Judge-executive provides update on reviews of county policies, coming changes

Nelson County Judge-Executive

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 — The past few weeks since I was elected Nelson County Judge-Executive have been quite busy. I will be updating Nelson County citizens each month on issues and policies. My days have been filled with meetings, budget reviews, repairs, and personnel restructuring.


During my campaign, I made it clear that I would be making changes to the structure of Fiscal Court meetings. I have added the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, the community showcase, and returned public comment to Fiscal Court. Additionally, the second Fiscal Court meeting of the month will be held at 6 p.m. so citizens can attend. The citizens of Nelson County deserve to know what is happening in their county with their officials.

Since I was elected, Nelson County Fiscal Court has met twice. These meetings have lasted an average of 3.7 hours. Even though I have received some criticism on the length of these meetings there will be discussion, questions/answers, and open dialogue. My administration will be transparent. I want citizens, magistrates, county departments, and their employees to know what is happening in county government. The response and feedback that I have received has been overwhelmingly positive and people are grateful and excited to see open dialogue and discussion between the magistrates and myself.

My first goal as judge-executive was to support our sheriff’s deputies. These deputies put their life on the line daily for the safety of our communities. After much discussion, Sheriff Pineiroa and I negotiated a $2 per hour increase retroactive to January 1, 2023, for the deputies with no additional cost to the taxpayers. In fact, with this negotiation, an additional $203,000 in savings was realized (based on the past administration’s budget practices) in addition to the pay increase for the deputies. This is a big win for the people of Nelson County and is proof that this Fiscal Court can and will back the blue and the Sheriff’s Office.

During my first few weeks as judge-executive, I have reorganized several county departments for a better checks and balance system. These changes will save the county and its citizens thousands of tax dollars. I have made it a priority to communicate with county employees. The most common theme in all departments is the lack of employees, better benefits needed, lack of space, and the conditions of the county-owned buildings. While the outside of the Old Courthouse looks great, the interior is in terrible condition. The condition of this building is an embarrassment to our community as well as a health concern for the individuals that work there.

In my election plan, I discussed grants and grant writing as important tools for county government. I have started the process of hiring a grant writer that will bring many resources to all of Nelson County including the cities of Fairfield, Bloomfield, New Haven, and Bardstown. I have met with representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Tom Massie, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mitch McConnell, state Senator Jimmy Higdon, and state Rep. Candy Massaroni about grants, programs, and other resources that are available. In the previous county administration, there was very little activity of these types completed for Nelson County. This will not be the case with my administration. The current members of Fiscal Court and myself were elected to work for the taxpayers and to think outside the box for other avenues of success.

Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB’s) with 30-year terms was another hot topic in my campaign. Lux Row has made plans to expand again here in Nelson County by building an additional 22 new Rickhouses.

During my first few weeks in office, I negotiated a signed agreement with Lux Row that this new IRB with Lux Row will come due in 15 years. The Pilot Program (Payments in lieu of Taxes) was also negotiated that states if the Bourbon Barrel Tax is eliminated by the General Assembly, Nelson County Fiscal Court and the county’s public schools will receive all taxes due by Lux Row. I am monitoring the status of the Bourbon Barrel Tax change with Higdon and Massaroni. If the Bourbon Barrel Tax is eliminated by the state, it will have catastrophic effects on Nelson County.

I’ve had several meetings with the mayors of New Haven, Fairfield, Bardstown, and Bloomfield discussing new sidewalks, water lines, sewer expansion, and an indoor aquatic center along with many other topics. I look forward to working with them and including them in my administration.

I am working with the magistrates, Nelson County government staff, and Nelson County employees for more positive changes here in Nelson County. We will work together to better align Nelson County for a successful future. If you have any questions about my progress or changes, I welcome your input and discussion.


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