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Gunnell resigns

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

General Manager

A 27-year member of the Henry County Fiscal Court has resigned his position.

Effective Saturday, Sept. 20, Wayne Gunnell, who represented the Eminence area, resigned his seat to accept a job with the Kentucky Department of Revenue in Frankfort.

“I’ve been trying to get a position in state government for several months,” Gunnell said Tuesday morning. He started the new job Monday.

Gunnell will serve the Department of Revenue as a policy advisor, working specifically with PVA offices throughout the state.

During his time in elected office, Gunnell served 27.5 years as a magistrate and four years as a city council member. He also has served as a president of the Kentucky Association of Counties and as a president of the Kentucky Magistrates Association.

After 27 years on the fiscal court, serving under three judges-executive, Gunnell said it is hard to walk away from leadership.

“I’ve made a lot of friends,” he said.

“And I feel like I’ve contributed to a lot of issues. I’ve been involved in statewide associations, all that time period. I’ve enjoyed working with my fiscal court members and hate to part with them, but there’s a time to move on.”

Gunnell counts among his accomplishments that the county has always maintained a budget surplus and improved services for county residents.

“That’s not a one person accomplishment,” he said, “that’s a total Fiscal Court accomplishment.”

The new job and resignation from the court come at a time when Gunnell said he feels he can contribute to the state government.

“Right now, I’m interested in state government, and that’s where I want to be,” Gunnell said, adding that he would commute to Frankfort from his Eminence home.

In an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Gunnell’s new position was described as a $55,000 policy advisor for the Revenue Department under Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller — who is a former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

The Herald-Leader also reported that Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has named 20 political appointees as policy advisors in state government, and that many of them were Democratic office holders, activists or fund raisers who helped his campaign.

E-mail us about this article at editor@hclocal.com.