INAUGURAL ADDRESS FOR GOVERNOR PAUL PATTON

DECEMBER 12, 1995

STATE CAPITOL, FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY



JUSTICE STEPHENS AND MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY, PRESIDENT ROSE, SPEAKER RICHARDS, AND MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, GOVERNOR JONES, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR HENRY, FORMER GOVERNORS AND CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FAMILY, FRIENDS...

I HAVE JUST SWORN BEFORE ALMIGHTY GOD AND YOU, MY FELLOW KENTUCKIANS, A SOLEMN OATH, TO SERVE YOU IN THE HIGHEST OFFICE OF OUR COMMONWEALTH. WHILE ACCEPTING THIS SACRED TRUST THAT YOU HAVE BESTOWED UPON ME, I TAKE THIS SPECIAL OCCASION TO SHARE WITH YOU A SIMPLE BUT CLEAR DECLARATION OF THE VALUES BY WHICH I WILL BE GUIDED IN MY SERVICE, OF THE VISION THAT WILL CHART MY COURSE, AND OF MY DETERMINATION TO SERVE THIS COMMONWEALTH TO THE LIMITS OF MY ABILITIES.

THE ASSUMPTION OF THIS OFFICE AND THE POWER AND AUTHORITY TO WHICH IT IS ATTACHED, MUST BE EXERCISED FOR THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE OF ALL OUR PEOPLE. WHILE IT CAN BE ASSUMED WITH GREAT DETERMINATION, IT MUST BE ASSUMED WITH A TRUE SENSE OF REALITY. WHILE IT CAN BE ASSUMED WITH A PASSIONATE CHARGE, IT MUST BE ASSUMED WITH TOLERANCE OF OTHERS. WHILE IT CAN BE ASSUMED WITH STRONG LEADERSHIP, IT MUST BE ASSUMED WITH UNFETTERED HUMILITY.

TODAY WE BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF KENTUCKY. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT IT BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHAPTER, A BETTER CHAPTER. WE ENTER THIS NEW ERA WITH ONLY ONE AGENDA, TO MAKE KENTUCKY THE VERY BEST IT CAN BE.

OURS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH SERVES ALL THE PEOPLE, YOUNG AND OLD, BLACK AND WHITE, MALE AND FEMALE, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN, THOSE WHO SUPPORTED US AND THOSE WHO DID NOT FULLY COMPREHEND OUR MESSAGE.

AS GOVERNOR,I'LL SERVE EVERY SEGMENT OF OUR SOCIETY, EAST AND WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH, RURAL AND URBAN, SERVING EVERY COUNTY, EVERY COMMUNITY, EVERY INDIVIDUAL.

I'LL BE A GOVERNOR FOR ALL KENTUCKY BUT I WILL BE A GOVERNOR FROM EASTERN KENTUCKY.

WE WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION OF TOLERANCE, OF INCLUSION, OF COMPASSION.

OUR BYWORD WILL BE FAIRNESS AND EQUAL TREATMENT FOR ALL OUR CITIZENS, WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE. THIS WILL NOT BE AN ADMINISTRATION OF "TO THE VICTOR BELONGS THE SPOILS", BUT RATHER AN ADMINISTRATION IN WHICH THE CONSISTENT, NEVER -DEVIATING PHILOSOPHY WILL BE, "TO THE PEOPLE BELONGS THE BEST GOVERNMENT THE MIND OF MAN CAN CONCEIVE".

I AM NOT WISE ENOUGH TO CARRY THIS BURDEN ALONE. MY SENSE OF FALLIBILITY COMPELS ME TO FORGE AN ALLIANCE WITHIN AND WITHOUT STATE GOVERNMENT SO WE CAN ACHIEVE A SOBER AND SETTLED PURPOSE FOR OUR EFFORTS THESE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

WITHIN STATE GOVERNMENT, I AM COMMITTED TO AN ALLIANCE OF CONSULTATION, CONSTRUCTIVE REACTION AND COOPERATION WITH STATE EMPLOYEES AND WITH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

THIS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH VALUES THE THOUSANDS OF STATE EMPLOYEES UPON WHOSE PROFESSIONAL WORK OUR SUCCESS WILL DEPEND AND AN ADMINISTRATION DEDICATED TO HELPING THEM DELIVER SERVICES TO OUR PEOPLE MORE EFFICIENTLY AND RESPONSIVELY.

