By JEFF JOBE
Barren County Progress/Jobe Publishing
As a young boy, I remember hearing my grandfather speak these words in reference to a corrupt city official: “the fish rots from the head.” When it comes to a board of directors, never were truer words spoken.
An ethical and honest board is the last line of defense for taxpayers and elected officials when it comes to government-owned services such as water, electric, garbage removal, road work, and dozens of fine services we all depend on.
These usually small, but mighty, peer groups are responsible for overseeing the management of our agencies and if they are tainted, whether corrupt or cowardly, it doesn’t matter. The elected officials who appoint them will fail and the communities who trusted them with their votes will suffer.
This is without a doubt what is happening here in Glasgow. Our elected officials fail to place strong capable individuals on some boards.
When it comes to the voting majority, we are not at all timid. We vote for the person we believe can get the job done and if they fail, we will simply vote for another.
This is evident in the turnover the city has had in the office of mayor. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who pontificated: “…in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed.”
Without a doubt, the public sentiment is that our community has fallen behind and change is needed to correct it.
I don’t have all the answers but I’m comfortable that weak board appointees are our greatest detriments to the change Glasgow so desperately wants.
It is quite simple; if the man hired to bring industry has no idea how our electric rates compare to other communities in Kentucky, then get rid of him.
If a board attorney is accepting defaming comments in emails from conspiracy theorists against the mayor, citizens, and the board members he is hired to serve, then get rid of him.
If a utility manager used our families as a litmus test for a failed billing system and is defiant to board appointees, then get rid of him.
Get rid of them all and no notice is needed. This is not personal; they have simply failed in these particular positions at this time.
It is an example of weak board appointees to allow three and six month notices as a movement is finally happening to address these issues.
I’ve managed for 30-years and never expected anything more than a 2-week notice and I’m comfortable the managers sitting on these boards operate under the same philosophy. Managers understand the higher a person is in an operation the more you need someone truly focused on the job at hand.
These long notices do little more than stall progress and allow those benefiting to get all they can before the new person is found.
I’m amazed that any appointee would feel threatened by a lawsuit from any of the above for voting their conscience. These appointed board positions have no training requirements and whether it is your first meeting or your last meeting, all you are expected to do is vote your conscience.
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