An apologetic Lora Smith, the Executive Director of Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission appeared before the  Edwards County Board meeting expressing remorse for not communicating with them on their application for COVID money through the American Rescue Plan Act.   After expressing some dissatisfaction with the local planning commission, the county board voted to go with a private firm, Bellweather to administer the ARPA funds last month.

Smith said “I apologize for not attending last month’s meeting I had a preplanned commitment out of state and I should have sent someone in my place but I didn’t.  I want to be sure you know you are a priority to us.” Smith explained she is new to the job and still in training and promised the board a continuous flow of information in the future. 

I know there have been some communication issues in the past before I came on board. And they continued on to me and onward.  

She admitted, “I know specifically the county has concerns with the E911 grant. It happened before I was with the commission and I tried to get up to speed. It did not get applied for when the county tried the last time. It opens up again in September. So I want you to know that personally I will make sure its submitted on time with a quality application.” 

Smith reminded the county board, “As members of our area, you have four board members representing you: Charlotte St. Ledger, Randy Hallam, Kenny Carlson and Wesley Harris. Some are very, very involved and a couple haven’t attended a meeting since I’ve been there at least.” She went on to explain if the board feels like its not getting enough information from the commission, the board members  can stop in the commission offices, call or email them. She pointed out she had included her card in a copy of her report.  Anytime you have something to discuss, you can reach out to us. We want to make sure from here on out anytime anything at all comes up .

Smith said unfortunately should could not stay for the rest of the meeting as she had a meeting in Olney she had to attend, but she wanted to come and introduce herself so at least the county board could “put a face to the name”.

County Board Chairman Davis Messman told Smith he really appreciated that she had come and talked to them. She said, I’ll be honest, I’m new and I’m learning and some of the things aren’t falling into place like they should.” She added, “I want to make sure from here on out, anytime you have a question like the USDA grant the sheriff was talking about. That is something my office...

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