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SHEPHERDSVILLE - It’s the incumbent versus a person who served as her top assistant in the race for Bullitt County Judge/Executive in the Republican Party primary on May 18.
Incumbent Melanie Roberts is looking for her second term as the county’s top official. To do that, she must first defeat Depp Rasner, who served six months as Roberts’ deputy judge.
The styles are different as so are the messages.
For the first-term judge, serving the people is the most important role.
“Serving people is the most important aspect of being judge/executive,” said Roberts. “Serving is my passion.”
She said when constituents walk into her office or make a phone call, they should be treated with respect and the matter should be resolved efficiently and quickly.
“Constituents deserve to be served by elected officials,” said Roberts. “I am here to serve.”
Providing top quality emergency services is a key issue for Roberts. She said over the past three years, the county has worked with various agencies, including all eight cities, to form an excellent team.
“Making sure the people are safe and secure is my number one priority,” said Roberts.
Another important issue is the construction of a community college in the county. Roberts said $1.7 million had been set aside in the House budget but nothing has been approved by the General Assembly.
That money would provide funds for planning and designing the facility.
“We must continue to focus on providing our residents and the region’s residents with higher education,” said Roberts. “Education is the key to a higher quality of life.”
Another critical issue is transportation for the elderly, disabled and low income. The county just recently started a local bus service.
She said job creation is also important.
She viewed being a leader as crucial for the judge/executive, especially in times of crisis.
She said there had been four declared state of emergencies during her first term.
“As the leader of Bullitt County, I must make quick decisions based on information gathered and remember that peoples’ lives are or can be affected,” said Roberts.
Depp Rasner II
Rasner, a small business owner, believes Bullitt County needs a new vision and that can only come with change.
Having worked in county government, Rasner said he knows leadership is a key to solving many of the issues facing the area.
“I will provide leadership by establishing trust and respect to build communication,” said Rasner. “I believe trust, respect and communication are the cornerstones to building positive working relationships which in turn breed consensus, allows input from knowledgeable people, enables criticism to turn into a positive and the collaboration to plan with foresight.”
Rasner’s top issue to tackle will be the creation of new jobs. He would like to capitalize on the Interstate 65 corridor to create a community for people to live and to work.
Part of this involves improving the existing infrastructure.
Another big concern is the lack of fiscal accountability. After state audit concerns, the theft of $400,000 in a cyber crime from the county’s payroll account to the lack of a plan to use stimulus funds, Rasner said something must be done.
To show the lack of leadership, Rasner said magistrates had to form committees to deal with the budget and roads.
Rasner wants to do a study of all county expenditures with a three-step solution. This involves looking at every department’s budgets, require department supervisors to make monthly reports on performance in their areas and how the money was spent and establish a relationship with the treasurer to form a team to deal with budget objectives.
A third major issue is the appearance of disunity and a poor image of the county.
Rasner said there must be a plan to identify the strengths and weaknesses and to promote the many good things happening in the county.
He added working with the tourist commission is important to get the word out about the county.
Fixing all the problems may take time but Rasner believes that hard work would provide the county to market itself as a truly new destination in the region.