Will Anderson be painted red?

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By Ben Carlson

Column as I see 'em ...

For all the grumbling and griping about local government, it's amazing that so few people are running for the available city council and school board seats this fall. There is zero competition for three school board seats, and only eight candidates (four of which are incumbents) gunning for six seats on the city council. At a time of year when yards are generally stuffed with signs begging for votes, I've spotted nary a one for school board or city council.

Complacency on our part breeds complacency (and limited accountability) on their part, folks. In short, you get what you ask for.

Speaking of yard signs, how about that race for county clerk? Republican Jason Denny and Democrat Anthony Stratton are apparently leaving no stone (or blade of grass) unturned in what appears to be a contest to see who can plant the most signs. Although not a policy-making position, both parties appear bent on securing the late Harold Ritchey's seat, which has never been won by a republican candidate. Early on, Denny had a clear edge in yard signs, but Stratton has narrowed the gap considerably over the past couple of weeks. Conventional wisdom early on figured that Stratton's party affiliation and status as a former judge-executive would make him a shoe-in for the job. But Denny, a current magistrate, has been pounding the pavement and isn't ready to concede anything. Both men have solid name recognition, so this will likely be a race decided by whichever candidate outworks the other.

Speaking again of yard signs, with the Anderson County population being about 85 percent democrat, where or where are all the Obama signs? Apparently the hyper-left-leaning senator from Illinois isn't resonating too well with democrats here in Anderson County. One can only speculate as to why. Perhaps this is the year Anderson County and Kentucky are painted red in a general election.

Speaking of speculating, that's what we are still doing as we wait and wonder if Chip Chambers will keep his job as the county's road foreman. Chambers, unlike other appointees when Judge-Executive Steve Cornish took office on 2007, received only a two-year appointment to the job. The clock's ticking on Chambers, regarded by a majority on the fiscal court as one of the top road foremen in the state. Those same magistrates are getting fairly edgy as they await another two-year appointment by the judge-executive. They know it's Cornish's call and his alone when it comes to these types of appointments. Although magistrates vote on the judge-executive's recommendation, they cannot nominate a person for the position and their hands will be tied if Cornish nominates someone else. Their votes, however, won't be tied, and if someone other than Chambers is nominated, they shouldn't make plans to report to work at the highway barns anytime soon. If you think times are tense at fiscal court meetings now, watch and hide if this happens because it's going to get ugly.

Speaking of hiding, that's likely what QB Brian Brohm was doing with his eyes Sunday afternoon if he watched Kentucky dismantle Louisville. At least there's not much fear that the once vaunted Cardinal offense will wear out the turf at Papa John's Stadium, leaving it on good shape for Anderson QB Jacob Russell and the Bearcats when, not if, they play there for the state title.