Judge opposes using Pike TV to promote regional organization
By Debbie Rolen
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - On Monday, Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford sent a letter to Pike-TV Channel Manager Al Greenfield in opposition to the decision to broadcast the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Awards Program on Pike-TV, which is a local government broadcasting organization jointly created by the Pike County Fiscal Court and the City of Pikeville.
“Pike-TV is a local government broadcasting organization, not a public access channel, and it was established exclusively by Pikeville and Pike County for the people of our county alone,” Judge Rutherford said.
The judge/executive wrote in the letter to Greenfield, that the Southeast Chamber program “could be appropriately aired on WYMT-TV, as it is a regional program for a regional organization, but Pike-TV is not the proper forum for its broadcast.”
“I have been actively involved for decades with our local chamber of commerce and remain a staunch supporter of Pike County’s outstanding and distinguished business community. However, I remain firmly opposed to the idea that Pike County needs to dilute and diminish its voice rather than strengthening it by promoting other cities and counties instead of focusing in on our own, which is the largest and most vibrant city and county in Central Appalachia,” said Rutherford.
Under KRS 147A.050, the Kentucky General Assembly established fifteen area development districts in the Commonwealth to provide assistance to local governments within their geographic area. These are the regional bodies, that by state law, foster cooperation, growth and development. Pike County is included in the five county Big Sandy Area Development District, which also includes Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin and Martin counties. The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce purports to represent the business communities in Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin and Pike Counties.
Judge Rutherford continued in his letter, “The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce made a conscious and overt decision to change the scope, character, mission and aims of their organization. They changed their name and transformed themselves from the local Pikeville-Pike County Chamber into an organization regional in scope that services regional counties that are beyond even the scope of the Big Sandy Area Development District.
The Southeast Chamber has their mission. Pike-TV’s mission is different—we are dedicated exclusively and singularly to one county, our county, and the station is funded by Pike Countians alone.”
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