State-local coordination

Published:

We agree with Rep. Michael Cherry, D-Princeton, that Housecleaning goes on in all walks of government and business, and thats a good way to eliminate committees and commissions that have exhausted their usefulness.

But we dont believe thats the case with the Capital Development Committee, which was formed in 1998 as a continued way for state government and local governments in the capital city to coordinate projects that affect everyone in this community.

The Finance Cabinet apparently suggested that the Capital Development Committee be abolished in housecleaning legislation Cherry sponsored. Last week, however, Frankfort Rep. Derrick Graham had the bill amended to revive the committee and Cherry agreed.

Good. The Capital Development Committee may not be the most effective means of coordinating state and local projects right now it lacks a chairman who must be appointed by the governor but it is better than no coordination at all.

For example, the committee met often during the planning and construction of the new Transportation Cabinet Building on Mero St. That project involved everything from the excavation and removal of an old cemetery and historic house to disruption of traffic in a key North Frankfort location. City and county officials had a compelling need to be involved in the decisions made about the project if they were to do their jobs properly.

Even though there isnt a major state government project underway currently, there could be if a requested $31 million justice center is included in the new state budget. And even though budget shortages in recent years scuttled plans for a renovation of the Capitol and construction of a new state office building for the executive branch, those projects one day will be necessary. Again, coordination with local city and county governments will be a high priority.

If nothing more, state government officials also need to know what city and county officials are planning so those plans dont conflict with state governments expectations.

The effort at state and local coordination goes back more than two decades, and we certainly hope the effort will continue in the decades ahead. Its simply a case of common sense in which everyone comes out ahead.

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