Fresh eyes, experience coming to Fiscal Court in January

By Bobbie Poynter

Newly-elected Jason Lake, 34, is looking at the District 4 magistrate’s position with fresh eyes.

As the assistant manager at World Finance in Barbourville, Lake has over eight years of experience working with the general public. He was also a member of the Barbourville City Council for two years (2010-2012).

“Being a member of the city council was a great learning experience for me,” said Lake. “It gave me the confidence to work with the general public as an elected official.”

Lake plans to take the public’s confidence with him into his new position as District 4 Magistrate.

Jason Lake wants the people of District 4 to know that he truly wants to help them. He is willing to come out to someone’s home, if need be, to personally see what needs to be done and follow up to make sure the situation is properly handled.

Lake says he will treat the people in his position as magistrate with the same respect as he does those people he works with every day.

“You never go wrong with treating other people good,” he said.

Lake feels he has the community’s best interest where their tax dollars are concerned.

“You have to treat other people’s taxes like a business,” he said. “You don’t want to throw money away. You want to put it where it’s most needed and do the most good for the longest amount of time.”

Lake has already begun looking over his territory and, after speaking with the current magistrate, Pat McDonald, and District 4 residents, has begun creating a list of repairs needed throughout the district.

“Pat’s experience has been invaluable to me,” said Lake. “and I want to thank him for his service as the 4th District Magistrate and the many hours he has devoted to Knox County.

Lake is looking forward to working with Judge-Executive J.M. Hall and the other Knox County magistrates.

“I’ve known Judge Hall for many years,” said Lake. “He is a hands-on person and has consistently shown that he has the county’s best interests at heart. There is a lot of experience up there on that board, and I believe you can always learn from other people, especially those who have already put in the time getting the job done.”

Lake and his family wish to thank the residents of District 4 for their support in the November election.

The rookie magistrate said he made no promises to District 4 residents during the election; however, he did say he would work hard to see to their county road needs, and apparently, they believed him. Now he plans to instill the residents’ trust shown to him in November by being true to his word.

“It’s all about hard work and working hard,” said Lake. “And if hard work gets you somewhere, that’s me.”

Jason Lake was born and raised in Knox County. He is a 1999 graduate of Barbourville City School. He is originally from Poplar Creek, and he and his family currently live inside the Barbourville City limits. He and his wife Mindy have been married six years and have a 14-month-old son, Brody Jase. Mindy Lake is a special education schoolteacher at Lynn Camp Elementary.

District 4 Magistrate Jason Lake can be reached at 627-2023.

Stacey Roark, 43, will have to resign his job on the Knox County Road Department in January to take on the responsibilities as District 2 magistrate, but he sees this as a positive.

“I’ve worked under four different road foremen and a basketful of magistrates,” said Roark. “I’ve seen lots of different ways they handle things – good and bad – and I’ve absorbed as much of the good a possible.”

Roark will, indeed, be bringing a lot of experience with him to the magistrate’s table. Although born in Clay County, Roark has lived on Big Creek in the Mills Community since he was 12 years old. He has been with the Knox County Road Dept. for 12 years as a heavy equipment operator, and has had his CDL for 21 years.

Roark is eager and excited to work with the Fiscal Court and any other organization or company that can bring jobs or improvements to the country or district.

“I’m looking forward to working with J.M. Hall, said Roark, “I’ve worked under him. He’s never been a bully, running roughshod over the road crews. He trusts his magistrates to get the job done.”

Roark has already begun inspecting the roads throughout his district and preparing a prioritized list of jobs. Those priorities, he says, are largely based on population, road conditions and any particularly hazardous areas.

“I’m still trying to figure out where the worst problems are,” he said.

Roark has worked long enough on the county road crew to understand the needs of his district, which runs from Stinking Creek back to Barbourville on the north side of 25E through Bimble. After jumping the Boone Heights area past Walmart, District 2 takes up again at the Good Year Tire Store down to Bennett Branch, again always on the north side of 25E.

Roark plans to hit the ground running in January. When he gets a call, he expects to go out and perform an original inspection himself. He says he is looking forward to representing the people in any way he can; however, he also understands there are simply some things that cannot be done right away.

“Sometimes you have to patch things until you can get back to it,” Roark explained, “but the first chance we get, we’ll make it better than it was before.”

“I went to the people of District 2 and asked for their vote. Now I owe them,” said Roark. “I will do anything in my power to keep from letting them down.”

Anyone wishing to contact Stacey Roark can call 545-3878 and, if need be, leave a message for him.

Roark and his wife, Tina, have been married two years.

Both Roark and Lake will be sworn in on Dec. 30 and officially take their positions as Knox County Magistrates on Monday, Jan. 5.