Thanks to those leaving office; best wishes to those elected

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

 Is there a rush to the county clerk’s office to switch party affiliation?

Probably not right now. That comes over the course of the next couple of years.

In looking at another wacky election in which the dislike of President Obama played a much larger role than two years ago, we will be losing some key officials. We will be looking to some of the survivors to provide much-needed leadership.

In his fifth attempt, Russell Webber found the right combination of issues and money to make his quest of becoming a state representative a reality.

After coming withing 100 or so votes two years ago, Webber found victory on Tuesday. 

Congratulations to Mr. Webber. Now get ready for a busy two-year ride.

Your predecessor may not have the same opinions in Frankfort as the direct mail pieces conveyed. But she does have an extensive track record locally.

Linda Belcher is a constant attendee at just about every governmental meeting in Bullitt County — whether it be in her district or now.

She has been very vocal in Frankfort working to get valuable money for projects such as roads, including work on Cedar Grove Road.

And she has been a key component in getting the Chamber of  Commerce-supported strategic plan for Bullitt County’s future.

We thank Linda for her work and hope that she remains as active.

For Webber, those shoes are big. Local officials have become accustomed to that direct relationship with their state representative.

We wish him luck as the issues in Frankfort are difficult and the problems locally are just as tough.

On the Bullitt County Public School Board, we thank Sammy Allen for his time. The past eight years have been dynamic for the district as many changes have occurred. From the building boom to the academic strides, there have been much change and Allen has been a vocal member of the school board.

Darrell Coleman, who defeated Allen, and Roger Hayes, who ran unopposed, both bring another perspective to the board. They have been in the classroom and Hayes has been in administrative positions.

Both will have the opportunity to build upon the good things which are occurring and then offering their own proposals to further improve the district.

Layne Abell has also seen many changes in the judicial system. In his bid for re-election to circuit clerk, Allen faced a very strong candidate and also faced a 3,800-vote deficit after the straight ticket ballots were counted.

Abell was a charter member when the state changed its judicial system in the 1970s, served the past six years as circuit clerk and also 16 years as a school board member.

His service to the public should be commended.

And we wish Paulita Keith well in her new position as circuit clerk. She understands the demands of public service as her mother, Rhonda, was property valuation administrator, a position also held by her uncle, Pee Wee Keith.

Her business skills will serve her well in an office that is dictated for the most part by the rules and procedures of  the state Administrative Office of the Courts. 

It is an office in which the workload continues to grow but the staffing has not kept up.And although Rick Clements served only a few months as magistrate, he made an impact. 

His thoughtful consideration of all issues was excellent. Being a part of no one’s “club,” Clements was able to use his business background, as well as a thick skin developed from years of umpiring, to make logical decisions.The choice to take the compensating rate on the county tax rate was used against him last week. But it was the right thing to do. We need more of that.Robert Hunt will have an opportunity the next two years to fulfill a goal of serving as Second District magistrate. 

We trust that Bob will do the right thing for his district and for the entire county.At the city level, Shepherdsville has weathered a tremendous storm the past two years. During Tuesday’s election, voters kept only two of those officeholders.

Incumbents Faith Portman, the lone Democrat elected, and Bernie Brown will be called upon by mayor Scott Ellis to provide leadership. They know the issues facing the city and what has been done to basically keep Shepherdsville in business. The individuals joining them will have much to learn.

Believing what you know and actually finding out how little of that may be true or possible is always a challenge for newcomers.

But all of those elected are good people and we trust the strides being made will continue.

For those who will not be returning — Don Cundiff (who chose not to run for re-election), Larry Hatfield, Corky Miller and Robert Flaherty — your time and efforts are to be commended. 

You saw the city through a very rough period. We won’t be surprised to see some of you serving the community in some capacity in the future.

Several of the other cities will also see some shakeup in personnel come January. We thank all those who have served their communities. And we wish those coming into office all the luck in the world.

Anyone who puts themself out for public office should be commended. I can’t think of an individual who has ever run for public office for the wrong reason.

Times are difficult and probably won’t be much easier in the coming years. We can only trust that everyone in public office will do the best for the people that they serve.