Citizens demand out going commissioner to keep his word on road project

Citizens in southern Logan County are wanting a commissioner to keep his word on a road project before he leaves office in January.

At Monday’s Board of County Commissioner’s (BOCC) meeting, Leonard Tucker spoke to the three commissioners during public comments.

The topic begins at the 3:00 mark of the video above this article.

“Sometime back, Commissioner (Mike) Pearson asked me, if I would again, go to the citizens of Oak Valley and raise money to help cover the road,” Tucker said.

The agreement was for the citizens living on Oak Valley Dr. and Red Cedar Road (private roads not belonging to the county) to cover 50 percent of the project and Pearson’s District 2 would cover the other 50 percent, including trucking, labor to clean out the ditches and tinhorns and spread the rock gravel.

The BOCC had approved and accepted increments of donations over the last 12 to 18 months for the project.

“We worked hard and raised over $7,500 and Commissioner Pearson accepted the money. It took some time, but he purchased the rock with the money we had given,” Tucker said.

Tucker said rock was laid on all of Red Cedar and half of Oak Valley Dr. He added that what rock was placed on Oak Valley Dr. has now been plowed under making the roadway even worse than before.

“He told me that he would try to have the rest of it done by fall. Well, we’re in fall now.”

Tucker said Pearson spoke to him the day before the commissioner’s election to inform him he wanted to complete the project win or lose. However, after losing the election, Tucker said Pearson told him “we don’t have the money.”

“That’s irresponsible as far as I am concerned,” Tucker said. “If you are going to commit money, you need to put that money to the side and have it if you take money from the residents,” Tucker explained.

District 3 Commissioner Monty Piearcy says Pearson should stick to his word.

“I agree. If he told you that, he should stick to it,” Piearcy told Tucker. “You made the pledge. We (BOCC) did not make it for you. To me, if you (Pearrson) told the man you were going to do something, I think you ought to do it.”

Pearson responded, “We are committed to doing that. It requires time and opportunity. Time and opportunity has not presented itself. I am still fully committed to do it. However, I may not be able to because of all the other things that are occurring. It would be up to the new commissioner (Kody Ellis) as to whether he would accept my commitment … and he is not here.”

Pearson added he did not know about the COVID virus hitting and the economy tanking.

“It was really a great economy going and I pretty well figured I would be able to fulfill my commitment to those people. I have to have time and opportunity and if I don’t have time and opportunity, I don’t see how it can be done unless the next commissioner wants to accept that commitment that I made. It is what it is.”

District 1 Commissioner Marven Goodman responded, “It may be what it is, but I agree with Monty. If you made that commitment you should have done that. If it was a personal commitment and you don’t have the (county) money, you should probably dig in your check book and figure out how to make it happen. If you’re going to be a man of your word.”

Piearcy and Goodman explained to Tucker that they could not make a pledge to complete the project, which Pearson responded, “nor can I make a pledge for the next commissioner.”

Tucker said he would give Pearson 30 days to finish the project before considering legal action.


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