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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Jeff McKnight Seeking Lawrence County Council District 1 Seat Responds to Subscribers Questions

LAWRECE COUNTY - ( March 28, 2022) - The Lawrence County Council District 1 Council race is one of the most interesting out the council races.

Lawrence County Council President Scott Smith currently holds the seat and decided to run for Lawrence County Commissioner.

The Republican party has four candidates running for the seat which include Amy Redman, Jeff McKnight, Bill Spreen and Ryan Turner.

Each of the candidates were given four questions submitted by subscribers of the Lawrence County Zephyr.

Here is Jeff McKnight's response to those questions:

How would I view future budgets?

I believe we are overfunding some programs that have outlived their

usefulness and underfunding other areas. We as Councilmen need to

fully understand each line item of the budget and not be afraid to say

“Why is this a necessary expenditure of tax dollars?” I will challenge the

next elected County Council to advise the department heads presenting

budgets for approval to plan for at least a 5% decrease in funding.

It is unfathomable to me that we couldn’t decrease funding by 5% in a

$28 million budget. There is at least that level of unnecessary spending.

What are my thoughts on a new Justice complex and 4th courtroom?

As a tax paying citizen, I would first want to be confident that a new

Justice complex was truly needed and that all alternatives had been

explored before trying to determine how to fund it. That is the easy

way to address problems, throw money at them, but it’s the hardest to

reverse after funds are appropriated. At this time, I am not in favor of

any new taxes.

Based on the information given by news outlets, virtually every case is

now settled by plea agreement. Streamlining the plea agreement

system could decrease days incarcerated prior to actual sentencing and lower

jail population.

Instead of more physical courtrooms we could consider holding “night

court” as larger cities do. I realize this would be unpopular with white

collar professionals, but can they be asked to do less to save tax


These types of out of the box solutions should be scrutinized before

being forced to raise the tax burden on our citizens.

Why do I want to serve as a Councilman?

To try and bring back a Government fiscally responsible to the taxpayer,

instead of office holders viewing taxpayers as an endless piggy bank.

Also to raise the level of transparency in government.

How do you hold department heads accountable to their budgets?

By standing firm and questioning why every dollar is being spent and

being purposely vigilant concerning new programs.

My wife Paula and I are retired dairy farmers and business people. We

have two children, Andy McKnight and spouse Liz, Laurin Perry and

spouse Josh, who are both business owners and tax payers in the


My view of the role of Councilman is to be the fiscal guardian of County

Government, to assist department heads to streamline and economize

their respective budgets, to stop the continued budgetary growth and

Government overreach we as taxpayers see with each budget cycle.

This type of management will require a time commitment that I as a

retired person will be able to attack with a level of tenacity and vigor to

do the best job of serving the citizenry seldom seen in Government in

these times.

I want to thank you for your consideration in this primary election, and

encourage you to vote. It is our most sacred right as Americans.

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