Letter: Bloomfield attorney defends LPC chair, blasts superintendent’s leadership

Dear Editor:

The Nelson County Gazette did get one thing correct in its opinion piece it published online on November 13, 2021.

Eric Shelburne believes one hallmark of true leadership is understanding you don’t always get the outcome you want.

That is exactly what Eric Shelburne is trying to get across to his fellow local planning committee members. Except for a few other LPC members, Superintendent Wes Bradley has deliberately led the remaining members into getting exactly what he wants.

What Bradley wants is for the committee to rubber stamp his plan to retain two underutilized high schools, move all county middle school students to those Bardstown campuses and close Bloomfield Middle, New Haven Middle and grades 6-8 of Boston School.

If not for committee member Dustan McCoy’s willingness to move the committee to consider another possibility that could allow county middle school students to remain in the communities where they presently attend, the committee was preparing to do just that, while spending $60 million taxpayer dollars in the process.

What Bradley plans to do now is distribute a draft district facilities plan, containing his merger plan costing $60 million, to the LPC at its next meeting on November 17, 2021, and push it to a vote after members have only a few precious minutes to review the specifics the draft must contain.

As Nelson County Board of Education member Damon Jackey stated at the board’s February 2018 meeting when it considered changes to the district’s Early Learning Center, “This board meeting is the first time I’ve had to review this plan. . . . I’m a little bit uneasy making as drastic a decision tonight based of this one set of information and one opportunity to see this and ask questions and discuss it.”

While that proposed Early Learning Center plan change would have no doubt caused major inconvenience to some parents, it would have cost nothing, unlike Bradley’s $60 million proposal.

How can the Gazette fail to see it is Bradley who should “refocus his leadership,” not Eric Shelburne? Eric Shelburne simply wants the LPC to consider all its options and to take the time it should take to carefully consider those options before spending $60 million in taxpayer dollars and closing successful schools. The Gazette is wrong to criticize Shelburne or anyone else for this prudent course of action.

Eric Shelburne should be praised for his efforts, not criticized.

John David “Jack” Seay

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