During its special meeting, the Pike County Fiscal Court approved amending several changes to the county’s ordinance relating to the 911 board and its services, as to better reflect its current form of government. According to Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett, the ordinance was written under the old magisterial form of government, which has since been changed to a commissioner form. Pike County Judge-Executive Ray Jones took the opportunity after the amendment’s first reading to talk about the change, and how it believes it has been “successful.”

“Basically, when the ordinance was written it was under the magisterial form of government,” Tackett said. “We have an advisory board that is created in this ordinance and six of the people that sit on this board were appointed by the magistrates.

“So we need to make a change where it goes to the commissioner form of government and allow the three commissioners to appoint someone from their district to be on this advisory board,” he added.

According to Tackett, there was another section that needed to be addressed regarding a representative from the Pike County Ambulance Association being on the board. However, Tackett said, there was never an association of that nature.

“Since we only have two services in the county, this would put a representative from each of those on that board,” Tackett said.

Jones asked Tackett if a representative from the city would be placed on the board, to which Tackett said “it wouldn’t,” unless Jones wanted one to be placed on the board, as the city has its own 911 system.

Tackett added that there was a change to the funding section, so that the surcharge reflected the amount the court recently voted to accept. Jones asked Tackett when the county would see that surcharge go into effect, to which Tackett said the county is already “seeing some of the money.”

When asked if he knew the current deficit the 911 board is facing for this fiscal year, Tackett said he did not know “right off the top of my head.” But County Treasurer Frankie Stacy said, given how much the board had in the bank, the board is “probably” running about $100,000 short of paying the court for the last fiscal year.

Assistant County Attorney Kevin Keene gave the ordinance amendment its first reading and said no vote was needed until the amendment was given its second reading at the next fiscal court meeting.

After the reading, Jones said he would briefly like to comment on the change regarding going from a magisterial form of government to its current commissioner form.

“As the presiding officer, I do want to comment on the commissioner form of government,” Jones said. “There’s been some people who said it wouldn’t work. I think if you watch this court and how its operated, the level of professionalism and the fact that we’re able to work with a plan to try and move the county forward. We’re trying to get the finances straightened out and I think this court has proven that the commissioner form of government can work.”

According to Jones, he and the three commissioners are elected county-wide and are accountable for every person in the county. He said the magistrate form of government was “conducive” to having caused a lot of the problems “this court” has had to face.

“People were only worried about their little part of the county and not the entire big picture,” Jones said.

Jones said the court doesn’t always agree but if you look at what the current administration has done, there’s really not been a lot of continuos issues come before the court.

 “I will say this, it’s always the voters choice to choose what form of government,” Jones said. “But, if we go back to the magistrate form of government, I would just simply say this, there’s a reason the people of this county voted to do away with the magistrate form of government.

“And we would go back exactly to where we were when the people elected to change the form of government,” he added.

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