In this response from the April 2013 issue, Dr. Know explains what the holder of this Kentucky political office does.
As a newcomer to Northern Kentucky, I’m totally confused by the role of the county judge/executive. What does he do? Adjudicate? Execute? Both? —Confounded in the Commonwealth
Dear Confounded:What does “he” do? Please keep in mind that there are increasing numbers of lady judge/executives riding herd on Kentucky’s many counties. Those countless counties, many with winsome names like Adair and Bracken, are important to the Commonwealth and the commonwealthy, in ways unfamiliar to residents of the old Northwest Territory. For example, no one but Speaker Boehner ever identifies himself as a Butler Countian, but south of the river it is perfectly normal to announce oneself as being “Brenda Burley from Bourbon County, Kentucky.” Outside of the Golden Triangle formed by Louisville, Lexington, and Covingtonnewportfortwrightfortmitchellfortthomasparkhillsflorence, Kentucky is still intensely rural, and the county is, for many Kentuckians, home. And in those county homes, the Judge/Executive sits atop the local legislature and presides. In some of the more lawless counties the Judge/Executive presides over the apportioning of patronage jobs. In clean counties the Judge/Executive may be tied up with the intricacies of awarding tax incentives to faith-based theme parks. Whatever the local political culture, they’re always busy.
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