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Fifth district magistrates offer answers to priorities once elected

From staff reports

Democrats will have three candidates to choose from in Jessamine County’s sixth district race for magistrate on Tuesday, May 22; Lindsay Pope Walker, Mark A. Walters and Misty Lemay Hager.

Walker is graduate from Jessamine County High School and Eastern Kentucky University. She is a full partner in a beef cattle and hog farm. She is a veterinarian assistant and an owner and operator of a small business. She is a first-time candidate.

Walters is a graduate from Jessamine County High School, and self employed through a commercial and residential construction company. This is his first-time seeking office. He is a member of Edgewood Baptist Church, and has also coached baseball for 16 years.

Hager is a graduate from Jessamine County High School and Campbellsville University where she played softball for two years. She has over 20 years of experience in managing, training and working alongside employees in warehousing, manufacturing, OSHA, and DOT regulation and as many years creating, developing, and maintaining multiple billion-dollar budgets in these roles.

JJ: What will be your top priority if elected to office?

LW: To ensure the issues and concerns of the fifth district are heard, and to work diligently until these matters are addressed.

MW:  I want to understand how we can get more money into our community helping fund youth programs. I have done some research on our county roads; I want answers why our county roads are in the shape they are. I want people to be proud of every acre in district.

MH: Our community will face plenty of challenges during the next four years, whoever is in this seat will have to think on their feet, balance a lot of demands, and come up with thoughtful, carefully made highly informed decisions they can make. My top priority is to represent this community.

JJ: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

LW: Being semi-retired gives me time and flexibility to serve. I would consider it a privilege to devote that time to the duties and responsibilities of the fiscal court and to the resident of the fifth District. I have the passion and drive to be the kind of magistrate you deserve.

MW:  I feel my construction knowledge and running a business of my own since 1995 has prepared me for a position of this caliber. I know how to read budgets, make cuts where necessary, and I know how to think out of the box. I am not afraid to ask tough questions, or make tough decisions.

MH: I am the only magistrate candidate in the primary with first-hand knowledge and experience regarding demands, responsibilities, real-life expectations of the office and what the decisions of this office will mean for our community. My father and I had a close relationship, speaking often about the needs of the community.

JJ:  What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

LW: My biggest political accomplishment is stepping up and running for office. I never thought I would be on this side of an election, but when you see a need you can either ignore it or you can stand up and make a difference. I chose the latter.

MW: Managing, organizing and building many multi-million dollar projects here in Nicholasville and surrounding areas. I am just as proud of building a small deck on the porch for someone when as long as I know when I leave I have left him or her with a smile on their face.

MH: I am proud of my raising, and I am proud to have a strong reputable name in the community. Being successful to me is giving respect and earning respect.  I am proud to be a former member of F.F.A. and a member of the 1993 State Championship Softball Team.

JJ:  What is the biggest challenge our community faces?

LW: My job as magistrate is to voice what the residents of the fifth district feel is the biggest challenge. The voters I have spoken to have many legitimate concerns but by far the most voiced concern is the safety and condition of our roads.

MW: I feel drugs is our biggest issue, but with that, again we need things for our youth to keep them occupied. I want to work with groups on trying to revive our downtown area and shopping areas that are sitting empty. We need businesses to bring people to Jessamine County.

MH: Without a doubt, one of the top issues Jessamine County is struggling with is the drug epidemic. In one way or another, every family in our community has been impacted by this issue, and it’s a number one priority for me once I’m elected. Jessamine families are depending on leaders.

JJ:  How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in our town?

LW: This will be the easiest part of the job for me. I will talk to the residents and really listen to what they have to say. I will make myself available to them in person or by phone, text, email, and Facebook.

MW: My door, my phone, my e-mail will be available to everyone and at any hour day or night. I will continue to walk our area and talk to people. When items that I will be ask to vote on, I will do my best thru all means including social media.

MH: In a word, transparency. I think people want to know what’s going on in their local government, I think they have a right to know. That’s why I will always keep an open-door policy with anyone in the community who wants to chat about an issue or discuss a concern.

JJ:  If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?

LW: The county is a business and should be run on strong business principles: “Eliminate the fat” by cutting out wasteful spending. Renegotiate and shop out all current and future bids, interest rates, and insurance policies. Establish an Emergency Fund. Not having one is dangerous and unacceptable.

MW: Take a serious look at our county budget; see if there are more efficient ways to complete the needs of the county. Spend money on ways that will make our county money, again by trying to revive what we already have available to us.Research vendors we use to bid.

MH: First, our community must implement smart, effective policies and programs which address the drug epidemic.  The drug epidemic has plagued and hampered progress in Jessamine County at almost every level, and both in government and private business alike. It destroys families, crushes lives, and robs people of their livelihoods.

JJ: Any additional comments?

LW: I have a genuine love for Jessamine County. I know that with careful planning, we can preserve our rural environment, unique character, and rich history, ensuring that Jessamine County will be a place that our future generations will be proud to call home. I respectfully ask for vote on May 22.

MW:  I am not a politician, this is new to me. I personally feel like district five has had two amazing magistrates that I was very close to and fond of. John Nickell and Birch Hager. You could not ask for any better. In closing, my door is always open.

MH: In regards to financial footing, Jessamine County needs responsible, forward-thinking development projects that can and will lead to long-term stability for our workforce. Third, we need to ask what Jessamine County can do to enrich the lives of our citizens and attract new residents.