On Jan. 1, many new changes were occurring around the Rowan County Judge-Executive’s office. I was officially sworn in early with the retirement of outgoing Judge-Executive Dr. Walter Blevins. In addition, the Fiscal Court also introduced a new Magistrate in Robert Hamm representing the people of District 4.
The New Year has been fast-paced to get up to speed and to begin addressing ongoing projects left from 2018. On Jan. 7, I called the Fiscal Court into special session to address personnel appointments.
Jason Slone, a resident of Rowan County for over 25 years, will become my new Executive Operations Manager. The past 14 years, Jason served in Frankfort with the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet as a director for workforce programs covering 33 Eastern Kentucky counties. Jason has a wealth of experience in government programs and budgets and has deep backgrounds in Human Resources, workforce, and economic development.
Steve Kelsey, an employee of the Fiscal Court, will now serve as the Road Foreman for the county. Steve is a 12-year employee of the Fiscal Court road department and has a deep understanding of the daily operational requirements. Steve brings experience to this role and will be invaluable as we move forward.
Jimmie Hampton was appointed Feb. 1 as the new Emergency Management Director for the county. Jimmie replaces Ronnie Day who retired at the end of 2018. Jimmie has a diverse background as a paramedic, volunteer firefighter, dive recovery, and training in each area. His expertise will be important in the event we have a declared emergency.
As we approach our first 90 days in office, we have not slowed our pace in addressing many concerns brought to me while campaigning. First, we have implemented more resources to provide cleanup to our county roadways. Since Jan. 1, we have collected 1,366 bags of trash covering 65 miles of county roads. This is in addition to resources provided through the jail program. The city and county are in the process of expanding recreation opportunities by partnering to takeover the Laughlin Health Building at Morehead State University. This indoor space will serve all ages and will provide multiple recreational opportunities that include basketball, volleyball, bowling, racquetball, and meeting space.
Road work and repairs are ongoing, the magistrates and myself are working closely to address priorities in the coming budget year for necessary repairs. Priorities are being established in each district to ensure those roads and bridges in most need are addressed. In the past year alone, repairs have been made to bridges and tiles on Old Hilda, Jackson Drive, Copperas Hollow, Tackett Branch, and Little Perry Roads. Bridges awaiting repairs are Gene White Road and C. Workman Road.
2019 has certainly been fast-paced and we have so much more to accomplish. My office is always open, so please feel free to stop by and discuss concerns and issues.