We all have tough jobs; I choose to do mine
By Jeff Jobe
I am proud to be an American, a Kentuckian, and soon-to-be 20-year resident of South Central Kentucky. I am further proud that the Butler County community was the first place I chose to settle with my dream of owning a newspaper. When I close my eyes and in the quiet of my own thoughts I think of the blessings I have received. I’m resolute in that they come from inside my faith for accepting my shortcomings and honoring my strengths, yet what I may forever be amazed by most is they all began with a simple desire to honor this small rural community which in time gave me so much more in return.
It is because of the successes, challenges and struggles placed upon me while living in Morgantown, Kentucky as a hometown community publisher that the foundation for Jobe Publishing is being built. Today we are a company serving more readers in South Central Kentucky and the counties of Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe and Monroe than all others combined.
Of course, the challenges in each county have their own unique and specific aspects but something I have noticed is that they all have the common and perhaps deadliest aspects to growing a community. Some more than others, but to some degree in all, we can’t seem to find leadership willing to put aside differences for the good of the communities.
I have seen time and time again Mayors and Judge-Executives with the best intentions become one-termer’s because they allow the status quo to keep things the same. People don’t elect new leaders to keep things the same, they elect new people in hope of changing things for the better or at least show they are trying.
It seems our readers appreciate me giving examples, so I will do my best to identify a few you may recognize and by doing this it will give credibility to the ones you may not. After-all none of us have a front row seat to all aspects of community life so we must at some time put trust in someone else’s. I am honored for the trust many of you have placed in me and strive to earn more of you.
Clearly Kentucky has the same dilemma as our national government. Although, it is estimated that 82% of Kentuckians are Right to Life supporters, one party has allowed a very small extreme voting block to control them. Not so much the open defiance of our beliefs, but instead to stop what they know the majority of us believe from becoming law because of it. Kentuckians finally realized this and the most recent presidential and House races in Kentucky should lend a basis to my opinion.
In Kentucky, because of the flipping of the House of Representatives, we have had three pieces of legislation supporting this overwhelming belief for the first time in 12 years. One would think all is good, yet because of the media biases at some of the larger newspapers in Kentucky and Attorney General Andy Beshear, there is far more ink being used to accent his lone defiance instead of celebrating the successes of so many.
I know without a doubt the driving force for my company’s growth over the years has come because we work hard to not allow our newspapers to be manipulated or controlled by politics. It is a challenge not to let ourselves to get pulled into the long standing political feuds that persist in each of our counties. I wrote one time if you think I am owned by a particular party just keep reading, you will see my only biases are in search of truth.
Let’s take a look at a specific in the town of Glasgow. I love living in this community and it has so much potential if we could just get our elected officials to get along or put aside their long standing political feuds long enough to help establish a bi-partisan group that shares a common love for our hometown.
I say we have so much potential, and this is almost an understatement, because all of our counties have potential but Glasgow and Barren County is unique in that we could be the hub of all things good in South Central Kentucky. But more importantly unique than this geographic truth are some unused resources that need to be utilized before it is too late.
Now before I write this, let me be perfectly clear these are my opinions alone and I have not discussed them with the individuals I mention. I say this so as not to allow what I do to hurt good men or further empower bad ones. I simply write this because I know them to be strong men and men I know can put aside differences if it can mean good things for South Central Kentucky.
Unless you pay attention closely to our newspapers you may not realize that David Dickerson, a Barren County businessman and former Judge-Executive is now serving as Kentucky’s Secretary of Public Protection. This is a respected and powerful position and a significant asset for our region. David is indeed a proponent of change and not timid about fighting for what he feels is right.
Glasgow also has one of the most respected members of the once more-moderate or conservative Democratic Party, you know the one - the one we all remember our grandfathers and fathers being proud of. Bobby Richardson, a local attorney and former Speaker of the House and has served our state in a myriad of positions but none more impressive than his years with the gavel as Speaker in which much of the laws today were given the day because of him.
Both gentlemen love Glasgow, Barren County, and our entire region and neither of them are being utilized to the full extend of their desire to see our true potential.
Now here is the “trust me” portion of what I write. We need the Glasgow Mayor and Judge-Executive to stop defending the status quo now fighting to remain in power. This struggle is hurting not only Glasgow but all surrounding communities.
Without a doubt, Glasgow and Barren County has had one party in control for a very long time and they don’t like the idea of relinquishing any control. Yet now, these individuals have been reduced to county seats and this is fine as they are elected yet, the dastardly problem is the majority of every city and county board is comprised of long standing loyal Democrats, many of which are just down right nasty during the election cycle and a hand full of in-name-only Republicans.
There is a fight now to replace the board members of the Electric Plant Board and this needs to happen; the next board to fix is the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority or IDEA. This board has so much potential but has done little more than be a political arm for Democrats wanting to be elected to office over the years and like the EPB, provide a very good salary with no accountability for the individuals in charge.
Both boards need to get to work and manage their directors to serve the community with dignity and get results, or they need to be let go and hire individuals who do. It is that simple, friends.
As publisher I have a job to do and it is to be honest, and as elected officials you have a job to do and it is to assure the communities you serve get results.
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.jobeforkentucky.com