Community lucky city, county work well together

Published 9:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

Clark County magistrates and Winchester city commissioners are gearing up for their annual joint meeting next week.

The two bodies have met together annually for several years to discuss items of mutual importance and joint involvement, such as the parks and recreation department and the EMS service, which is funded by the city and county.

The joint meeting will be at the Clark County Extension Office, 1400 Fortune Drive. The meeting is open to the public and usually includes time for discussion.

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Formal agendas have not been released yet, though the topics were set by the members of the city-county revenue sharing committee, which includes commissioners Rick Beach and Shannon Cox, and magistrates Pam Blackburn and Joe Graham.

While in many ways these two bodies are required to work together, this meeting is a reminder that Winchester-Clark County can boast the fact the two do so willingly and peacefully — which is not always the case in communities like ours.

This year’s meeting will include two presentations on the agenda — Gary Epperson, who is the solid waste coordinator, emergency management director and director of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program; and Winchester Planning Director Robert Jeffries, who will speak about the update to Clark County’s comprehensive plan. The plan sets guidelines for property use both in Winchester and in Clark County. The plan is updated every five years.

It’s for these reasons that the two governing bodies are required to meet, but they aren’t required to work together civilly. These elected officials do so with the good of Winchester-Clark County in mind.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham share a friendly relationship that is evident at the numerous and various community events where they can be found either showing their support or reading proclamations together.

And when it comes to policies, ordinances and funding, the magistrates and commissioners remind us in meetings that they don’t make decisions without considering the other body. The two come together to not only fund those necessary joint items, but also things to improve the quality of life and leisure in the community — take the recent reinstallment of the Fourth of July fireworks, for example.

As elected officials, we might not always agree with methods or decisions made by these governing bodies. But we would be mistaken not to give them praise where it is due.

Winchester-Clark County is lucky that these bodies work together in such a productive way.