Dear editor,

Do you find yourself exasperated at how often Frankfort seems to fumble with issues? Take, for example, the abrupt demise of the convention center when local leaders seemed to be at the beck and call of the state and the public had more questions than answers.

What about the Frankfort Plant Board's transition away from Kentucky Utilities? Instead of having a robust conversation about the benefits and risks of different energy options, this community was strong-armed into rushing into a contract with an untried new entity, the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency. 

Under KyMEA, we have lost local control over key issues affecting ratepayers, who are now paying millions of dollars of extra, unnecessary costs because the KyMEA bought far more power capacity than its members need. Instead of saving millions of dollars by investing in alternative energies as Henderson and Berea have recently done, Frankfort's energy under KyMEA is nearly 100% coal. 

We stand out like a black eye in a region that is quickly adapting to the clean, flexible energies of the future. Sadly, the smart, hardworking FPB board members who questioned the risks of the contract were subject to a smear campaign led by the Frankfort City Commission, which spent $30,000 to investigate them instead of focusing on the issues.

Then you have the fiasco of halting bike trails on Fort Hill after grants had been awarded and Eagle Scout projects were underway.  

Finally, the failure of the city and county to commit to funding the much-needed animal shelter resulted in the loss of significant matching funds pledged by a local benefactor. I am ashamed that this community has reacted by attacking the donor instead of demanding accountability from elected officials. 

The incivility and mismanagement on clear display in all these cases are a direct result of a failure of principled, effective leadership. I want to live in a community that respects differences of opinion and works together to solve problems. We can do better, Frankfort.

Chris Schimmoeller


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