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June 18, 2008: Our Readers Write

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Letters to the Editor

By The Staff

Petition to return to magisterial system is politcally motivated

In 2004 the voters of Hardin County took a step forward to modernize county government by changing from the magisterial system of Fiscal Court to the commission system. In 2006 I had the privilege to vote for each commissioner and judge executive; four out of four elected offices. Wow, that is the way representative government should be organized.

However, on June 10, a petition to place the magisterial form of county government on the ballot was presented to Judge Executive Harry Berry.

Contrary to statements made using the presentation at Fiscal Court, I don’t believe this action is non-partisan and has nothing to do with the proposal to build a new county office complex outside of downtown. Since the commission form of government only has been in existence since 2006, what is Mr. Rider basing his discontent of county government on other than partisan politics and the relocation of county government offices?

What public service is he not receiving from the current Fiscal Court that he received under the magisterial system? Furthermore, Mr. Rider was accompanied to the fiscal court meeting by Ric Hawkins, the candidate who lost the election for judge executive in 2006 to Judge Berry. Mr. Hawkins is on record as being opposed to the relocation of county government offices and almost anything Judge Berry proposes.

It is okay to debate the pros and cons of any issue before Fiscal Court, but voter privileges are too important to use as partisan political prompts. This effort to lessen Hardin County residents’ voting power is a serious matter. It is shameful to diminish the standards for county government officials by returning to “good ol’ boy” politics. City governments of Kentucky allow voters of a city to vote for all members of city council. Why should our county governments be treated differently?

No matter what the opponents to the commission form of fiscal court say, it is partisan politics and it has a lot to do with the “good ol’ boys” missing their perceived influence on county government officials. If you want to have the opportunity to elect all members of the Fiscal Court, vote to keep the commissioner form of government.

Sharon Jern

Elizabethtown