Less aggravation, more action please

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By Calen McKinney

"A little less conversation, a little more action please,

All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me,

A little more bite and a little less bark,

A little less fight and a little more spark."

—Elvis Presley "A Little Less Conversation"

Here's my two cents.

I just finished teaching two introduction to communication classes last week at Campbellsville University.

In the class, we discussed how communication is the foundation on which all of our relationships are built. Throughout the semester, though, we learned that the ability to communicate simply isn't a cure-all for our relationships.

In other words, we must communicate with people to create lasting and fulfilled relationships, but we shouldn't forget that simply talking won't - and honestly can't - always keep us together.

What could better describe what's going on right now between City and County officials?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing the back and forth, the "He said this," and "She said that," and the broken promises.

Let's get back to the basics ... and just talk to each other.

I have already stated that I believe communication alone can't keep relationships together ... but it sure is a good start.

A joint meeting between City and County officials sounds like a good idea. But haven't we done this before?

There was a joint meeting of sorts earlier this year, though not all of the City Council members attended. The full Fiscal Court was present.

But did that meeting really get us anywhere? Would another one?

While it's important that we simply communicate with each other, we should also keep our promises.

And the recent broken promise made to the City Council should make us all pause and take stock of what has really happened.

The Fiscal Court struck a good faith agreement with the City Council that it would continue the current occupational tax agreement and the City would forgo receiving any financial contribution from the County for E-911 and Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue for the upcoming fiscal year. Sounds good. Let's move on.

So what happened?

Why did the vote change when the new agreement came up for approval? Wasn't approving the terms of the "new" agreement supposed to be just a formality? Didn't we already reach a settlement?

As I have said before, we should have "bitten the bullet" and supported a small increase in the current occupational tax rate. After all, it hasn't changed in 10 years, though it has brought in more money as more people get jobs and earn larger salaries.

Has the price of a gallon of milk changed in 10 years? You bet. What about the cost of gasoline? That's a no brainer.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to pay any more in taxes than I have to. I'm willing to bet no one does.

Now, however, those who work in the City might end up paying more than they would have paid had the current tax rate simply been increased. A City occupational tax will mean those who work in the City will pay two taxes - one to the City and one to County government.

What I'm missing is the conversation that changed the Fiscal Court's vote from approving the "new" agreement - which had taken a lot of time and effort to reach in the first place - to throwing it completely out the window.

Communication is everything in relationships, and it seems completely missing from that equation.

While it's only natural for some people to be more vocal than others, I believe it's also important to note who is telling the public the reasons for their votes and who isn't. All of our public officials should voice their opinions on such a critical issue for our community.

So where do we go from here?

A little more conversation I guess ... but let's hope with some action that we can all live with.