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What is a public servant? I believe a public servant is one who walks with God.
I remember when I was out in sin, the things that meant most to me always referred back to what I could do to promote my own agenda. After I accepted Jesus, I had a different outlook on life. This outlook was to serve Jesus first of all, then Jesus would give me direction to serve others.
A few weeks ago, one of the girls who worked in my office, said, “Junior, why don’t you run for judge again, we would go in there and give the people a 75 percent tax cut.”
I thought to myself, “How are we going to do that?”
Recently, when I received my Spencer Magnet and saw how much our county assessment was (it was over $1 billion), I thought it would be very possible to give a 75 percent tax cut. Why not? We receive a four percent insurance tax, and an occupational tax.
The first two weeks I was in the judge’s office, Congressman Natcher told me if we did not vote a resolution in support of the lake, he was not going to build it. I went over to the tax office and found our county tax assessment was $81 million, then I saw the lake project was estimated to cost $123 million.
We voted to go with Congressman Natcher. After this, every meeting brought a new challenge. We got to be great friends to a lot of people in high places. The first grant we received was to put a roof on the courthouse. After that I was put on committees that told me when the state and federal money was coming through and what it was for. We built many roads and bridges, bought the Veech building, moved the county road department on Fairgrounds Road and built the Annex where it was located, built the parking lot behind it, built the fairgrounds, built the playground behind the high school (this cost more than any other project other than the money that came from Frankfort for the high school).
Many times I hear, “Of all the things you did, the nursing home was the greatest.” I will have to say it was the easiest. Three different people came to our meeting in the courthouse and told us anyone who is in the nursing home business will build you a nursing home if you will get them a certificate of need from the state. When we got the Rural Health Clinic, we had to have a certificate of need for it. The same board issued both. There are many other things we did, but I’m afraid I will get this article so long no one will read it.
The amazing thing was before I went in office the politicians would say, “We will never get anything here because we are too little, we don’t have any political clout.”
I took office in 1978. The 1980 census showed we had 5,929 people in the entire county. We were told we did not warrant a nursing home, we were too little, but we got a big one. With our clinic, we were competing against big cities for one of six satellite clinics the government was trying in our country and we got one.
How did we do all of this? We did this because the people had elected us to be public servants and we forgot about ourselves and served the people who put their confidence in us with God as our co-pilot.