A lot can be accomplished through partnerships. Sometimes they’re the only way a challenging goal can be achieved.
But as anyone who’s ever been in a business partnership will tell you, they can be complicated.
Further evidence of that can be seen in the recent troubles of two local public partnerships.
The Madison Airport, a joint venture by our three local governments, and the EKU Center for the arts, a partnership of the local governments, the university and state governments, are both important community assets. But both have gone through some painful learning experiences in the past two years or so.
However, the two organizations appear to be working through their difficulties, and as long as past unpleasantness can be put behind us, all may be better off for the experience.
The most recent dust-up involved the airport board.
Judge/Executive Kent Clark was unsuccessful in his bid to block the reappointment of George Wyatt to the airport board.
His objection went back to actions Clark said Wyatt and then board chair Eddie Pullins took when the airport’s fixed base operator pulled out with barely a month’s notice at the end of 2010.
The board could take no action when it met early that December because it lacked a quorum.
Instead of calling a special meeting, however, Clark said Pullins and Wyatt, then board secretary, took action on their own when they easily could have called a special meeting.
They created a non-profit corporation to run the airport, the judge/executive said, hoping to head off the prospect of Eastern Kentucky University getting the operating contract.
When the fiscal court conducted its first meeting of 2011, Clark persuaded the magistrates to back his move to “suspend” Pullins, thinking that because he had appointed Pullins, he could remove him.