(Editor’s Note: This letter by Corbin City Commissioner Brandon Shepherd is in response to the “Concerns about self-serving behavior on the city commission” letter to the editor that appeared in the October 7, 2020 edition.)
I am responding to a letter in regards to my record as a City Commissioner for the City of Corbin. I am very happy with the direction the city has been steered, and would be honored to be able to serve my wonderful hometown for another two years. Corbin has my heart, and I know my place is here.
The letter I am referencing suggests that I was very “instrumental” in halting the alcohol
and restaurant tax. Yes, on March 16 the commission voted unanimously to suspend the taxes in order to provide relief to businesses when the state had altered entirely the way that restaurants can conduct business.
What the letter failed to note, however, is that many restaurant owners came to the meeting in hopes of relief in order to adjust to the excruciating restrictions that were imposed upon their businesses. The owners suggested to the commission that suspending the alcohol and restaurant taxes would be very helpful in regards to keeping people on payroll, and to pay bills that were still coming in that were in no way discounted.
The crowd of owners being from Austin City Saloon, the Depot & Caboose, Travis’s Cafe, Si-Senor Mexican Restaurant, The Wrigley, Bubby’s BBQ and Shep’s were all present.
Commissioner Andrew Pennington made the motion, and Commissioner Trent Knuckles
seconded the motion to vote on this relief. Anyone present or watching the exchange would’ve seen that I had not said a single word on the topic, and let the business owners talk to us about relief. I listen to our people, and hear what they say. I support anything that will keep Corbin moving forward during this pandemic. The vote was unanimous with all four commissioners voting “yes.”
This affected many businesses in our town that were struggling to adjust to the restrictions and possibly saved some from going under. I want other fellow restaurants to survive and make it post-Covid 19. I want restaurant workers to be able to make a living at one of the businesses in town, and to feed and house their families.
The hospitality industry was the hardest hit from the pandemic. Also, many of our restaurants are not only community gathering places, but also community supporters. Many of them support Little League teams, Corbin’s backpack program that feeds our children on weekends, Shop with a Cop, or other fundraisers that support our kids, and noble causes within our wonderful, tight-knit city.
Addressing the criticism of the Entertainment Destination Center for our downtown, this has not been discussed in over a year-and-a-half. There has not been a recent discussion at all, which the author of the previous letter tries to spin. Our discussion from a year-and-a-half ago was centered around events, such as our festivals, with streets shut down, similar to events hosted by Somerset and Newport.
All of this is public knowledge, and can be further elaborated on at our public monthly city meetings. Those who cannot attend in person are able to watch on Facebook Live, or our city website.
In sum, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”