“At the end of the day blacktop is black; it’s not red it’s not blue, you don’t have Republican or Democratic roads, we have Kentucky roads for Kentucky people. Gov. Bevin has made it clear that it should never matter what political letter is beside your county’s name, or your town’s name or your name.”—Gray Tomblin, II.

That’s a direct quote from Rural and Secondary Roads Commissioner Gray Tomblin, II Wednesday afternoon while announcing the discretionary road fund monies for Clay County.

My first thoughts were, ‘that’s exactly how it should be.’  Then I thought, ‘that’s exactly what people want to hear.’

After leaving the meeting that comment just stayed in my mind.  If that comment is 100% true, then Matt Bevin is doing something no other Governor before him has done-not playing party politics.

I can’t prove this comment is true or false.  In the past Governors have always leaned towards their own party.

Honestly, I can’t say I blame them for doing that.  You support those that support you right?  Democratic Governor’s in the past have funneled money into Clay County for various road and bridge projects.  They didn’t exclude our county because it is known as a Republican territory.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column asking if Clay was being ‘blackballed’ from receiving state funding.  The column apparently made some head turns all the way to Frankfort.  I was told, by a very good source, that by bringing out the issue to the public helped make Wednesday’s announcement happen.

Am I patting myself or our newspaper on the back?  No, we are simply doing our job.  It’s our job to tell the good, the bad and the ugly.  

But this is my opinion only, I feel like Wednesday’s announcement would not have happened without Senate President Robert Stivers.  You can like or dislike the Senator, but at the end of the day I feel like he really does want to see Clay County grow and prosper and without his input, things like the discretionary announcement would not have happened.

The point I’m getting to be this, without local community journalism local people will not have a voice on issues that affect our lives.

Some want to believe social media has taken over.  You know how much credibility social media has on reporting news?  Zero.  Do you honestly believe if you share a post you could be eligible to win a new vehicle?  Do you really think by sharing a post about a mobile home you could be eligible to win one?

I see these things every day.  I see people, educated people, sharing these things that are 100% fake.  

Local community journalism, whether it be in print, radio or television, is the lifeblood of keeping your community vital and in touch with issues that affect your life.

Without those of us performing these job duties, you will not know if a new tax is being proposed to cut your income.  You won’t know about an increase in your water bill.  That’s just a few of the things you will not find out for free on Facebook.  Without entities like The Enterprise, you will have no knowledge of news in your town.

In closing, I want to say that local journalism is more vital now than it has ever been before.  In the past we didn’t have to combat fake, tabloid news.  Today, it’s a real thing and in Manchester and Clay County, without The Enterprise, you’re not going to know what’s going on.

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