HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/10/14) — Karol Welch – Magisterial District 1 Democrat.
Rita Dukes Smith: What are your top priorities if you are re-elected/elected for the position of magistrate?
Karol Welch: Jobs, new factories, increase and continue good relationships with present businesses and employees. Increase and upgrade the facilities for quick emergency response equipment. I will continue to contact people that can address problems that will affect all of the First District and all of Hopkins County. I have excellent communication with all the senators and representatives in Frankfort and Washington, D.C. I am working now with the blessing of our county coroner since the last fiscal court meeting Feb. 18. I am preparing for a public service announcement to help “Stop Suicide.” If one life is saved, that would be a job well done.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing your district; and, what can you do as a magistrate to deal with them?
KW: A cover of blacktop on every county road is one of my first goals, which have not co me to fruition yet but are very close. Since there have been no taxes raised in the last three years, the following issues are facing our First District. Monies to blacktop the remaining chip and seal or gravel roads in the First District and to keep deterioration of blacktop repaired or replaced. I have tried to make needed changes in dangerous areas in roads. Please call me anytime to report your problem about dangerous areas on roads.
RDS: Do you believe that county dollars and resources are being spent and used wisely?
KW: I was the only magistrate that voted against the 10 percent insurance tax and look forward to the tax's removal. But working with a healthy budget does provide and insures safety for families and I am emphasizing protection of the innocent. The county only receives 16 percent of each person's tax bill. With that small portion, the county must support the following offices: sheriff, transportation, sanitation, volunteer fire departments, jail facility, emergency management service, homeland security equipment, ambulance service, PACS, Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, Humane Society, Griffin Industries and convenience centers. I feel these monies are spent very wisely.
RDS: What are the primary issues facing the county as a whole; and, what can you do as magistrate to deal with them?
KW: A magistrate can only report problems with the hopes that the judge agrees and instructs the problem be resolved. Of course, there will always be ongoing road problems, needed jobs, protections at schools for our children. I think a huge issue facing the citizens is the drainage in ditches, etc. Water has no place to go resulting in properties being swallowed up in water, which later is labeled as “wetlands” erroneously. This affects hundreds of acres of farmland and wooded areas. Home are being destroyed from water standing under their houses and in basements. All stagnated water produces mosquitoes that multiply at an alarming rate with a possibility of West Nile disease.
RDS: What are your qualities or attributes that would benefit Hopkins County?
KW: I have always researched the issues, worked progressively and aggressively with an unbiased voice. I have provided surveys which allow anyone to voice their opinion(s). I have and will continue to fight to protect our rights, freedoms and safety for our families. I will continue to treat everyone with dignity and respect on all issues presented to the court so problems will be rendered efficiently and fairly as possible. As most may recall, I have demanded that taxes be spent equally in the First District which have had a direct effect on our quality of life. I have an established a proven work record and I expect only the highest work ethics from all. I accept obligations and I complete them honestly. I follow the rules and regulations of the Kentucky Revised Statures. I will continue to use my leadership by actively soliciting assistance from legislators in Frankfort and Washington, D. C.. Only with planning can true progress and meaningful changes be achieved.
RDS: If elected/re-elected, on what does the county need to spend more money?
KW: Drainage, finish the Archery Sport Complex, and more blacktop, replace culverts, widen roads, etc. Thankfully, most homes have water. I received a large grant from the Abandoned Mines Lands which brought water to several areas in the First District. The large water tower in White Plains was erected and water lines were installed with my grant’s monies. Then another grant from the county finished out the homes that wanted water where the Abandoned Mines Lands grant stopped.
RDS: If elected/re-elected, where would you like to make spending cuts?
KW: The only place to make spending cuts from our lean budget would be from the money loaned to the Library, but we have made a commitment. Most folks feel that is a strong selling point for bringing in new jobs, families, and giving other children the chance to learn on his/her own time.
RDS: How many hours per week will you dedicate to being a magistrate? What will you be doing during that time?
KW: I will dedicate all the hours needed to complete any and all work. I am on call 24 - 7. I work from my home so anyone can call on me anytime. I also have an answering machine that takes calls so I can return the phone calls as soon as possible. This arrangement works very well when folks call needing snow removable, salt and sand, trees across the road, even wedding ceremonies, etc. at late evening, midnight, early mornings, or anytime they need help.
RDS: Under what circumstances would you vote to increase tax rates?
KW: At this time there is nothing on the agenda that would cause a tax increase. Only in a major natural catastrophe would I vote for a tax increase.
RDS: Why should voters vote for you instead of your opponent(s)?
KW: My dream is to leave this Earth in better environmental condition than when I was born. I have fought the good fights for keeping our water aquifer under White Plains that runs to the Gulf of Mexico pristine, keep hogs and chickens where neighbors are not grievous to their house. I have worked to keep coal jobs, soldiers on school property ready to stop anyone who intends to harm our school children. I have worked to stopped the blasting that was damaging the First District and other surrounding counties properties, to keep our coalminers insurance, keep God’s name in all places in Washington and over America. I feel it is my obligation to pass on the best quality of life to our children and grandchildren.
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
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