By DAVID PRATER
As the great Yogi Berra was credited to have said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” This would seem appropriate if one has been watching Fiscal Court meetings as of late. It seems the full time doctor is using some of his role as part time judge executive, to make these meetings the stage of his political theater for the glorification of his own ego and to the detriment of the citizens he is to serve.
In the latest act the full time doctor acting as part time judge managed to take a swing at the elderly by refusing to vote in favor of approving a grant to purchase a new van for the Magoffin County Senior Citizens. Now keep in mind this purchase cost the County a big fat Zero. The grant making up the majority of the purchase and the matching portion coming from the Magoffin County Community Foundation.
The full time doctor in his role as part time judge says he will vote yes as soon as he received an apology for some supposed misstatement leveled at him. That’s correct. He’s admittedly holding his vote hostage and depriving the senior citizens of an amenity because he feels he’s been wronged. This the same politician that once told a library board member something close to the fact that he needed to be more thick skinned.
It could be asked if this might not be an appropriate situation for the part time judge to show some leadership and move forward with the grant and the purchase so that the program could secure its van and further set an example for working together despite personal disagreement for the good of the county and its citizens.
Instead it might be said that the full time doctor in his capacity as part time judge acted more like a spoiled toddler that didn’t get their way on the playground and decided to take his ball and go home.
Now keep in mind all this during a time when the part time judge was almost given his walking papers by losing two out of three rounds in the Kentucky court system. There are FBI agents circling the courthouse like a herd of sharks and in his last primary and general race he squeaked by with the narrowest of margins.
One could deduce that this would be a good time to try to bank some political capital, show leadership for the county or at a minimum provide something to a group in need that cost the county nothing directly.
This all on the heels of the previous meeting where the part time judge lashed out at one magistrate and accusing of him of being in favor of violence in the work place. Questioned the ethics of another elected official, this publication and its publisher.
While I’ve known the magistrate in question my whole life and not speaking for him, I feel safe in saying he would not be in support of violence in the work place or any other nonsense in the work place for that matter.
And as for the ethical issues I’m not sure a full time doctor who’s only a part time judge, yet draws full time pay should do much questioning of ethics. One could ask if driving a county vehicle to your personal job could be considered unethical.
Also the part time judge should try to keep up with what’s going on as it relates to capital projects a little better. When the Library project started I did work for the company that was retained to be the FA (financial advisor) on the project. Since then I have left that firm and started my own with no plans to do any of that kind of work. Further, I have no relationship with the firm that is now the FA on the project. But as they say, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
For years now, the full time doctor in his capacity as part time judge, has failed to have the fiscal court that he presides over set a tax rate. This means that each year the county has been forced to take the compensating rate and Magoffin County's real property tax rate is now at the state constitutional limit. I guess if there is any good news here, it is that the rates can’t be raised going forward.
While it’s still sometime away, maybe in the next county election cycle, the voters will consider making the part time judge only a full time doctor, again.