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MEET THE CANDIDATES

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As listed in The Oldham Era's Nov. 1 edition and submitted by candidates:

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Oldham County Board of Education, Division 1

Donna Marie Claggett

47, owner and operator, Skylight Country Store

Goshen

Husband: Tony Cash; son Matthew Claggett, graduate of OCHS; daughter, Brooke Claggett Asher, graduate of NOHS and Bellarmine University; stepson, Justin Cash, a freshman at the University of Louisville.

Education/degrees: Graduate, Portland Christian.

Campaign message: Oldham County – You do have a choice Nov. 6. I am for better communication, fiscal responsibility, focusing on children, teacher compensation and focus on education versus new schools.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I believe the current school board has forgotten that it is the taxpayers who elect them and the taxpayers should have a voice in the decisions being made for our children and our schools.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

I think the teachers are the foundation of a successful education. The current board has spent too much of our tax dollars buying properties and building new schools. It’s time our teachers are compensated for their work and “building” our children’s future through education.

 

Joyce Gordon Fletcher

58, clinical nurse specialist

Goshen

www.JoyceFletcher.org

Married for 32 years to Dr. Eugene C. “Rick” Fletcher. Four sons, Carsten, 21; Trey, 23; Nathan, 25, and Patrick, 28; daughter-in-law Kimberly; 5-month-old granddaughter Audrey Marie.

Education/degrees: Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, University of Oklahoma; Master of Science degree, nursing, Texas Women’s University.

Political Experience: Oldham County Board of Education, 12 years, vice chair 2005-07, chair 2007-12.

Community Involvement: Board member six years Jefferson County Medical Society Alliance; president for five years, North Oldham Lions Club; PTA president three years, various board positions; site-based council two years, Goshen Elementary; founding board member, Mothers of Preschoolers and Sunday School teacher, St. John United Methodist Church; five medical mission trips to Roatan, Honduras; team captain five years, Relay for Life; volunteer, Susan G. Komen Walk for a Cure. OCBE Torch Award recipient for volunteer of the year.

Endorsements: Blake B. Haselton, Ph.D., acting chair, Deptartment of Education, University of Louisville; and Paul Upchurch, immediate past-superintendent, Oldham County Board of Education.

Campaign message: Oldham County has a proud history of having some of the most outstanding schools in the state of Kentucky, if not the nation. The American Progress Institute, in 2010, rated Oldham County as one of the highest districts in “return on investment.” Residents have long recognized this. We have outstanding staff, students, and families in our community. As a district that continues to be on the move, it is critical to maintain that momentum, support our staff and motivate our students to incorporate the 21st century skills of creativity, leadership, communication, critical thinking, and technology. Along with mastery of core curriculum, these skills will enable our students to compete in a futuristic job market. We cannot afford to interrupt, slow down, or perhaps stall the momentum that the current board of education has established for this highly competitive school district.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

There are three things that each school board member must have in order to serve in this capacity: a love for children without exception, a passion for providing quality public education to the students of our area and a personal history of experience and commitment to the concept of volunteerism. These are some of the things that qualify me best for this role: my experience of volunteerism over the past 25 years; our track record with four sons who graduated from Oldham County schools, three of whom are engineers, and the youngest who is getting ready to be commissioned into the US Marine Corps; my professional career of working in the field of nursing for the last 30 years; and, lastly, my 12 years of experience on the Oldham County Board of Education. As a board member, I have received over 200 hours of continuing education; participated in numerous special-called as well as regular monthly board meetings and chairing those meetings for much of my tenure; attending many regional and national conferences; and spending countless hours inside our schools, at various events. At this point in the history of public education in Kentucky, experience must be an overriding consideration in this school board election.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

If re-elected, I will continue to support the momentum that this district has for the implementation of Senate Bill 1, “Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All.” This is the most significant change in public education in Kentucky since KERA was enacted more than 20 years ago. Not only have the standards for the core curriculum been modified but the state assessment tools have been, and continue to be, seriously changed. While Oldham County is embracing these mandates, we have also been ahead of the curve as our board goals for the past several years have focused on increasing rigor in the classroom, meeting the needs of each student, making sure each student “gets it,” backing up if they don’t and challenging them further if they got it before their peers. My priorities will continue to be to focus on student achievement, making district wide decisions which are best for students; focusing on supporting of our classroom teachers with continued support of Reading Recovery, the Reading Academy, Oldham County Learning Institute, six additional early release days, professional learning communities, lower classroom ratios, and salary improvements as much as the budget allows; and continued focus on strengthening the relationship the board has with its community and families by opening communication and accessibility.

