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Candidates for Spencer County Soil and Water District were each asked to complete a survey of questions. The following is their unedited answers to these questions. Of the five candidates, the top four vote-getters will earn a spot on the commission. This is a non-partisan race. Responses will be listed in alphabetical order.
1. How long have you lived in Spencer County?
2. What motivates you to seek the office of Soil Conservation?
3. What do you believe are the duties of someone who serves in this position?
4. What experiences do you have that would make you the better candidate?
5. What are the issues the matter most to office of Soil Conservation and what is your position on these issues?
6. What are some goals you have for improving the office of Soil Conservation? How do you plan to accomplish these goals?
My name is Paul Jeffiers. I am a full time farmer in the Elk Creek area. My wife June and I have been married for 57 years. We have one daughter, two grand-daughters and one great grand-daughter. I was born in Spencer County and have lived here all my life except for two years when I was in the army where I served as a tank instructor. I have been in the farming business for over sixty-two years producing fruits and vegetables, and raising dairy and beef cattle. Other areas of involvement include serving as the current Director of the Spencer County Farm Bureau where I previously served as Treasurer for eighteen years. I am a member of the Spencer County Extension Council where I serve as Vice Chairman of Phase One Tobacco Settlement. Additionally I am a member of the Taylorsville United Methodist Church where I have served on many different committees.
I have been a supervisor for the Soil Conservation District for sixteen years and currently serve as Vice Chairperson. With the experience I have producing crops and raising cattle I feel I am qualified to develop plans to protect the land from erosion. I have enjoyed my service over the years and I would like the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Spencer County in this capacity.
Serving the citizens of Spencer County is your first priority as it is their money you are investing. I feel the person serving the citizens in this position should do their best to attend all meetings and represent the thoughts, feelings and ideas that those citizens convey.
I have previously served sixteen years as a supervisor for the Soil Conservation District. Including that experience and the experience I have as a farmer, I feel I am well qualified.
Having programs to assist farmers in managing soil erosion, such as no-till planting, contour farming, and leaving grass waterways are extremely important. I believe you need to have a good working relationship with the office staff, other supervisors, and the taxpayers. Taxpayers have a right to have their tax dollars spent wisely.
I plan on serving the average home owners in the same capacity as the large farm operators by seeking new programs to serve them. One program started in the past is rental of a seeder in which homeowners can use to re-seed their yard. Hopefully additional similar programs could be initiated based upon homeowner needs.
Retired farmer and from General Electric
Wife of 60 years is Verniece Shirley, one son, Tony and three grandchildren.
Native of Spencer County for past 80 years.
Having farmed until retirement, I now have the time and the experience to attend the Soil Conservation meeting and to work for the Soil Conservation in Spencer County. I also believe we need to save all the Spencer County soil we have left.
The duties of serving on the board is to attend every meeting possible and to be fair to everyone with the tax money we receive. We have already lost so much topsoil, so we need to try to protect what we have left.
I have served 11 years on the Conservation board of supervisors. I have gained experience and have showed dedication and integrity by always being conservative with taxpayers’ money. I have always worked for the all the citizens of Spencer County.
Besides serving as Soil Conservation Supervisor, I represent the Soil Conservation on the Plum Creek Watershead, also the R.C. and D. and Spencer County Water Management Council. I have also served on the Spencer County Extension Board.
I think that the issues that matter most in soil conservation is the way we spend the tax and tobacco monies we receive and to be sure that we do not discriminate against anyone as we try to save what soil we have left.
I believe a very important goal is to educate the young people, both farmers and the homeowners, what taking care of the land and water that we have left means to the county. We should leave the resources a little better than when we received them.
We must also use the money we receive to help the most Spencer County residents that we can, according to the rules that we have to go by. I believe that we, as Conservation Supervisors, need to plan the management of natural resources – the land and water – and prevent exploitation, destruction and neglect. We need to carefully preserve and protect our natural resources. This I plan to do to the best of my ability.
Occupation: Retired Louisville Firefighter, real estate agent, farmer, builder & developer
Family: Wife-Jeanie, Sons-Bradley & Michael
How long have you lived in Spencer County? I was born in this county and have lived here most of my life.
