.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

City council candidates weigh in on relationship between city, county in 2012 election preview

-A A +A
By The Staff

Eleven out of the 12 candidates vying for Lawrenceburg city council seats in next week’s election shared biographical information and answered five questions on how they’d serve the city of Lawrenceburg if elected to a council seat:

Name: Allen Kays
Office sought: city council
Profession: retired
Education: GED
Family information: Three daughters, eight grandchildren
Organization affiliations: none
Political experience: past city councilman

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
Find an incentive plan to reopen business that would create more jobs. One way would be to lower permit and license fees. This will help bring people here to work and make jobs.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
That it could be improved. Better communication and be willing to cooperate.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
No. There should be no increases the city should manage more closer.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
I don’t have facts or information on the present issue. But if elected I will always look for the best interest of the people.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
No. They don’t want let the public know what is going on and how much they are spending. I did an Open Records request asking for credit card expenses for the past 60 months and was told they do not keep any records on file for their credit card purchases. I ask the people, “How do you feel when you don’t know what they are purchasing with the taxpayers’ dollars?”

Name: Bobby Durr
Office sought: city council
Profession: Retired, Anderson County School District (maintenance director)
Education: High school  
Family information: Married to Linda (Drury) Durr, three children, Rodney (Carla) Durr, Renee Durr, Dana (Chris) Thompson
Organization affiliations: Emulation Lodge 688
Political Experience: six years city council

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
Install sidewalks on West Broadway for the safety of children walking to and from school.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
There needs to be a better working relationship between the city and county governments. This is not a “we” or “they” government, it is an “our” government.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
Yes, I think city council members are entitled to an increase if other employers do.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
I don’t know of an item that needs to be increased or decreased. A lot of work went into preparing the budget, so if it is not broke, don’t fix it.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
I would hope that the city government is friendly. That is our goal to work with the chamber of commerce and businesses to make that happen.

Name: Dan Stumph
Office sought: City Council
Profession: printer
Education: high school  
Family information: Married, children four daughters, eight grandchildren
Organization affiliations: The Lawrenceburg-Dogwalk Battlefield Assoc. Inc. Board of Directors
Political Experience: none

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
We have a wonderful community and a beautiful town, however our downtown is in dire need of rehabilitation. I feel this is an area we must work on.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
This is an area that must be improved on. I would rate good to fair, at best, the current relationship.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
I do not believe we run for the money (No).

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
In the wake of spring tornadoes, possibly an increase in disaster preparedness.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
Always room for improvement. Depending on who you talk with. On one hand a business always would like to keep more, on the other hand we have no occupation taxes.

Name: Dustin Burley
Office sought: city council
Profession: Childcare and fast food
Education: Child psychology certificate; early childhood administration certificate
Organization affiliations: Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and various other organizations
Political experience: I joined Kentucky Young Democrats a few months ago because we need more fresh ideas to better our future.

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
I would work with community leaders and government to bring good paying jobs.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
I see the both governing bodies not working together for different reasons. As elected officials, they need and should work together to better our community.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
No. I think voters should vote on a pay increases based on our records and progress made while serving on city council.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
I haven’t looked at a detail budget because I am not elected but I think we should sit down like adults and cut waste from departments. Look for ways to increase funding to areas if needed.

Is city government
business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
I don’t think so because we would have a lot of jobs if it were business friendly.