THIS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION THAT FORMS A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LEGISLATURE, A PARTNERSHIP BASED ON RESPECT, FRANKNESS, AND EQUALITY.

WITHIN THE EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY, I AM COMMITTED TO AN ALLIANCE WITH OUR EDUCATORS THAT WILL ENHANCE THE PROGRESS TO WHICH WE ARE SO FIRMLY COMMITTED.

WITHIN THE BUSINESS AND LABOR COMMUNITIES, I AM COMMITTED TO THE ALLIANCES I HAVE ALREADY FORMED TO ACHIEVE A STRONG ECONOMIC BASE.

AND WITH THE PEOPLE I WILL FORM AN ALLIANCE BASED ON TRUST, OPENNESS, AND MUTUAL RESPECT.

THIS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION THAT TRUSTS THE WISDOM OF THE PEOPLE AND ASKS FOR THEIR ADVICE MORE THAN WE TELL THEM HOW GREAT WE ARE.

THIS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH IS OPEN, HONEST, AND DEDICATED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT.

THIS WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH BELIEVES IN COMMUNICATION, LEADERSHIP, AND SETTING THE HIGHEST GOALS FOR US AS A PEOPLE.

ONLY BY ATTEMPTING TO CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN CAN WE REACH THE HIGHEST PLATEAU.

THE APPOINTMENT OF MY CABINET IS THE FIRST INDICATION OF THE KIND OF GOVERNOR I'LL BE.

I'VE CALLED FOR THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST TO SACRIFICE FOR THE HONOR OF SERVING THE PEOPLE OF THIS GREAT COMMONWEALTH. THEY HAVE RESPONDED IN A WAY THAT FEW WOULD HAVE BELIEVED.

WE'VE PROVEN THAT PATRIOTIC KENTUCKIANS WILL STEP FORTH TO SERVE AND SACRIFICE FOR A NOBLE CAUSE. THAT NOBLE CAUSE WILL MAKE US BETTER THAN WE EVER THOUGHT WE COULD BE.

OUR ADMINISTRATION WILL LOOK TO THE FUTURE, INVEST IN THE FUTURE, AND SERVE THOSE WHO WILL BE OUR FUTURE, OUR CHILDREN.

WE WILL HAVE THE BEST ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

WE WILL GO FORWARD WITH REFORMING OUR SCHOOLS, WE WILL IMPROVE EDUCATION IN EVERY SECTION OF THIS STATE, WE WILL NOT RETREAT.

WE WILL BUILD ON THE FOUNDATION ALREADY LAID BY THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED BEFORE US. WE WILL PUT OUR CHILDREN FIRST.

WE'LL ADDRESS THE LEGITIMATE CONCERNS OF THE PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND INTERESTED CITIZENS OF KENTUCKY .

BUT WE WILL RESIST THE EFFORTS OF THE SHORTSIGHTED, THE TIMID, THE SELFISH, AND THE NARROW-MINDED, THE DEMAGOGUES AND THE OPPORTUNISTS.

WE WILL BE THE BEST.

WE 'LL MAKE OUR STREETS SAFER, WE'LL TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO OBEY THE RULES OF SOCIETY AND WE'LL GIVE TAX RELIEF TO THOSE WHO NEED RELIEF THE MOST.

WE'LL MEET THE CHALLENGE OF THE NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR STATE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND WE WILL NOT ABANDON THE MOST UNFORTUNATE AMONG US. BUT THE BIGGER CHALLENGE WHICH LIES AHEAD IS TO BETTER PREPARE OUR PEOPLE TO BE PRODUCTIVE IN THIS GLOBAL ECONOMY.

