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Candidate bios: Magistrates

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Magistrate, District 2

Name: Wayne Theiss

Campaign Website/Facebook Page: District2andYou.com and District2andYou

Campaign Phone: 502-609-0567 or 502-222-9449

Education: B.A., University of Louisville

Relevant Experience/Community Involvement: Magistrate, Chairman of Finance Committee, La Grange City Council, Planning & Zoning, La Grange Utilities, Oldham County Chamber, Tri-County Community Action Agency

Why are you the best candidate?

I feel that I am the most qualified candidate for re-election for magistrate because of my public business experience for 43 years and my ability to communicate with the citizens of Oldham County. I am the chairman of the Finance Committee where we have had balanced budgets, debt reduction and improvements to county facilities ALL WITHOUT A TAX INCREASE. As in any business you must be fiscally conservative, maintain your assets and be responsible and trustworthy to the citizens you represent. I have fulfilled those obligations and I will continue to be a trustworthy steward of the fiscal responsibilities of Oldham County. Also, my past experience serving on Planning and Zoning and La Grange City Council has enabled me to address and resolve issues of concern with the residents of our county. I attend neighborhood meetings and countywide functions.

I have the ability to envision and plan for the future so that what I do today will benefit the citizens of Oldham County now and in the years to come. I am honored to be Magistrate of District 2. Vote Theiss on May 20th.

Top issue in your race?

There is NO defining issue in the race for District 2 Magistrate. There are events or occurrences that happen in District 2 that either I address individually or with the help of the entire Fiscal Court. By addressing these situations there becomes NO major issues.

Our Fiscal Court meetings are televised on our government channel. Therefore, anyone is able to access the transparency of our county government. As a steward of this county, I am also accessible at all times through District2andYou.com

My “top issue” is to continue to serve the residents of District 2 and Oldham County. Vote Theiss on May 20.

Name: Neil Pierce

Campaign Facebook page: www.facebook.com/neil4magistrate

Campaign Phone: 502-265-1776

Education: Auburn University, Bachelor’s Degree / Business / 1980

Relevant experience/community involvement: I presently work at Humana as a communications manager and have over 30+ years’ experience in business, leading and managing multi-million dollar projects and large cross-functional teams. I’ve led corporate divisions, managing budgets to positive outcomes.

I’ve been a scout leader for Troop 984 of Goshen for six years, presently serving as the assistant scoutmaster. In addition, I serve as district chair for the Daniel Boone District Friends of Scouting fundraising program. I’m also a frequent volunteer at events at North Oldham High School where my two sons attend.

Why are you the best candidate?

As magistrate, I’ll bring new insight and energy to the Oldham County Fiscal Court. From listening to the campaign talks of our incumbent magistrates, I only hear about past accomplishments. While the present magistrates have done a good job of managing the county, I haven’t heard about future plans for the county.

I want to be involved in creating a vision that forms positive values and virtues for our future. We need a proactive business plan for the county that reflects a balance between supporting economic development and maintaining the rural serenity of our community.

We need committees that address citizen engagement and transparency. We need an innovation committee that focuses on bringing new ideas and approaches to conducting our county business and improving our lifestyles.

As magistrate, I’ll see to it that the Oldham County Fiscal Court has a vision and a plan to manage business to improve the prosperity of our county.

Top issue in your race?

My campaign is based on a single, simple slogan….”Do you know who your magistrate is?” When talking with neighbors, residents, and citizens, three out of four cannot name their magistrate. The question is usually answered by the question “What does a magistrate do?”

Frankly speaking, how can our magistrates represent the best interests of our residents if the residents do not know who is representing them?

It’s a simple platform that trickles down to the core dynamics of our county government. Our citizens need to be more informed about decisions made in regards to collecting and spending of county revenues.

We need to increase transparency of our county business so that citizens are aware of major issues and the decisions made by the fiscal court. We need to make it easier for our citizens to engage with our county government.

If I’m elected I will insure that the county business continues to be managed to balance the budget, reduce our debt and support improvements but I will also focus on citizen engagement and improved transparency of fiscal court activities.

NOTE: Candidate Debbie Neal Pate did not return a questionnaire.

