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Four seeking 4th District magistrate

From staff reports

Residents in the 4th District will have four candidates to choose from in the primary election scheduled for Tuesday, May 22; George Dean, democrat; Kent Slusher, republican; April Rose Prather, republican; and Wallace L. Clark, democrat.

All four candidates were mailed forms to participate in the Jessamine Journal’s Q&A, only Slusher and Dean responded.

Dean is a graduate from Jessamine County High School. He is employed as a teacher and is involved with the Jessamine County Beef Cattle Association, Jessamine County Historical Society, Jessamine County Antique Farm Equipment Association, Habitat for Humanity and Camp Nelson Education Foundation.

Slusher is a graduate from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of science in forest biology. He has served for 24 years with the Kentucky Division of Forestry and as a forest ranger and state forester. He is currently a nurseryman/horticulturalist.

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

GD: Top priority is to use my 21 years of experience as magistrate to establish a sound common sense approach to government built on principles of non-partisan cooperation, fairness, and honesty, a government that will recognize the demands for services our county faces, with a willingness and resolve to meet them. 

KS: I stated the first thing I will do is meet the workers of Jessamine County government.  The second will asses the budgetary priorities in the fiscal court.

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

GD: Experience, and a proven record of dedication and leadership as fourth district magistrate from 1994 to 2015.  I also have 10 years’ experience as commissioner for Jessamine County No. One Water District, and have served on many governmental committees during my 31 years of public service.

KS: I simply think that the business of our fiscal court should be the upmost priority.  It should be above political motivation and transcend party lines.  The fiscal court should be a garden where good ideas are put forth for the betterment of the county and not weeded out by politics.

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

GD: Sometimes elected officials vote for projects then list them as accomplishments for political reasons.  This is a list of accomplishments from actual work; the preservation of the Valley View Ferry; a new animal shelter; improvements to parks and recreation facilities; design and development of Camp Nelson and High Bridge Parks.

KS: My career with K.D.F. allowed me to reach many people in Jessamine and the surrounding counties.  As both a law enforcement and wildland fire fighter, I worked closely with different agencies for the common cause of public protection. I also led the state in education programs with our schools.

JJ: What is the biggest challenge our community faces?

GD: Currently our biggest challenge is overcrowding of our jail. It is a result of the nationwide opioid epidemic, but it impacts every Jessamine County resident.  Addressing this problem is complicated by a struggling economy. It is also a controversial issue that will require courage and determination to resolve. 

KS: Our county faces the challenge of wise growth while still being identifiable as the Jessamine County we choose to call home.  As an involved citizen and a life long resident of district four I will protect the integrity of Jessamine County and foster the ideas that bring wise economic growth.

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

GD: I have always advocated for constituents  to be involved in the political process. I have a website and will establish a magistrate Facebook page which can be used to message me along with text messages by cell phone.  All contact information will be available on the county website.

KS: One of my platforms as I have stated as I go door to door is personal contact within the community, not just at election time but all the time.  This is easy because I have always reached out to people.  My personal cell number is also on everything I do.

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

GD: As a member of the court,  I will encourage and work with the Judge Executive and my fellow magistrates to find ways to improve our financial condition.  Our success will depend upon the health of our local economy and responsible management of tax revenues.

KS: The first step through the third step would be looking at every expenditure and prioritizing the budget within the fiscal court.  We also need to look at the business model of how to bring in sustainable long term revenue.

JJ: Any Additional comments?

GD: I worked with magistrates in a spirit of non-partisan cooperation making Jessamine County a thriving and progressive community while finding solutions to problems big and small.  We voted for what was best for our community.  I will restore that cooperation  and integrity to our fiscal court though knowledge and experience.

KS: You can reach me at 859-576-6390 of follow me on Facebook at Elect Kentmagistrate.