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Bartleman Announces Run for County Commissioner
By WestKentuckyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - J.W. "Bill" Bartleman has officially announced his candidacy for 1st District McCracken County Commissioner.

According to a press release, 64-year-old Bartleman worked for 39 years as a government and political reporter for the Paducah Sun. In December, 2010, he went to work at Mid-Continent University as director of community relations and in 2011 was promoted to chief of staff, a position he still holds. He also is acting athletic director.

Bartleman is running as a Republican and will appear on the May 20 primary ballot. Although commission candidates run from a district, the vote is county wide. The 1st District encompasses eastern McCracken County, including the Reidland-Farley areas.

Bartleman said he viewed his work as a reporter as being a watchdog for taxpayers, and he wants to resume that role as a county commissioner. “I always fought for honesty, accountability and openness in government, whether it be the fiscal court, city commission, legislature or the county school board,” Bartleman said. “Too often, elected officials forget they are representing the people and try to run government from behind closed doors. I always fought to open those doors and shed light on what they were doing.”

In addition to promising more transparency in government, Bartleman said his goals are financial accountability of taxpayers’ funds, providing strong public protection and creating a positive atmosphere to help create jobs.

“McCracken County needs to adopt a zero based budgeting philosophy,” Bartleman said. “During most budget hearings, department heads are asked to defend the need for increasing funds for their departments. I want to start at the beginning and make them defend every penny they are asking for. Just because something was funded last year doesn’t mean it should be funded again this year.”

Bartleman said the first priority should be to adequately fund the sheriff’s department.

“We need to make sure our law enforcement officers are adequately paid and they have the equipment they need to be effective in protecting the public,” Bartleman said. “There’s nothing more important.” Bartleman said openness and transparency will help restore public trust in government, and create a positive attitude about the community. “Residents have to feel good about community before we can expect anyone to invest in it and create jobs,” Bartleman said. “We need strong, cooperative, positive leadership to help the community grow. We can’t let petty politics and infighting to continue dominating the agenda.”

Bartleman was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame  in 2011, one of numerous recognitions he received for his work as a reporter. He served on the Woodlawn, Oakdale and Husband’s Road Sewer District for 10 years and on the Joint Sewer Agency for four years. He was just appointed to a second term on the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center Board and is on the Kentucky Historical Society Executive Committee. He also is a trustee for the Western Recorder, the official newspaper of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and serves on the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee.

Bill has been married to Carla Travis Bartleman for 38 years. They have one daughter, Jeni Drake, who works for Ophthalmologist Barbra Bowers. Their son-in-law, Steve Drake, is a supervisor at USEC. They have three grandchildren, Austin Drake, a freshman at Spalding University in Louisville; and Tristin and Cadin Drake, students at Reidland Elementary School. They are active members of Reidland Baptist Church, where Bill serves as a deacon and moderator.

Bartleman filed his candidacy papers Thursday with the McCracken County Court clerk.

Published 06:00 AM, Friday Jan. 24, 2014
Updated 09:41 PM, Sunday Jan. 26, 2014

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