To the Citizens of Floyd County:
We the duly elected Magistrates of Floyd County, Kentucky, find it necessary to respond to the “guest view” written by County Judge, R.D. “Doc” Marshall, and published in the Floyd County Times on Friday May 31, 2013.
In the first sentence of his “guest view”, Judge Marshall actually told the truth - the budget that was approved was not the budget that he proposed. The budget that was proposed by Judge R.D. “Doc” Marshall included the following:
1) Multiple new taxes including a tax on everyone with a job in Floyd County; a tax on everyone that purchases an insurance policy in Floyd County; a tax on everyone that rents a hotel room in Floyd County; and a tax on everyone that eats a meal in a restaurant in Floyd County.
2) Increased garbage collection bills for Floyd County residents.
3) Cutting budgets for senior citizens centers.
4) Eliminating the LINKS program (which provides free houses to qualifying families).
5) Cutting health insurance to county employees.
6) Cutting benefits to Chris Waugh, John K. Blackburn and their staffs.
7) And most unbelievably, giving his wife, Lois Marshall, two (2) titles/jobs with a combined proposed salary of $92,000 per year.
All four magistrates voted to not allow Judge Marshall to get away with such an atrocity, and struck down his proposed budget. We then passed a balanced budget without any of Marshall’s proposed taxes or rate increases, without cuts to the benefits of County employees, the Clerk or the Sheriff, and without cuts to Senior Citizens. Most importantly, we voted to not allow Lois Marshall to assume two (2) jobs or to be paid $92,000 per year.
Judge Marshall, in his “guest view”, wrongfully asserted that he was not to be blamed if county roads were not repaired. If your road is in disrepair, it is in fact Judge Marshall’s fault if it does not get repaired because Judge Marshall has all be bankrupted the Fiscal Court. The following are just a few examples of Judge Marshall’s financial failures:
1) He did nothing while the county’s financial condition worsened every year during his seven year tenure as Chief Executive Officer.
2) He incurred more private contractor bills than any Judge in the history of the county (much of it for work that could have been done by the County’s full-time road department.)
3) He wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects that provided him a personal benefit such as:
• He paved a road which winds through Davidson Memorial Gardens, a private cemetery owned by a for-profit corporation. (Interestingly, the paving was completed just prior to Judge Marshall announcing that his father’s remains would be buried at the same cemetery).
• He spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to make people believe that he was going to deliver a Veterans Cemetery which he promised seven years ago. Yet, all we have is a weathered sign beside a rock cliff, promising a Veteran’s Cemetery in the future.
In conclusion, we agree with Judge Marshall when he says “the people should decide.” However, unlike Judge Marshall, we believe that the people should have all the truthful facts in helping them to make the decision about who is to blame for the county’s financial woes. We voted to reject Judge Marshall’s proposal which would have allowed him to take money out of the pockets of citizens of Floyd County in order to cover his waste and mismanagement. We believe the Fiscal Court can live within its means and therefore, we passed a budget that did not include the additional taxes and rate increases sought by Judge Marshall.
Jon Goble, Magistrate District #1
Hattie Owens, Magistrate District #2
Warren Jarrell, Magistrate District #3
Ronnie Akers, Magistrate District #4