Ky. Voices: Wanted: judge-executive with skills, courage, vision to lead

Isaac Wood Dugan owns Pleasant Springs Farm in Carlisle.
Isaac Wood Dugan owns Pleasant Springs Farm in Carlisle.

Every once in a while, individuals, organizations and governments have the opportunity to take stock of themselves because of events or change. Europe was remade after World War II through the Marshall Plan. IBM went from computer manufacturing to helping clients do business in a more profitable manner. Abraham Lincoln helped this country find its moral footing and economic future by freeing the slaves.

Kentucky is fraught with communities and counties whose economic and social future is neither focused nor on firm footing.

This has come about through decades of the lack of skilled leadership and vision which has led to hopelessness on the part of the citizens because they feel they have little to say about the future of their communities.

There is the constant belief that some key elected officials are only there because of personal gratification, rather than for the good of the total community; that they look only to the needs of those with economic power.

So, when one tries to make a difference, that path is filled with political quagmire making progress impossible.

Nicholas County, Carlisle and Kentucky's governor now have the opportunity to put aside politics and find an individual who has experience, vision, skills and courage to lead the community in the direction it must go if it is to regain any semblance of economic and social progress.

The current county judge-executive is stepping down. There could be any number of reasons, but I expect it is primarily because he is hindered at every turn by individuals focused on the status quo.

A healthy community is not focused on any single issue. Rather, the larger picture is uppermost in the minds of elected leadership, the business community, our churches, educators and all our citizens. What makes us feel good about ourselves can be seen all around us.

A beautiful community is a healthy community. A trusting community is a healthy community. A good educational base makes for a healthy and prosperous community. Strong and all-encompassing leaders bring out the best in our communities. Vision is key. The understanding and support of this vision is vital to any community's future.

In these most challenging times, our counties must find better ways of doing business. Unified government is part of the answer. Zoning leads to increased property values, provides the pathway for others to invest in farms and businesses, and brings those to our towns who respect our ways of doing things to make our communities great places to live.

Making us feel good about ourselves is also key; community beautification programs are always a terrific pathway and not a difficult one.

When we make our communities great places to live, work and play, we are ensuring our future.

Our children, if given a strong educational background, will return. Businesses looking to expand will find their way to our door. Young families will consider us as a better place to raise children. Individuals looking for places to invest in land and homes will bring added economic and employment opportunities to us.

So, when Kentucky's governor considers and selects who should begin a new pathway for Nicholas County, he has the opportunity to make a real difference.

This is not a political decision because it really will not make any difference in Frankfort. This is a decision which can help unite the community and ensure its future.

It is a decision which must consider vision, courage, experience and the ability to bring everyone to the table to help all of us. It is an opportunity to ensure a turning point in the direction of Nicholas County, if the new leadership of this county is the best leadership the governor can help give us.

It is his decision and it can make all the difference to us.