Magistrate responds to criticism

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In response to Mr. Jon Parks’ letter to the editor in last week’s paper (“Get your own house in order, first,” Dec. 8), I think it is first important to note who Jon Parks is and why he would write such a letter.
Mr. Parks has recently become a citizen of Henry County after moving here from Illinois.  He is the husband of Tracey Parks who is the new coordinator of the North Central Health District’s Home Health Agency. A short time ago, Mrs. Parks was promoted to this position and very soon after supported the decision to close the Home Health Office in Henry County and subsequently move several jobs out of our county — a decision that I very strongly opposed.
During the NCHD’s October meeting I expressed my concerns with the closure of this office and the moving of jobs to Shelbyville, then after the meeting I was approached by Mr. Parks.  He explained to me that he supported moving these jobs out of Henry County because his wife has been involved in personnel problems, “trying to deal with people from Henry County,” and that he was very frustrated with my decision to support keeping the Home Health jobs in Henry County.
It is my duty as an elected official to support job growth in our county and I stand by my position that Mrs. Parks’ and her employer’s decision to close our Home Health Office has a negative impact on our community.  It should be noted that the chairman of the NCHD, where Mrs. Parks is employed, is the former president of KACO, David Jenkins.  In 2009, while Mr. Jenkins was President of KACO, the State Auditor’s Office conducted an audit after the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that  KACO’s  officials spent $600,000 on travel, meals, entertainment and gifts; including $890 in charges to a Lexington escort service and two Louisville strip clubs. This audit revealed $804,000 in expenses with no documentation. In total, the report detailed $1.4 million in excessive, undocumented or improper expenses. Even after this information was made public Mr. Jenkins continued to serve as Chairman of the Board. I would suggest that before Mr. Parks attacks the public servants of Henry County that he examines the ethics and practices of his wife’s employer, the North Central Health District.
Earlier this year residents of the City of Campbellsburg expressed their concerns to members of Fiscal Court, with the lack of financial oversight on behalf of the Campbellsburg Fire Department. In an attempt to address the citizen’s concerns; myself and two other Magistrates met in committee, consulting with members of various fire departments throughout Henry County and developed an ordinance that ensured a proper oversight of the funds derived from the Fire Department’s deed fees. I respect Mr. Parks’ right to disagree with this ordinance. However, I believe that our community would be better served if he took his energy and channeled it into doing something positive in our community as opposed to writing negative letters in the newspaper.
The challenge of public service is that you can’t make everyone happy, but I hope to do my best, working for what the majority of people in Henry County feel is right.

Nick Hawkins