By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times
Metcalfe County magistrates voted 3-1 Tuesday night to make a $1,000 donation toward a chair that will be used for large events at the governor’s mansion in Frankfort.
First lady Jane Beshear sent a letter to all 120 counties in August asking them to participate in a Centennial Legacy project in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the governor’s mansion.
The Kentucky Executive Mansions Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization, has contracted with Berea College to produce 120 new chairs that will be used at the mansion, according to the letter, which asks counties to raise funds for the project.
Barren County Fiscal Court previously declined to contribute public money toward the project, but state Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, later found a private donor to fund a chair on Barren County’s behalf.
Metcalfe County Judge-Executive Greg Wilson attended a training in Lexington last week and spoke to representatives of several other counties about the project.
“Some fiscal courts did it and some didn’t do it,” he said. “If the fiscal court chooses not to do it, I will make the first $100 donation.”
Wilson explained he felt the state might look more favorably at Metcalfe County in the future when it seeks funding for special projects.
“I just feel like when we go to Frankfort and ask for money or ask for projects ... I think it is small a thing to do,” he said. “When you go ask for money and they’ve got this 100-year celebration on the mansion and they say, ‘Well, we got 119 counties, [but] we didn’t get Metcalfe.’ It would be bad to go ask for a big project from Frankfort and not get it.”
Magistrate Greg White agreed with Wilson.
“It is expensive, but there are other issues down the road that might benefit us,” White said.
Magistrate Scotty Mosby cast the only dissenting vote, explaining that he did so because the fiscal court had denied a donation to a small county office the same day the Governor’s Mansion project was first discussed.
“I can’t recollect the exact date, but we had a small county office that had come and asked for some funds, and that chair was brought up at the same time,” he said. “We couldn’t afford to do the funds for the other things and the people had come to me and said something, so I felt that’s the way I needed to vote. …
“I just felt if you do for one, you need to do for the other. Fair is fair.”
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