Secrets and LiesLeonard Presberg
Imagine my bemusement when I checked out my local “newspaper”‘s website and discovered a whole front page article based on what someone said that someone else said that I said. Since no one at the “newspaper” bothered to ask, I figured I would just let everyone know directly: I didn’t say it. I never told anyone that the County Commission was preparing to settle the Voting Rights lawsuit.
Now I’ve certainly talked to Dr. Marchman about settling the lawsuit, just as I have publicly here and here. One of my very first votes as a School Board member was to settle the case and I’ve always believed strongly that not only is fighting the case a waste of taxes toward a losing cause, settling the case would improve our community, enfranchise citizens, and make Fayette better for business. The overwhelming results of the last two elections in District 5 show the voice of my neighbors.
I know that the many citizens of District 5 have been joined in the fight to settle this case by some of our leading businessman and citizens. See, for example, the recent letter by Joel Cowan and Jim Pace. People who understand the value to a community of inclusiveness and know the harm caused by spending millions of dollars against your own citizens. And I know these people have been urging our Commissioners to do the right thing and settle.
I haven’t spoken personally with Chuck Oddo since the night the Commission forced the Election Board to make the Special Election voting county-wide. A decision that once again lost in court. I urged him at that meeting to settle. And I hope he’s met with the citizens and businessmen of this County who also believe in settling.
But as far as I know the Commission has decided nothing. A settlement in this case would require a public vote which they have not taken. Just like the School Board would have to vote in public.
I know of no secret negotiations. I am a defendant in this lawsuit. Any formal direct contact with another party would have to be through my attorney.
I still strongly advocate for settling and hope the School Board and County Commission do soon.
P.S. I just have to address the funniest (oddest?) thing in the whole article – that Oddo or Barlow might run as Democrats. They are, of course, free to qualify with the Democratic Party to run for those seats. But I think they would both have to substantially change their views on a multitude of issues ranging from civil rights and inclusiveness to women’s health and Medicaid expansion if they were to seek Democratic votes. Somehow I just can’t see either one of them joining us in campaigning for Bernie or Hillary.