 

Oldham County Board of Education, Division 3

Larry James Dodson

64, safety and technical training consultant, Louisville Gas and Electric Co.

Crestwood

Wife, Patti; and a son who is a sophomore at Oldham County High School.

Education/degrees: High school; Level 5 school board certified training.

Political Experience: Served on the Oldham County School Board for six years, continue to lobby our state representatives in Frankfort for more funding and to fund all mandates.

Community Involvement: Coached baseball at the North Oldham Little League, coached Upward Basketball, serve on quality assurance committee for the American Red Cross.

Campaign message: It’s about putting KIDS first because they are our future!

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

My first priority is the students of Oldham County. I have served on the Oldham County School Board for six years, served as a regional director on the Kentucky School Board Association Board of Directors, completed 192 hours of school board certified training, reaching level 5 and have learned how to lobby in Frankfort for increased funding for education.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

To maintain the high standards that the Oldham County School district has. I am committed to our students and doing everything I can to prepare them for their future so that when they graduate, they become positive, contributing members of their community. To continue to evaluate data to find ways we can ensure that our students reach their top potential. To continue to keep Oldham County Schools rated first on adjusted return on investment and stay at the top of the list on the Bluegrass Institute “Bang for the Buck 2012” which studied the effective use of resources. To maintain Oldham County’s ACT scores, which are at the top scoring level. When compared to other school districts in Kentucky, out district is fifth out of 174 and was No. 1 when compared to large county school systems.

 

Gary Gibson

67, retired from Ford Motor Co. after 40 years

Pewee Valley

My wife and I have been married for more than 48 years with two daughters and six grandchildren who have attended or graduated from the Oldham County School system.

Education/degrees: Bachelor of Science degree, business, University of Louisville; masters of science degree, community development, UofL; Masters of Business Administration, Bellarmine University; Masters of Science, Eastern Kentucky University

Political Experience: None.

Community Involvement: Church, Boy Scouts, working with and helping other retired Ford workers.

Endorsements: I was endorsed by the Oldham County Republican Party and I thank them for this honor. However, I want to remind everyone in Oldham County that this is a non-partisan race.

Campaign message: I am for all citizens of Oldham County. I am taking a stand for the children, parents, teachers and taxpayers of Oldham County.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I taught in the Jefferson County Public School system and have also taught for the University of Kentucky as an adjunct professor. I know the time and hard work that teachers put in to get their rankings but they’re not appreciated by this school board with low pay.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

I would NOT raise taxes. I want to be nationally recognized; not brag about being in the top 10 percent of a state that ranks 33 out of 50 in the United States.

 

Oldham County Board of Education, Division 4

Donnie Q. Edwards

62, small business owner

La Grange

Wife, Debra; son, Norman; daughter, Kelsey.

Education/degrees: High School and some college.

Campaign message: The education of the children comes first. Fiscal responsibility. and improved compensation for teachers. Better communication between school board and parents.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have the best interest of the students, teachers and community in mind.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

If I am elected, my priorities will be to take a serious and hard look at the current district budget and eliminate waste with the intent of reallocating funds to teachers’ pay. Finally, I will strive to make the school board more open and available to parents and all community members.

 

Kevin R. Woosley

41, Communications Supervisor, Kentucky State Police Post 5

La Grange

www.facebook.com/Kevin4SchoolBoard

Married to Melanie Woosley. Father to an eighth grader at OCMS and a fifth grader at La Grange Elementary.

Education/degrees: Oldham County High School, class of 1989.

Political Experience: Oldham County School Board Division 4, 2009-present; La Grange City Council, 1996-2006; La Grange Elementary Site Based Decision Making Council, 2005-09.

Community Involvement: Oldham County Educational Foundation, Oldham County Schools Long-term Planning Committee, Kentucky State Police Professional Association, La Grange Utilities Commission, La Grange Cemetery Board.

Campaign message: Working together as a board to continue to make Oldham County the leading school district in the state by building 21st century learners.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

Experience! With the new state standards coming on line it is important to have experienced school board members who understand what the data looks like and what it means.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

Continue improving the way our district communicates with our families. Continue to spend every tax dollar wisely and for the benefit of educating our children. Continue to ensure our older schools get the renovations they so desperately need, such as OCMS and La Grange and Centerfield elementary schools. Continue reviewing enrollment projections so the district’s building plans will meet our needs.

