James Inman

James Inman

Regarding The State Journal article “Resignation, retirement roil local business groups,” Sept. 4, I would have thought Linda Younkin would have reached out to me for a statement prior to drafting this article, since I was principally mentioned, but she did not. 

Firstly, Terri Bradshaw had no right, as a publicly funded employee, to release a private citizen’s private email to anyone.     

Nevertheless, sometime in May, The State Journal printed a column I authored, wherein I cited statistical numbers to show a decline in jobs filled in Franklin County. Shortly after that column was printed, Diane Strong, a candidate for the Frankfort City Commission, emailed me asking for my “thoughts.” Strong stated upfront that she was a fan of Bradshaw. 

In response, I cited objective facts and offered my conclusions based on them. She respectfully thanked me for my opinion and our initial conversation concluded.  

However, I later read, in a Facebook posting, Strong opine that Bradshaw was an “asset.” Curious to how Strong arrived at this conclusion, I emailed her, in what I thought was a private and personal conversation, asking that she name an accomplishment of Bradshaw’s that brought economic growth to our community.

From my perspective, it was an opportunity for Strong to support her opinion. Instead, Strong, in my opinion, chose to disrespect my position.      

As a city resident, voter and constituent, I trusted Strong to maintain my confidentiality and privacy. Instead of safeguarding my privacy and confidentiality, she betrayed them by forwarding our private email conversation directly to Bradshaw, a publicly funded employee. Bradshaw deflected instead of addressing the issue. Bradshaw used taxpayers’ time and resources and forwarded my private email to a group of private business representatives, who had no right knowing my personal thoughts, striking out at me personally, and a third party, without factual substantiation.        

If Strong and Bradshaw had factual information to disprove my facts or disagreed with my assessment, then either could have simply contacted me and engaged in dialogue, which is what responsible leadership would have done. They chose otherwise. Perhaps they could have changed my perception.

Bradshaw alleged that I’m “obsessed with some competition.” That is a bald-faced lie. I used the term “duplication of services.” No one, including The State Journal and Strong, bothered to ask me the impetus for making that declaration.

Bradshaw has been quoted to say that KCDC represents “industry.” There is no official document defining KCDC as a representative of industry, despite her rhetoric to the contrary. KCDC is to recruit, not represent, industry. Why are the taxpayers funding KCDC to represent manufacturers and duplicate the services of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers? 

Parenthetically, the Frankfort/Franklin County private citizens pay myriad taxes toward funding KCDC, including a percentage of state income and sales tax. As such, taxpayers should not fund KCDC to represent any specific business sector, wholly or partially.  

KCDC’s time and resources were used to coordinate job fairs and duplicate the services of the Kentucky Career Center and Area Development District. Moreover, it appears, based on recent State Journal articles, that KCDC and DFI are duplicating each other's services. I have never used the term “compete,” nor implied such. That is a falsehood concocted by Bradshaw.

A commenter in that email chain personally opined that it was a “useless task” to compare Bradshaw to a former executive director. I agree. However, you can analyze the individual results to determine the direction the community is headed. Thus, the purpose for using the term “contrast,” meaning opposite, as opposed to “comparison.”

It’s analogous to a salesperson who increases sales, and that salesperson leaves your company. Another salesperson is hired to fill that void, and sales decline, resulting in a negative return. You cannot compare the individual salespersons, but you can analyze the salespersons’ individual results to determine your company’s direction.  

Interestingly, no one within that chain of emails cited facts to defend Bradshaw’s record of performance on economic growth and employment opportunities, including Bradshaw — the very essence behind my email to Strong. They offered opinions. That, in itself, speak volumes. Opinions do not change the fact that our community has not seen an increase in employment opportunities.    

Bradshaw used the term “disharmony” in her narrative. Bradshaw’s name was commonly associated with conflict among the FPB board members, city commissioners, the Duncan Road issue, and now, this. The “disharmony” appears to follow her.   

In summary, Strong inappropriately forwarded a private email from a private citizen and voting member of this community to Bradshaw, a publicly funded, non-voting member of this community. Bradshaw inappropriately used taxpayers’ time and resources to publicize a private and personal matter.

James Inman worked for the Kentucky UI and Workforce Development Programs for 30 years, retiring in 2008 as division director of UI. He was a member of the KCDC board from February 2011 to November 2016. He can be emailed at ifjdecember@yahoo.com

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