By Jeff Jobe,
Community Publisher Barren County Progress JPI
For 25-years I have watched as a faction of self-serving people manipulate our local government for their own benefit. At one time it was multi-leveled and they were so very powerful. They could do no wrong and if they did, the media in our community would allow them endless amounts of space to spin enough to keep true motives concealed.
I don’t write or disclose these names because they are, for the most part, private citizens who are behind the scenes pulling the strings of those we elect to serve.
I’ve written it before and I’ll do it again; there is nothing illegal about a business owner who has politicians that use their influence to make them money. We see it through no-bid contracts or breaking down billing so it’s always under the threshold of what is permitted before bidding. Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky has been held back so much by these people and we so badly need our elected officials to stand and not be controlled.
The voters understand this and they have spoken loudly. They elected a judge-executive they hope will have ethics and the strength enough to stand up to these few bullies and simply say, “We will only do what is right for our county.”
These bullies are so very close to pushing the Barren County Judicial Center’s Property Development Board (PDB) into a place where they must cut the size of the actual offices and courtrooms, establish a very long walk for visitors, and have a $32M Judicial Center facing sideways of the Main Street where it will sit.
The Judicial Center will, without a doubt, carry the names of those on the board at the time of completion. This plaque can serve as one of two reminders of what can happen in a community.
If it remains as it is today, it will represent what happens when legislation can force a private business off their land, can pressure one government agency to sell property they had plans to use, and allow a very small special interest to bully the masses.
Or they can ask the architect these simple questions: What will it take to have the building face West Main Street? What will it take to meet the budget and not make the offices and courtrooms smaller, and cut the size of bathrooms? What is needed to make sure citizens have convenient parking with beautiful green space and landscaping? Can anyone not imagine the answer being, more land?
More land is the only possible answer unless this land just isn’t the best place for some undisclosed reason.
Some promote a distrust of me and accuse me of dubious motives, to them I say, prove me wrong by proving that you want what is best for our community and let me write this as fact.
I don’t want to stop you from building anything you vote openly to do, as long as it’s done in a legal manner and you can afford to do it. I simply want it to be very clear so that generations to come can read that this publisher stood for encouraging truth and was strong enough to print it.
We must all work together to stop the special interests from destroying our community. The absolute most important vote of all of your tenure is in helping give Barren County a Judicial Center that stands as a centerpiece and as a reminder that we can come together and live together in an open, honest and dignified manner.
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 email@example.com. Read his previously published commentary at www.sckentucky.com