 

Oldham County Board of Education, Division 5

Jennifer Beckner

38, La Grange

www.electjenniferbeckner.com

I have been married to my husband, Richard Beckner, for 13 years. I have been blessed with two beautiful children, Jaymeson, 12, and Jada, 4.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, counseling and rehabilitation, Marshall University; graduate school, elementary education, West Virginia University.

Political Experience: After being interviewed by a nominating committee of school board members from other Kentucky school districts, I was selected for appointment to the vacant school board seat for Oldham County School District Division 5 on Nov. 28, 2011.

Community Involvement: Former PTA President; classroom volunteer; PTSA Member; Torch Award recipient for work with Oldham County students; former PTA chair for multiple committees; volunteered to read with struggling readers; volunteered for youth pastor; volunteered in church nursery; independently helped raise $1,000 for elementary school playground from local businesses; a former case study specialist for a Christian-based adoption agency; worked in a homeless shelter for runaway/homeless youth; worked in a kindergarten/daycare program with at-risk kids.

Campaign Message:

Vote Jennifer Beckner – she wins, kids win! I want to keep Oldham County Schools as the No. 1 large public school district in Kentucky. Our school district has tough but exciting challenges that will need experienced individuals who will put the students first.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am a proven advocate for the students of Oldham County. I’m a mother of two children attending Oldham County schools. I do not have a pre-determined agenda that I wish to force on the board of education or our school district. I have a willingness to learn, the ability to keep an open mind, the ability to agreeably disagree and keep the focus on the students. I served on the board during the hiring of a new superintendent. I have experience and I am eager to gain more. I have a true passion for education and advocating on behalf of children. I know the value of education and the impact it can have on a child’s life. I believe in every single school within our district. I recognize the high caliber of professionals that work within our school district and respect their input and contributions.

I have volunteered in the classrooms and with the students in Oldham County Schools. I have lead as a PTA president with recognitions in an excellence in programs and multiple membership awards under my term. I have read to struggling readers and I have chaired multiple PTA committees. I’ve sat at the table when tough decisions were being made about our school district. I know what’s going on in the classrooms of Oldham Co. When I look at district data, it’s more than numbers to me. I know the faces of the children I serve.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

My chief priority will always be the students. I know that a strong school system leads to a strong community. I want to ensure that our students are college and career ready by continuing to support our board of education goals that are designed to keep our district moving forward. We must maintain the curriculum incentives that we have developed to help our struggling students and challenge every type of learner.

I will ensure that Oldham County residents keep getting a high return on their educational tax dollars. It is a priority to support for our teachers with professional development. I have supported  a teacher pay increase and will continue to support an increase. It will be a continued priority to build relationships within my division and throughout the school district. I am willing to revisit policies and decisions when data or circumstances change within our district. I will continue to prioritize our district’s desire to never rest on our past achievements and always look for ways to improve and advance. I will continue to look ahead at the challenges that our future learners will face and explore what we can do to prepare for those challenges now. I will continue to volunteer in our schools and maintain an open line of communication. My priority has been, and will continue to be, what is best for our students, our community, our school district and our residents.

 

Jonathan “Jon” Head

La Grange

I have been married for 16 years to Donna, a local nurse practitioner, and we have 11-year-old daughters,  Sophia and Alexis.  My family has been in Oldham County for at least 150 years, so this is not a short-term stop for us.  My family and I are committed to making our community and our school system not only the best in Kentucky, but one of the premier communities in the country.

Education: I grew up in La Grange, and attended La Grange Elementary, Oldham County Middle and Oldham County High School.  After high school graduation, I earned a degree in government and a degree in business communications from Eastern Kentucky University.

Political Experience: This is my first political campaign.

Community Involvement: I have been involved in community activities and volunteer work since I was born.  I have worked and volunteered for the WHAS Crusade for Children, La Grange Fire Department, La Grange Kiwanis Club and Kiwanis Fish Bus.  I have worked with the Oldham County Fair Board, as well as volunteered and coached at North Oldham Little League, Oldham County Youth Soccer, Thoroughbreds Soccer Club, Javanon Soccer Club and Upward Basketball.  I have also been a KHSAA Football official for over 15 years

Campaign Message: My campaign slogan is “Expect More.”  We have a wonderful school system, but as with anything, there is room for improvement.  We must not compare ourselves with only the best school systems in Kentucky,  but the best school systems in the country.  We are truly living in a smaller world where our children and grandchildren will be competing regionally, nationally, and globally.  We must remember where we came from as a community, and use that experience as a basis for progressing in the future.

