Editorial submitted by Conrad Doyle
If you recall my Op-Ed piece in this paper the week of July 8, 2020, I made the following comments regarding my "missing the mark":
It has come to my attention that someone took offense to my citing of HB-195 on FaceCrap, oh I mean FaceBook, claiming I missed the mark when describing the purpose of said House Bill.
I went on to admit the many ways that I missed said mark and while I was being sarcastic, I was sincere...But, comes the revelation by our elected State Representative and I must now offer a very sincere apology ......TO OUR FARMERS who continue to be "played" and used as a pawn in a very expensive political game.
In my haste to defend myself, I truly missed a glaring "mark" and have since then been provided a copy of the post. So, not wanting to misquote this "Johnny-Come-Lately" bit of news, I offer for your reading a portion of the conversation between our local St. Rep. and members of the community. I have removed names and will use the initials "SR" for State Rep. and "PC" for Private Citizen. Also, misspellings are included as each of these statements are shared verbatim.
Now, this is not a complete recitation of the post, only those portions that I think the public will find most interesting and quite surprising:
After SR original post:
PC: "I don't read this paper or any paper so my comment is going to be generic.
It seems the media these days speak in half truths or omission of facts.
And this also goes for some politicians. I'm so tired for the media and politicians doing this. You state the facts whether it fits your agenda or not and for that I truly appreciate you. Thanks."
(I have to chuckle every time I read that comment. I hope the PC read the entire posting with all the follow-up comments).
SR: "I understand your point. The truth is my agenda as it should be for all politicians and the media. Unlike our local newspaper, I am not a leader in the community for profit. And as many newspapers have seen, half truths and omission of facts leads to lack of trust, lost subscriptions, and ultimately failure."
PC: "I'm thinking when he said local leadership he might have been thinking more local than state level, I just subscribed recently since the Nucor and grainery dispute,, and hoe local government messed over our local farmers.”
SR: "Interesting observation. I was under the impression that one of the roles of government officials was to establish an environment conducive to economic development and creating jobs. There was and still is an opportunity for both Nucor and a grainery in this region.
I am sure you also heard that last year I had secured $2 million to attract and develop a grainery to replace CGB. Yet due to the lawsuit filed by the Lincoln Trail Grain Growers Association (LTGGA) our local leadership have not been able to start negotiations with two graineries interested in developing in our region. While their original intend was to protect the farmers, they alone are hampering our ability to do just that - protect the farmers."
PC: "Are the farmers going to get to be a part of the negotiations ? Will they get a say on where it should be located? Maybe if the officials would actually talk to the community instead of telling everyone what is best for them we could accomplish something.
Why was the public not told about the bonds the county took out to "loan" to Nucor? How much are we the "people" going to have to give them to get that 400 jobs?"
SR: "What part of the negotiation should be given to the farmers? And who specifically? Judge Butler ruled there was no evidence of financial hardship."
PC: "Everything I have heard is the officials are showing property in Battletown. Maybe they should ask the farmers if they want to go down there and ask the people on that road if they want to add that many tractor trailers going by their homes. They need to ask the people of the community for input. As for what the judge ruled that has nothing to do with where a new plant would go. The people that are going to be affected should get a say and since you got TAX DOLLARS to build a new one the Tax Payers should have a say. It should be clear to all that the "behind closed doors deals" only causes more problems."
PC: "Who was in those discussions?"
SR: "One was after a Meade County Fiscal Court Meeting where several members of the community, including farmers & the legal representation, were involved in a conversation with Judge Lynn, the magistrates, Kentucky Economic Development and myself. The other when again Judge Lynn, some of the magistrates, famers, and myself met with members from Commissioner Quarles office. Again, I had $2 million secured to assist with this negotiation. In both meetings that information was communicated."
PC: "We are past the CGB and Nucor. We now have to move forward , If the companies interested go to a realtor and ask for possible properties then that Is a private deal. If our officials are involved then the people need to have a say. They are going to use our tax money to make the deal.”
SR: "... negotiations could have started months ago and a site could have been agreed upon. Yet instead we continue to fight amongst ourselves and lose economic opportunity. Until LTGGA agrees to come to the table, we’ll have nothing. And that is a fact."