Rita Dukes Smith: What are your top priorities if you are re-elected/elected for the position of magistrate?
Hannah Miner Myers: My top priority if elected as magistrate will be to listen to the people of District 7 and share their concerns with the fiscal court. I will also work diligently to ensure that county government is being fiscal responsible to the citizens of Hopkins County. I will continue to support county services so quality and efficiency is maintained and improved where needed. I will cooperate with all and promote unity amongst the fiscal court.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing your district; and, what can you do as a magistrate to deal with them?
HMM: I am randomly asking residences of District 7 to complete a survey on their concerns and ideas so that I can constantly be aware of their specific issues they may face within the district. As I listen to my neighbors I hear them often say that nothing is more important to them than where they live. I will continue to help them protect their property and better the quality of life in Hopkins County.
RDS: Do you believe that county dollars and resources are being spent and used wisely?
HMM: In our current time county and city government should continually be looking at ways to develop job growth, encourage creation of new revenues while reducing debt; this is vital to promote the quality of life we all deserve. In the future we will be extraordinarily challenged to develop creative solutions in this challenging economic environment. My strong background in serving the public will be an asset in meeting these challenges.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing the county as a whole; and, what can you do as magistrate to deal with them?
HMM: I believe one of the primary issues facing Hopkins County, as a whole, would be the reduction of coal severance money that our county will continue to see in the future. Those monies went for projects that promoted education, health/safety, infrastructure, technology, water and wastewater development, I believe, as a magistrate I can continue to strongly support the coal industry and continue to strive to help coal initiatives be promoted within Hopkins County and western Kentucky.
RDS: What are your qualities or attributes that would benefit Hopkins County?
HMM: I have learned great leadership qualities from being a councilman and chairman of city council for the past six years. I have gained worthwhile experience and I have learned government from the bottom up. I truly enjoy helping others and interacting with those that work every day to make sure you are provided with the quality of life you deserve. I also believe as a past middle school teacher and current educator I have the patience and enthusiasm to engage others to love Hopkins County as much as I do.
RDS: If elected/re-elected, on what does the county need to spend more money?
HMM: One can see from my chairing the budget committee for the City of Madisonville I am a very fiscal responsible person. One specific need in this budget cycle would be to examine the 437 miles of county roads we maintain and specify which roads need the most attention after this extremely hard winter and allocate funding for pot holes and road work were needed.
RDS: If elected/re-elected, where would you like to make spending cuts?
HMM: In this environment municipalities must conserve spending. If possible maintaining or reducing spending where necessary is encouraged. Continuing to reduce debt and looking at other sources of revenue is vital for municipalities in the future. Again, we are all aware of the challenging economic climate. There is no area I would like to cut spending; but it is necessary to constantly monitor, evaluate, and listen to our community and adapt accordingly.
RDS: How many hours per week will you dedicate to being a magistrate? What will you be doing during that time?
HMM: I am very proud of my work ethic and dedication to the City of Madisonville for the last six years and to Murray State University as an adjunct Professor on the regional campus in Madisonville. I have never been selfish with my time when it comes to working as a councilman and I would make that same promise as a member of fiscal court. I am not a political person, my family has never been political, I am a public servant – first and foremost - and I take my job very seriously.
RDS: Under what circumstances would you vote to increase tax rates?
HMM: I have never been one to ever enthusiastically vote to increase tax rates. The only time I would ever ask my neighbors, friends and family to pay more in taxes is if I could specifically be shown that the tax rate increase would be beneficial for everyone. I would listen to the people and bring their concerns back to the fiscal court on the tax increase. It would not be an easy decision for me to increase tax rates.
RDS: Why should voters vote for you instead of your opponent(s)?
HMM: I believe unity equals success and as city councilman chairman I have worked hard to listen and cooperate with my fellow councilman and Mayor on different issues, stressing the importance of working together for the betterment of the entirety. As budget chairman for the City of Madisonville I have helped lead, with the Mayor and council, to reduce the city’s debt, decrease the transfer from the electric department, help keep electric rates as low as possible and produce a sound budget. I have used my leadership skills to help create and promote, with others, programs such as, "Go Madisonville" and "I Recycle." If given the opportunity I would work with the judge and fiscal court to ensure that Hopkins County is the best place to live and work for everyone.
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
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