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Listening more

A Resolution and Hope

By Jeff Jobe

I’m struggling between writing a New Year’s resolution for myself and making a suggestion for community leaders.  As I sit down to write I have come to the realization that Judge-Executive Micheal Hale and myself have very much the same problem. Neither of us listens very well.

My New Year’s Resolution will be to listen more to my family in my personal life and trust my employees more in my professional life.  If my children tell me I need to listen more, I will shut up and do it immediately.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for Wyatt, Reagan and McKenna, and I want the years I have left to be as close to them as possible.

If my employees tell me they can manage the company, I need to listen to them and allow them to do it.  I have a corporate team who consists of Michelle, Anissa, Lesia, Pam, Becky and Jessie who have a combined more than 150 years of newspaper and media management experience.  I’m proud to say we have very little turnover at our company and five of these professional women have been inside this company for more than 25 years each.  They are my work family and I trust them.

I’m not sure what happened over the years but I somehow started giving the impression I had all the answers and this is not at all how I want to be perceived.  Who wants a legacy of here lies a man who thought he had all the answers?  Of course I could argue my position but if I have people thinking this is how I feel then I need to fix it.

It has been obvious to me for some time our elected officials here in Glasgow and Barren County have the same problem.  I share concerns with government and elected officials and many times it is appreciated. But occasionally, some seem to have motives or an agenda not at all flexible for community input.

I remember sharing conversations I had with executives of East Kentucky Power.  I believe much the same conversations Mayor Harold Armstrong had in regards to how easy it could be to transfer our power from the Tennessee Valley Authority to them and have our citizens realize an energy cost savings.  But instead of investigating what I share, I was labeled “fake news” and they proceeded to lock us into a 20-year agreement removing any possibility of changing. Let me just say thank you East Kentucky power for keeping the lights on in Glasgow during the tornado caused outages for TVA.

I quietly asked those involved in murals to let the community participate in the designs and it was ignored and in my three decades of newspapering, I have never witnessed more negative comments because of something this isolated.

Whether it is the new Justice Center or renovation to the current courthouse, it appears our elected officials will do what they want.  My vote would have been to renovate the courthouse in a manner to honor its historical integrity and to place the new Justice Center on the West side of the downtown square utilizing the Gaunce and Newberry family properties.  But I’m reminded by our leadership, “We don’t have to involve the community.”

This seems to be the same position Judge-Executive Micheal Hale has for spending the $8.2M ARPA funds.  Of course he doesn’t have to seek community input but not doing so indicates he, too, has all the answers.

It is my goal to listen to my family, and trust my employees more in the New Year.   It is my hope Judge-Executive Micheal Hale and the magistrates will listen to our community and place trust in others to help find the most needy among us.

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 Read his previously published commentary at


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