Raising taxes in Glasgow now? No, no, no.

It is a disincentive for attracting companies, and we can’t afford more bad leadership.

By Jeff Jobe

Given the condition of our local economy, combined with our higher than most Kentucky energy costs and the already very high poverty level of the city, it’s hard to imagine the Glasgow City Council even considering a raise in the payroll tax.

However, nothing amazes me during a political season. We will be lucky if our economy isn’t destroyed, our life savings depleted, and our liberties completely taken from us simply because the party not in power wants to be back in power.

Of course, the political drama isn’t as bad locally as it is regionally, state and nationally, but it still can get out of hand.

It is no secret that Councilman Patrick Gaunce is working against Mayor MD Armstrong, nor that the Mayor doesn’t particularly care for the Councilman’s position on many issues.

Gaunce has been the only dissension on several votes, failed to garner support for others, and is always looking for a new position to exploit – all in the name of raising his political stock value and doing his best to position the Mayor at odds with the majority.

He was alone in voting against the Mayor’s attempt to help fund an independent study of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s offer in exchange for a 20-year floating agreement.

Even those who aren’t caught up in the fight felt it would be advisable to have an independent consultant’s opinion prior to signing a $550M contract.

He supported the GEPB ignoring the Mayor and his fellow Council members’ wishes.

Gaunce came very close in rallying a group of individuals with more love for Glasgow than business experience to push enough of his vote conscious Council members to either rob millions from funds earmarked for specific landfill needs or borrowing $6.5M and then again another attempt later for $2M.

Of course, taking a chance is a necessity in business. I’ve taken a few myself, but to put such a burden on the books would have been devastating for Glasgow because we all knew we had a shortfall of hundreds of thousands in payroll taxes coming because of the loss of RR Donnelly/LSC and Sitel.

Just imagine if the city had approved this and was trying to either service a $50,000 monthly payment or had depleted the reserve during this pandemic.

Fortunately, the Mayor has been able to garner enough support from more level-headed Council members to have prevailed in keeping Glasgow from going deeper in debt.

Last week’s attempt to interfere with the GEPB business by removing members of the board for non-attendance – and being fully aware that the reason they aren’t attending is because of a board disagreement waiting for the Circuit Court to make a ruling – was another attempt to rob the citizens of truth.

It seems his most recent efforts are to engage more community discourse by endorsing the idea to remove the statue honoring the confederate dead on the Courthouse square and accusing the private citizen wife of another political nemesis of being racist for the poor choice of a word.

We can only hope that the Mayor and a calmer majority will continue making the sound business decisions while staying away from raising taxes and help bridge our few differences while promoting our deep rooted love and respect we all share for Glasgow.

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 jobe@jobeinc.com. Read his previously published commentary at www.sckentucky.com

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