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‘A positive step’

Fiscal court to host open house

After a workshop with department heads to identify needs, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court magistrates voted to host an open house to discuss improvements with county residents.

The open house will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the blue building at City/County Park located at 400 Park Drive in Nicholasville.

County supervisors will be available to discuss current and future capital needs.

“The magistrates had previously voted to host an open house to discuss improvements with anybody who was interested in understanding the services, equipment and commitments needed to continue to improve working conditions, our salaries, our equipment and services in Jessamine County,” West said. “We have many great people working for our county government and they need to be compensated on a competitive regional level in order for us to retain and attract the best people available.”

West said by providing a safe workplace and keeping equipment up to date the county will be able to continue to provide “top-notch” services to its residents.

“The open house can be a real positive step in meeting those needs,” West said.

County government needs to continually be examined in order to improve, West said. Serving as Judge-Executive, he is glad to see Jessamine County magistrates taking this step and facing some of the needs in the county which require attention.

“There is always some room for improvement and that is what we strive for,” West said. “I want it to be a positive step. I would like employees and citizens alike to come and say, ‘you have to pay your people on a regional level,’ so that we don’t train people and they leave. That has been (what is) happening.”

West said the goal is to attract workers to Jessamine County. The purpose of the open house, West said, is to take a positive step by showing some of the warts in county government and the steps the fiscal court wishes to take to improve them.

“We want people to say, ‘hey, Jessamine County, let’s go work there.’ We want to make it an attractive place.”

After the workshop, the goal would be to provide the revenue to fund the needs of the county. West said the Nicholasville City Commission has been open with their needs and the steps they have taken, and continue to take, to improve the city’s services and the county wishes to do the same.

“We have to do the same thing,” West said. “(Give an) open honest explanation for everybody. From equipment needs to the way the county does its finances. There is nothing hidden. We have every financial statement posted online that people can access. Some of those forms are difficult, so if someone has questions we are ready to answer those questions.”

Overall, West hopes that the open house Friday will be a positive step for the county. His hope is for residents to see the honest assessment the fiscal court is making of the current county needs.

“I want it to be like, ‘hey, look, the county is taking an honest assessment. They have some equipment that is dated. They have some sheriff cruisers and ambulances that have too many miles to be readily dependable.’ This could be such a good step for us while still keeping Jessamine County one of the most affordable places to live in Central Kentucky. That is important too.”