Bullitt County General Elections

These are campaign posters for two of the candidates who those participating in the Bullitt County general elections on Nov. 6 can vote for. Them, along with many candidates running for office in other counties that are part of Kentucky's second congressional district and are therefore subject to the general elections, are prepared to enforce achievable plans that will improve the conditions of their communities.

Jaydrien Jarrett

These are campaign posters for two of the candidates who those participating in the Bullitt County general elections on Nov. 6 can vote for. Them, along with many candidates running for office in other counties that are part of Kentucky's second congressional district and are therefore subject to the general elections, are prepared to enforce achievable plans that will improve the conditions of their communities. "Be sure to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6 -- rain or shine. If you don't vote, you can't complain," said the Pioneer News.

Madeline Myers, Copy Editor

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The general elections for Bullitt County positions on Nov. 6 will occupy various locations, with promising candidates in Shepherdsville and Hillview offering plans for improvement.

The general election includes the four-year term of the mayor of Shepherdsville, with the six non-partisan candidates being Bernard “Bernie” Brown, Thomas Chamberlain, Mike Hibbard, Curtis Hockenbury, Gloria Taft and Sherman Tinnell. The general election also includes two candidates- Jim Eadens and Raymon Wilburn- competing for the four-year position of the mayor of Hillview. The Hillview City Council is due for the election of six non-partisan candidates serving two-year terms, the options being Lisa Boggs, David Conn, Joe First, Randall Hill, Karen Johnson, Alice Meredith Keister, Kim Whitlock and JoAnn Wick.

Brown, who has served three terms as a council member in Shepherdsville, four years as mayor in Fox Chase and 16 years on the council in Fox Chase, is planning on finding ways to combat the traffic problem as well as improving the aesthetic of certain places in Shepherdsville. As someone who has been on the council during a dire financial situation and contributed to leading Shepherdsville out of those circumstances, he shows potential in finding solutions to problems. In order to give the people more representation, he also aspires to form a committee of individuals that would include members in the public. They would plan ways to fix the issues that have been addressed but never resulted in action. Brown said to the Pioneer News that “many of the problems today are due to a lack of leadership”; therefore, he promises to keep all six of the council members informed. And although his former time on the Shepherdsville City Council resulted in him and other council members suing the city, Brown wants to leave those strains in the past and focus on making decisions that will positively impact the future of the city.

Also promoting better communication between the mayor and council and the voice of the community, Chamberlain plans to revamp the city’s business structure, including decreasing peoples’ reliance on county services. “I want to change the way the city does business,” said Chamberlain to the Pioneer News. However, despite reassuring the people that he would remain honest from now on and continue giving back to the public through hosting fundraisers, the fact that he used money intended for the Crusade for Children over twenty years ago could eliminate the possibility of many citizens voting for him.

Having served one term as a councilman, Hibbard would ensure that he communicates with the department supervisors and councilmembers due to good communication being a key to being a good mayor. He is a strong proponent of making sure all the council members receive needed information and are able to compromise when necessary.  “We have to be on the same page and I have to keep them updated on what is happening,” said Hibbard to the Pioneer News. There are many projects he is intent on completing as mayor, but with regard to the fact that they are time-consuming and costly, he plans to tackle them gradually and step-by-step.

The difference Hockenbury has made for the community of Shepherdsville as the last mayor may strengthen his chances of being elected. The community has observed the improvements he has made in the city for the nearly two years he has been in office, such as his role in over 1,000 jobs being committed to the city, his establishment of a pending traffic study in especially affected areas, several financial issues prior to 2016 being addressed and drainage and sewer issues being worked on. Having initiated many of the projects that are currently in progress, Hockenbury is arguably the most logical and eager candidate to finish them. “After visiting 1,702 homes and listening to this community, people told me on their doorsteps or in their living rooms they had lost confidence in this government. I believe I have done my part and rebuilt that confidence,” said Hockenbury to the Pioneer News.

Taft has already shown her potential as a leader through her experience as an owner of her own business and an office manager as well as having served on the Shepherdsville City Council. She plans to use these leadership skills to restore the weaker aspects of the city that drove her to run for mayor to begin with. Projects that would help Shepherdsville return to its previous glory are ensuring that the new I-65 interchange is completed as planned, setting up committees of city officials and citizens to work on the park system and beautification and setting up transportation routes to Shepherdsville employers. “Our city should be leading. I see us falling behind. I can create a proactive government working with citizens to complete projects that have been on hold for two years. We will start and complete projects that citizens have been asking to be done,” said Taft to the Pioneer News.

