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Vaughn, Walker compete for district 2 magistrate

From staff reports

Jessamine County residents in district 2 will have two choices to choose from on Nov. 6, incumbent Tim Vaughn and Joe Walker.

Candidates were given the same questionnaire they received during the primary election. However, this time, each candidate was given 100 words in which to answer their questions instead of the previous 50. 

Vaughn is a republican from Wilmore and a graduate of Asbury University. His professional background includes being employed as a mortgage loan officer and magistrate. He has held the second district magistrate seat for 16 years. His civic involvement includes being a member of the Church of the Savior, Wilmore Community Development Board and High Bridge Homecoming Festival Board. He is the past co-chair of Leadership Jessamine County and a graduate from the Nicholasville Citizens Police Academy. He is an appointed member of the Kentucky 911 Board and a board member for the Family Center in Wilmore. He is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Site Selection Committee.

Walker is a democrat and graduate of Jessamine County High School. He served as Jessamine County Sheriff from 1990 to 2006, chief deputy sheriff from 1986 to 1989 and is retired from the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office and currently employed as a bank director. His civic involvement includes sporting activities baseball and basketball throughout the years.

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

TV: I will work to keep US 68 corridor scenic without massive development, complete Paddock Drive pothole repair, pass an ordinance allowing for more home-based businesses.

JW: To ensure that Jessamine County remains a solvent entity while improving working conditions for our employees. Also, to work with our parks to improve the experience all Jessamine Countians can enjoy by bringing their family and friends to experience the best our county has to offer in recreation through our parks. Our parks department currently does an excellent job. However, with additional funding and resources we can expand on providing the best experience possible for our residents.

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

TV: I believe my experience as magistrate and heavy involvement in the community make me the best candidate. I have a hands-on approach and am persistent and energetic about caring for the needs of our community. Difficult tasks typically do not get completed without persistence and focus from start to finish. 

JW: My experience in county government will serve me well in the position of magistrate in making decisions that are so important to the efficient operation of our county. Without question, I can work with anyone to improve living conditions for Jessamine County. No matter who brings that idea to the table – republican, democrat or independent. We need to vote for and elect the person, not the party.

JJ: What professional/political accomplishments are you the proudest of?

TV: After 11 months of persistently contacting the state transportation department, several “impassable bridge signs” were added on Bethel and Glass Mill Road to warn semi-truck drivers of the narrow one lane Glass Mill Road bridge. The signs have drastically lowered the number of trucks attempting to cross the bridge. In addition, I’m proud of successfully securing the funding of the guard rail on Lock 7 Road in High Bridge as the road has a huge drop off and school buses use this road.

JW: Having been elected and reelected by the people of Jessamine County four times to serve them as their sheriff. That means the most that I had the support of the people that mattered most to me. Also, the opportunity to serve as president of the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association by my peers. 119 other Kentucky sheriffs to represent them as leader of their association and receiving the governor’s award for outstanding contribution to law enforcement in 2003.

JJ: What is the biggest challenge our community faces?

TV: No. 1, Drugs. No. 2, there are more county needs than there is available money to meet these needs. No. 3, being a father of a 2-year-old daughter has made me realize that county road safety will always be an ongoing need.

JW: Drugs – we have to work to find an answer to minimize this cancer to our society. It has to begin before it gets to law enforcement. They can only do so much. There is no simple and easy answer to this question.

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

TV: I plan to host quarterly “meet your magistrate” events where I simply listen to residents’ concerns and ideas. I have in the past and will continue to vote for public hearings for critically important issues that directly impact residents as I value government transparency. I have and will continue to respond quickly to residents’ questions and concerns providing updates and answers.

JW: By being accessible to the people of their district and beyond that I represent. Similar to when I was sheriff, by meeting with the people and being there and responding to their concerns. In today’s world, that is simplified with social media. There is no reason a constituent can’t have access to their representative most of the time with cell phones, texting and email ect.

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

TV: I currently support our Economic Development Director who is actively recruiting new industry and business which will add to our tax base. I will re-activate the budget committee which I persuaded the Judge Executive to create. I will seek public input and support public hearings prior to large expenditures/major decisions.

JW: I’m not sure it is as simple as one, two and three. There are tough decisions that have to be made funding a county. While providing basic services are monumental to the counties budget. Everything has to be considered and viewed with an open mind.