Feeling Grateful on Government Day: Leadership Shelby Tours Local Government

Red or Blue?  While most Kentuckians are thinking about March Madness and the joy of our college sports teams, many of our fellow citizens consider that question quite differently.  Our Leadership Shelby class recently experienced Government Day.   Whether your philosophies align with Red or Blue, Shelby County should consider itself lucky.

Our day began with a tour of Shelby County Parks Waldridge Center.  While Clear Creek Park is the centerpiece of the park system, it is only a portion of the offerings available.  Our park system has grown to be one of the largest in the State.  There is truly something available for everyone.

We then participated in roundtable discussions with various agencies from our local government.  We are fortunate to have many willing and able civil servants to provide us services.    Representatives were present from the cities of Simpsonville and Shelbyville, County Government, Law Enforcement (city and county), Fire (city and county), EMS, and Planning and Zoning.  We also heard from local media and the role they play in our community.

Each agency shared the scope of their responsibilities they provide and some of their challenges they face.  It was refreshing to hear each talk about the support they receive from each other and the community.  Also encouraging was the fact that both the Shelbyville Council members and Simpsonville Commissioners are chosen via non-partisan elections.

As part of our class homework, we had split into smaller groups to create a bill to potentially present to Frankfort.  Each group shared their proposals and answered questions regarding their ideas.  This challenging exercise taught us more about the legislative process.

Our afternoon was spent at the Capital in Frankfort.   Our Capital is a majestic building that all Kentuckians should be proud to call their own.   We were able to spend time observing from the Senate gallery listening to the pageantry and formality of the legislative process.  Shelby County’s own Senator Hornback recognized our group from the floor of the Senate and we were granted permission to join him on the floor.  During our brief stay in the Senate, there was no legislative discussions.   However, on the House side, a lively discussion was ongoing.  From the gallery, we were able to listen to an impressive debate regarding workers comp legislation. The structure of the discussion was impressive regardless of which side of the issue you may sit.

Government is something we all take for granted at one time or another.   When you take time to focus on the impact agencies and the public servants have on our daily lives, we should be thankful.  It is a community effort to make Shelby County home for us all.

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