Dear Councilman Ford,
I just read the article in the Lexington Herald Leader and wanted to thank you for moving to step back from the BG-ADD. We completely support this measure and are grateful for the initiative you have taken with this matter.
It is unfortunate that this situation has progressed to this point. We have made every effort over the last year and a half to get the ADD to come to the table with us on the Trent issue to no avail. We have extended numerous opportunities for them to resolve this issue and other issues as well. To use Councilman Farmer’s words, there are many things out there that do not, “pass the smell test.” As a result of several inconsistencies that we ourselves have been able to uncover we welcome a comprehensive review by the State Auditor’s office into the finances and activities of the Bluegrass Area Development District.
We (the entire development district counties) have a serious problem with the current administrative staff out there as is evidenced by their conduct over the last year and a half. Their continuing lack of transparency, as recently as expecting us to file an open records request for board member contact information, which should be public in the first place, is appalling. The rehiring of Mr. Stoltz less than 48 hours after being forced to resign for a wide range of reasons including insubordination and the attempted justification (lame at best), is as you said a smack in the taxpayers face. It is also a smack in the face of every mayor, judge executive, and citizen in the entire 17 county area.
In addition, I have personally witnessed staff members vocalize resentment toward the Executive Committee as well as the full board at the ADD for taking the actions they recently have. “How dare they come in here and make these kinds of decisions…” is just one statement I overheard.
All this activity brings to light a culture of entitlement that has arisen at the BG-ADD among administration. A culture that I have your back as is evidenced in Mr. Stolts rehiring. My 14 year old daughter can manipulate 25 year old source code for pete’s sake. An attitude has arisen that these boards, locally elected officials, and citizens of the district are merely obstacles to be overcome so that they can get about THEIR business.
We have to be able to trust those who administer our area development district and to date all management has been able to show us is that we cannot trust them. The Executive Committee met just last summer when suppression of the petition opposing the program for Trent Blvd was made public and made the statement that they had been lied to by management at the ADD. These issues will not go away until a comprehensive review of the entire administrative staff is undertaken and safeguards put in place to restrict or limit things such as gifts, travel, board and company appointments, etc. that they are allowed to accept among other things.
Anyway, thank you for your service to our community and may God continue to bless all that you hold dear.
Charles E. Payne, President
River Park Neighborhood Association