New judge-executive hopes Martin County can ‘rally around’ a brighter future
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Last month, the Martin County Fiscal Court appointed magistrate Victor Slone to the role of Judge-Executive to fill the seat left by William Davis who suddenly resigned during a Zoom meeting.
Slone was officially appointed to the position Tuesday by Gov. Andy Beshear to serve until the end of the term in December 2022. Though Slone already planned to run for election to the seat next year, he said now is the time to begin working toward a better Martin County.
“We just need folks in the county to rally around the fiscal court and the government center as a whole,” said Slone.
He said he hopes to focus on infrastructure repairs, tourism, and other venues to boost economic development in the area.
“We’ve had some issues with our water but it’s become a national issue. And we’re not us it’s a national black eye. It’s a state-wide black eye,” said Slone. “Who wants to locate a business in an area where they say you can’t drink the water?”
Though he believes some of the water issues have been exaggerated over the years, Slone said making sure everyone has access to water is the most important feat in the county. So, with more than $8 million in funding to direct at the project, he is hopeful to see change for many areas like the people who rely on the token system.
“It’s an antiquated system. And I know they do use it in some areas but with all the technology we have I think we should be able to get those folks water,” he said. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
From highlighting the area’s trails and industrial park to bringing in new ideas, Slone is ready for change. As part of that, he plans to consider re-establishing a personnel position to focus full-time on economic development.
“It’s not a silver bullet for us, but it is a piece of the puzzle when you start talking about economic development,” Slone said. “If we could just get a little bit of that it will go a long way for us here in Eastern Kentucky.”
Slone said the appointment to the seat is exciting for him and he is glad Gov. Beshear saw fit to place him in the role.
“I think it says a lot about him that he’s willing to work with us here in Martin County regardless of Democrat, Republican, or whatever. And so I just appreciate that,” said Slone. “You know, in the conversation with him, he’s committed to helping Martin County with our water, our sewer, broadband.”
Now, Slone hopes the community will begin coming together to work toward a better tomorrow for the county and the region.
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