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In this day of negative politics, one may ask, “What do we have to be positive about?”
Maybe very little when we look at the national level, but certainly a lot when we look at the accomplishments of our Spencer County officials.
I vividly remember during the last county election, political candidates knocking on our door to ask for our vote. The first candidate to do so was sheriff candidate Buddy Stump. We did not know Stump, but we knew we were not happy with what we felt was a “part-time” sheriff’s department, so we listened to what Stump had to say.
He said, “If you elect me as sheriff I will make sure we have officers on duty 24/7.”
And, he has done just that. The previous sheriff did not. Stump said, “We will have a professional team in appearance, skill level, and response time.” That too is now very evident with sharp looking officers, professional looking vehicles with clear markings, and effective support equipment (including a new digital radio system) to allow them to do their jobs effectively.
He said he would establish an effective and efficient collection system with accountability for monies received from property taxes and other fees and services, and he has accomplished that resulting in a surge in revenue versus before he took office. We wanted honesty and integrity, and he gave it to us.
Additionally, Stump said he would be tough on crime, curtail drug trafficking, and make Spencer County a safer place to live. To help reach this goal he added a detective to help solve crime cases and to recover citizens’ property. This effort has provided immeasurable benefits to our community with drug traffic down, overall crime down, and recovery of property increased.
I could say much more about the positive influence of our sheriff and his well trained and effective staff, but let it suffice to say, we are fortunate to have a truly professional sheriff’s department under the leadership of Stump. Let he and his fellow officers know they are appreciated, just tell them thank you.
The next candidate that knocked on my door was our current Judge-Executive Bill Karrer. We certainly wanted to hear what Karrer had to say because like so many of you, we were disappointed and embarrassed by the actions of the previous judge-executive and wanted improvement.
We wanted to see our county with facilities and services equal to other progressive counties of our size. We knew that the EMS facility was unacceptable, the county garage was below standards, and county equipment to repair our roads and bridges was way below acceptable standards.
Since his election, Karrer has made very positive improvements in virtually every area of his accountability, although he has been criticized by a few overzealous citizens, and even from time to time by our local press and his own colleagues.
I, for one, believe that a lot of his criticism has come because of his tough and unwavering stance (even referred to as stubborn, sometimes) on issues that are important to him and critical for our county. However, I also believe in tough times a leader must also be tough to assure we move forward, and Karrer has done just that. You know the Bible talks about tough love, it doesn’t mean the person doesn’t love you, in fact, it means he loves you so much he is willing to take a stand for your best interest at his cost. I feel certain Karrer loves this county and wants the very best for its citizens, even if it takes tough love to accomplish it.
Our judge is definitely improving the services and facilities of the county, and he is accomplishing this within budget, without raising taxes. I stand proud as a Spencer County concerned citizen that we have an effective and professional EMS department and that we will soon have facilities that will match their professionalism, thanks to the stand of judge-executive. I am equally proud that funding has been provided to professionalize our sheriff’s department, thanks again to the stand by Karrer.
I am proud that we see continual improvement in our roads and that we have vehicles and equipment that is up to the task versus being in the shop for repairs way too often. Thanks again to Karrer for his tough stand and for the magistrates of Fiscal Court for their vote of approval.
Karrer needs and deserves our vote of confidence and voice of support. He surely deserves it, too, for his positive influence and critical decision-making process. Give him a call and voice your approval.
Lastly, our door was knocked on by county clerk candidate Lynn Hesselbrock again at the time asking for our vote and support. Hesselbrock had one simple message, “If you elect me as your Spencer County Clerk, I will run the clerk’s office with honesty and integrity, I will assure that your tax dollars are accounted for penny for penny, and I will strive to upgrade the department’s procedures and policies with improved technology and efficiency and will make it user friendly.”
I would say that is a mouthful. But, I will also say that Hesselbrock is accomplishing every one of those objectives and more. Her well trained staff is effective, friendly and professional. Plus, every penny collected goes exactly where it is supposed to go, not true before she arrived. In addition, Hesselbrock implemented a system referred to as “fee pooling” in accordance with a Fiscal Court ordinance, this system assures integrity and honesty in regard to expenditures for operation of the department, while also having the advantage of providing some additional funding to the county’s general fund. One must wonder what happened to that extra revenue prior to Hesselbrock’s arrival.
Yes, we do have a lot to be positive about in regard to our county government. Let’s join together to celebrate these positive accomplishments and gather hands in support of these elected officials. They have certainly made this county a better place to live, and as they say, the positive accomplishments have just begun.