Rita Dukes Smith: What are your top priorities?
Larry Wilson: To continue to monitor the finances of the Hopkins County to ensure that public monies were wisely expended. To continue to have an open door to see and open ear to hear the concerns not only of the people residing in District 4 but all Hopkins countians.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing the county?
LW: The primary issues facing Hopkins County are the level of education of our citizens and the availability of jobs for all including our young people. The Fiscal Court needs to work to make Hopkins County a pleasant and attractive place to live, work and retire. Improvement of County roads will continue to be on the front burner of issues facing the Fiscal Court.
RDS: Do you believe that county dollars and resources are being spent and used wisely?
LW: The tax dollars expended by the Fiscal Court are used wisely. Most revenue from property taxation (85 percent) goes to the School system, Health Department and County Extension Service. Only 15 percent of the property tax goes to support functions of Hopkins County.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing the county as a whole?
LW: Often times we need a more positive attitude as it relates to our great County. Be positive; talk us up – not down. Education on all levels will improve our job prospects and new employment.
RDS: What are your qualities or attributes that would benefit Hopkins County?
LW: It has been my privilege to represent Hopkins County at many civic and governmental functions. I enjoy being a representative of Hopkins County, having lived here for 60 plus years. I attended schools at Mortons Gap and Madisonville High School, Georgetown College and Murray State University. I have been a certified public accountant for 45 years and have attended First Baptist Church. Diann and I have participated in Return to Bethlehem for 18 years. I garden in my spare time and raise everything except spinach. My Father “Red” was a coal miner for over 40 years and I understand the concerns and health needs of those working in the mines.
RDS: If re-elected, on what does the county need to spend more money?
LW: The County needs to continue to look after the wellbeing of our employees. We have an excellent wellness program instituted by the Fiscal Court that has produced a savings in cost of health insurance. Our Road Dept. continues to improve. We always have to keep our equipment repaired and replaced when necessary. We need to take a look at recreational services provided to our citizens and aspire that Hopkins County will not be an underachiever.
RDS: If re-elected, where would you like to make spending cuts?
LW: Overall we spend our money very wisely. Some cuts could always be made. But services must be maintained for the benefit of our citizens. In my time on the Court, we have paid down our debt by 10 million dollars; built and paid for a new Public Works building, $2 million; and a new Humane Society building, $500,000.
RDS: How many hours per week will you dedicate to being a magistrate?
LW: The hours are hard to keep up with; there are 56 miles of County Roads in my District to drive and inspect. In the last 4 years I have attend 250 Court and Court related meetings. I was not required to attend all of the meetings; however, I felt as Magistrate elected by the citizens of Hopkins County, it would be beneficial for me and my constituents.
RDS: Under what circumstances would you vote for you instead of your opponent(s)?
LW: I have spent more than 40 years in finance and for the past 7 years have devoted many hours to understanding County government and its finances. I have the time to devote to the operation of Hopkins County government. I do not seek the office of Magistrate for the paycheck that comes with it. I seek the office of Magistrate because I want to improve the County where I live. I believe I bring certain talents to Hopkins County government and I hope to continue to be a servant of Hopkins County for the coming four years.
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
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