Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 6, 2013

Bullock open to unified government

(Continued)

Somerset —

The current county government would have substantial influence, as the fiscal court would appoint half the members of the Unified Government Commission. Bullock said that doesn’t make a significant impact on whether or not he supports the idea, however.
“From my understanding, it would be a whole new form of government,” he said, though he noted that “it looks more like the county than the city government.”
Whatever the case, Bullock said that his interest is in the welfare of Pulaski’s citizens.
“My whole goal is to do whatever’s best for the people of the county, whatever that is, and if (the unified government) is it, we’d better look at it,” said Bullock. “It may be one of those things that costs me my job. If it is, that’s fine, if that’s what’s best for the county.”
Bullock sees one of the key advantages of the unified government is the way it will change how Somerset is perceived by those elsewhere in the country, and the doors that might open for expanded industrial advancements.
“When people from Chicago or wherever are looking for a place in Kentucky to locate their business, whether it’s manufacturing or something else, and they pull up a list of cities, they pull up Somerset and see it (has a population) of 11,000 people and so on,” said Bullock. “With this unified (change), it would be 63,000. When you look at it from that standpoint, it would have to be a plus.”
The City of Somerset had a population of 11,196 in the release of the 2010 U.S. Census. 
Combining resources might also allow the county to more effectively lobby for loans and grants.
“When we ask for money from the state and federal government, (we’re doing it as) five cities and the county; that’s six different governments that all go ask for money,” said Bullock. “I think our chances are a whole lot better if we go as one whole (entity).”

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