I think I can speak for the Jefferson County members when I say that we have a fundamental difference with Franklin County when it comes to financial issues such as lowering taxes, lowering water rates, co-mingling of loans, use of lobbyists and overall financial strategy.
The consistent voting as a group by Franklin County on some of the issues mentioned simply means that Jefferson County is not able to represent the people as effectively in these areas as they feel they should.
I approached our mayor with a request that Mt. Vernon should have an additional representative because the population of the city equals or exceeds the combined population of Benton and West Frankfort. The same held true for water purchases and taxes paid. Simple me! I thought that this was just a matter of fairness in representation.
Now we will get into how easy it is to get schooled when you do not understand how the game is played.
I, along with the county representatives, met with the mayor and chairman of the county board and they agreed to take up the issue at the state level. Now, I will pause, because someone will say that an evenly representative board would grid lock and never get anything done. My view is just the opposite. Instead of domination and block voting, I think it would force cooperation and resolution. I think debate and differences of opinion are healthy and lead to better solutions.
The news media reported extensively in the distant past on the Conservancy District when management and the board appeared to always agree and the transparency needed was almost non-existent. We know the results of that. The people of both counties suffered as a result.
Our mayor came to a board meeting and clearly stated why she agreed that Mt. Vernon should have equal representation based on population, water sales and taxes paid. She gave a very professional presentation based on fairness, logic and simple facts. She just wanted everyone up front to know that a request was made to introduce a bill in the state legislature to gain equality for Mt. Vernon.