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Primary 2018

In our last Q & A session, Sun readers will meet candidates in contested primaries for the 4th, 6th and 8th magisterial districts. Our thanks to those who sent us suggested questions, one of which was addressed to the magistrate candidates. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, beginning with their last name.

4th District Democrats

Maria Bohanan

Brief bio:

I am a long time Woodford County resident, a recent widow and a proud mother of two wonderful children.

A UK graduate, I worked in state government for 22 and-a-half years, handling budgets and legislation for Transportation and Health Services cabinets. I co-owned Pretty in Pink and previously was past President of the Versailles Merchants Association, which has been integral in enhancing downtown with the Friday Night Block parties. I also served on the Mayor’s task force for commercial retention and Development. I currently serve on the Woodford County Tourism Commission, chair of the Versailles Fall Festival, Versailles Christmas Festival committee and the Downtown Planning Advisory Committee.

I think all of my past experiences provide a well-rounded resume for this position. I am also new to the political arena which will help provide a fresh perspective to county government while helping our county move forward and maintain its small-town charm.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

As a magistrate, our top need for the district should always be to maintain a low base while providing quality services. For a specific item, while walking through the neighborhoods and speaking to the constituents of the fourth district, there is a need for a sidewalk on High Street all the way to the Woodford County Middle School. There are several children that walk to WCMS on a daily basis and the lack of sidewalks impedes their safety. This issue falls under city jurisdiction and not county government. This is why I am committed to improving the county’s relationship with the City of Versailles. The majority of the Fourth District pay towards both county and city government. To ensure that occurs, the fiscal court should have a strong partnership with the city to better serve all citizens in the Fourth District.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new high school?

As the only opponent in the 4th District that currently has a child in the school system, I personally do not have a problem paying the tax as I view it as an investment in the children of Woodford County. I also respect the petition process and the fact that the people want to vote on this tax.

Mr. John Soper with Woodford County’s EDA conveyed to the fiscal court that a new high school will give him a crucial tool to recruit companies to come to Woodford County. That will result in new jobs and an increase in the county’s payroll taxes, the County’s single largest revenue stream. This will allow the fiscal court its ability to maintain its current low tax rate.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position – and will you accept such benefits?

Elected officials take a pledge to be a good steward of government. Magistrates who are in essence part time employees are offered insurance and retirement benefit at the same level as full-time public employees. While I would not want to deny a magistrate the ability to be in the counties insurance pool, I do not believe the county should provide a match at a full-time employee rate. I also do not believe they should not receive retirement. These tools were set up for full-time public employees. As a steward of government, you were elected to make decisions some of which can be difficult. I am not exactly sure how you can make the tough decisions if you are receiving such benefits. It is because of these reasons I will not accept benefits.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

The transparency of government is paramount. Openness, accountability, and honesty are at the heart of how citizens hold their public officials accountable. As magistrate, I personally would provide any personal information that pertains to that role. Also, I will work to provide that all fiscal court meetings be recorded and streamed either on Facebook Live or YouTube and that all public documents are accessible to the public through the county’s website.

Kelly Carl

Brief Bio:

I have been serving my community for 28 years and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your 4th District Magistrate. I began serving the community as a deputy sheriff with the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office in 1990 and continued my service until retirement in April 2017. In that time, I also served as the director of Community Education for the Woodford County Board of Education. I received my POPS certification from EKU Criminal Justice Training.

I am a graduate of the Leadership Central Kentucky program given by the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and have served on numerous boards including the United Way, Special Olympics, Versailles Parks and Recreation, Kentucky Schools Public Relations Association, Woodford Chamber of Commerce, and the Bluegrass Area Development District.

My husband, Loren “Squirrel” Carl and I have resided in the Colony subdivision for nearly 30 years.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

I see that the top need relative to my district and to the county as a whole would be to maintain the services infrastructure to allow for future growth and to secondly, to continue to improve our parks and recreation areas. One of my priorities is to work hard to create a salary plan that will fairly compensate our county employees for their service.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new school?

The best thing to do with an issue that is dividing our community is to put it to a vote.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position – and will you accept such benefits?

I will not accept health insurance or other benefits nor do I believe that the position should be considered as a full-time position for employment benefits.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

In addition to an open line of communication, I would like to see the Fiscal Court meetings made available through video to the public.

Also, the county’s website needs to be more user friendly and to provide more in-depth information.