Magistrate, District 3

Name: Bob Leslie

Campaign Website: BobLeslieformagistrate.com

Campaign Phone: 222-0476

Education: Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Psychology

Relevant experience/Community involvement: Current Magistrate District 3 with 12 years experience and 440 hours of Magistrate classes. Civic duties: Member of the Wellhead Protection Committee (Oldham County rated best water in the state of Kentucky), Member of Tri-County Community Action Agency for eight years and past treasurer (This agency helps low income and the elderly) and the Oldham County Law Enforcement Council.

Why are you the best candidate?

I am the only candidate with experience in office. I have the training and a proven record of many accomplishments. I promised to give my first year of salary to needed groups in Oldham County and I did so plus more. I promised not to raise any tax or fees and I have kept my word and continue this pledge. I have kept my word on all things I have said my word is my bond. I have been able to get more roads repaired and repaved than any other district, enlarged Westport Park and improved many of the parks in the County. I have served as Chairman of Public Safety, Parks and the Environmental committees.

I understand that I am your employee and have never forgotten the privilege that I have been given.

Top issue in your race?

There is not a single issue in this race for there are many. Continuing to pay off our debt, improving our parks, following our plans for the $90 million in new road improvements, transparency in government, public safety, Oldham Reserve infrastructure improvements have begun and brokers are contacting our developers about purchasing land and accountability to all citizens of Oldham County.

 

Name: Shari Broecker

Campaign phone: 502-222-8252

Education: BA, Economics from Furman University

Relevant experience/ community involvement: American Bar Association Certified Paralegal, member of Oldham County Republican Women’s Club, secretary for two years and fundraising chair for two years, member of The Younger Woman’s Club of Louisville, treasurer for three years, back chair, and president for two years, and member of The Fillies, Inc.

Why are you the best candidate?

In my race I am the only woman running. I feel strongly that we need more strong female voices on the Fiscal Court. I have been a business owner for 10 years with my husband and we have used our ability to think outside the box to expand one store into three even with the downturn in the economy.

Top issue in your race?

I feel that the court has been doing a great job, however I do believe that we could have much better communications between the court and the public. We never know when an issue is going to vote or when improvements are going to be made to our area.

Name: Jon Bednarski

Campaign Website: www.JonBednarskiForMagistrate.com

Campaign Phone: 502-222-9902

Education: Attended Vermont Technical College, Vermont

Relevant Experience/Community Involvement: Oldham County resident and business owner for over 28 years; Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, past board member and past Chairman; Oldham County Conservation District, current board member & Chairman; Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service, current board member and Chairman; Oldham County Community Foundation, Founding board member & past treasurer; Oldham County Cattleman’s Association, Founding member and current President.

Why are you the best candidate?

My campaign has been based on three important values; my long term commitment to Oldham County, the great deal of versatility I bring to the magistrate position and the over three decades of business experience I have had in our community.

For 28 years I have lived, worked and raised a family in Oldham County. My wife taught in our school system for 22 years and our two children attended Oldham County Schools, kindergarten through high school. I own several small businesses in La Grange. I am connected to this community.

From 30 years of sales and marketing homes, to serving as chairman for multiple organizations, to farming and providing food to Oldham County and being an award winning leader in conservation and the environment, I am the most versatile candidate for the District 3 Magistrate position.

Small business owners today are required to wear many hats to be successful. Serving on multiple committees and boards I have gained knowledge in the fields of leadership, budget, finance, communication and team work. If elected, my vast experience will be brought to Oldham County government.

Top issue in your race?

Although a balanced budget and reducing our remaining debt (which fiscal court has a good handle on), are extremely important, it is my opinion that preserving our land along with maintaining our roads are the top issues we face in District 3, as well as throughout the county.

District 3, located in the northeast corner of Oldham County, is a beautiful place to call home. With its ridge tops, valleys, forests, creeks, rivers and thousands of acres of agriculture, we face some future challenges. With the hilly terrain along with the flooding that can occur in our creeks and rivers, we must continually monitor our roads for safety and protect our land whether from erosion or over development. With over 460 farms and 60,000 acres in Oldham County being used for agriculture, I will keep a watchful eye on the rural lifestyle that many of us moved to Oldham County to enjoy.