OUR SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION, AND IN THAT TERM I INCLUDE ALL POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION, MUST MEET THE CHALLENGE OF A CHANGED WORLD. WE ARE NO LONGER IN THE HEARTLAND OF A GREAT NATION PROTECTED BY TWO VAST OCEANS FROM MILITARY, POLITICAL, OR ECONOMIC COMPETITION.

KENTUCKY WORKERS NOW COMPETE WITH WORKERS THE WORLD OVER. WE CAN ONLY COMPETE AND WIN WITH MENTAL POWER.

ONLY OUR INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION CAN EQUIP OUR PEOPLE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS WHICH WILL MAKE US PRODUCTIVE IN THIS NEW ECONOMY.

JUST AS BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY HAVE HAD TO CHANGE TO SURVIVE, JUST AS I INTEND TO CHANGE THE WAY KENTUCKY STATE GOVERNMENT WORKS, I CHALLENGE THE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO THROW OFF THE SHACKLES OF THE PAST, USE THE INSTRUMENTS OF MODERN SCIENCE, EMULATE THE TECHNIQUES OF PROGRESSIVE BUSINESSES AND CHANGE THE WAY YOU TRANSFER KNOWLEDGE.

YES, YOU NEED MORE MONEY, BUT MONEY ALONE WILL NOT REMEDY THE MALADIES.

I CHALLENGE YOU TO ARTICULATE A NEW VISION, PROPOSE A NEW METHOD , SHOW ME A SYSTEM MORE DEVOTED TO INNOVATION THAN IT IS TO TURF, MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE THAN IT IS ABOUT ITS OWN PLACE IN THAT PICTURE, AND I'LL WORK WITH YOU TO FIND THE MONEY TO DO THE JOB.

WE MUST HAVE A SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION WHICH IS MORE RESPONSIVE, MORE EFFICIENT, AND MORE RELEVANT TO TODAY'S REALITIES AND TOMORROW'S NEEDS.

OUR PEOPLE DESERVE NO LESS, AND I WILL ACCEPT NO LESS.

UNITED IN THIS ALLIANCE, WE CAN AND MUST STAND--BECAUSE, DIVIDED, WE CAN AND WILL SURELY FALL.

THE UNCERTAINTIES OF THE PAST ARE FINISHED.

AS WE CONCLUDE THE WORK OF THIS TWENTIETH CENTURY, WE MUST FOR THE NECESSITY OF THE TIMES, FACE OUR UNSETTLED EFFORTS TOGETHER WITH A GENUINE BUT STUBBORN SPIRIT THAT ALLOWS US TO ACHIEVE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH GOD PUT US ON THIS PLANET.

WE WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH REPRESENTS THE BASIC VALUES THAT SOME IN OUR SOCIETY HAVE IGNORED AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE FOR OUR CHILDREN SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THAT IT WAS THESE VALUES OF HARD WORK, MORALITY, COMPASSION, HONESTY, RESPECT FOR THE LAW, AND A BELIEF IN GOD THAT MADE THIS NATION GREAT AND ONLY THROUGH THESE VALUES CAN WE CONTINUE TO CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN TO A BETTER KENTUCKY.

OUR SCHOOLS WILL BE THE CITADEL OF THESE VALUES AND OUR ADMINISTRATION THE MODEL FOR ALL TO EMULATE.

WE WILL LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND SERVE WITH DISTINCTION.

NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR TIMIDITY. THE TASKS ARE IMMENSE, THE OPPORTUNITIES UNLIMITED, THE TIME IS SHORT.

I WILL NOT BE TIMID, I WILL BE A LEADER. THE HISTORIANS OF 20TH CENTURY KENTUCKY WILL RECORD THAT IT WAS A LEADER FROM THE MOUNTAINS, BERT COMBS, WHO HAD A VISION OF BETTER COMMON SCHOOLS IN KENTUCKY AND USED HIS GOD-GIVEN TALENTS TO PUT KENTUCKY IN THE VANGUARD OF EDUCATION REFORM.

IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THE HISTORIANS OF THIS ERA WILL RECORD THAT IT WAS ANOTHER LEADER FROM THE MOUNTAINS, PAUL PATTON, WHO LAID THE FOUNDATION OF CHANGE IN POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION THAT BROUGHT KENTUCKY OUT OF THE BACKWOODS OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND MADE OUR PEOPLE PROSPER IN A WAY THAT ONLY THE DREAMERS COULD IMAGINE TODAY.

LET HISTORY VERIFY THAT BECAUSE KENTUCKIANS HAD A VISION OF A BETTER LIFE, A ROAD MAP TO THAT HIGHER LEVEL, AND A PILOT WITH THE COURAGE, THE COMMITMENT, AND THE TENACITY TO STAY THE COURSE, KENTUCKY BECAME THE PLACE WHERE THE BEST DESIRED TO BE, NOT THE PLACE FROM WHICH THE BEST FLED.

LET THE CHRONICLES WHICH RECORD THE TWENTIETH CENTURY TRAVELS OF THAT LAND CALLED THE BLUEGRASS STATE MAKE IT CLEAR TO ALL WHO WOULD INQUIRE, THAT THOUGH THE GOVERNORS FROM THE MOUNTAINS WERE FEW, THAT SPECIAL VANTAGE POINT WHICH COMES FROM THE STRUGGLE TO EXTRICATE ONESELF FROM POVERTY, THAT SPECIAL VISION THAT COMES FROM ISOLATION, THAT SPECIAL COURAGE THAT COMES FROM ADVERSITY, HAD INSTILLED IN THESE TWO MEN THE INTELLECT, THE POLITICAL SKILL, AND THE PERSONAL COMMITMENT THAT IT TOOK TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

AND LET HISTORY STAMP WITH AN INDELIBLE INK IN THE MINDS OF OUR CHILDRENS' CHILDREN THAT THEY USED THOSE GOD GIVEN VIRTUES TO BUILD A BETTER KENTUCKY.

OUR GOAL IS TO BE THE GREATEST ADMINISTRATION IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COMMONWEALTH. OUR COMMITMENT IS TO DO OUR BEST.

NO TASK WILL EVER BE TOO DIFFICULT. NO DAY WILL EVER BE TOO LONG, NO THREAT WILL EVER BE TOO OMINOUS TO DETER US FROM THIS CHALLENGE NOR TO CAUSE US TO SHIRK OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

AS I ARTICULATE A VISION OF A BETTER KENTUCKY, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE WILL BE BUILDING ON THE FOUNDATION LAID BY THOSE WHO HAVE COME BEFORE US. WE WILL STRENGTHEN THAT FOUNDATION SO THAT THOSE WHO FOLLOW US CAN BE GREATER THAN WE.

THE POET BROWNING SAID A MAN'S REACH SHOULD EXCEED HIS GRASP, OR WHAT'S A HEAVEN FOR? IT'S TIME FOR ALL OF US TO REACH AND DREAM AGAIN.

OUR GOAL IS THAT EVERY "OLD KENTUCKY HOME" WILL BE WARM, WITH A FULL CUPBOARD, A HEALTHY FAMILY, WITH JOBS FOR ALL WHO RESIDE WITHIN.

OUR VISION IS OF A PEOPLE ENDOWED WITH SKILLS TO BE PRODUCTIVE IN THIS GLOBAL ECONOMY, INSTILLED WITH THE BASIC VALUES OF AMERICA, AND FILLED WITH LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND.

WHEN WE REACH THAT GOAL, WE CAN TRULY SING OUR BEAUTIFUL STATE SONG WITH A SMILE ON OUR FACE AND JOY IN OUR HEART, BECAUSE THE SUN WILL BE SHINING BRIGHT ON EVERY "OLD KENTUCKY HOME" AND ON THIS GREAT COMMONWEALTH WE LOVE SO MUCH.

THANK YOU FOR THE CONFIDENCE YOU HAVE SHOWN IN ME AND MY PLEDGE TO YOU IS I WILL NOT FALTER.

GOD BLESS KENTUCKY AND ALL ITS PEOPLE.