homepage logo

An empty agenda is our town leadership metaphor

By Staff | Apr 24, 2020

This letter is about Friday’s story regarding the latest Town Hall meeting.

First. A disclosure. I do not know what some have accused Mark Everhart of. I do not care to learn, unless he is honestly “tried”–not literally, just fairly in the court of public opinion. This should include his presentation of the facts of the matter, if he wants, of course.

Second. Although I did not vote for Mark Everhart–our political beliefs are opposing philosophies of governance–he always engaged me/us (when it was a group) on issues in a responsive way. Offered more suggestions than anyone. I think most of us have seen him think of the community and act every day in this way. I first met him when he organized a clean up Morgan Grove Road event. A Saturday in which I got a good workout and felt good picking up litter and debris, to help our town.

That said, let me get this straight. The Town Council (with mayor) government of our great little town had a meeting last week with no agenda? The political leaders of this community in the midst of the-once-in-a-hundred year pandemic which is spread via simple community presence had no community response to even talk about? Again? The political leaders who have done nothing but post official government news later than everyone needed; make a few phone calls to get other people to do something; posted buck-up and beat the virus words instead of doing anything?

Thirty minutes of googling, and anyone could have created a day-long agenda worth talking about: Just three examples. A moated island community in Florida recently purchased COVID-19 tests on their own, only $17 per test, and tested 1,245 inhabitants and workers. Why can’t Shepherdstown? We could be the exemplary shining town on the Potomac, and open safer and faster than others. Wuhan, having learned what the U.S. now knows, quickly spent money and time to power wash their streets and buildings thoroughly and regularly, so the town would be safer and its streets could be walked. Bonds, business bonds. As a locked-room mystery I once read ended, there were other answers, as well.

The far greater “crime” [I know it is not a literal crime] than getting Mr. Everhart to show up and defend himself against his stoning, is the visionless leadership of this town we love. The lack of imagination and action is evident. Elect new leaders if they do not rise to their job.

Mark Kohut, of Shepherdstown