Judge-exec offers update on county government, state road plan, sports teams

Nelson County Judge-Executive

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 — November is the month to give thanks. I am thankful and humbled that the citizens of Nelson County have placed their trust in me to look after their best interests today but also to be proactive and plan for a successful future for our children and grandchildren.


I want to send congratulations to the young athletes in Nelson County who won state awards this past week. The Thomas Nelson Generals Cross Country Track and Field team finished first in the state as well as the Bethlehem Banshees Soccer team defeating Sacred Heart to win that state championship title. The sports programs in our county continue to make headlines across the state.

I recently attended the American Fuji Seal employee meeting and discussion regarding the recent layout notification. With resources available like the Career Center, fast-track of unemployment benefits, and assistance with the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, I am hopeful that our citizens affected by this layoff will have better options available to them. Thanks to Jackie Masterson of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, and Rep. Candy Massaroni for their assistance in providing these resources.

With the upcoming Gubernatorial Election, I urge all Nelson County citizens to review the platform of both candidates and decide which candidate most closely aligns with your personal, professional, and religious beliefs. Elections do matter and complacency is the enemy of progress.

With the unseasonably cooler temperatures that we have experienced this week, it is important that we all prepare for the winter season. Our county road department is fully stocked with salt to help keep our roads clean and safe. All winter training for our road department staff has been completed including the driving of snowplows. Holiday garbage pickup schedules will be posted soon.

Work has begun on the repairs of the second-floor stairwell of the Old Courthouse. The discolored, broken, and cracked plaster has been removed and the leaks fixed. Antique beams will be exposed, and antique brick has been matched. We have a long way to go, but it already looks so much better than it has looked for years.

In the last few months, the state has authorized the next phase for the state road plans in Nelson County. I have met with the Lincoln Trail Area Development District , state, and local engineers about the county’s state road projects. Nelson County has been approved to have the following roads placed on the State Road Plan. This is great news for Nelson County citizens and our industries.

• Changes and widening of Hwy 150
• Changes and widening of Hwy 245
• Designing of a new Northwestern Bypass

A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Nelson County-Bardstown Tourist Commission executive director had been terminated and the position eliminated. As a member of the NCEDA board in which the Tourism Commission falls under, I was not given any information either during the “investigation” or after the decision had been made. However, I found out later that other members of the NCEDA board had been previously notified. I am concerned that as the top official in Nelson County that represents 48,000 citizens and a member of the board, that I was not made aware of a situation so dire that it caused the termination of a long-term, successful, employee. If the plan was to have a different path for the tourism commission (even though that was not the reason given in the initial story), this should have been discussed with the Nelson County Judge Executive prior to any action being taken.

When I became judge-executive in January this year, there were many areas that I felt needed to be reviewed with possible changes being made. Between the conflict with the Bourbon Festival and local citizens and groups, the repeal of the Bourbon Barrel Tax, rickhouse zoning changes and concerns, and now questions within the Tourist Commission, I am concerned that a lax attitude toward the Bourbon industry and the lack of transparency with various commissions and boards, may have contributed to some of the problems noted above. While it is obvious that the Bourbon industry has made the best of this lax attitude, the responsibility came from our local leaders and the decisions that they have made.

I have faith in our communities and our citizens that transparency, communication, and doing the right thing will prevail. I am thankful to everyone for the continued support of me personally and for the support of Nelson County Government. I hope that each of you have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.


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