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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Four Democrats will battle in the May primary for the opportunity to face a Republican in the fall for the position of magistrate in the First District.
Incumbent Buddy Shepherd will be challenged by Denise Arnold, former magistrate Dennis Mitchell and Clifton Thomas West in the May 18 primary.
Denise Arnold said she would be the voice for the people of her district.
Arnold, secretary for the Nazarene Day Care, said her enthusiasm and high energy would serve her constituents well.
The biggest issues over the next four years would include the budget, communications and grant money.
Arnold said the entire fiscal court must work together as a team to present a balanced budget.
“I will communicate with my co-workers in a professional manner,” said Arnold. “I will also listen to the people and return their calls. I will work for them.”
She said a way to deal with some of the financial issues would be to apply for grant money.
To be a leader, Arnold said there are certain criteria.
“In leadership, you have to have the ability to give guidance,” said Arnold, in her first political race. “I feel I can earn the respect of the people by listening to them and working out problems and differences.”
For Dennis Mitchell, he knows the issues confronting a magistrate as he filled that role for 13 years in the First District.
“I have proven myself in many capacities as a strong and resourceful leader,” said Mitchell, who is a building and developer.
As magistrate, Mitchell said the court must stress economic development. He said he would seek local, state and federal funding for ways to create local job.
The employees should be trained in the latest technology to improve their skills and efficiency.
And Mitchell believes the county needs to develop a public relations plan to inform the public all the services that are performed with the use of their tax dollars.
Having been pro-active in securing grant and state dollars for projects during his previous tenure, Mitchell said being a leader is someone who can serve at the highest level of efficiency to serve his constituents.
Clifford “Buddy” Shepherd has served as deputy jailer, sheriff and magistrate.
“I know the county,” said Shepherd. “I know the people. And I know the roads.”
In his district, Shepherd said improving the roads remains a major issue. During the past eight years, Shepherd said a number of roads in the district have been added to the county maintenance program but there is much work to be done.
He said the district has been able to see water service extended by Louisville Water Co. This has included water service to Nichols Elementary.
Another issue that must be tackled is the budget. Shepherd said making sure the county pays its bills on time is important.
Working as a team is also important. Shepherd said that he could work with whoever is elected to fiscal court.
“I can work with anyone,” said Shepherd.
Without making a lot of promises during the campaign, Shepherd said his experience in many parts of county government gives him an advantage.
Clifton “Tommy” West is making his first run at political office.
In his announcement in a recent special section in The Pioneer News, West said his goal is to be service-oriented and focused on helping others.
“People have ideas that need to be heard and investigated,” said West, “and then taken to the board and fought for completion. A public official does what the people want, not what a select few will profit from.”
He said the people of the First District deserve what other areas already have - paved roads, water, protection, etc.
If elected, West plans to have regular meetings in the district to get ideas and seek feedback on his job performance.
“If you have an issue, I cannot promise it will be resolved,” said West. “I can promise, however, that I will put forth every effort to see that it is. If your expectations are not met, rest assured that you will know exactly why.”