Voegele champions no tax increases at Chamber forum

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By Kenny Colston

County Judge-Executive David Voegele is hoping four years of no tax increases and steady financial management will earn him another four years in the county’s top office. Speaking during the Oldham Chamber and Economic Development and Oldham Era’s candidate’s forum Tuesday night, Voegele said the best indicator of a possible second term is to view the record of his first term.

“The best predictor of how we’ll be in four years is by looking at the last four years,” Voegele said. “Oldham County government is doing very well. All accounts are in excellent shape.” Voegele promoted the lack of new taxes in the county, while promising to consider that trend.

“There have been no new taxes in the last four years and there won’t be any in the next four years if I have anything to do with it,” he said.

At the forum, Voegele addressed the audience for 10 minutes, while receiving another 10 to answer questions from those in attendance.

His primary opponent, Oldham County Police officer David Howley, did not attend the forum.

Howley previously declined an invitation to the forum after saying current policy at OCPD prevented him from having a public debate and criticizing Voegele or any member of the fiscal court. Howley also implied doing so could endanger his job.

Voegele denied a debate between the two would endanger Howley’s job.

“The traveling trophy for whopper of the year is now in Oldham County,” Voegele said. “There’s no way I could fire that individual, I would have to get approval from the Fiscal Court and the Merit Board and there’s no way that would happen. “If we want to have better county government, we have to stand up and have leaders.”

During his time speaking at the forum, Voegele also touched on important infrastructure projects accomplished during his term, including the beautification of the Buckner mall area around Oldham County High School as well as up and down Highway 146.

Voegele also said a future infrastructure goal is to have Interstate-71 widened from the Watterson Expressway in Louisville to the Henry County line. The state currently projects that to be accomplished in 2034, but Voegele said the date “was totally unacceptable” and that he would advocate to speed up the process.

Voegele also championed the partnership he struck with Baptist Health to take over management responsibilities for Oldham County EMS, which had been experiencing financial issues before the merger.

Other issues to come up were progress on Oldham Reserve, which Voegele said will soon turn the corner and become an important part of the county, as well as traffic issues with Interstate 71.

But the biggest question from the audience concerned a potential wet/dry vote for Oldham County. Voegele said he expected the issue to come up fully by March of next year.

“The Chamber is leading an effort right now to educate the community on a wet/dry vote,” he said. “They’re gathering signatures on a petition to put the question on the ballot and the community will decide for itself at that time.”

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