HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – This fall, voters will decide on the presidential senate and congressional races. But will Henderson County voters be also deciding how their county government is run?
Some current and former county officials want changes to the fiscal court.
Right now the fiscal court is composed of the judge executive and five magistrates.But if a petition gets enough signatures by next week, voters could decide on whether to change it to a judge executive and three county commissioners.
“We’ve got a great fiscal court right now, so I’m not trying to criticize any of those people,” said Henderson County Magistrate Charlie McCollom. He wants to change the fiscal court to one run by commissioners because that system is better for the county’s growth.
“This commissioner form has shown historically that it is a better form of government for growth and making things happen,” he said.
“I think it would work better if they changed it to where everybody has an equal vote as far as the population is concerned,” adds Robert Alves of Henderson, who signed the petition this afternoon.
The petition calls for voters to decide whether to change it to three commissioners who would represent larger areas than magistrates currently do. If approved, it could happen as soon as 2022.
“I do not know a single county the size of Henderson County in the state of Kentucky that still has this old format of government,” said former Henderson Co. Attorney David Thomason.
1,200 signatures are needed by next Tuesday, but McCollom says he has a few hundred so far as of Friday afternoon. Thomason says counties with a commissioner form are growing faster than Henderson County.
“It’s important to me that this community move forward. I don’t think it’s just a happenstance that all the communities in the state that are moving forward, to my knowledge, none of them have a magistrate form of government,” he said.
We also talked with Judge Executive Brad Schneider earlier today and while he says he has no problem with McCollom starting the petition, he’s neutral on the issue and would rather let voters decide.