Our social and economic attitude, we the American people have departed from our forefather’s social attitude of take care of yourself and lend a helping hand to those in need and also their economic attitude of spending for what you need and reinvesting the balance for the future. Our failure to follow their example has led to greater and greater dependence on the government for all of us. Both, those that have enough to feel secure and those in need of a helping hand have become too dependent upon the government.
To serve all the people, not a select few. All property owners are required to fund this program that seems to serve mainly (land owners). I feel that someone lucky enough to own land should be maintaining it rather than expecting those less fortunate to pay for maintaining it. This brings me to the point where I decided to become a candidate for public service. I studied one of my tax bills and found that of the county tax dollars remaining in Spencer County, except for our school board tax, 43cents of each tax dollar goes to fiscal court and 57 cents goes to special districts with little or no oversight by fiscal court. Tallying up the carryover from last year of the special taxing districts there was a reported surplus of 1.7 million dollars at a time when we were placing additional taxes on our small struggling underpaid local work force. I would ask, is this good sound economic policy?
I do not think I am a better candidate. All of the other candidates are good honest hard working men. However some of them as well as some of you (the voting public) may prefer to continue along the path we are traveling, not only this committee, but all public service in general. If this is the case please do not vote for me because I do want things to change for this county, this state and this country. It is my belief we must start now before it is too late.
I don’t fully understand the issues that are addressed by the soil conservation office. I would ask you the voting public do you know? I read the ½ page soil conservation report in the Spencer Magnet 3 times, each time failing to find a thank you for myself or you (the tax payers) for having funded this program.
I would like to point out again and ask, did you realize that 57% of your county tax dollars (except the school board tax) is managed by special taxing districts without oversight by fiscal court?
I believe the soil conservation office was established during a time when over 90% of our population was employed in agriculture related jobs and would guess that figure to be less than 5% today. These figures are just my best guess. Anyone with the correct numbers please correct my guess.
My next question is did you realize that we the voters are responsible for electing the members of the soil conservation committee at the election booth on Election Day? Don’t worry about voting for me, but PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE. Our vote belongs solely to each of us.
I have only one goal that is to improve our social and economic attitude.
How do you plan to accomplish these goals? By encouraging our voting citizens to become involved in the management of our community by voting and to encourage all eligible citizens to become registered voters. In closing if every registered voter goes to the polls and elects not to vote for Robert Smith, I will win for what I want is for you to vote.
Family: Wife- Linda; son & daughter-in-law Charles & Molly Tichenor- Taylorsville; daughter & son-in-law Rebecca & Brandon Serrano-Lexington
How long have you lived in Spencer County: All my life.
What motivates you to seek the office of Soil Conservation? Love of Spencer County and the desire to promote and protect its natural resources.
What do you believe are the duties of someone who serves in this position? To advise and help administer to various programs of Spencer County Soil Conservation.
What experiences do you have that would make you the better candidate? A degree in agriculture from the University of Kentucky, practical experiences as a farmer and service on the Spencer County Soil Conservation Board of Supervisors since 1990.
What issues that matter most to office of Soil Conservation and what is your position on these issues? Soil Conservation is a taxing district. It is our responsibility to ensure that those tax dollars are spent efficiently to promote soil and water conservation.
What are some goals you have for improving the office of Soil Conservation? How do you plan to accomplish these goals? Promote conservation of our natural resources, through education of our youth through sponsorship of conservation poster and essay contests and land judging contests; assistance to our farmers through sponsorship of such programs as Phase I tobacco settlement fund programs, rental of no till drill and lime spreading equipment, and free soil testing; and assistance to residential homeowners with lawn care.
Has four children, Darrell, Doug, Dean Ware and Connie Bowman
Has lived in Spencer County all his life.
I believe in taking care of the soil and improving water quality.
I believe in fairness to everyone we deal with.
I have served on various committees, such as the Farm Service Agency, and as supervisor for the Spencer County Conservation District for the past 16 years.
Serving the people of Spencer County matters the most, such as administering the Phase I Tobacco Forage program and the Kentucky Agricultural Relief Effort (KARE).
My goal is to make the best use of any government money and making it available to farmers.