Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charlie Whattenberger, September 20, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Thoughts about PRIDE

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Partial Transcript: --grant for them, got their sewer done and--

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses the Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE) program, as well as some qualms he has with the way they decide which grants to fund.

Keywords: Grants; Harlan County (Ky.); Local politics; Loyall (Ky.); Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Sewers; Wastewater treatment plants; Water treatment plants

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Harlan County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.86, -83.22
00:03:23 - Experience as mayor of Loyall, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I, I'm just a very frank, honest, up-front person.

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses how his constituents feel about him in doing his job as mayor.

Keywords: Elections; Harlan County (Ky.); Local politics; Loyall (Ky.); Mayors; Voting

Subjects: Elections.; Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:05:23 - Financial successes in Loyall

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, you know, people--if they're smart they'll vote for you because of the job you've done and not--

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses his successes since getting involved with the Loyall government, both in the city council and as mayor.

Keywords: Economics; Economy; Elections; Finance; Finances; Harlan County (Ky.); Infrastructure; Loyall (Ky.); Mayors; Money; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Voting

Subjects: Finance.; Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:13:04 - Water treatment plant issues--Part I

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Partial Transcript: And Rural Water--if it wasn't for Rural Water, we would not be a town today.

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger describes recent issues regarding Loyall's water treatment plant and the people who work there.

Keywords: Employment; Harlan County (Ky.); Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment; Wastewater treatment plants; Water; Water treatment

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment and reuse; Water treatment plants.

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:18:20 - Water treatment plant issues--Part II

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Partial Transcript: Well see, that's--this is another thing--the state of Kentucky--I've had this course over the years.

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses more issues that Loyall has experienced with their wastewater treatment plan, focusing on resistance to connecting to a regional plant as well as eliminating code violations.

Keywords: Combined sewer outfall (CSO); Employment; Harlan County (Ky.); Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment; Wastewater treatment plants; Water; Water treatment

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment and reuse; Water treatment plants.

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:25:02 - Financial decisions

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Partial Transcript: I work for free.

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses financial decisions within Loyall, including how he and the city council don't receive a salary in order to keep the city in good financial status.

Keywords: City councils; Economics; Economy; Finance; Finances; Harlan County (Ky.); Local governments; Loyall (Ky.); Mayors; Money

Subjects: Finance.; Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:28:01 - Other sources for grants

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Partial Transcript: But, anyway, uh, back to the wastewater treatment--

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses programs other than PRIDE that he has sought out for grants to help maintain and improve Loyall.

Keywords: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Economics; Finances; Grants; Harlan County (Ky.); Loyall (Ky.); Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Rural Development (RD); United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Subjects: Federal aid; Finance.; Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:34:01 - Discussion of interviewer's work

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Partial Transcript: What type of work did you do before you did this?

Segment Synopsis: Johnson discusses his prior education and jobs in folklore, anthropology, and as a guitarist. Whattenberger and Johnson discuss a common acquaintance from Western Kentucky University.

Keywords: Anthropologists; Anthropology; Folklore; Folklorist; Guitarist; Guitars; Kentucky Arts Council; Musicians; Nashville (Tenn.); Western Kentucky University (WKU)

Subjects: Folklore.; Kentucky.; Western Kentucky University

GPS: Western Kentucky University
Map Coordinates: 36.986111, -86.455556
00:37:57 - Testing the sewer system

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Partial Transcript: There's, uh, you'd like to meet our engineer.

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses how the city of Loyall tested their sewer system, as well as how he struck a deal with a utility company that had possibly damaged a sewer line.

Keywords: Economics; Economy; Finances; Harlan County (Ky.); Loyall (Ky.); Mayors; Sewer lines; Sewers; Wastewater treatment and reuse; Water treatment; Water treatment plants

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment and reuse; Water treatment plants.

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:44:15 - Resistance to connecting to a regional plant

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Partial Transcript: So, um, what I'm thinking--okay, the state--the picture I'm getting is the state wants you to hook up to some kind of regional--

Segment Synopsis: Whattenberger discusses his resistance to connecting Loyall's sewers to the Harlan County regional water treatment plant due to financial constraints and the current management system.

Keywords: Harlan (Ky.); Harlan County (Ky.); Local politics; Loyall (Ky.); Regional; State politics; Wastewater treatment; Wastewater treatment plants; Water; Water treatment

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.); Wastewater treatment and reuse; Water treatment plants.

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778
00:55:27 - Pressure line issue

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Partial Transcript: What, is Keith here?

Segment Synopsis: The interview is interrupted by a town emergency, which Whattenberger addresses. Whattenberger discusses the issue as well as conducting business to handle the situation as it is occurring.

Keywords: Harlan County (Ky.); Local politics; Loyall (Ky.); Mayors; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Plumbing; Sewers; Wastewater treatment; Wastewater treatment plants; Water treatment

Subjects: Harlan County (Ky.); Kentucky.; Loyall (Ky.)

GPS: Loyall (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.851944, -83.352778