Why are you best for this office?

Everyone running for School Board should be an advocate for the children and for public school education.  What makes me the best candidate, is that I use my love for the children and community of Oldham County as a beginning.  I feel our community and nation is becoming too divisive and idealistic.  We should all want basically the same result, but we must work together to get those results.  I will use my knowledge of the county and my relationships to bridge people and communities that have drifted apart.  Our school system is the basis of our lifestyle in Oldham County.  The county grew because we have good schools.  People move here today because of our public education.  We must foster that history and grow in our weaker areas.  I am the only candidate that was born in Oldham County.  I am the only one educated in Oldham County, and I am the only one that lives and works in Oldham County.  This is not a stop-over for me on the way to the next community.  This is my home – always has been and always will be.

If elected, what are your priorities?

We need to let our educators do what they do best, educate.  We have excellent teachers and administrators, and we must give them the necessary tools and freedom to think outside the box and elevate the young minds they are responsible for.  They must have modern classrooms and technology.  Our students and teachers deserve no less than the best.

 

Rod C. Smothers

57, Chief Information Officer for Trimble County Schools

Crestwood

www.rodsmothers.com

Wife, Connie Smothers; daughters, Katie Smothers and Rachel Smothers.

Education/degrees: Master of Arts in teaching, University of Louisville, 1988; Master of Science, equine nutrition, University of Kentucky, 1982; bachelor’s in animal science, University of Kentucky, 1979; bachelor’s in journalism, University of Kentucky, 1977.

Community Involvement: Past volunteer, South Oldham Little League and Upward Basketball at Crestwood Baptist Church; member of Crestwood Baptist Church; treasurer, Oldham County GOP committee; state director of Get Out Of Our House, GOOOH, a non-partisan approach to politics; board of directors of Historic Locust Grove Inc.; founder/president of The Falls Landing Foundation Inc., a non-profit devoted to the history of the Falls of the Ohio.

Campaign message: Oldham County’s crown jewel is the school system. Our teachers are among the best in the state and our test scores prove that. Our school board members, however, have made some decisions that have caused the community to lose confidence in their leadership. I have been a certified teacher for 28 years. I’d like to help restore confidence in our board and move us forward as we enter a time of global competition that will place greater demands on the schools.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am an education professional with 28 years experience who is committed to academic excellence above all else. I taught chemistry, physics and biology for eleven years in Spencer County and have served 17 years as chief information officer in Trimble County.

I have been in education since before KERA existed and have been involved in implementing and supporting — on the district level — the Kentucky Education Technology System since its inception.

To my knowledge, I am the only candidate in this race who is a certified teacher. I am a lifelong learner with a passion for knowledge.

I am a data-driven decision maker who will consider all of the evidence and use analytical methods to weigh all the facts. I conduct in-depth research on complex questions and arrive at a conclusion. I have working knowledge of Senate Bill 1 and the many requirements it imposes on Kentucky schools and am familiar with the District Improvement Plan.

I will bring a sense of objectivity and openness to all board proceedings and will encourage constructive criticism and dissent so that all sides of every question are given equal weight and all employees and community members are comfortable in providing their honest appraisal of all district decisions and actions. I will represent the people of the fifth division while working in a cooperative manner with other board members.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

• Build upon the excellent academic standards of Oldham County Schools.

• Restore confidence in the board with regard to some of its non-instructional decisions by making choices based on data (and without raising taxes or adding debt).

• Improve relations between the board and the community.

• Set up electronic newsletters to facilitate communication with parents and community members.

• Restart town hall forums to hear the concerns of the community.

• Move board meetings from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

• Provide as much information as possible to the community and limit the need for open record requests.

• Post the minutes of all board meetings online (not just the most recent)

• Post a voting record of each board member online

• Expand the offerings of the Arvin Education Center.

• Encourage greater emphasis on intramural sports to support district nutritional policy and healthy lifestyles.

• Promote science in elementary schools through content-area reading.

• Attract the best teachers by offering competitive salaries.

• Continue provisions of the District Improvement Plan with regard to 21st Century Learning. Oldham County teachers, administrators and board members have done a good job charting a path forward. I especially like the emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving as well as creativity, innovation, communication and leadership. Our educators are competent and should be allowed free rein with regard to their expertise in pedagogy.

