Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

Kay Allen, the disgraced, imperious former Columbia County tax commissioner who ran roughshod over the county and the officials who were helpless to stop her for longer than most can remember, may have withdrawn from the public gaze, but her presence continues to haunt the county.

What do you expect from somebody who spent most of forever in office?

Though her iron-willed insistence on being treated like a queen — county supplied car, county financed drapes for her new office (reportedly $15,000, and without a purchase order) and $200,000 of mailing fees she reluctantly parted with only after they were discovered by an audit) — has embarrassed the county and caused who knows what kind of damage to brother-in-law Rick Allen’s congressional campaign, it’s the sign across the street from her former castle, the one next to the popular Evans Fitness Center, that might be the most permanent reminder of her presence.

Allen Drive.

Some, including some county staff and some area business owners, claim it’s named after her. Others, including some county commissioners, insist it’s named after an old time Allen family member, since Joe Marshall, the former landowner, was a good friend of the original Allens and there was even a marriage between the families. Either way, the undeniable fact remains that it’s named after those Allens, and kin, as they say, is kin.

But no matter how embarrassing the constant reminder of those dark days might be, don’t expect it to change any time soon. It’s a private road, and unless it’s eventually deeded over to the county, the county has as much ability to change it as they did to change anything else about Queen Kay’s long and costly reign.

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