Todd seeks to make a difference in first term as judge-executive

Jan. 17—Marshall Todd has a background in construction. Building a new county government administration may be his biggest job yet.

Todd was elected to the position of Pulaski County Judge-Executive last May, defeating incumbent Steve Kelley — with no Democratic challengers in the November General Election, a win in the Primaries assured the Republican Todd of the job in his second attempt at it, falling just short in 2018.

And although he's only been in the judge's office for a couple of weeks now, a lot has already happened in that time — and Todd has hit the ground running.

"I am very much looking forward to it," said Todd. "After the first two weeks, I think we're off to a great start."

Todd said that he was asked by hundreds of people to run for County Judge-Executive and did so because of the "obvious need for positive change," stating that there was "no real leadership" in the Pulaski County Courthouse.

"Many of the employees here wanted a decision maker in this office," he said. "I believe that with the proper guidance, county employees will have the opportunity to not only do their jobs, but be proud of their many accomplishments."

In his first couple of Pulaski County Fiscal Court meetings as judge-executive, Todd has gone about a large-scale administrative overhaul.

Marshall brought in John Alexander as executive secretary, changing the name of that position to executive assistant/public information officer. Cloyd Bumgarner was named administrative assistant, Dennis Turner was appointed as road supervisor, Adams Scales was reappointed as animal control officer, and current interim emergency management director Josh Whitis will continue in as interim director for another 30 days.

In the first regularly scheduled meeting of 2023, Todd announced that Pulaski County's budget is much lower than it should have been following last administration, left with "way below 20 percent" available instead of the 35 percent it was expected to be based on state law, he noted.

That factors in to the first thing Todd mentions when asked what he wants to get done as judge-executive: mind the money.

"One of the main things I want to accomplish in this role is to provide fiscal responsibility where it has been lacking over the past several years," he said. "We want to cut wasteful spending which will save Pulaski County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's my top priority right now."

Todd said he also wants to provide leadership that will "get everyone on the same page" in county government.

"I'm hopeful that both of these things will help us move the county forward," he said.

Looking ahead, Todd says that his administration is working on several projects "right out of the gate," leading to what will likely be a busy first year in office.

"We are focused on quite a lot of grant writing," he said. "We are applying for funding on waterline extensions, a community center, a tornado shelter, and a master plan for our county roads."

Todd said that his office is also currently working with Somerset's own Congressman Hal Rogers, the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, and officials in Frankfort and Washington D.C. to see what funding is available to help Pulaski County grow.

"We are also working with Emergency Management to better organize our fire departments for quicker response times and better recruitment and retention," he said.

Bringing what he calls an "open door" policy to the office of County Judge-Executive, Todd is ready to roll up his sleeves and apply the same perspective that he did as a building contractor to getting the job done.

"I bring a strong work ethic to this office and I have a dedicated team that has the best interest of Pulaski County at heart," he said. "I have no doubt that we will succeed."