Wilson had recently attempted to have the Owsley House designated a state shrine since it has been financially struggling. The bill did not pass in the last legislative session due to no funding provided, something J.T. Miller, state parks commissioner, said would be an issue he could not ignore.
Ledford was contacted for comment about the bill previously and said she fully supported it but was concerned that no funding was included and had heard that Miller may not support it for that reason.
Questions about support
In a previous interview, Miller told The Advocate that if called by the Senate to testify about the bill, he would express his opposition, explaining that many state parks and other attractions had already contacted him with similar proposals. He could not take over every state attraction he'd been requested to without funding assistance included in the bills, Miller said.
Monday night, Wilson told the Fiscal Court that even though Miller made the comments to the newspaper, he "did not offer any opposition to the committee or state house."
"Well, I wasn't given the opportunity," Miller said in a phone interview. Miller said he gave no opposition because he did not testify.
"And my opposition was based on funding," Miller said. "I was in the Senate committee room but was not asked to testify, Rep. (Lonnie) Napier testified and that was it."
Monday, Garrard County Fiscal Court decided to allow any Garrard County resident free admission to the Owsley House.
Wilson told magistrates the entrance fee should be waived in order to create more excitement toward the home. He said the Owsley House is a treasure that needs to be promoted and is Garrard's only tourist attraction. "It's largely symbolic," Wilson told the crowd. "Maybe if more people come out to see the attraction, we'll get more attention the next time we take this to Frankfort."
In a phone interview this morning, Wilson was asked about a letter that Ledford sent to the Owsley House board of trustees. The letter states that Wilson had planned on approaching the Fiscal Court to ask for a vote on closing the house and dissolving the foundation, but Wilson said that's preposterous.
No plan for closing foundation
"I don't know where she came up with this," Wilson adamantly said. "No plan at all to do that, it would never be a plan As far as I'm concerned, it may have been a misunderstanding. If Susan thinks that I had planned that, it's just a mistake."
Wilson said the county has no control over the foundation. "It's a stand-alone corporation, registered with the Secretary of State's office. We couldn't dissolve the foundation if we wanted to, and never would."
But the Owsley House is owned by the county.
"Yes, we could take control of it if we wanted to, Lord yes," Wilson said. "We could come in and say that we're going to run it, or lessen the hours it's opened, or something like that. We're a partnership with the foundation, and quite frankly we're happy to have them run it. It's one less thing the county has to worry about."
He said his feeling is that whatever took place with the Owsley House, it was between Ledford and the board and had nothing to do with the county.
Roy Noe, an Owsley House board member of four years, said Ledford's resignation is an unfortunate situation.
"Both sides had a valid point," Noe said. "(Ledford) is very supportive of the Owsley House, and anything she did was in good faith. If she made a mistake, it was not intentional. She wouldn't do anything against it, that wouldn't make sense."
When Noe was asked to clarify his statement about a mistake and what "both sides" meant, he said, "That's all I'm going to say. I don't want to make anybody mad or feel like I'm playing sides. It's just unfortunate."
Wilson would not comment on Noe's statement.