Levee commission using new method

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by WILLIAM B. CARROLL, Spencer Magnet Editor
Spencer County, Kentucky Levee, Flood Control and Drainage District No. 1 is holding an election on April 7, 2014 and it will be unlike any other election the district has ever held. For the first time in history, the district will be using mail-out ballots to determine next year’s commissioners and secretary.Previously votes were done by voters coming in to the Spencer County Judge Executive’s office and completing ballots by hand.
According to current levee commission member Bobby Smith, this at times has led to extremely low voter turnouts.“A lot of people don’t even know they can vote in the election so no one shows up to vote,” Smith said.
The election is only open to property holders inside the floodwall’s protective zone. At a recent levee commission meeting, Smith said that in the 1940s most property owners inside the floodwall lived on their properties but now, “they live all over the world.”Smith said that the mail-out ballots were envisioned as a way to get more property owners involved in the selection process.
“This election is for everyone that owns property inside the levee, we want to get more people involved in the process,” he said.Current commissioners see a need, not only for getting more people involved in the election process, but also in getting more candidates for the position.
“I want people to run against me,” Smith said. “I want anyone to run that wants to run, we need good people for the commission. We want more people involved.”Smith said that it is important that people understand the value and importance of the levee and he hopes that the mail-out ballots will get property owners to become aware of the issues. Smith and the other committee members have signaled their willingness to continue if re-elected by the people.
“The three of us have agreed to run again if the people want us to do this, if they don’t that is certainly the prerogative of the people,” Commission President Mike Driscoll said.
Driscoll asked for names of prospective candidates during the last levee commission meeting suggesting that he would be happy to give up his spot if others were interested in running.
Smith said that ballots are being sent to all known property holders in the district. The ballots may be submitted by return mail or by dropping the ballot off at the Spencer County Judge Executive’s office located at 12 West Main Street in Taylorsville. Deadline to return the ballots is April 7. Terms will run for one year commencing on May 5, 2014.