A forum for judge-executive and mayoral candidates is being planned for the October 7 membership meeting of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce but it is still unclear whether Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, seeking reelection, will participate.
Bobby Clue, executive director of the chamber, said he has sent invitations to mayoral candidates Girdler and Alan Keck and judge-executive candidates Steve Kelley and Rodney Casada. “ The invitations were sent 122 days before the event,” Clue noted.
Keck, Kelley and Casada immediately responded that they would participate,” said Clue. “The mayor (Girdler) hasn’t responded,” Clue added.
Asked by a reporter if he plans to participate in the forum, Girdler said he has a conflict and is not sure if he will be able to attend the October 7 chamber meeting.
“I don’t know. I’m on the executive board of the Kentucky League of Cities and I have a conflict I’m trying to resolve ... reschedule,” said Girdler. “I’m trying to decide which will be better for the city (executive board duties or participation in the forum),” Girdler said.
There is no secret that relationships are strained between Girdler and the chamber of commerce because of Girdler’s strong stand against a united government study. The chamber has taken no public position on united government or the study but some chamber members apparently object to Girdler’s harsh reaction to the study.
The study is a brainchild of Somerset-Pulaski County United (SPCU), a group of more than 100 citizens representing all segments of the community and chaired by Brook Ping, a local developer. They emphasize it is only a study, not a recommendation for a particular form of government.
The $35,000 study, if implemented by voters, would unify governments of all municipalities in the county with county government. Somerset and Ferguson both have opted out of the plan, and, everybody agrees without Somerset the plan won’t work. Eubank, which straddles the Pulaski-Lincoln county line, would not be eligible to unite its government.