Let's have a good, clean fight

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By John Whitlock

In the next few weeks, the candidates for several different offices in Owen County will hit the streets and try to convince their neighbors that they are the best person for the job.

Although traditionally the national elections get most of the attention of the media, I’m a big fan of local elections. There is no better way to truly get a sense of what is on the mind of the community than to go out, meet the citizens and listen to their questions and concerns. These are the times a politician must shine without the filter of the media, paid advertisements or a prepared stump speech that may focus more on what they want to say than what the public might want to hear.

Since I have been in Owenton, there haven’t been any really knock-down, drag out, tit for tat, take no prisoners political skirmishes. There has been a strong distinction  between most candidates, but for the most part, the elections have remained civil.

But it’s tough to run for local office. Many of the issues that face a community like Owen County are pretty universal. We need more jobs while maintaining the rural heritage. We need to improve schools, the library and law enforcement while keeping taxes at the lowest level possible.

“I’m for lower taxes” is a phrase voters will no doubt hear repeatedly throughout this election cycle. Supporting lower taxes is akin to liking babies and Kentucky basketball – it kinda goes without saying.

It’s unlikely you will hear any candidate at any level suggest raising taxes to pay for anything no matter how badly it’s needed.

So when you’re evaluating the candidates for the local elections, don’t only focus on what they oppose.

Always consider a candidate who promotes new ideas and maybe has a plan on improving the community and helping Owen County in the future.

It’s easy to be against so many things, but a strong candidate will offer solutions and not just opposition.



Got a call a few weeks ago from a local man who said Elk Creek Vineyard had provided wine for the wedding of Chelsea Clinton.

Sounded like a great story so I contacted the winery.

I spoke to a nice lady who, with a laugh, informed me this wasn’t true and if it had been, the winery would have surely let the public know.



If you have been hearing about the problems with the Humane Society in Franklin County and you care about animals, it should make you happy to have people like the Owen County Friends of Animals in charge of the local shelter.

According to media reports, since July, over 130 animals have been euthanized at the Franklin County shelter.

With the hard work, dedication and love the volunteers in Owen County have for animals, killing stray dogs and cats has almost been unheard of in recent years.

Granted, there is a major population difference between Franklin and Owen counties, but the kill rate shows what can be done when people care.

If you’re an animal lover, don’t forget the shelter always needs donations of  money, food, blankets or supplies.

Checks can be made out to OCFA and sent to P.O. Box 234, Owenton, Ky. 40359.



I met Steve Young last week.

Not the former NFL quarterback but a man who has dedicated the last three and a half years of his life to walking across the country in hopes of raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp which specializes in helping sick and terminally children.

Young told me he doesn’t have any formal connection to the camp and doesn’t accept donations on their behalf. He just walks in hopes of helping kids.

He’s not independently wealthy and supports himself through odd jobs while on the road. When we talked, he had set up camp at the Owen County Fairgrounds. He planned on walking his way to Michigan.

Michigan ... Here’s a guy walking over 350 miles just because he wants to, and I get upset if the batteries on the remote control get weak.

Of course, one of the first thoughts I had was this guy is nuts.

But after talking to him and reflecting a bit on my own habit of non-conforming, I decided it was none of my business and judging crazy is a job best left to professionals.

Here is a guy who literally walked away from “normal” society. He wanted to do something that most people would consider insane or at the very least “a bit off” and he did it.

Now, there is a maverick for ya.

It might seem crazy to you and me, but after thinking about it, I found a lot of respect for Young and his personal journey.

That doesn’t mean for a second I would want to walk in his shoes.