Tinnell has experienced two terms as the mayor of Shepherdsville, but unlike Hockenbury, his service to the city was not as well received. This was due to the fact that the financial condition of the city suffered by the end of his second term. Although he may have contributed to the city’s financial instability, his eagerness to finish the projects he started during his terms and begin new ones may compensate for his past failures. Such projects include reducing sewer rates, ballfields and other facilities being built at the park and Highway 44 being placed back onto the six-year road plan. “There’s still work to be done,” said Tinnell to the Pioneer News.

Having occupied the mayor’s seat in Hillview for 16 years, Eadens has experienced many difficulties, but he has still managed to guide the city through them. For example, he enabled the city to work out a deal where the payments from a multi-million lawsuit settlement inflicted on the city could be made in a way that didn’t burden the citizens. In the midst of combating the city’s troubles, Eadens has immensely improved the quality of life for the citizens of Hillview. His desire to keep doing this is the reason behind his re-running for office. During his leadership, the city has acquired a new government center, built a new skate park and splash park, made plans for a new gymnasium and has brought many jobs to the community. His continued time in office would include finding solutions to the sewer issues and drug epidemic in the city.

Opposing Eadens for the position of the Hillview mayor, Wilburn has over 40 years of law enforcement experience and is passionate about increasing citizen involvement in local government. He also has many new ideas that could be very beneficial for the city, such as supporting a stronger police interdiction for the complaints of drug trafficking in the community and seeking the expansion of small businesses into vacant stores located within Hillview. “The more input from residents, the better our city will become,” said Wilburn to the Pioneer News.

Boggs has served three terms on the Hillview City Council, and in that time she has tried to make the best decisions for the residents of the community, who deserve to take pride in where they live. Even if she does not secure one of the spots on the council, she wants to ensure that the six people who do work just as hard to make Hillview a pleasant place to live in. “I want our residents to be proud to say they are from Hillview,” said Boggs to the Pioneer News.

Conn’s consecutive service on the city council was broken two years ago when he lost a coin flip for the final council position, and he is ready to use his former experience to return to serving his city. With experience on the county’s planning commission (as the person in charge of the numbering system and enforcement), he believes he can use this knowledge to better the city. On the council, Conn plans to try to entice new businesses to locate, make sure city ordinances are enforced and make sure departments have the money to invest into the services citizens need. With additional experience on the Kentucky League of Cities training, Conn promises to use this to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely.

Although he has never held a public office, First has regularly attended the meetings of the Hillview City Council, speaking his opinion whenever he feels the urge to. He also has experience with purchasing and accounting gained from working at UPS, in which he plans to use this to help the city run more cost effectively. “I will use this experience to better serve the community of Hillview,” said First to the Pioneer News. With a strong desire to become improve the quality of life in Hillview, he wants to provide better services to the citizens, encourage more community involvement in the city’s daily operations and assist the mayor and other council members in any way that would help them do their jobs.

Hill and Johnson have both served several terms on the council, but that is all the information that has been relayed to the public.

As the winner of the coin toss used to determine the occupant of the final council seat two years ago, Keister has served one term on the council. She urges the people that she would use her position on the council to make a difference in the community rather than just attending the meetings to hold the title of a councilmember. Keister can commit to her word by opening a dog park and continuing to vote on ordinances that will promote growth and improvements for the community. “I try to involve myself much more than simply showing up to the meetings,” said Keister to the Pioneer News.

Having served on the council since 2007 and the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission, Whitlock wants to be a part of continuing the progress she believes Hillview has been making over the past years. In cooperation with the mayor and council, a way that she wants to continue improving the community is to bring in businesses that will provide good-paying jobs. “Hillview is my home and I will always do what I feel is the best for our residents and community,” said Whitlock to the Pioneer News.

Like Whitlock, Wick has grown up in Hillview and has served a significant amount of time as a council member. Her decisions as a council member have reflected what she thinks is best for the residents and the concerns they have brought to her. She wants to have the opportunity to continue doing that over the next two years. Working with the mayor and council, she wants to enforce ideas that will promote city growth. “I would like to continue working with our mayor and other council members to be a part in making decisions best for the city,” said Wick to the Pioneer News.

Bullitt County elections will take place on Nov. 6, with polls being open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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