals to the proper authorities. Over the past few weeks, I have been bombarded with concerns regarding another electric rate increase and a $1.4M high school softball field.
If we lived in a community with a growing student population, increasing property values, and annual wage increases we might have an endless bucket of tax dollars and we might all agree to build our 12 softball players the best field ever and have little concern for our utility rates climbing toward the top rates in Kentucky.
Yet this is not at all the case; if we spend the $1.4M for the softball field it is gone and if a need arises for capital expenditures or another unexpected expense our teachers, students, and tax payers are in jeopardy for the needed funding to honor their requirements. And if the truth be known, the staff at Glasgow Electric Board would admit to dozens of complaints monthly for people already unable to pay utility bills.
I believe the proposed $1.4M expense for a Glasgow school softball field is not necessary. I have made calls and found a majority of support from the Glasgow City Council to help the school have a field for the 12 girls. Much like other cities who partner with schools to provide a quality educational experience for our kids. I was informed Glasgow has 7 fields with 3 of them seldom used and in need of maintenance. I urge them to use the $1.4 M to help all students and accept help from the city council to help these 12 girls.
It is pretty much routine now for Glasgow Electric Plant Board customers to read about another proposed rate increase so I haven’t much more to offer other than to say; they are at it again. Look for your electric rate to climb even higher in rankings of Kentucky power rates. It doesn’t seem the new board is making an impact on the management style of more is never enough now being seen at EPB.
While these two agencies missing the mark with community input, response and support there is another proving to be a leader in openness and transparency.
The Glasgow Water Company has discussed and detailed for years of being one of the lowest rates in Kentucky and among the best quality. They have created a reserve and outlined a plan to purchase an unoccupied building in the city and do it with the promise of no rate increases, a safe emergency fund and in time even reduced expenses because of consolidation.
This board, and their department manager Scott Young, have shown what can happen when an agency operates in a fact based management style and balances the needs of the agency with the needs of the community they serve. Glasgow can afford nothing less.
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