 

U.S. Representative District 4

William R. “Bill” Adkins

Democrat

56, Attorney

Williamstown

www.billadkinscongress.com

Wife, Betty; seven children; one grandchild

Education/Degrees: Cumberland College, 1996, bachelor of science degree; Northern Kentucky University, juris doctor, 1999.

Political Experience: None

Endorsements: Kentucky State AFL-CIO, Northern Kentucky Labor Council, Greater Louisville Labor Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Auto Workers, Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Kentucky Professional Firefighters, Covington Firefighters Local 38, Kentucky Education Association Pipefitters, Plumbers and Sprinklerfitters Local 392, Ironworkers Union Local No. 44, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75, IUE/CWA Local 761, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen International, Union of Operating Engineers, United Mine Workers, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 248, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, Teamsters Local 1199, the Women’s Network Alliance for Retired Americans, Kentucky Hemp Initiative, Better Schools Kentucky.

Campaign Message: Protecting Medicare and the middle class and putting Kentuckians back to work.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

Like you, I’m fed up with what’s happening in Washington. I am fed up with a Congress that doesn’t do its job. Times have been hard for all of us and we need leaders who understand the importance of good jobs and access to quality education and healthcare. Billion dollar corporations have a voice in Washington, but do you? Who is standing up for hard working Kentuckians? Who is making sure our tax system is fair and just for all Americans? I will not be a typical Washington politician. My life has been about hard work, sacrifice and concern for neighbors. Our middle class is the backbone of Kentucky and I will be the strong voice and a fighter for the middle class in Washington.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

Protecting seniors by keeping Medicare and Social Security solvent is a chief priority. I will work to boost the economy in the 4th District. I will defend, support and work to rebuild the middle class. I have a vision for children that includes accessible high quality education and health care and stopping the gridlock in Congress. WE need to create a tax structure that is fair to all. I support investments in infrastructure, education and training to develop a skilled and ready work force.

 

Thomas Massie

Republican

41, engineer, farmer, judge-executive

Florence

www.thomasmassie.com

Married for 19 years to Rhonda Massie; four children, ages 16, 14, 12 and eight.

Education/Degrees: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993 – Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, with a concentration in economics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996, Master’s of Science, mechanical engineering.

Political Experience: Lewis County Judge-Executive, 2011 to present.

Endorsements: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Kentucky Right to Life, National Right to Life, Louisville TEA Party, Club for Growth, Young Americans for Liberty, Congressman Ron Paul.

Campaign Message: Congress is broken. We need leaders with private sector experience who are problem solvers. Big government is the problem, not the solution.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am an engineer and an inventor, not a career government employee or career politician. As an entrepreneur, I created jobs by starting a company. I understand the economic consequences of bad tax policy and over-regulation. I will work to reduce the size of government. As your congressman and public servant, I pledge not to take a congressional pension or participate in the congressional health care program.

If elected, what would be your chief priorities?

1. Restoring fiscal responsibility to federal government by cutting spending and balancing the budget.

2. Reforming our tax code so as not to punish entrepreneurs and job creators.

3. Reducing regulatory barriers that are stifling our economy.

4. Respecting our individual liberties protected by our constitution.

 

Ky. State Representative District 47

Theodore TK Broecker

Republican

34, owner of TS Photo (MotoPhoto)

La Grange

www.tkbroecker.com

Married to Shari Z. Broecker; one child, Mary Elizabeth “ME” Broecker, 4;

Education/degrees: Bachelor of Arts, computing/business, Furman University.

Political Experience: None.

Community Involvement: Prospect / Goshen Rotary, Oldham County Day.

Endorsements: Sen. Ernie Harris.

Campaign message: Common Sense Solutions:

• A budget that not only balances, but also pays off debt.

• Improved education for future generations

• Jobs that stay in Kentucky or move here.

Values we share:

• Sanctity of life

• Defending 2nd Amendment rights

• Strong family values

• New government programs are not the answer to every problem.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have been building a business for eight years. I know what it means to make payroll and balance a budget. I am not entrenched in Frankfort and am ready to make the needed changes to improve our district.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

• Budget

• Education

• Infrastructure to improve our district

• Local jobs

 

Rick Rand

Democrat

55, independent insurance and real estate agent

Bedford

www.rickrand.com

Married to Vicky Rand for 27 years; son, Beau Rand, professor of English Jefferson Community College; daughter, Junior at Transylvania University Lexington.

