EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
PEDCO, Paris Economic Development Corporation, a not-for-profit chartered to promote the sustainment and growth of existing businesses, and recruiting new business to the Paris and Edgar County areas.
It takes extraordinary time and effort to convince people to grow their business and to convince people to either start a new business or move their existing business to Paris. For that we would like to say "Thank You" for what you have done towards your goals, and the goals of the community.
We as citizens in this county should be nurturing new business owners and offering our leadership and experience for those young upcoming business, so that they too can establish their operations in this county and raise their families to be productive, contributing citizens. That's what good people do!
There is an issue, that if addressed in the proper way, could keep a growing, thriving business in Paris. This business is RSB Aviation, Inc. The good people of Edgar County need PEDCO's assistance in this matter. We urge all PEDCO members to call Chris Patrick and voice your concern over what is happening not only at the airport, but with the county as a whole. Silence condones his behavior - speak up!
With that said, let's examine what has happened at the airport in roughly the past 6 months.
Chris Patrick, while he was the sitting vice-chairman of PEDCO and is supposed to be encouraging business, has made it his mission to drive out a growing business. Nobody really knows why he decided to do this since the "justification" keeps changing from week to week. The list of "justifications" Chris and his main crony Jimmy Wells have used to attempt to accomplish this grows and changes based on fabricated information. Chris Patrick resigned from the PEDCO Board in January.
These "justifications" have changed from month to month, week to week, sometimes within days. If any of them were legitimate, there would be no need to invent more bogus justifications.
I believe this all stems from Patrick needing space for his Beaver airplane, being told he cannot "ban" a certain person's airplanes from the airport, and a general personality conflict with RSB - and he is using Wells to continue this conflict (this paragraph is my personal opinion only).
Meanwhile, he gets Ben Jenness and Mike Heltsley appointed to the airport advisory board, and gets Adonna Bennett illegally appointed to the airport advisory board - I predict the Illinois Attorney General will direct her removal next month. These appointments were to keep his dirty hands stirring the pot in the airport advisory board.
During this time, we have learned of a CD that was donated to the Airport (a Public Body), and a secret checking account that was opened up using Edgar County's EIN. Patrick and Wells refuse to provide any information on the CD and checking account. This should concern everyone, considering there was a check written for over $14,000 that Wells and Patrick refuse to divulge who it was written to. When questioned in a public meeting about it, Patrick says things like "good luck" and "I don't feel like giving you a copy." Is that the kind of person you voted for, and your county board representatives voted to put in as board chairman? I would like to believe the answer to be NO!
This leads to a lawsuit that has the potential to cost the taxpayers of this county much more than the $14,000 the check was written for! This was public money - it MUST be accounted for!
RSB is a growing business in Edgar County, and part of the reason a new cross-wind runway was put in place. To push them out now is the wrong thing to do. The members of PEDCO, and citizens of Edgar County can make a difference. Please call your county board representatives and any business you frequent that is a member of PEDCO and tell them to keep business in Paris - quit trying to run them out!
County Board Members on the Airport Committee:
Ben Jenness - 217-269-2670
Mike Heltsley - 812-208-4781
Dan Bruner - if you have this number let us know
Other Airport Advisory Board Members:
Adonna Bennett - if you have this number let us know
Jake Payne - if you have this number let us know
Dale Barkley - if you have this number let us know
Glen Hutchings - if you have this number let us know
Other County Board Members:
Chris Patrick - 217-822-7622
Jeff Voigt - if you have this number let us know
Alan Zuber - 217-463-3027
Karl Farnham - 217-465-5065
Tell them to keep RSB Aviation in Paris!