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For the first time since Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier was appointed to the position of mayor in 2000, the Owenton mayor’s race will be contested in the 2010 November general election.
Horace “Doug” West, a former Owen County sheriff and former Owen County judge-executive, filed against Wotier only months after running for judge-executive in the May primary.
West was beaten in May by incumbent Carolyn Keith, who was appointed to the position of Owen County judge-executive in February 2009.
West said he decided to run for mayor because he feels the city streets are not being properly maintained and the nuisance ordinance is not being enforced.
“I decided to run because we’ve got a lot of streets, sidewalks and curbs that are in bad shape,” West said. “They just aren’t being taken care of like they should be. The nuisance ordinance isn’t being enforced like it’s supposed to be and neither is the housing code.”
West said he feels the biggest issue facing the city of Owenton is the lack of business.
“I want to work to keep the businesses we’ve got here and attract more,” West said. “We’ve lost a lot of businesses over the years. The post office went out of town, Dairy Queen closed, Chevrolet closed and the library’s talking about going outside city limits. We’ve got to work to bring more businesses into the city.”
Wotier, who was appointed to the position of Owenton mayor after former mayor K.F. Ballard Jr. died, said he feels the biggest issues facing the city of Owenton are tourism and the revitalization of the downtown area.
“There are a lot of people who have never bought into tourism,” Wotier said. “They don’t see the point in investing any time or effort into it. Tobacco is almost a thing of the past now, but it’s the industry our community once thrived on, and the people who raised it spent their money right here in Owenton and we need to find new ways of bringing money back into the city. Revitalizing the downtown area would really help. There are still people out there who like a quaint, wholesome atmosphere, and I think that’s one of Owen County and Owenton’s best qualities.”
West said he felt the tourism issue is something to look at, but not a top priority.
“We just don’t have much here to attract tourism,” West said. “We have the winery but that’s out in the