With this in mind, iSurf News got in contact with both of the Madisonville Mayor candidates—incumbent candidate, Mayor Will Cox, and prospective Mayor, David Jackson—and asked them an identical set of questions to find out more.
What follows are the responses of Mayor Will Cox.
As to why Mayor Cox initially chose to run for reelection/election as Madisonville Mayor, he explained that, “Four years ago, I ran for mayor to give Madisonville new vision, new leadership, and new direction, and to move Madisonville forward.”
“Our goal at City Hall every day is to deliver the necessary services to the citizens of Madisonville in the most efficient, professional, and cost‐effective manner possible. Working together over the past 1,365 days, we've established a record of success and achievement despite the difficult economic times of recent years. Among other things, we’ve assisted local businesses and industries to keep jobs available in Madisonville and Hopkins County, improved our public safety, improved the City’s water, sewer, and electric utility infrastructure, improved operations at the Sanitation Department and Recycling Center, created a renewed spirit of cooperation with the Hopkins County Fiscal Court, and worked hard to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.
“At the same time, we’ve faced more than our share of challenges. From the Ice Storm of 2009, to the Commonwealth’s first‐ever hurricane, to multiple wholesale electric rate increases from Kentucky Utilities, we’ve never lost our resolve. We’ve met these challenges head on and strived to be there for our citizens when they needed us. Simply put, we've worked hard every single day to keep Madisonville moving forward.
“Finally, throughout it all, we’ve tried our best to lead with energy, integrity, and transparency.”
When asked to give a general overview of what the position of Madisonville Mayor entails from his perspective, such as the abilities and responsibilities that come along with the position, Mayor Cox said that, “Serving as mayor requires a "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year" commitment. Simply put, the Mayor is always on the job serving the citizens of Madisonville. In order to meet that commitment, I suspended my law practice when I became mayor so I could devote 100% of my time and energy to the job.”
“By state statute and city ordinance, the executive authority of the City of Madisonville is vested in the office of the Mayor. This essentially means that the mayor is responsible for overseeing all day‐to‐day activities of city government and to enforce the ordinances, policies, and procedures properly adopted by the City Council. While not a member of the City Council, the mayor does preside over the meetings of the city council; however, the mayor may only vote at a council meeting in order to break a tie. The mayor is also required by state statute and city ordinance to prepare and present an annual budget proposal to the city council for their consideration. Once the city council adopts an annual budget, it is the mayor's duty to operate city government in accordance with that budget.”
“Finally, the Mayor also serves as the City's official representative and liaison with local organizations such as the Madisonville Housing Authority, the Madisonville/Hopkins County Public Library, the Hopkins County Humane Society, and the Madisonville/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation.”
When asked a little bit about what his personal background was, such as where he was born, what school he went to, what his hobbies are, and more, Mayor Cox explained that, “I was born in Madisonville on September 14, 1967.”
“I attended the public schools of Hopkins County and graduated from Madisonville/North Hopkins High School in 1985. After high school, I attended Western Kentucky University for one year before transferring to the University of Kentucky, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.
“I returned home after graduation and worked in the family‐owned business, Thomas Heavy Hauling. Like many other businesses in and around Madisonville, our business depended heavily on the coal industry to be successful.
“After the business was sold, I decided to return to school in pursuit of a law degree and attended the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. I graduated from law school in 1991 and again returned home to practice law. I practiced law full‐time in the law firm of Whitfield & Cox, PSC, until I took office as Mayor in January 2007. I also served on the Madisonville City Council from 2003 to 2006.
“Upon taking office, I suspended my law practice in order to devote 100% of my time and energy to serving as Mayor.
“My wife, Marci, and I married in 1994, and we are the proud owners of two very spoiled dogs, Fred and Barney. I am a lifelong member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and have previously served as Chair of the Deacons for two years. I am also member of the Madisonville Noon Kiwanis Club, the Friends of KET, and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. As mayor, I serve on the Pennyrile Area Development District (PADD), Pennyrile Allied Community Services (PACS), and Kentucky League of Cities boards of directors.
“In my spare time, I enjoy having fun with friends and family, reading, UK football and basketball, and Jeep trips with the top down.”
In regards to future goals, iSurf News asked Mayor Cox what some of his primary objectives for Madisonville are and/or what his platform consists of, to which Mayor Cox stated that, “Our work of the last four years isn't completed ‐ we have unfinished business.”
“In the next four years, we must continue our efforts to create and expand job opportunities for all of our citizens. We must continue to be a partner for progress with the business, industrial, and development communities. We must ensure our residents have access to affordable and safe housing. We must get the CSX train traffic re‐routed from our downtown. We must keep up our neighborhoods clean by abating nuisance properties. We must maintain our renewed emphasis on public safety. We must ensure that the Mahr Park and MidTown Commons are both developed in a manner that best showcases Madisonville. We must continue our fight to keep downtown as the heart of our community.
“And, if history has taught us anything, we must be prepared for the yet unseen challenges looming just over the horizon.”
When asked what he sees as his qualifications for this position, Mayor Cox stated that, “The citizens of Madisonville deserve a mayor that has the education, training, experience, and record to keep our community moving forward. The citizens of Madisonville deserve a mayor that understands the role of the Mayor's Office inside and outside the boundaries of the community. And, the citizens of Madisonville deserve a mayor will work hard every single day to make our community the best possible place to live, work, and raise a family.
“As outlined in my previous answers above, I believe that I meet those requirements and am therefore qualified to serve another term as Mayor of the ‘Best Town On Earth.’”
In conclusion, iSurf News offered Mayor Cox the opportunity to say whatever he wanted want to the people of Madisonville and the Hopkins County region.
What follows is his reply:
“I want to thank iSurf for providing the voters with this opportunity to learn more about the candidates seeking to serve as their next mayor. I hope the readers have found this forum both educational and worthwhile.
“Let me close by simply saying that it has been a tremendous honor to serve the citizens of ‘The Best Town On Earth’ as mayor for the past three years. I again respectfully ask for your support, influence, and vote on November 2.”
For more information about voting and registration deadlines in Hopkins County, please visit a previous article posted by iSurf News by clicking the following link: Kentuckians Face Deadline to Register to Vote in General Election.
© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.