Magistrate, District 5

Name: JD Sparks

Campaign website:

www.JD4Oldham.com

Campaign Phone: 502-777-5525

Education: BBA from Loyola University Chicago & AAS Jefferson Community College

Relevant Experience/Community Involvement: Magistrate from 2010-present, US Marine Veteran, lifelong conservative Republican, Vice-Chair Oldham County Republican Party, Graduate of Leadership Oldham County, Infragard member (FBI Homeland security group), InvestKY committee member, Metro United Way Oldham County Program review team member, American Legion member, Greater Louisville International Professional member, National committee member of Marine Corps League, NRA Benefactor member (NRA “A” rating ENDORSED CANDIDATE), Republican Party State central committee, alt-Delegate to National GOP Convention, national voter registration officers Republicans Abroad Japan...etc. Work experience in executive management of international publicly traded company with budgets of over 200 million annually, where my company was recognized as the best small business with an Inc.credible award in 2006. As well I have worked in many different industries and fields to include extensive federal compliance work that adds to my knowledge base for working as a magistrate and the complex legal environment we deal with on the Fiscal Court.

Why are you the best candidate?

I have proven in the last three years that I am a champion for the people. As their voice on Fiscal Court, I have demanded accountability, fiscal responsibility, challenged all departments of local government to be better and delivered clear results on these actions. I facilitated a wide range of successes with the others on the court. I have sought out issues that were critical to making life better. Through my leadership I have voted against my own pay raises and for improved infrastructure.

In my term the citizens of the 5th district finally have a voice they were lacking in the last term. They have someone that they know will put the citizen’s concerns above special interests and will stand even when it is difficult to defend them and their way of life. This can be displayed in my endorsement by the NRA and their recognition of my lifelong support of your rights!

When you go to the polls you must ask yourself this: Which candidate will truly be there for me when I need them most? The answer is JD Sparks, your voice on Fiscal Court. I will be there for you every day.

Top issue in your race?

The top issue is having an actual Conservative Republican LEADER representing you. Someone who will ask the questions you want answered. Someone who will have an “R” behind their name instead of an “r” (RINO). Someone who will succeed in getting the Ash Ave. connection to Old Henry. Who will fight to get roads paved that haven’t been touched in decades. Someone who will fight for EVERY VOTER regardless of how influential they are or what party they are! Someone who will raise the money to fix problems, not just study them. Someone who will stand for you when agencies are wasting your money and raising your taxes!

In my term I have repeatedly led on issues. I have taken a stand in demanding our debt be paid down and stood against those who have tried to bend the rules and endanger the property values and quality of life you want as a citizen in the 5th District.

I am not one to sit around and respond only when you call and it is convenient for me… I will continue to work for you every day, not just at election time! I will hold your government accountable to YOU!

Name: Iva Davis

Campaign Website/Facebook Page: Elect Iva Davis

Campaign phone: 502-241-9309

Education: Butler High School: Kentucky State Certified General Real Estate Property Appraiser (among first licensed in the state of Kentucky), Kentucky Real Estate Broker: Annual professional continuing education for Real Estate Brokerage License and Real Estate Appraisal Certification.

Relevant experience/community involvement: 45-year resident of Oldham County; Magistrate 2006-2010; While magistrate served on Fiscal Court Committees: Jail Committee (Chair), Road Committee, Law Enforcement Committee, Parks Committee; While magistrate served on additional community & government affairs committees: Citizens Advisory Review Committee; Oldham County Public Safety Council along with Magistrate Bob Leslie and representatives from OCPD, Oldham County Sheriff’s Office, LaGrange Police, Pewee Valley Police, Kentucky State Police, Oldham County Attorney’s Office, Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Oldham County Dispatch, Oldham County EMS, Local Fire Protection Districts and Local Judges and Courts; Additional committees and organizations: Long Range Road Planning Committee; Oldham County Tax Appeals Board; Oldham County Republican Women’s Club; Kentucky Derby Festival’s Fillies, Inc.; Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, Kentucky Association of Realtors; National Association of Realtors.

Why are you the best candidate?