Name: George Geoghegan III
Office sought: city council
Profession: Attorney at law
Education: Lawrenceburg Elementary,1957; Anderson High School, 1961;Vanderbilt University , BA degree 1965; University of Kentucky College of Law, JD degree 1969
Family Information: Wife, Barbara; two son, George Geoghegan IV, and Geoff Geoghegan (wife, Kara); two granddaughters: Estella Elizabeth and Graceann Hart
Organizations: Kentucky Bar Association; Lawrenceburg Rotary Club – three years; CASA Board of Directors – two years; Anderson Humane Society; First Christian Church – member and Men’s Chorus
Political Experience: I have never run for a public elected office. However, I have worked directly under several officers who were elected by the public, to wit:  four Kentucky Attorneys General, and the Judges of the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

If you could do one thing for the City of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
I would try to revive the downtown business district.  Lawrenceburg was a thriving community from the 1827 through the 1970s. Yes, Prohibition set the city back but it did indeed recover. I can recall that there was a business in every downtown building. We had a theater, two local banks, three or more automobile dealerships, and two hotels in the downtown business area. Now, it is nearly a ghost town. I was reared in this city. I live on North Main Street. It is disheartening for me to witness the demise of the town I loved so well as a child.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and the county government?
I feel that there should be a close working relationship between the city and county governments. Both stand to accomplish so much more if they would just work together. I was a mediator for 11 years with the Kentucky Court of Appeals. I feel my experience there would enable me to be of assistance in encouraging a close working relationship between the two governments.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases.  Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
I feel that the answer to the question depends on the situation the council faces when it adopts the annual budget. I have no problem with using the CPI to increase the salary as long as it does not cause a hardship for the taxpayers and city personnel.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
I have reviewed the city council budget. I do have several questions concerning the budget pertaining to insurance premiums, dues, and contributions.  However, the budget is not a traditional line item budget and has very little detail. I cannot determine the nature of the insurance or the names of the organizations to which the dues and contributions were made. If elected, I would press to require more detail so that I could be certain that the city is not paying for something that is unnecessary or otherwise provided for by law.

Is city government business friendly?  Please explain why or why not.
I feel that city government is reasonably business friendly. However, the business district was injured several years ago by the loss of numerous street parking spaces.  It strikes me that there may be a possibility of restoring those parking places since the school bus routes through the city have been reduced.  Furthermore, I have observed that city business entrances seem to be blocked during special events to wit: the Burgoo Festival. I submit that this should not occur. Why give out-of-town businesses an advantage over local businesses during special events?  It is a time when local business could truly prosper as it did when I was a child.

Name: Ken Evans
Office sought: city council
Profession: Retired Ky. Utilities Co.- 32 years service
Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency- three years
Vietnam Air Force veteran
Former Boy Scout leader
Education: Graduate Hustonville High School – class 1958
Family information: married 50 years to Ann Evans
Two children: Julie Brothers, daughter; and Kenny Evans-son; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren
Organization affiliations: VFW Post 4075, Central Kentucky Elder Abuse council, American Legion Post 34, Bridgeport Christian Church Disciples of Christ
Political Experience: 14 years on city council, past Anderson County democratic chair

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
Have a full-time fire department without having to raise taxes.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
Very good. Need more community support to maintain this.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
Yes, should continue — small salary, no other benefits – exp. cell phone- mileage, health insurance are needed

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
Fire department- increased
None- in order to provide services we provide.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
Yes — striving to get new business in city.

Name: Larry Giles
Office sought: city council
Profession: Kentucky state police (trooper) retired
Education: Grade school and high school (1-12) Anderson County High School
Family information: Married 51 years to Patricia Sue Giles. Son John William and daughter Christy Lynn Giles

Organization Affiliations: Member Anderson County Sportsmans Club, Masonic lodge Beaver Creek 335, Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, York Rite of Free Masonry, American Legion Post #34, The Marine Corp League, National Rifle Association

Political Experience: Lawrenceburg city council member for six two-year terms

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
I would see to it that the wishes of our city and county people were carried out. Some time ago the city council and the fiscal court met in joint session to explore the possibility of a merger. At that time, a majority of those in attendance asked us to do a study of the pros/cons. This did not happen and our people were let down. Period.  

