By Jeff Jobe
The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 is a time of reflection, a time to take pride in all the great things we have achieved as a nation, state, region, and community. But we must also look ahead and be realistic about the challenges that remain and the opportunities they present.
While most experts believe the economy is fundamentally strong, for us here at home we need to be honest with ourselves; we have not seen the growth others have and we need to coordinate a plan to make it happen.
Elections are over and those re-elected can stop pretending all is good. For those newly elected they can now prove to those who supported them that they have what it takes. Now is the time for us all to come together and cooperate for the good of our community.
I say cooperate because this is the absolute most important aspect of leadership. Too many times, we have community leaders spend as much time behind closed doors than they do in open session. I have been covering community news and editing it for decades and I assure you that little good is done in closed sessions and even less for the good of us all if details are not known in advance.
Now is the time for an unified and open team approach to growing our region as a whole. Each city and county should have citizen groups organized to communicate with existing industry, tourism and others who focus on new local initiatives for bringing business and creating incentives for those already here to expand, or upgrade their community appeal.
Nobody should expect for all this to be done in a single one-hour monthly meeting. The official not truly worthy of leadership will not understand the importance of delegation and be intimidated by others wanting to help their community.
A few weeks ago it became so very clear to me that even though we may not always agree on politics and yes we do have extreme diverse opinions; that when if comes to local initiatives we should be able to put aside these differences for the good of community.
This realization came about when Barren County Circuit Clerk Krissie Fields reached out to our newspaper, the Glasgow Daily Times, Royce Radio and Commonwealth Broadcasting asking for help in coordinating a political forum.
For the first time, I sat in the same room with each of these long serving community media groups as contributors to community rather than historians documenting the meeting. We established rules and a plan for a political forum; we secured questions from our supporters and brought them together.
We met a couple times on our own and I enjoyed the experience.
The Glasgow-Barren County Chamber chose not to participate for some reason so Fields asked us to pick up the slack and we did. By coordinating this effort, we were in agreement on the approach and I believe having us working together helped assure fairness for participants.
South Central Kentucky has been good to our company and the families who make it up and I am offering our services to help promote, coordinate or hit the ground running in 2019 in anyway and work with anyone who wants to serve our communities in an open and honest manner.
We can’t afford to go back to the failing closed door practices that has us falling behind communities our size a decade ago.
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.