Ken Reed

Brief bio:

I am a lifelong resident of Woodford County. I am married to Brenda Reed, a retired accountant, who served clients in Versailles for over 50 years. After 36 years, I retired from IBM as a procurement manager. Following my retirement from IBM, I worked six years at Lexmark as an international sales representative. Currently, I am a Citizens Commerce Bank director, Woodford County Farm Bureau director, and a member of McKee Lodge #35. I am seeking a third term as Woodford County Magistrate for District 4, where I am chairperson of the Contracts and Lease Committee for the Woodford County Fiscal Court. For Brenda and me, Woodford County is a gem … a very special place to live and work. Just over eight years ago, I chose to serve my community as District 4 Magistrate and I hope to continue my service.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

A critical need is for our community residents to be involved in our county government. As leaders, we must invite our citizens to feel a sense of commitment and empower them to become actively involved in activities to improve our lives. We need decision makers who are eager to hear ideas and receive feedback. Our citizens need, and deserve, wise, thoughtful, and purposeful use of our funding for our community as a whole. Since I have been a magistrate, the Fiscal Court and department heads monitor how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Our current financial condition will prevent a tax increase in the foreseeable future. Today our county enjoys the most sound financial position ever. I encourage you to get to know the candidates, vote on Election Day and become involved in community activities to make Woodford County an even better place to live and work.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new high school?

Woodford County has an outstanding public school system, as evidenced by the high statewide rating of our schools. I want our children to have the best learning environment we can provide. When we educate a child well, that child has a much greater chance of being successful in life. I support Woodford County Schools. I strongly support Woodford County teachers; I cheered for the teachers as they rallied in Frankfort this spring. This said, I believe the best approach to the potential 5.5 cent per $100 property tax increase for a new high school is to have Woodford County citizens vote on the new tax. Taxpayers should have a voice in this decision. But, should the tax increase pass, I believe it should be repealed once the school construction debt is paid. I do recognize a tax increase may cause hardships for seniors who live on fixed incomes.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position – and will you accept such benefits?

I believe magistrates should receive benefits, including a health insurance benefit. Magistrates, like many others, pay a portion of their insurance. When performed properly, the magistrate position is not a part-time job. A magistrate is on call 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year. Issues and problems occur at all hours of the day and night and magistrates must be available to respond. When I receive a call from a constituent, my goal is to respond to them within one hour to review their problems or concerns. So,

I do believe magistrates should receive benefits, including a health insurance benefit; however, if all fiscal court members agree to not accept these benefits, I would agree to forfeit my salary and benefits and continue with my duties as magistrate.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

During our fiscal court meetings, I believe citizens in attendance should be allowed to ask questions about items on the agenda as the members of the court discuss them. If citizens attending our court meetings could ask questions, more people would attend and more people would have confidence in our decisions. Not allowing questions creates an appearance that the court is hiding something … and the court has nothing to hide. Our court meetings are open and transparent. I am always glad to see citizens attend our court meetings because I want them to be involved in the county’s business. Even though our court meetings are recorded and anyone who has questions can request to listen to the tapes, more open participation during the meetings would be desirable.

6th District Republicans

Gloria Hose

Brief Bio:

My name is Gloria “Jeanne” Hose and I would be honored to serve Woodford County as its 6th District magistrate. I was born and raised in Woodford County. I am from a huge family of 15 and definitely have an edge on negotiating skills!

I have worked many positions throughout my lifetime as a real estate owner, local shop owner, management, insurance, after school provider for our local after school programs, and school bus driver to name a few. I have always had an independent streak and will try anything once. I do not mind jump in and getting my hands dirty.

I have been blessed with great mentors throughout my journey and I cherish them all! I live my life as the gift from God that it is, and ask Him to guide me in all I do.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

The concerns of my district are road and curb repair. Storm drainage. Disregard of stop signs and speeding through our neighborhoods.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new school?

I do believe in having great schools for our children as well as great teachers. I feel putting the tax increase issue on the ballot is the right thing to do for all to vote on. I do wish it was during the regular voting session so as to save the extra money and inconvenience to voters.

This increase concerns me because of our citizens living on a fixed income. They have already endured many increases this past year concerning utility hikes, medicine cost, health care cost, food, gas – to name a few. This definitely puts them in a more stressful position.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position – and will you accept such benefits?

I do not know the pay or benefits given a magistrate. That is not why I seek this position.

However, I feel everyone’s situation is unique. Although everyone has an opinion on salaries as to if it is overpaid or underpaid, I choose not to judge anyone on what they may or may not deserve unless I have walked in their shoes.

Some positions may specify so many hours or days and not include the extra time needed outside of these set times one may use of their private time in preparing for meetings and time spent in their districts helping their community. I plan to be available whenever anyone has a concern.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

Transparency in all government is extremely important. I will always be available and my door wide open for anyone wishing to discuss any of their concerns. I encourage everyone to attend the Fiscal Court meetings to see how they work and finalize decisions, and also to bring their questions and concerns to the court.

