Pike County moving forward with commissioner style government

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Officials with the Pike County Fiscal Court are preparing to move forward with a change in government from magistrates to commissioners.

In April the Pike County Fiscal Court filed a lawsuit questioning if the petition for the change was legal and if the change should have appeared on the ballot.

"The core of this issue came down to making sure every person's vote counted," said Roger Ford, a member of the party against the lawsuit.

Wednesday a Morgan County judge dismissed the case ruling the petition was legal.

"It was just a blatant waste of taxpayer resources to fight out a lawsuit in court with taxpayer money basically to preserve yourself in office," said Ford.

Officials said only 200 dollars were spent on the case.

One major concern from the fiscal court is the switch to commissioner style government would double the number of people the commissioners would have to serve.

The current six magistrates represent around 11,000 people, but the three commissioners would have to represent around 22,000 people.

Officials said they filed the lawsuit after the election in the hopes of not confusing voters.

"We made the decision that it would easier to have the election and then be wrong than to not have an election and try to have a special election later," said Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall.

Hall said because the commissioners would not go into effect until 2019 the fiscal court wanted to use the time before to make sure the change was something that should have gone on the ballot.

"We took advantage of the fact that we had a whole year coming up, which is 2017, to decide whether or not we did the right thing or not," said Hall.

Officials said the new commissioner district maps are ready.

Voters in Pike County will get the chance to vote on the commissioners in 2018.

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