By: Diego Perez
County Judge Executive Michael Hale was at Barren County High School on Oct. 26 to discuss his job and answer questions students posed.
Hale mentioned that Nov. 8 is the day when the incumbents decide to rerun for office or decline; Hale has decided to run for another term.
The main goal of Hale’s office is to promote Barren County. In order to increase the industry, prosperity, and reputation, Hale talks with businessmen and women about how moving business to Barren is beneficial to them. Hale has been able to do this with help. Before he was in office, the county had a debt of $17 million; after, the debt decreased to $13 million. Hale hopes to decrease the debt under $10 million before his term is over.
Hale also shared that Barren County is a work-ready county, which means that the county has a good labor pool, and this will give Barren an advantage over many Southcentral Kentucky counties.
Hale mentioned that Barren County has only one apprenticeship program but there are several more in the works, as Hale said he voted for this. These programs help young adults learn skills in certain areas for specific jobs.
Employees that work for the county government have had more benefits given to them. Hale was in favor of giving the employees a day off, with pay, on their birthdays. He also supported giving them a raise; both of these benefits passed. This has boosted morale.
Hale was also asked questions by the students. One question was regarding the idea of an occupational tax. Hale is in favor of the tax because Barren County has low taxes, and this tax will increase revenue while also being low compared to the surrounding counties. Hale also said the property taxes decreased this year so the occupational tax would not cut very dramatically in a person’s income.
Hale was also asked what he loves about his office; he said talking with people about what Barren County was like before his term and how it is now is his favorite thing.