Incoming magistrates to focus on teamwork

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By William Carroll

Newly elected and veteran magistrates appear to have the same goal in mind when their term begins Jan. 5, namely working together for the good of the county.
The Spencer Magnet took an opportunity to interview each of the magistrates about their vision and goals for the next four years and the common thread through all was unity.
Current magistrates David Goodlett and Hobert Judd were specifically optimistic about the future of the county and the newly elected members of the court.
“I would say I am optimistic, I think this court will be ok,” Goodlett said. “We’ve got some hurdles to overcome, specifically we need to get back to focusing on economic development. I think we need to have some type of board or committee again. One of the worst things that happened over the last few years was losing our economic development board.”
Goodlett said he had spoken with the new magistrates and felt like the new group could work well together. Judd also had a similar opinion.
“I think it is going to be a good four years for us,” Judd said. “From what I’ve learned (about the incoming magistrates) it has been very positive.”
Judd said that one of the primary goals for the new fiscal court is working as a team for the good of the county.
“If we have differences we should work them out civilly,” he said. “We need to reestablish the prior reputation we had throughout the state.”
The newly elected magistrates also stated their desire to work together on the issues that affect the county. Magistrate-elect Jim Williams said he sees a common area as economic development.
“From talking with the other magistrates, we all seem to be interested in economic development,” Williams said. “I think we need to look at developing an economic development board and getting something started on that right away.”
Williams had other ideas about what he would like to see over the next four years.
“I would like to see us be more financially responsible,” Williams said. “We need to get the budget under control and put money away for a rainy day. We need to get away from the county making a budget that uses up all of our revenues.”
As the incoming magistrate for Taylorsville, Williams said that one of his main priorities will be the levee surrounding the city.
“I have already been working on the levee issue quite a bit, working on trying to get grant funds,” he said.
New Elk Creek magistrate, Brian Bayers, said that he is also interested in focusing on economic development.
“This county needs a better telecommunications network in order to grow,” Bayers said. “There are some areas of the county that are definitely lacking services in that area. I feel that when we are talking about economic development, the backbone is infrastructure. It is very hard to entice businesses to the area when you cannot get the most basic things like cell phone service.”
Bayers, who has lived in the county for 12 years, also wants to focus on improving tourism in the county.
“I believe there are possibilities for making that (the lake) more accessible,” he said. “I’d like to improve the overall enjoyment for Spencer County residents. We have a lot of great things here in the county that everyone should have the chance to appreciate.
Collis Rogers said that he felt it would take four years to get the county straightened out from the last four years.
“From what I see, the county is overspending what we are taking in,” Rogers said. “I think we need to cut back on some of our spending. I think this coming fiscal court will be better than the current court. I hope that the county can pull together, instead of going backwards like it has the past four years.
Williams, Bayers and Rogers also spoke about recent classes for incoming magistrates and what they learned.
“We got a lot of information in a hurry,” Williams said. “There were KACO (Kentucky Association of Counties) reps, other magistrates, the state auditor and other officials, they told us pretty much anything we needed to know.”
“One of the big things I learned about was economic development,” Bayer said. “They had a number of people talking on a lot of topics.”
Rogers said he learned more about the dos and don’ts of the office, many of which he already knew from years of service with the county road department.
The new fiscal court will hold its first meeting Jan. 5 at 9 a.m.