By Bobby Allen
I have been reading (and watching) many stories concerning Martin County recently. From our water woes to millions of dollars? promised? by our governor, we have been in the news lately.
Since I have been working outside of Martin County for the last 5 years, I have had the chance to hear what others think about us. It’s not good by the way.
The latest announcement of millions of dollars coming into the county have many laughing and others flat out mad. They believe that this money will never be put to good use and like so many other millions, will mysteriously disappear.
To be honest, I do try and take up for my home but I am finding it harder and harder to do so without lying.
When one speaks out against the establishment in Martin County they are attacked in some way. They are either called crazy, burnt-out, or in my case, disgruntled. That was the term used a few years ago when I spoke out about my “encouraged” retirement.
Our leaders need to ask themselves why so many educated and talented people have left Martin County. I chose retirement. It was other school districts that convinced me to keep on teaching. And, for the record, I’m having the time of my life across the river.
Many of our talented youth didn’t move very far. Louisa is home to many former Sheldon Clark graduates who are making a huge difference in the lives of many people, including my daughter who had to leave the county to find a teaching job. Our youth are making differences from coast to coast. That says a lot about our former school, Sheldon Clark High School.
It is not just folks from outside this county who have a dim view of Martin County. I have been reading so many posts and comments on Facebook from local folks. Most don’t believe the millions of dollars supposedly coming to Martin County will be put to intended use. In fact, it seems like most locals have given up on Martin County ever being a decent place to live.
A friend of mine, even though I disagreed with his comment, said that Martin County ought to be the rehab capital of Kentucky since we are known for our pill heads and meth-addicts. Just turn all of the many abandon buildings into rehab facilities.
Our elected leaders, from our county judge up to our state representatives, and our “non-elected” leaders need to admit our reputation is not that great. All of the Facebook posts and pics of town meetings with a select invitation list do NOT change people’s perspectives on our county. The bottom line is this: If our reputation is that bad, no company will even think about relocating in one of our many empty industrial parks.
Until that happens, we might as well just vote to dissolve our county and let the land go back to the four counties that made us.