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
As a city council member, I have very little official contact with county officials and my views on that working relationship are based on local newspaper and various conversations regarding items of interest.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
I believe it should continue. This method, after considerable discussion, was put in place to keep the salary of the council in line with like-sized towns in the area. At the time I thought it was a fair way and still do.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
I have neither one that needs increasing or decreasing. This type of thing comes up from time to time throughout the year and is handled at that point and noted. Our job is to receive the budget document, study it and compare it to previous budgets. The years have convinced me that our finance people are trustworthy and our auditor confirms it to my satisfaction.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
We try to be business friendly and like to think we are, but on many occasions I hear comments that say otherwise. Most complaints are about ordinances and regulations and how restrictive they are. I agree. But, in these proceedings, we need your help and input. When you read about a public meeting being held — come down and give us your thoughts. You may help change.

Name: Sandy Goodlett
Office sought: city council
Political office:  City Council
Profession: Retired educator
Education: BA and MA in education, Eastern Kentucky University; Doctor of Education, University of Tennessee
Family information: Married with two grown children and four grandchildren
Organizations Affiliations: First Christian Church, Frankfort; Regional Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kentucky; Board of Kentucky School Age Child Care; Policy Committee of the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance; Kentucky Historical Society; Anderson County Democrat Executive Committee
Political experience:  Currently completing third term on Lawrenceburg City Council; Anderson County School Board 1989-1992

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
I will continue to support all efforts that provide economic development for the city and county.  The construction of a new water tower is an example of an economic development project that assisted in brings the bottling operations, and associated jobs, for Wild Turkey Distillery back to Lawrenceburg.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
The relationship between the city and county governments is OK. Both entities are committed to providing quality services to all the citizens. The excellent cooperation exhibited by the recent tragedy on Tyrone Road is an example of the cooperation of the city and county departments.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
The current City Council Pay Ordinance actually provides protection from the capricious increase at the whim of the board of council. A Kentucky League of Cities pay survey of mayors and legislative bodies indicates that of the 22 responding cities (8,000 – 19,999 population), Lawrenceburg City Council pay is in the 25 percent range. I support the current ordinance.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
The council members do not vote on the budget line items. However, the area of the budget I would increase is tourism, which I believe is an integral component of economic development. To be the best stewards of the citizens tax dollars; I encourage the administrative branch of city government to review all discretionary spending to find savings.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
I believe city government is business friendly. The city has worked closely over the past year with local businesses to develop a sign ordinance that is acceptable all partied involved. Further, the cities license fees are the most reasonable I have experienced. I do believe these fees need to be reviewed for equity and fairness.

Name: Steve Rucker
Office sought: city council
Profession: Assistant principal, city council member, church song leader
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University, Master’s degree from Georgetown College, Master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University
Family information: Son of Shawn and Julie Black and Steven and Marsha Rucker; grandson of Bobby and Anna Belle Glass, Robert and Betty Black and Corrine Rucker. In a relationship with a wonderful woman Alisha Dishon, who has a son Gavin.

Organization affiliations: Mt. Eden Christian Church,
Camp Calvary Christian Assembly
Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association; Kentucky Farm Bureau; Kentucky Education Association; Kentucky Association of School Administrators

Political experience: Served two terms on the Lawrenceburg City Council.

