Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

June 30, 2014

LETTERS: Rules have changed; hope you have change left

Rules have changed; Alliance OK with it

The Tipton County Alliance members did not address the facts in the Melton and Carney letters on the activities of the Tipton County Economic Development Organization, or LEDO. Perhaps because the facts remain indisputable.

Those that started the LEDO promised openness and transparency. The LEDO monthly meetings are not open to the public. A Kokomo Tribune article in July 2012 stated: TCEDO is required to have quarterly meetings with the Alliance and an annual meeting which is open to the public. The LEDO board agreed to conduct quarterly forums for community updates and input. We will assure the public we’re going to listen and report, president Mike Harlowe said.

The reality is empty promises identify the LEDO. In 2012 and 2013, quarterly meetings with the Alliance did not take place and there has been no public annual meeting of the LEDO. Documents indeed have been supplied to the public, but specific claims of expenditures are not available for examination.

In May 2013 LEDO director Mr. Sheridan stated that the four Task Force Committee meetings would soon be held “regularly” and open to the public. Over a year has passed and still there are no regular meetings being held.

The Alliance stated it finds the LEDO to be operating with sufficient openness and transparency even though the public was promised in January 2012 at the Foundation that all LEDO board meetings would be open, but now they are not. In the May 2013 meeting Mayor Don Havens stated that there was no reason that the LEDO had to have public meetings and if the LEDO felt that closed meetings worked the best, then he would certainly support that model. When they needed to gain support, the spin was openness and transparency would reign, now the “new direction” is in place, the rules have changed and the Alliance finds this OK.

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