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Dale Benson page 1

QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES



Please give a brief history of yourself including why you are running for office?
My early childhood was spent on a farm with my parents, Roy and Bobbie, and
my grandparents near Pisgah. I grew up in Versailles and have lived my entire
adult life in Midway. I have been married to my wife, Judi, for 34 years, with 3
children, Joy(Bryan) Barnes, Laurel (Xon) Hostetter, and Miller (Victoria)
Benson. I worked for over 30 years in the thoroughbred industry, serving for over
20 years as the Yearling Manager at Airdrie Stud,10 years as the Yearling
Manager of Winstar Farm, and 2 years as the General Manager at Mt.Brilliant
Farm. During my career I managed substantial budgets and crews of up to 30
people. This experience has built a good foundation for making tough fiscal
decisions and taught me the art of compromise, qualities that have served me well
in public service. I have always been interested in politics and trying to make a
difference in the community. After serving for 8 years as a city councilman in
Midway, I decided to take a break from service and to devote more time to family
and other interests. My career changed a few years ago and with my 2 youngest
getting married last year, I feel it is time to get involved again.




What are your main qualifications to serve as magistrate?
1)Leadership -chaired the intergovernmental committee that led to merger of
Versailles and Woodford Co. police. Managed the midway recycling program
which was a model for the Woodford Co. program. Instrumental in revitalization
of downtown Midway and with the re-paving of Midway streets as councilman.
2)Vision-believe that Woodford County is unique and that any development
should begin with that premise. Midway has always been thought of as the back
door to Woodford County but with its location on the interstate we should be
viewing it as the gateway to all that's uniquely Woodford.
3)Personality-always been a people person, with a quick wit and smile, but a
determined resolve to be able to ask tough questions and seek common ground on
difficult issues.



What volunteer positions have you had in Woodford County in the last five
years? What have been your contributions to Woodford County in the last five
years?
In the last 5 years I have volunteered for the Francisco's Farm Art Fair and have
help organize and manage the Race for Education 5 and 10k.





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A great amount of tourist dollars come into Woodford County partly as a result of
our horses, bourbon, and farms. In view of that, do you think protecting farmland
should be a priority?
Protecting farmland is one of my biggest priorities. My ties to this land run deep.
My grandfather was a tobacco farmer and I am a horse farmer. I think tourism is
one of the main industries we should be fostering in Woodford Co., with agri-
tourism leading the way. We are sitting on a potential goldmine of revenue from a
clean industry that would allow us to keep Woodford as a place that people talk
about and want to visit.



Do you support the audit of every city/county agency that is supported by taxpayer
dollars?
Absolutely. Fiscal responsibility is the backbone of any good government.


What are the most important problems facing Woodford County right now? What
would you do about trying to solve them?
The most important problems facing Woodford Co. are trying to keep,maintain,
and increase the current occupational tax base while preserving the rural qualities
that make our community special, and the inefficiencies of having 3 governing
entities in one county. We have ample land currently zoned for light industry and
business but we must have a vision of what we want to be in 10,25,or even 50
years. The types of businesses we attract will in large part shape that future. We
need to look at providing more efficient service to our taxpayers as well, by
looking at merging services in areas such as road maintenance and fire protection.
We need to think about forming a task force, much like the one I chaired, that
would include elected officials, business and community leaders to take an in-
depth look at any places where savings and efficiencies can enhance this
community.



Do you favor/oppose placing a cap on the amount property taxes could be raised in
a year? If so, what should that cap be? What are your feelings regarding eminent
domain and private property rights?
I believe that there are statutory regulations already in place to limit the amount
property taxes can be raised without a referendum to augment the limit. Regarding
eminent domain, I believe eminent domain should only be used for major
infrastructure upgrades where demonstrated need and public welfare make it a
necessity, as in the development of our interstate highway system or in the
delivery of basic utilities to provide service to our citizens. The toughest part of
eminent domain, however, is that often we feel different when its in our own
backyards. Private property rights are an integral part of the foundation of this
republic and should be treated with respect and should only be breached when the
common good is threatened.


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What makes you a better candidate than the other two?
First, let me say that I respect my opponents and applaud their service to our
community. They are both good, hardworking people trying to make our
community a better place. I believe that the difference between us is vision and
leadership. My 30 years of budget management and public relations experience
raising and selling thoroughbreds has taught me the value of each dollar spent and
the people skills involved with running a crew of up to 30 people has given me the
ability to make tough decisions in the short run and the vision to plan for the
future. Woodford County is at a crossroads for development and we need more
voices like mine who want to preserve and enhance what makes us unique.




