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Some may not understand this article, but it was inspired by God. When my time was coming to a close in the sheriff’s office, all that was on my mind was going home and back into the sawmill business and making money.
In those days, sheriffs could not succeed themselves. I did not like the sheriff’s office and would not run for the office if I could. God had a plan for my life other than running my sawmill business. He put a burden on my heart to run for judge executive.
It is amazing how we make out like we don’t hear God when he tells us to do something we don’t want to do. The burden from God got so intense, it seemed like he was almost speaking to me. Then I told him I would run and I went and filed my petition.
That is when it dawned on me how hard it was going to be to win this office. Everyone on the democratic committee who knew anything about politics were going to be against me. Believe me, the Democrats had a well-organized party in those days. Just to think about it scared me. But you know what? God was not scared a bit. He kept assuring me everything was going to be alright.
The night when the election results were in, I had won. I had won an office I did not know anything about, but my God did. Before I took office, I had a great prayer. I remember saying, “God, you and I know I don’t know anything about running this office, but I know you do, so I’m expecting you to see me through.”
About the first thing we had on the agenda my first meeting, they had just started building the dam on the lake and the federal judge had stopped the work. Congressman Natcher was upset because of how lawsuits had stopped it a few times before it even started. Natcher came into my office and said if you and fiscal court don’t get behind me and support this project, we are moving out.
I went over to the PVA office and got what the whole county was assessed for. To my surprise, the lake was going to cost more than what the county was worth.
When I presented what Natcher said to fiscal court, one of the magistrates said we should send in a “no comment” like we usually do. I told the court that will not work because I believe Natcher means what he says. We voted unanimously to support the lake project.
Just to prove Natcher meant what he said, he offered Marion County the same option. The judge executive at the time, Randall Donahue, tried to get his fiscal court to vote for it and they turned it down. Their dam was supposed to be built at Howardstown on the Rolling Fork River. Maybe some day it will be built, but I doubt it.
As I look at our lake and our road system, I see how we set up the road that goes from Taylorsville to the Bluegrass Parkway connecting 248 to 555. It was finished under Governor Fletcher’s administration. Every time we see our officials cutting a ribbon on a new business, it should remind us of what a great job was done in the years of our administration. Because without the lake and the road system, it is very doubtful very many ribbons would be cut.