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Ladd, Morgan vie for district 6 magistrate

From staff reports

Jessamine County resident’s located in district six will have the choice between incumbent Gary Morgan or Burt Ladd for magistrate on Nov. 6.

Candidates were given the same questionnaire they received during the primary election. However, this time, each candidate was given 100 words in which to answer their questions instead of the previous 50. 

Morgan is a democrat and has served as 6th district magistrate since 2008. A graduate of Jessamine County High School he has served as the owner/operator of GEM Construction since 1979. His civic involvement includes being a supporter of the Military Freedom Festival and other programs recognizing veterans for their service.

Ladd is a republican with a bachelors in editorial journalism from the University of Kentucky. His professional background includes transportation training and safety coordinator for Fayette County Schools Transportation Division. He has tracked and analyzed bus driver accidents and student injuries as well as organized and kept training files on all the bus drivers. Ladd has worked to produce training update presentations on school bus accidents and prevention and resolve issues in regard to school loading zones and ingress and egress points to schools when construction mandates changes. He was also contracted through the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky State Police to give CDL tests to school bus drivers. 

Currently he is retired and works part time as a driver for a local car dealership. His civic involvement includes currently serving on the Nicholasville Planning and Zoning for the past 12 years. He is a member of the Nicholasville Methodist Church, Jessamine County Beef Cattle Association and Jessamine County Schools Local Planning Committee. Ladd is also part of the Nicholasville Police Academy Alumni Association.

JJ: What will be your top priority if elected to office?

GM: If re-elected my top priority will be to push to attract new businesses to Jessamine County that will create jobs and help improve the quality of life for all Jessamine County families.

BL: My top priority is two-fold, I want to become well versed in the policies and procedures of the position, as well as providing an accessible means for my constituents to contact me with their concerns.

JJ: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

GM: I am the best candidate for 6th District Magistrate because I have the experience from holding that office for 10 years.  I have over 665 training hours offered by the department of local government to help improve my role as magistrate. I also serve on numerous boards such as EMS, Jessamine County Jail, Coroner and the Animal Shelter.

BL: I think I can offer a fresh perspective on current issues. I would look forward to dedicating this time of my retirement to the people of Jessamine County.

JJ: What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

GM: I am proud to call Jessamine County home for my lifetime. I have raised my family here.  I have started and ran a successful small business in Jessamine County for the past 39 years.  As your Magistrate, I am a part of moving Jessamine County forward in a positive direction.

BL: I am proud and humbled at the same time that I devoted 22.5 years of my working life to ensure the safety of Fayette County School students as they were transported to and from school. Their safety was always first and foremost in my mind.

JJ: What is the biggest challenge our community faces?

GM: The biggest challenge our community faces is the drug epidemic and over-crowding of our jail.

BL: Being a “Work Ready Community,” the county needs to continue to pursue and attract industry to move to Nicholasville/Jessamine County in order to generate payroll tax dollars. 

JJ: How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?

GM: I will continue to be accessible to all Jessamine County residents for any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone or email, and both are listed on the Jessamine Fiscal Court website.

BL: I believe that in this day and time we can use social media to gather people’s ideas and opinions and online polls. Listening to the people and representing them is the reason we are in office.  If residents have concerns or ideas, I’m generally available throughout the day. I prefer face to face meetings, but I’ll also be accessible via telephone.

JJ: If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?

GM: The three steps that I would take to put our county on a firmer financial footing are continuing to maximize the benefit residents receive from their tax dollars, reducing wasteful spending and develop the newly acquired land into an industrial park that will attract new businesses and create new jobs for our citizens and revenue for our county.

BL: Three things that I think would firm up the finances are analyzing the current spending and making sure that the taxpayers’ money isn’t being spent on “wants” rather than “needs.” Find industry and jobs for the community that would enable our workforce to stay within the county and would generate enough payroll tax dollars so that property tax dollars don’t have to be raised. Maintain a budget that enables the county to function within its means with an emphasis on saving tax payers dollars.   

JJ: Any additional comments you would like to add?

GM: If re-elected I will continue to serve the residents of Jessamine County with goals to improve, advance and enrich the future of our county.