Calloway County Judge/Executive Larry Elkins is retiring from the position. Elkins made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday stating his retirement would be effective September 30.
Elkins said in the Tuesday afternoon Fiscal Court meeting, that the 30th is the last day he can work and qualify for retirement benefits in the Kentucky Retirement System. "If I were to be elected state representative and work past that date, I would be required to automatically transfer to the legislative system. I do not want or need to be in the legislative system, but I do need my retirement benefits."
Elkins said after September 30 he would take time to focus on his campaign for 5th District State Representative. Elkins is vying for the seat being vacated by Kenny Imes. He faces Democrat David Ramey in the November race. Imes is running for Elkins' current seat.
If elected, Elkins said he would bring his fiscally conservative record to Frankfort. "And I can promise you one thing. I won't be brought a bill at the 11th hour and vote for it before instituting -- to the best of my ability, understand what's in the legislation," he said.
During the fiscal court meeting, he reminisced about his 20 years in the position. "One of the things I'm proud of is that we're not broke," Elkins said. "We don't have any long-term debt." He said whoever takes the position after him will "have a good starting point." He credited the magistrates and staff for the financial position. "We don't have enough money to build big buildings, but we have enough money to pay our bills and do our projects that are absolutely necessary," he added.
Following up after the meeting, Elkins said he's proud of paying off debt that had followed the creation of a new jail as well as paying off bonds involving the judicial building. He said an issue likely facing his successor would be to improve roads.
Near the end of the meeting, members of the fiscal court and staff thanked Elkins for his service and mentorship.
Elkins notified the court that Tuesday's meeting could be his last. He said he has an appointment at the retirement system that falls on the same day as the next meeting. If Elkins is not present, Magistrate Johnny Gingles will conduct the meeting.
Elkins is in his fifth term. He took office as a Democrat in 1999 and switched to Independent in 2013 before switching to Republican in 2015. Over the past couple of years, he has generated some local controversy over his criticisms of the Calloway County Public Library Board and subsequent appointments. Elkins had accused the library board of frivolous spending and for pursuing an expansion he said was too expensive. Critics argue the expansion is needed and took issue with Elkins' board replacements who oppose the expansion.
Governor Matt Bevin has the authority to appoint an interim judge/executive to serve until the next election.