What role should the office of magistrate have in retaining or attracting new
businesses to the area?
I believe we should do everything we can to promote existing businesses and
should look to attract new business that augment our existing business
environment .



Are you in favor of the creation of the Northwest Corridor around Falling Springs
Park?
The creation of this corridor should only become a reality if its impact on the
safety of motorists on US 62 between Midway and Versailles is negligible and if
the affected property owners where the bypass would be placed are in favor. I fear
that more business development along this corridor would only compound the
safety issues that already exist on US 62(Midway Road), such as narrow high
shoulders and trees and utility poles that crowd the highway.





Would you be willing to put "Citizens Participation" back on the Fiscal Court's
agenda for each meeting, keeping anyone speaking to 3 minute limit (?) but
allowing our citizens to feel they are welcome to attend these meetings and be
a part of them? Are you willing to use a microphone at your desk during Fiscal
Court meetings so attendees can hear what you have to say?
Participation is necessary for any government of the people to function. Any
request to be on the agenda for an open meeting should be entertained within
reasonable limits. Microphones welcome.




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What questions should be asked and what stipulations should be in place before
approving new residential developments?
All new developments should be included in the Woodford County
Comprehensive Plan. This community wide plan should serve as a template for
future development and anticipate needs in different areas of the county.
Woodford County has a long tradition of protecting historic areas and for rural
land protection. However, pressures exist in the community for more development
of all kinds. We must continue to ask the tough questions that are required for
smart growth to be a reality, and to seek common ground on a community
vision.




What questions should be asked and what stipulations should be in place before
approving new commercial developments? Should there be a protection policy
(bond, requirement of paying rent and taxes until the box is rerented) in place to
guard against empty big boxes in the retail area?
Refer to above question and yes, if possible, add restrictions concerning the urban
blight that has been left in Woodford County by our largest retailers.





What are you spending priorities?
My number one priority is to be an advocate for fiscal responsibility. That is why I
am in favor of looking at all sectors of service in Woodford County to find areas
where merged service is a feasible possibility. We owe it to future generations to
increase efficiencies and reduce waste at all levels of government.




Where do you stand on the merger of city/county government for Woodford
County?
The toughest proposition of all for many who have a fear that merged government
would cause a loss of sovereignty. However, it is a proposition that needs to be
debated and given serious thought.




Are you in favor of extending the Bluegrass Parkway?
No.




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Name one thing you would do as an elected official to improve life in Woodford
County?
Work to establish a better intergovernmental dialogue. There has long been an air
of dissension in this county that is detrimental to our being a progressive
community. We have to work together to find common ground and common sense
solutions.




Falling Springs Park is an incomplete asset for Woodford County. What would
you do to enhance the park?
The first thing I would want to understand is the meaning of incomplete asset.
Most people that I know speak highly of the facilities and programming that
currently exist. Any enhancement should be the result of careful study and
demonstrated need.




Many cities and towns across America are focusing on becoming more pedestrian
and bicycle friendly. What can and will you do to promote this concept in
Woodford County?
As a lifelong exercise enthusiast ,I would like to see more programs such as rails
to trails be examined to see where we might take advantage of that untapped
resource. As far as bike friendliness, the biggest issue we face in our rural setting
is the limited road width of many county roads . Bike lanes exist in Versailles and
on most weekends, Midway is full of cyclists. Perhaps the best thing we as a
community can do is learn to share the road.




There is much talk of Wal-Mart coming to Woodford County and harming our
small business community. What can you as a magistrate do to support current
small businesses and encourage new small businesses to consider Woodford
County a good place to locate?
It seems to me that to encourage Walmart is to discourage small businesses in a
general sense. However, Walmart is not the sole culprit in the demise of many
small downtowns. We as a people love the idea that we can get things cheaper,
faster and in more variety and it doesn't start or end with Walmart. As a magistrate
I want to encourage the visioning process that would look at all community
issues,including the need for a vibrant small business economy to keep our
downtowns viable. The best thing we can all do to promote small businesses is to
shop locally.



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In closing , let me first thank you for the opportunity to introduce my feelings
and positions on community issues. As I said in a facebook post on my Dale
Benson for Magistrate page today, an election without debate is like cereal
without milk. Perhaps some of these answers will provide a glimpse of what the
discussion might be like if I am elected. I am always available to discuss any
issues with my constituents. I can be reached at 859 537-5002 or on
facebook.com/Dale Benson for Magistrate.
. Remember, our most common denominator is that we are all Woodford
countians. Lets make that mean something more!


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