Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 18, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Blazer, Ashland Oil not the same

Regarding the debate about whether to change the name of our Ashland city high school, I would like to help clarify something that has become a point of discussion. There is a distinct difference between the school’s namesake, Paul G. Blazer, and the company he founded, against which many still hold a grudge for abandoning us years ago.

By the time Ashland Oil moved its headquarters from here in 1999, it had become a company that had no real emotional ties to Ashland. Moving was purely a business decision on the part of executives, most of whom weren’t from here and who were more beholden to stockholders than they were their next-door neighbors. The loss of jobs and feelings of betrayal didn’t really matter. The bottom line did.

Paul Blazer, on the other hand, was the kind of benefactor the city of Ashland won’t likely ever see again. His commitment to this area is legendary, and a little research will reveal just how much he contributed to Ashland and the entire state of Kentucky. The high school is only a small part of his legacy of generosity.

Should the school name revert back to Ashland High? Maybe so. And in the grand scheme of things it won’t matter much, depending on how many boxes of letterhead are stored at the board of education.

But if so, it would be only fitting that some other way be found to honor the man who did so much for this community.

Rob Serey, Ashland