Sea offers thoughts, enters race for 6th District magistrate

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Platforms includes ambulances in rural areas, enhancing business opportunities

By Ben Carlson

One of the 6th Magisterial District’s strongest advocates is now aiming to represent it on the Anderson County Fiscal Court.
Steve Sea, 60, said last week that he intends to file papers to run for the office Wednesday (today), the first day candidates for the 2014 general election can file for office.
Kenny Barnett, a fellow Democrat elected in 2010 when then-incumbent John Wayne Conway was elected judge-executive, currently holds the seat and as of Tuesday morning had not announced his intentions to seek re-election.
The 6th District is easily the county’s largest, comprising 60 percent of its area after being expanded during last year’s Census-based redistricting.
During an hour-long interview, Sea touched on several topics, including the district’s ever-expanding network of county highways, safety enhancements for rural residents, polling places and seeing what can be done to bring businesses back into the rural 6th District.
“One of the things I will advocate for is the placement of ambulances in select fire stations, which would enhance response times,” said Sea, a retired Lexington firefighter who rose to the rank of battalion chief during his 27 years of service.
Sea said there would need to be plenty of discussion as to exactly where those ambulances would be positioned, but envisions someday having one in Alton in the 5th District as well as in locations in western Anderson County, which comprises the 6th.
“That would have to be based on the volume of [fire and EMS] runs,” said Sea, adding that he has a good working relationship already with county Fire Chief Mike Barnes and Bart Powell, the county’s emergency management director.
Sea said he also envisions a time when at least one paid firefighter would be stationed in rural fire halls to enhance response times, especially during the day.
“A lot of counties already have some paid people there with minimum staffing during the day,” he said. “When you have an all-volunteer service, that help is gone during the day, for the most part.
“That’s something that would be kind of a wish-list thing, but the ambulance thing could be done pretty soon, at least partially.”
Sea said he has already discussed his ideas with Barnes and Powell.
“They are open to ideas and suggestions, and that would be something that’s down the road,” he said. “It would have to go through the whole vetting process to see if it could be done, but I think it would work.”
Any discussion of the 6th District wouldn’t be complete without discussing its roads. Because of its size, the district contains 60 percent of the county-maintained highways and is always a hot topic for residents vying to have their roads improved.
Sea said he’s fully aware of that challenge and knows that with five other magisterial districts in the county, available funds need to be doled out equitably.
“There’s just so much money to go around,” he said. “I believe the roads should be maintained on a schedule based on need, and that you have to work with everyone on the fiscal court. They realize this district has the most roads, but it’s not possible to satisfy everyone. It has to be done in a fair manner and you do the best you can based on the roads that need it the most.”
Sea was one of the most vocal advocates to retain polling places in the 6th District when several were scheduled to close two years ago due to handicap accessibility issues.
“I’m going to work to maintain the polling places and keep them accessible to all voters,” he said, adding that the polling places are “in pretty good shape” at this time.
“When the new fire station gets completed in Western there shouldn’t be any problems there,” Sea said, referencing the fire station that will replace the old Beaver Lake Masonic lodge as a polling place. “I want to maintain them so the same questions don’t arise. You have to have them handicap accessible and it’s better to have someone who is handicapped not have to drive very far to vote.”
Another item on Sea’s agenda is enhancing business opportunities, including within the 6th District.
“Believe it or not, this district covers 60 percent of the county but has only two businesses,” Sea said, adding that both are country stores located near the Bluegrass Parkway and that the only one with gas is 2 miles from exit 48.
“We went from having booming business there 30 years ago to what we have now,” he said, adding that he’d like to see zoning changes that would entice businesses to open in that area along with along the new section of Highway 248/555.
Doing so, he said, would keep money being spent in Anderson County instead of residents driving into nearby Nelson County or other areas for basic needs. He said it would also add to the area’s tax base.
“If there’s a better tax base in this area, there will be more money to spend on roads and making it look better,” Sea said, adding that expanding business is important for all of Anderson County.
“Industrial development is one of the big things that needs to happen again,” he said. “You see factories open in a lot of towns but there hasn’t been a new one in Lawrenceburg for a long, long time.”
Sea said he will be accessible to the public by cell at 502-600-3022 or e-mail at stevenmsea@yahoo.com.

Meet Steve Sea
Sea currently serves as president of the Anderson County Farm Bureau Federation and resigned from his seat on the county’s Board of Elections last week to run for office.
He also serves as a supervisor on the Soil Conservation Board and served two terms on the Lexington Police and Fire Pension Board.
A graduate of Western Anderson High School, Sea said he has amassed 38 college credit hours.
Sea, a lifetime farmer, still maintains a beef cattle farm.
He is married to Nancy Spencer Sea, is the father of two and has a total of six grandchildren.