Editorial Cartoon

At Appalachian Newspapers, we have folks who have years — even decades — of experience  behind their belts.

And when it comes to the public service that our newspapers provide, there’s one absolute thing that all of our reporters know by heart: If you don’t know how a local government works, you better learn it. You learn it because our readers depend on your knowledge about it.

We have a great editor and publisher who oversee the print on these pages, and when something is not correct, they call us out on it, just like Allen City Attorney Beth Shortridge did on Tuesday night when she repeatedly tried to tell Commissioner Elmer Parsons that he can’t hire and fire people without a commission vote.

Shortridge has been playing that same educational song for years in Allen. She complained Tuesday that her advice, however, “is never followed.”

Unfortunately for Floyd County and all of Eastern Kentucky, some Allen City commissioners don’t listen to their editors. Despite the repeated attempts Shortridge has made over the past several years to educate some commissioners about the commission form of government, they continually do the same things, make the same mistakes, over and over again.

And, instead of a bustling city that’s growing and providing the things its citizens need, what the taxpaying residents get instead, is a paper-thin budget and a bunch of arguments about what cop to hire and for how much.

There has been no growth or opportunity in Allen for decades. Even though it’s in a prime location right off of U.S. 23, it literally, has not grown an inch — not one inch — in decades.

We can sit here and play the blame game, call this one or that one this or that, but none of that will matter, and it’s not why we do what we do.

We can say one thing, however, for every elected official in Floyd County.

If you don’t know how your local government works, you better learn it. You need to learn it because the people who voted to put you where you are depend on your knowledge about the laws related to local governments.

In today’s world, there are too many resources available for new and long-time elected leaders to access everything they need to know to run a government properly.

There is no excuse — not one — for the breath that had to be wasted in Allen on Tuesday, defending these laws, especially when these kind of issues have been talked about and regurgitated a million times over in Allen during the past few years.

Allen taxpayers should attend city meetings in droves and see for themselves what’s really happening in that city.

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