By JIM RIPPY
Being schooled was a sports term used when I was growing up. It meant that someone who knew hot to play the game better than you had given you an embarassing lesson. I am going to share a personal experience with you and you will see that I am lost when it comes to the political game and I have definitely been schooled.
I have served on the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board for several years and for the majority of the time, it has been a positive experience. I think the board, along with the management, has made gigantic strides from the published past history that resulted in a complete new management team and reconstituted board. In fact, a legal issue that had been in process for almost 20 years, I am told, was finally resolved and put behind us recently.
The issue I am going to share with you will certainly cause you to realize how naive and ignorant I am when it comes to the political arena and the way they conduct business.
Without going into details of the River Conservancy District statutes and trying to explain all the ramifications, I will try to keep this as simple as I can. Jefferson County has three representatives, two from the county that are appointed by the county and one that is appointed by the City of Mt. Vernon. Franklin County has four representatives, two from the county and one each from the City of Benton and West Frankfort. The conservancy district act allows one from each municipality with a population of 5,000 inhabitants or more. Of course, this gives Franklin County members a majority in the voting issues.
Do not get me wrong: I have no personal issue with any member of the Franklin County group and the total board probably votes unanimously on 90 percent of the items brought to the board.