By Jonathan Kleppinger
3:17 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
A former mayor of Nicholasville is in the running for another elected post after registering for the 2nd District seat on the Jessamine County Board of Education.
John Martin, 72, said he registered in the summer when he found out there was a lack of candidates for the school-board seats.
“I thought, ‘Here’s a chance for me to help, if I can, if I get elected,’” Martin said. “Of course, I didn’t think I had any opposition at the time.”
Martin faces incumbent Amy Day in the Nov. 6 election.
While admitting that as an outsider he doesn’t know the intricacies of the school budgets, Martin said if he is elected he would like to look for opportunities to save money.
“The school board has one of the highest tax rates in the county,” he said. “I’d like to get on there and see where there’s places where we can cut, if we can, without hurting students’ education. I also want to be able to work with them to get the things that are necessary.
“Until you get there, you don’t know exactly what needs to be cut or added — maybe nothing.”
Martin served one term as Nicholasvile’s mayor from 2003 to 2007. He said that while in that position he had helped get community-college classes offered in Jessamine County and would like to see something similar come back.
“Students need to be career-ready if they can’t be college-ready," Martin said. “We need to work with local businesses to see what jobs are needed, what training is needed — I’m sure the board is doing some of that now.”
As far as funding goes, Martin said he would like to pursue more grants and other opportunities for private funding, including ideas like leasing land for cell-phone towers.
“Almost anything that you can make a little money on — renting the schools to higher education at night or other activities like the Taste of Jessamine,” he said. “There are all kinds of ways of raising money just from private sources.”