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
The single most important duty a member of city council has is to keep watch over the people’s money. In the next term I would work to continue to council’s track record of keeping taxes at the lowest rates possible, while maintaining quality services to our citizens.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
The working relationship between city and county governments is strong and continues to improve. In the area of emergency management, city and county first responders have worked together to form a seamless communication network to better protect the citizens of Lawrenceburg and Anderson County. The community recycling program has been saved because of the two governments working together to ensure that recycling trailers can be places in high traffic areas around our community. The city Council and fiscal court worked together to encourage the expansion of Wild Turkey and encourage visitors to come to town on the Bourbon Trail.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
It is an important check to the budgeting power of the council. Tying any pay increases to the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Department for Local Government, keeps the city council from being able to vote itself a pay raise. I believe this is important, so that the council will be good stewards of the tax dollars and not be tempted to vote itself pay increases at will.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
The line item I believe needs expanding is on the water and sewer side of the budget. Our sewer treatment plant is a state of the art facility that provides exceptionally high quality treatment services to the city. However, our system of sewer pipes is in need of repair. The department has done an excellent job of keeping ahead of any problems by exploring our sewer pipes with camera and making sure any areas suspected of danger are immediately repaired or replaced. Increased funding for these efforts will ensure that all our pipes are resurfaced and safe for years to come.
The line item I’d like to see decrease over the next term is parks. We currently have three parks for use by our citizens, holding events as varied as concerts, to ball games, and play areas for our young people. With our local business partners, the council has been able to support these programs and keep them for the future. Holding any further expansion until the economy rebounds will allow us to maintain our current services level while not encouraging any additional costs.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
City government continues to be business friendly. Over the past term, the city council has worked with the chamber of commerce to draft a new zoning ordinance for signs, developed economic development water rates to attract new businesses, sought and been awarded federal grant monies to increase water production to facilitate expansion of the Wild Turkey Bottling plant, opened new opportunities in the film and movie industry, and worked to tighten our budget as not to pass on unnecessary costs to the local taxpayer.

Name: Thomas Paul Vaughn
Office sought: city council
Political office: city council
Profession: substitute teacher / retired police sergeant
Education: Graduate of Anderson County High School, Graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Bachelor of Science
Family Information: Parents Paul and Eva Vaughn, Lawrenceburg. Daughter Samantha Lynn Snipes married to Lee Snipes; one grandchild Garrett of Lawrenceburg. Another daughter, junior Leigh Allison Vaughn, attending Anderson County High School.
Organization affiliations: Member of First Christian Church, member of the Anderson County Sportsmans Club, member of The NRA, xssistant coach of First Christian Church boys’ basketball squad.
 Political experience: Currently serving second term as a Lawrenceburg City Councilman.
 
If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
 Abolish all taxes and fees.
 
What is you view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
In my opinion all council members, magistrates, the mayor and the county judge-executive all have the same goal: do whatever we can to assist in helping our town our county be the best it can be. All are good people with a common goal. As far as a working relationship, would love to have joint meetings every month with each entity giving opinions; the more ideas, input we have the better! Having meetings together we would have a more complete knowledge of what each agency is doing and why. Currently we have meetings at different times, different days.
 
City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not.
All city council members do this job because we love this town. The tiny stipend we get allows me as an individual to give a tiny amount back to our local community. We receive about half what our counterparts/magistrates receive and unlike our counterparts we don’t receive retirement for these positions. I believe in equality, if one has the same job one should receive equal compensation. In saying that I don’t care if we get increases period (CPI) or other.
 
Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
Our finance committee does a wonderful job on the budget. I can say I wish pay for our city workers could be higher and I wish we didn’t have to pay for mandatory advertising.
 
Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
Yes, as an individual available 24/7 phone number, e-mail, address is listed on the city website. Whatever assistance we can be to the business community’s needs, wants or the business community would like to see something changed all one has to do is ask or give a presentation. Always open for suggestions, new ideas.
 
Name: Troy Settles
Office sought: city council
Profession: restaurant manager
Education: Washington County High School
Organization affiliations: None
Political experience: None

If you could do one thing for the city of Lawrenceburg as a council member, what would it be?
Work on economic development; establish an opportunity for your jobs and growth.

What is your view of the working relationship between the city and county governments?
I feel like they could work closer together to resolve more issues, not reject each others decisions, work together to resolve.

City council members currently receive pay increases based on yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. Do you believe that should continue? Why or why not?
No, I don’t feel like counsel members should receive salary; keep money in budget for more needed issues.

Please explain and name one line item in the city council budget that you believe should be increased, and one line item that should be decreased.
Spending should be decreased, development should be increased.

Is city government business friendly? Please explain why or why not.
Some are, being in business myself, I understand you are going to have all kinds of people — some friendly, some not. They should be, because they are the voice of the people.