Education/degrees: Trimble County High School; Hanover College, bachelor of arts degree, business administration.

Political Experience: Kentucky State Senate, 1991-94; Kentucky House of Representatives, 2003-present.

Community Involvement: Elder Bedford Christian church member, Chamber of Commerce member, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association member, National Rifle Association member, Kentucky Bikers’ Association.

Endorsements: National Rifle Association, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Education Association.

Campaign message: As chairman of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, I have produced three balanced budgets without raising taxes. I currently serve on the public pension task force and am working to bring stability to our pension system and to help reduce future cost. In working with local Oldham County officials, I was able to secure over $30 million for transportation needs in the La Grange area that will put in motion upgrades that will help recruit new businesses to Oldham County and will also help relieve the congestion on Ky. 53 and I-71.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have developed a good working relationship with elected officials and business leaders in Oldham County so that we can work together to address the needs of Oldham County. I am fiscally conservative, as I have demonstrated in my leadership position on the budget committee. I always work to use my time and tenure in the Kentucky House to help improve the communities that we all enjoy.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

My priorities will continue to bring fiscal responsibility to my position as budget chairman. We have made great progress is lowering our debt ratio and structural imbalance in our budget. I will continue to fight to invest more state dollars into our public education system. Oldham County has one of the best public school systems in the nation — a system that all of Kentucky can emulate. I will continue to promote state policies that encourage job growth in Oldham County. In 2009 I worked with Governor Steve Beshear to revise our economic development packages and they have produced good results for Kentucky.

 

Ky. Commonwealth’s Attorney District 12

Courtney T. Baxter

Republican

47, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney; partner, Berry, Floyd and Baxter, P.S.C; prosecutor, Kentucky Education and Professional Standards Board.

Crestwood

www.courtneytbaxter.com

Married to Berry Baxter for 22 years. Two teenage children.

Education/degrees: University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Arts degree, communications, 1987; University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 1990.

Political Experience: This is the first time I have run for office.

Community Involvement: La Grange Rotary Club; Oldham County YMCA board; Oldham County Republican Women’s Committee; Oldham County Bar Association, past president, vice president and secretary/treasurer; Chance School, noard of directors’ general consel, 1998-2008; Team USA member for 2011 Age Group Triathon World Championships; Qualified to compete for Team USA for upcoming 2013 Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships; member of VO2 Mulitisport amateur sports competition team.

Endorsements: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 62; Henry County Sheriff Danny Cravens; Oldham County Sheriff Steve Sparrow; Trimble County Sheriff Tim Coons; Barry Moore, current commonwealth’s attorney; William Croley, former commonwealth’s attorney and current assistant commonwealth’s attorney; John Carter, Oldham County Attorney; Perry Arnold, Trimble County Attorney; U.S. Congressman Geoff Davis; Sen. Ernie Harris; Rep. David Osborne; Julie Barr, Oldham County Clerk; Rick Rash, Oldham Circuit Clerk-elect; Gina Lyle, Henry Circuit Clerk; Mike Simpson, Oldham County Jailer; David Voegele, Oldham County Judge-Executive; Duane Murner, former Oldham County Judge-Executive; Wendell Moore, former Oldham County Judge-Executive; Konrad Poth, former assistant county attorney; Jim Zimmerman, former state representative; Mary Ellen Kinser, former Oldham County Judge-Executive; Daniel Fendley, assistant county attorney; Travis Combs, assistant county attorney; and A Better Henry County, among others.

Campaign message: I have the experience, time, energy, passion and commitment that are essential qualities for the chief law enforcement officer.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have tried criminal cases in our jurisdiction over the past seven years both as lead counsel and as second chair.

The position of commonwealth’s attorney requires a broad range of experience as a lawyer, prosecutor and an administrator, as well as a working knowledge of the persons and agencies enforcing our laws. I am the most qualified candidate because I am the only candidate with this experience. I have been practicing law for 22 years, seven of which include felony prosecution. I have also practiced as a civil trial lawyer, which includes appellate work, as a staff attorney for a circuit judge and as a prosecutor for the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for the past 14 years. I was appointed as Oldham County Attorney to serve the remainder of the late John Fendley’s term.