My experience as both a magistrate and business owner makes me the most qualified candidate. I served as Oldham County’s 5th District Magistrate from 2006 to 2010. I am also an experienced business owner operating successful businesses in Oldham County for more than 37 years.

County government budgets are much like private business budgets. I have 37 years experience in managing successful business budgets. I have managed three real estate sales offices as principle broker along with as many as 50 agents at any one time. I have owned retail businesses and understand the challenges facing business owners in a struggling economy. I have reinvested back into Oldham County owning a commercial business, farm and multiple residential investment properties which provide affordable housing in our community. I employ the services of Oldham County businesses and professionals in the operation and maintenance of these investments which further reinvests in Oldham County’s economy.

Living in Oldham County for 45 years I have seen the many transformations this community has gone through. I have two children, Cindy Davis-Homayoun and Rusty Davis, both are graduates of Oldham County High School. When they attended school in Oldham County there was one high school serving all of Oldham County. Due to the population growth over the years, we now have three high schools which are rapidly approaching their capacity. With the construction of the new Ohio River bridges it is likely that our community is poised for another increase in population. It is important that this future growth be managed in a responsible way. Over the past 45 years I have worked in this community and seen the things that were done correctly and the mistakes that were made in handling the county’s growth. This perspective makes me the more qualified candidate to help manage this future growth in Oldham County.

Top issue in your race?

Maintain a balanced budget with no raise in taxes along with infrastructure improvements, including road improvements. Due to the increasing traffic on our roads and for the safety of our citizens many roads need to be improved, traffic lights installed in high traffic areas and drainage issues addressed. We need to investigate the installation of traffic lights in places such as Veteran’s Memorial Parkway (Hwy 329 Bypass) where it meets Hwy 22 as well as the intersection of Hwy 393 and Hwy 22. We need to correct the drainage issues that are creating the flooding on Ash Ave. I have worked in the past and will continue to work with local and state road departments to seek ways to improve our roads. I will work with the Oldham County Parks department to continue upgrading our parks for the enjoyment of our families. I will also work with law enforcement to help maintain a safe community.

We are a community of many issues and different views on how those issues should be resolved. I have great respect for Oldham County and its citizens. I will work closely with all of the county and state elected officials along with our county workers to maintain and improve Oldham County. I promise to be open minded and listen to the input of our citizens as well as other local officials. I will always make myself available to the citizens. I believe it is important as elected official to listen to the citizens’ concerns in a respectful manner and to work with professionalism to resolve those issues.

Magistrate, District 6

Note: This race will be decided in Nov. when democratic candidate James Key challenges the republican incumbent Kevin Eldridge. More information about both candidates will be available closer to the general election.

Name: James C. Key

Campaign Phone: 502-548-5524

Education: Ahern Trade High School

Relevant experience/Community involvement: I have been a small business owner for over 40 years. Operating the business required knowledge of the home construction business and the ability to balance a budget.

Why are you the best candidate?

I feel I am the best candidate because I love this county and I see it going in the wrong direction. I want to make a difference.

I have talked to many people in the county; no one said they moved here for a job. Let’s keep the county rural.

I will fight to keep the county a special place and not put it up for sale to businesses.

Top issue in your race?

Planning and Zoning to include the comprehensive plan, government waste and land use management.

For example, the walking path was constructed on Commerce Parkway; the walking path became popular. Due to poor planning the walking path will be removed so Commerce Parkway can be widened.

The Planning and Zoning Commission developed a comprehensive plan that contained a provision for “mother-in-law” apartments which could easily lead to rental property in neighborhoods that were designed as lots for one family. Due to the outrage of many people, Fiscal Court did not pass the plan. Unhappy with the vote, the commission made a new plan that still allows for the suites but requires them to get approval on an individual basis. This will lead to a hodge podge of arrangements.

Additionally, the Planning and Zoning commission approved a housing development and a commercial warehouse side by side. After the development was started, the warehouse was allowed to be constructed therefore dooming the success of the development. Thus, the Planning and Zoning allowed for changes in the development plan that will result in 54 homes on 9.4 acres. This is denser housing than is typical in Oldham County. Better planning could have prevented this.