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A term in review: Fiscal court members reflect on success

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By Brent Schanding

Leaders from a handful of local boards and agencies publicly thanked Oldham County Judge-Executive Duane Murner for his community service Tuesday during his last meeting at the helm of county government.
After touting a two-page, 32-point memo on the accomplishments of his administration, Murner offered some advice for future officials.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better…,” he said, citing a speech delivered by President Theodore Roosevelt 100 years earlier.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…”
In January, six newly elected officials will be installed on the county’s Fiscal Court after voters earlier this year overwhelming ousted a majority of magistrates, including many who served multiple terms on the court.
While Murner acknowledged a growing disenchantment among some voters, he and outgoing magistrates resolved to leave a political legacy.
Under his administration, the county constructed a new headquarters for emergency dispatchers and bolstered law enforcement by hiring additional officers for Oldham County Police.
County officials restored a dormant litter-removal program and secured $1.8 million in federal stimulus funds for major improvements to transportation infrastructure.
County officials also created 4.95 miles of pedestrian paths at Wendell Moore Park and Commerce Parkway.
Murner lauded the efforts of his staff — a workforce he cut by 15 percent during his four year-term because of budget woes. Despite wage freezes for county workers, Murner said his staff somehow became more efficient and propelled the county forward.
Defeated District 7 Magistrate Rick Rash, who will be replaced by newcomer Bob Dye, said he finds it “ironic” that he helped bank more than $9 million in reserves for the county.
Now, that money will be appropriated by a new set of leaders, he said.
“So long, until we meet again,” Rash told magistrates and constituents who attended the meeting.
First-term Magistrate Iva Davis, who will be replaced by newcomer JD Sparks,  said she hopes he will prioritize many of the projects she helped craft, including plans to resolve flooding issues along Ash Avenue in Pewee Valley.
“Transitions can be rocky,” said David Voegele, who will step down from his District 2 seat as magistrate and ascend as the county’s judge-executive in January.
“We enjoyed some days, we didn’t enjoy others,” he said. “But we’re all friends, and we’ll all pick up the phone tomorrow and help each other.”

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