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On Friday, July13, Trimble County Judge-Executive Stevens made his pending exit from the county’s highest elected office official by submitting his resignation to the governor’s office. Stevens presided over his final meeting of Trimble County Fiscal Court on Monday, July 16.
“When you write that letter of resignation that’s when things become permanent,” Stevens said near the close of the meeting. “I contacted the governor’s office and spoke with Jeff Dunne who coordinates with the governor on board appointments and vacancies. He informed me that there is no set concrete process for the governor to follow that says who will be appointed and he has no timeline. That’s what the constitution says.”
Stevens had announced his resignation to the members of Trimble Fiscal Court in June saying he had accepted the position of Executive Director of the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts. Stevens’s resignation will be effective on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
In Kentucky, a judge-executive is the chief executive officer of the executive branch of county government. Judge-executives serve four-year terms and may be re-elected indefinitely. Kentucky’s constitution requires the position be filled by a person who is a county resident.
“I’ve enjoyed the work here working for the public tremendously. I’ve been doing something that I care about,” Stevens said. “This community is going to be fine just as it was before any of us came here.”
Stevens said Dunne told him of a statute that allows for the magistrates to call for a special meeting. At that meeting the magistrates could name an interim judge-executive to serve until such time as the governor names Stevens’ successor. An interim judge would be the person in charge if the community had an incident or a reason for a chief elected official’s service.
The governor’s office has indicated that a successor could be appointed within the week after Stevens’ resignation becomes effective. However, the governor could use up to 30 days to make the appointment.