As a felony prosecutor in this jurisdiction, I am responsible for prosecuting sex offenders as well as all other crimes, including murder, that this office is charged with prosecuting. I have practiced full time in this jurisdiction and am well-versed in the issues that we have in each county. I am up-to-date on the constantly changing criminal laws in the state. I have excellent working relationships with local sheriffs, county attorneys and law enforcement that enhance my ability to serve as chief prosecutor.

In the past seven years, I have prosecuted hundreds of cases in our jurisdiction. I have tried numerous civil and criminal cases. I am the most qualified candidate for this position because of my extensive experience, passion and commitment.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

The biggest issue for this office is the budgetary cuts that this office has suffered and will continue to suffer, all while dealing with an increase in crime and existing caseloads. At this time, the commonwealth’s attorney’s budget for the state of Kentucky is facing an $850,000 deficit for the 2014 budget year beginning July 1, 2013. As the commonwealth’s attorney, my chief priority will be to continue to prosecute crimes effectively despite these cutbacks. I will be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I will be personally involved in the prosecution of all serious felony cases and continue to prosecute the sex offenders to seek justice and vindication for victims. I will provide my assistants with leadership and direction in all felony cases in this circuit. I will lead by example and maintain the highest ethical standards and professional responsibility for this office.

The major cause of crimes in our jurisdiction stem from drug and alcohol abuse. I will continue to work with law enforcement to combat these crimes with sentences that are commiserate with the crime and work to make victims’ whole. I will further work with the police, probation and parole,  judges and county officials to expedite cases in our jurisdiction with an eye towards bringing the swiftest possible justice. It is important to realize that this office requires a person who has respect for the justice system and the law. I have the knowledge, experience, temperament and professional ethics to uphold this high duty. I will focus all of the available resources to efficiently and effectively prosecute offenders in this circuit.

 

William A. Carter

Democrat

80, Attorney

Crestwood

Wife, Noreen Speckman-Carter; John Shaughnessy, stepson; son, Lindon Carter; daughter, Vickie Norton; daughter, Jennifer Carter; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Education/degrees: Bachelor of Arts, political science; juris doctor, University of Kentucky.

Political experience: Worked for Wendell Ford and Julian Carroll, former governors of Kentucky. Hearing Officer, Department of Labor.

Community Involvement: member, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association; lifetime member, National Rifle Association; member, Speed Museum. Past member of the Rotary Club, Elks Club, Moose Club and American Legion.

Campaign message: Vigorous, fair and impartial administration of justice to protect the personal liberties and property of the citizens of the 12th Judicial District.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

Because of my many years of criminal law practice and my background in the military in criminal investigative work, I feel I am totally qualified for the office of commonwealth’s attorney. Also, I can save the tax payers money by reducing the staff of the commonwealth’s attorney’s office. It will be my policy that one person try each case instead of two.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

My top priority as Commonwealth Attorney will be to reduce the number of Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys to save taxpayers’ money. Anyone I hire as assistant Commonwealth Attorney will be competent to try any case alone, and this will greatly reduce expenses of the office.

 

La Grange City Council

Non-partisan

Jason E. Taylor

40, Attorney

I have been married to Laura for 15 years and we have two wonderful children. Our son attends Oldham County Middle School and our daughter attends La Grange Elementary.

Education/degrees: I obtained a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1994 and received my law degree in 1997.

Political Experience: I have been on the La Grange City Council for eight years. I was also a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office for six years.

Community Involvement: I am active with my children’s schools and I am also involved in my son’s Boy Scout Troop.

Campaign message: Last on the ballot...First for La Grange!

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have been on the La Grange City Council for eight years. I am on the budget committee and I am the chairman of the ordinance committee. In addition, I have been an attorney for 14 years. My legal experience, coupled with my long-standing service on the city council, uniquely qualify me for this position.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

I want La Grange to prosper. A “tax and spend” mentality will not lead our city to prosperity. We must cut excessive spending and ensure that we have a limited, non-intrusive local government. We need to make stronger efforts to bring in new businesses to our city. I will also continue to oppose any efforts to create additional tax burdens on La Grange residents.

 

Tom Goldsmith

40, Plant Manager for Harland Clarke

Married to Betsy for 19 years. Three children.

Education/degrees: Bachelor’s business administration, minor in marketing, from Western Michigan University

Political Experience: La Grange City Council, four years.

Community Involvement: Deacon at Crestwood Baptist Church, basketball coach for UpWard, HDB board member.

