• By Dr. Jay K. Box

Civic engagement is important for us all


When election time rolls around, many people decide not to vote, and some end up voting for people they know nothing about. Kentucky’s voter turnout is not good, which tells me our citizens are not as engaged as they should be.

Voting is only one aspect of civic engagement. Learning about the issues and who represents you are equally important. That’s one reason the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) office is hosting We Are Woodford, a Town Hall Forum at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7.

This is an opportunity for all residents of Woodford County to meet and hear from Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott, Woodford County Judge Executive James Kay and State Rep. Joe Graviss. Council members, magistrates and many other elected officials will be in attendance as well.

These leaders are excited to come together in this town hall setting because it gives them an opportunity to hear from residents from throughout the county at the same time. This also is an unprecedented opportunity for Woodford County residents to have access to all of these leaders at the same time. They will explain what their jobs are and what their hopes and dreams are for your cities and Woodford County as a whole. Most importantly, they want to know what your vision is.

I’m very pleased that KCTCS was asked to host the event. We’ve been part of this community since 2004, and my vision is for the KCTCS office to be more engaged in the community. I want to bring more of our neighbors into our office to see and hear what we’re doing all over the state.

You’ll probably be surprised to know we have more than 107,000 students taking classes at our 16 colleges around the state and that we are Kentucky’s largest provider of postsecondary, online and workforce education.

Here in Versailles, there are about 200 people working diligently to support our colleges and our students. We want to be sure we’re being good neighbors and contributing to the well-being of Woodford County, so I’m open to ideas about how we can help the community.

Being engaged is everyone’s duty as Woodford Countians, Kentuckians and Americans. The upcoming Town Hall Forum is an opportunity for all of us to become better educated about each other and the community in which we live and work. Civic engagement improves communities in a number of ways. It allows us to build relationships, better understand political and public policy processes and enhances our quality of life.

I hope you’ll join us Feb. 7. If you can’t, you can watch on Facebook Live. Just visit the KCTCS Facebook page at 5:30 p.m. A Facebook event page has been set up to give you more information about the forum, and you’ll see an ad in today’s paper as well as posters throughout the county. I look forward to seeing you Feb 7. Dr. Jay K. Box is president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

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