Three vie for seat on commissioner's court


Three Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring to gain the nomination for the Precinct 2 County Commissioner's Court seat.

As with all local races, only Republicans have filed, meaning races will essentially be decided at the March primary election.

The three men seeking election are:

Thomas Collard

The incumbent, Thomas Collard, was appointed to the position in November 2016 following the resignation of the previous commissioner, Phillip Grisham.

In his year-plus, Collard said he was proud of his accomplishments, but equally is proud of having built a rapport with the other precinct leaders, one he felt was lacking in other commissions.

"As a commissioner, I worked with the city of Midway, which needed help with roads," he said. "To do anything inside the city, I had to get an agreement so I could work there, within certain parameters. I helped rebuild roads that desperately needed to be done using a material that was cheaper but more effective."

Collard said he has the right credentials to continue for the next four years as commissioner.

"I've had a successful construction company since I've been 21 years old," he said. "I have made some good business decisions and successfully operated within a budget."

In the next four years, said he plans to be a good representative for the residents of Madison County.

"I'm working on a plan to rebuild more roads, and I'd like to address more spending issues," he said. "I would like to see unused county facilities be made safe and up to code to allow the use by the Extension Office and other youth groups, as the youth of this county are the future of this county. Department heads also need to become more involved in the budget process."

Collard said he would like to be known as one of the best commissioners elected, with the residents of his precinct happy with his leadership.

"The county budget - you have to treat it like it's your money, but you can't spend it like it's your money," he said. "We need to be very conservative with taxpayer dollars, and not spend it on areas it's not needed. Taxpayers make the world go around."

Carl Wiseman

Carl Wiseman has been a business owner in Madison County for more than 30 years, and hopes to bring that experience to the position.

He also intends to be in the position full-time.

"I run a business and have owned a business in Madison County for the last 30 years," he said. "I know pretty well the money end of it. I'm a welder and been in construction all my life; my brother is a contractor, and I've worked with him and can run any kind of equipment."

Wiseman said he believes he can do anything the county needs done.

"I want to use tax money in the best way we can and try to keep taxes as low as we can," he said. "I want to represent the people who would put me in office to the best of my ability. In four years, the people will know I did the best that I could do."

Ken Wamsley

County Road Department employee Ken Wamsley wants to put his experience as a county insider to good use as the Precinct 2 commissioner.

He also plans to be a full-time commissioner.

"There's some improvement needed," he said. "We're paying our commissioners a full-time wage with full-time benefits to do part-time work. I don't agree with that at all. If they're going to make that kind of money, they need to be full-time."

Wamsley said he's been working for the county for almost five years on the road crew in Precinct 2, and has owned his own businesses as well.

"I know all the equipment and know all the roads," he said "I've owned my owned business before, and I've worked with budgets owning those businesses.

Still, Wamsley wants to pursue the job on a full-time basis.

"The main thing I'm concerned with is I will be a full-time commissioner," he said. "The people we've had in here before have had their own businesses and done this on a part-time basis. I don't believe the taxpayers are getting their money's worth out of them."

Should he be elected, Wamsley said his main objective is to help the Madisonville Fire Department.

"Most of their calls are outside of the city limits," he said. "The county needs to help them out more for equipment to help bring the cost of our insurance down. I've heard that we can't have a motel over two stories tall because we don't have a ladder truck."

Wamsley also said he will work with the Sheriff's Department and the Police Department on a new jail, as well as keep the roads maintained.

"I would like to be remembered by the people as someone who took care of their roads, kept them happy and safe, and that I helped bring the Fire Department up a level," he said.