Campaign message: I would be honored to represent your voice on our city council.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have four years experience working on city council. My business background brings a vast knowledge of solving problems and handling issues. I enjoy working in the community to make it a place I am proud to have my children grow up in. I take pride in serving the people of our city and I would be honored to represent your voice on the La Grange city council.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

One of the bigger issues facing La Grange is the current debt the city owes for  Oldham Reserve. This debt is close to $10 million with payments due in the spring of 2013. We will have to come up with a multifaceted approach to reduce this debt. This will involve all the city council members, the mayor and also the OLDA board, working together to implement these plans. We have considered many options, including cutting expenses, looking at different revenue options and selling property the city owns, including some property in Oldham Reserve if possible.

 

Joe Davenport

64, retired as assistant manager of meat department at Kroger in La Grange

Wife, Charlotte, four stepsons and six grand children.

Education/degrees: Greensburg Ky. high school-Leadership Training Kentucky League of Cities Political Experience: 17 years, La Grange City Council.

Community Involvement: American Legion, La Grange Utilities commisioner.

Campaign message: Keep our city a safe and enjoyable community for our citizens. Ensure a balanced budget and work with the mayor and fellow council members to control spending and reduce debt.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

My 17 years of experience on city council and I have had the opportunity of 32 years of public work in the city of La Grange. I have been in a position to meet and greet the citizens of La Grange and listen to all their problems and concerns.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

Work with Oldham-La Grange Development to bring business to Oldham Reserve and reduce the debt which has occurred with this development.

 

Deborah B. Pollard

58, Benefits Coordinator

I have two children Tabatha Pollard and Marcus Pollard and daughter-in-law Rhonda Pollard. Fiancé, Bob Scorcolini, one stepson Scott Scorsolini and daughter-in-law Amy. Three grandsons, Kyle Steele, Derek and Drew Scorsolini, three grand puppies.

Education/degrees: Oldham County High School.

Political Experience: 28 years on La Grange City Council; have chaired numerous committees, attended Kentucky League of Cities seminars, awarded silver and bronze awards.

Community Involvement: Active with American Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Association, the V-foundation for Cancer Research; member, Italian American Association.

Campaign message: I will work on behalf of my constituents and listen to what they want and need. I recommend we sell any surplus property and move city hall to the old firehouse and move the police department to the community center. City hall needs to be downtown and convenient for residents of all ages.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

My years of service make me qualified for this office. I have a good grasp on the city issues that are present and those that lie ahead.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

Pay down debt reduction. Sell surplus properties and pay the debt down.

 

KC Barton Leet

48, La Grange Community Banker

Wife of 22 years, Tracey and three wonderful daughters, Erin, Taylor and Emily.

Education/degrees: Graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU

Political Experience: Have not held an elected political office.

Community Involvement:

• La Grange community banker

• One of La Grange’s appointees to the Oldham County Planning Commission

Campaign message:

• Fiscal management and responsibility

• Accountability

• Compromise that creates opportunities for all concerned

• Proactive business development

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

Being independent of all previous decisions and actions made by the council will foster my complete objectivity with all forthcoming council matters. My education and 25-year career as a community banker has qualified me to recognize, know and understand sound financial management, proactive business development, accountability, and compromise that creates opportunity. I believe this equips me to be a very effective council member.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

A comprehensive exploration of ways to better manage the city’s assets and liabilities. In particular, the existing debt related to the Oldham Reserve property, optimizing the city’s asset utilization and operational efficiency and ensuring our utilities and other infrastructure are well-positioned for future managed-growth. The city’s budget will continue to grow by necessity. A balance between housing growth and business development must exist and will be a priority.

 

Melanie L. Woosley

35, Practice Administrator, Tri-County OB/GYN

Married for 16 years to Kevin Woosley; two sons:, ages 13 and 11

Education/degrees: Oldham County High School, University of Louisville.

Political Experience: two terms served on La Grange City Council.

Community Involvement: Member of Grace Baptist Church, La Grange Elementary PTA, Oldham County Middle School PTSA

Campaign message: Continue to keep tax rates low, promote controlled growth and work towards paying down the city’s debt.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I try to be the voice of the citizens and work to resolve their concerns.

If elected, what are your top priorities?

My top priorities, as stated above, are to work for the needs of the citizens, avoid tax increases, preserve and grow the downtown area and work with the council and mayor on debt repayment.

–As submitted to The Oldham Era 
by candidates in the 2012 General Election