Duncan Gardiner

Brief bio:

I have been married to my wife Laury for over 30 years and we have two children, Zak and Shannah. I was first elected as a Magistrate in 2010 and am currently in my second term. My qualifications include a B.A. in Economics and English from Miami (Ohio) University; completion of Stonier Graduate School of Banking; 28 years in banking most recently as a market president/commercial lender of a local bank; Certified Financial Planner™ designation; graduate of Leadership Woodford County. I’ve served as the President of the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce; elder and SundaySchool teacher; co-founder of Woodford Christian School/Pre-School; board member of Bluegrass Community Hospital. My hobbies include golf, travel and time with my family. I’ve lived in Woodford County for the past 25 years. It truly is the best place I’ve ever lived. It is a wonderful place to raise a family.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

The greatest source of tension over the last 25-plus years has been over land usage. Currently, the Edgewood Farm Development on the Lexington side of Kroger is being held up by litigation as was the new Kroger site for years. This reflects the conflict between those who want fast growth vs. slow growth. As a resident of this community, I am glad that we do not have unchecked growth or suburban sprawl that some of our neighboring counties suffer from. This has led to an excellent quality of life for our residents including me. We do need sustained growth to maintain the health of our local economy or we will face the problems that many of our economically depressed counties face. As a magistrate, I will continue to work with the cities of Versailles and Midway to promote moderate economic growth, while preserving the character of our community.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new high school?

I’ve watched with interest how this process has unfolded over the last several months. The school board took a courageous stand several months ago to approve an increase in taxes (never a popular move) to fund this project. A group of concerned citizens organized and gathered over 1,400 signatures (no easy feat) to require the issue be put on a ballot for voters to decide. I have friends and long-time acquaintances from both groups and I’m supportive of both efforts. I think we should have a new high school and I think the issue should be put to the voters. My wife and I will both be voting in favor of the property tax increase to fund a new high school and we hope others will do the same.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position – and will you accept such benefits?

I will not be accepting health insurance and pension benefits if elected to another term. As far as whether magistrates should receive benefits, I believe that is an individual decision that each elected official will have to decide for themselves. I’ve found in the private sector that a competitive salary and benefit’s package is an important part of attracting and retaining quality people. We need quality candidates to serve on the Fiscal Court to oversee $17 million of taxpayer’s money each year. I currently receive benefits from the court, but earlier this year I made the decision to stop those benefits at the end of this June. The increasing cost of health insurance and especially the rising cost of pension contributions is putting pressure on the budgets of every county in Kentucky including ours and finding the balance between providing services and controlling costs will be an ongoing challenge.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

I was very impressed by the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce’s use of Facebook Live to stream and record the candidate’s forum recently. This is a low-cost way of allowing anyone who has access to social media the opportunity to view fiscal court and city council meetings. I would be in favor of livestreaming fiscal court meetings in an effort to bring more transparency to county government. Also, much of the information that is presented at fiscal court meetings could be posted to our county website or other sites for residents to view. I believe the more transparent we are in government, the more our community benefits.

8th District Democrats

Thomas Moungey

Brief bio:

Tom and Susan Moungey, both retired, have resided in Nonesuch since 2004. Their family consists of 3 daughters and 12 grandkids. Tom has a degree in Biology. He served in Vietnam as Marine Officer with concurrent intelligence (Top Secret clearance), administrative, and artillery fire direction duties. After the military, Tom worked as an air quality investigator. He has many years of experience with lumber, both hardwoods and softwoods. Tom was a licensed California general contractor specializing in repairs, remodels, and additions. He has been involved in horse racing, as both owner/trainer since 1988. Tom plans to take the Marine Corps leadership qualities and apply them to bettering our local communities, inspiring and guiding those who know them best; their families, friends, and neighbors. Semper fidelis: For truth, transparency, integrity, justice, fairness and use of common sense.

What are the top needs in your district and the county, and what will you do to address them?

We need to re-address growth in Woodford County as outlined in “Preserving Town and Country in the Woodford County Bluegrass.” As stated in the plan, a battle has been waged between growth and no growth factions. Precious dollars have been lost in this counter-productive process of warring in the courts. Both sides should call a truce and begin a process of planned growth. This process would depend on mutual respect, cooperation, unity, trust, transparency, honesty, integrity, and use of common sense. Roadside litter control will be addressed.

A recycling program to include all plastics should be considered. Other communities have started this type of program. A global effort is required to recycle all plastics.

Lobby the state legislature for a “bottle bill” (CRV) deposit regulation.

Increase funding for more Road Department employees and salary increases for current employees.

What is your position on the 5.5 cent (per $100) property tax hike for a new high school?

I am 100 percent for it with the stipulation that all funds stay in Woodford County and are strictly for construction of the new school.

Should magistrates be given health insurance and other benefits for what some argue is a part-time position - and will you accept such benefits?

No health insurance or benefits for magistrates. No, I would not accept such benefits.

What will you do to bring transparency to county government?

Conduct thorough, detailed investigations, Marine Corps style. No stone shall be left unturned.

Magistrate Jackie Brown (Dist. 8) did not participate in our question-and-answer series.

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