Magistrate District 3 candidate – Craig Bishop

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(Candidates responses are being printed exactly as they were submitted to the Enterprise.)

Full name: Craig Allen Bishop
Age: 48
Address: 800 Frogg Lane, Raywick, KY 40060
Email: craig.bishop.nursery@gmail.com
(Feel free to send any questions or concerns that you may have for me to this address.)

Educational background:
Associates Degree in Business 
Associates Degree in Electronic Engineering Specializing in Robotics

Work experience:
Lebanon Power and Apparatus
Independant Stave
Curtis Maruyasu
Hendrickson Axle as Maintenance Supervisor
Twin Oaks Nursery
Bishop's Nursery & Landscaping
Marion County Magistrate for 3rd District for the last four years

Family information:
I am a father, and my three children are my first priority. My twin daughters, Caitlyn Michelle and Autumn Rochelle are 17 years old. Caitlyn is a second-year member of the FFA and works part-time at Papa John's Pizzeria. Autumn works part-time at Lebanon Elementary as a teacher's aide as well as at Papa John's Pizzeria. My son, Baylee Colton, is 16 years old and is an avid athlete. He is a member of the track and football teams.
I am happily engaged to Stacey Wilson of Columbia. She is a business owner in the home medical equipment industry. Together, we enjoy vacationing, searching for antiques, and assisting shoppers at the nursery.

Organizations/clubs involved in:
The Chamber of Commerce
The Cattleman's Association

Why are you running for magistrate?:
I am very passionate about Marion county and the communities throughout. I do my very best to make a difference. I feel that I have improved road conditions. In the last 4 years I have focused on improving our parks for youth and families.  Canoe and kayak ramps that we have installed have gotten a lot of good use, as people love to float. There has also been 2 new bridges installed in the last 4 years in the 3rd District. I have helped with our budget and different departments throughout our county government. I hope to serve as magistrate once more so that I may continue to add improvements such as these.

What are your qualifications to serve as a magistrate? What knowledge and experiences have prepared you for this position?
I believe my degree in Business is a qualifying factor for serving as magistrate. Owning and running my own business for the last several years has definitely helped prepare me for situations that I have faced as a magistrate.  Working with the public on a daily basis will, and has been, my saving grace in some situations. Setting budgets for my own business and being able to meet those numbers have and will continue to help me with my job as magistrate. 
I have extensive experience with doing dirt work, running drainage tiles, and installing driveways for many years. I have very good knowledge of what it takes to remedy most issues that I have encountered in my first term as magistrate. 
I take pride in helping provide opportunities for our youth to stay and raise their families in Marion County.

If elected, what will be your priorities in office? 
I would like to CONTINUE to serve Marion Countians. The following are my top priorities:
* Control spending of your local tax dollars
* Develop future for our youth
* Maintain and grow our career center
* Continue to manage our departments budgets
* Support our local emergency first responders
* Continue to support our senior citizens programs

What do you believe are the most important issues the county will be facing in the next four years? What can you do as a magistrate to address those issues?
I feel continuing to support our career center will help create a strong work force for our local industries. Continual contact to our State Representatives for help with the state pension and per diem increases for our jail is a must.  I think finding a dependable work force for our industry and the state retirement system retirement match increase is going to be a huge burden on our county. Along with the hazardous duty retirement rate increase. These increases will directly affect our county budget by around $450,000. Unfortunately, this will also affect our city and schools. 
Also, our jail continues to be a huge concern on our county budget. We have not had a per diem increase from the state in over 14 years and with it costing more to house prisoners today and a large increase of our local residents being incarcerated which is a direct cost on our county. Our jailer, Barry Brady, is doing his best to keep our cost down, but a great amount of the increases are out of his control.

What other issues do you think the county should focus on, and what can you do as a magistrate to address those issues?
Affordable housing and family entertainment are a couple of other issues that I feel would greatly help our county to entice people to move here. As magistrate I have voiced these concerns to Economic Development and Fiscal Court to try and work with private entities to help with these issues.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
I would like to thank the voters of the 3rd District for their past vote and support. I take my responsibility as YOUR magistrate with great pride and concern. I would like for the people of Marion County to know that I am a small businessman that has worked with the public for many years. I also run a small farm with a few head of cattle. I have also worked in industry for many years which has helped me understand our local industry needs. I also thoroughly enjoy giving back to our community by being a public servant, donating from my nursery, and volunteering of my time. I work each and every day as your magistrate to ensure roads are clean, and in good shape, that your garbage is picked up on a weekly basis, and your tax dollars are managed honestly, and that our senior citizens are provided the respect they deserve, and our youth will have a future to also grow, live, and thrive in Marion County.