Governor appoints West to serve term

A Knox County man has been appointed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to serve a four-year term on Kentucky’s Commission on Small Business Advocacy.

Former Barbourville city councilman and interim mayor Darren K. West was appointed by Governor Bevin in October to serve the 5th Congressional District.

“It is a great honor to be selected by Governor Bevin for this Commission,” said West. “Over the past 15 years, I have had many roles in advocating for businesses here in Knox County, now I have the opportunity to do this for the entire Commonwealth.”

According to a release from the Governor’s office, the Commission promotes “a cooperative and constructive relationship between state agencies and the small business community to ensure coordination and implantation of statewide strategies that benefit small business in the Commonwealth.”

West credits his appointment to his friend Bryan Mills, Field Representative for U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who brought up his name to the Governor. “Mr. Mills directed me to fill out a form online to make myself available to the Governor, for boards and commissions,” said West. The application to serve can be found at

When asked how he thinks the state can best help small businesses, West stressed Governor Bevin’s efforts to reduce government obstructions. “A big part of Governor Bevin’s “RED TAPE REDUCTION INITIATIVE” has already helped small businesses and will continue to help,” said West. “While some types of regulations can be effective and even protect public interests, they can also stifle economic growth, impose high costs on businesses and impede private sector investment. At our meetings, we receive updates for State Agencies about what regulations or policies they can cut to make it better for all businesses.”  Those interested can learn more about the Governor’s efforts at

West has a concentrated focus for his time serving on the Commission. “It is my hope and desire to use this position for these four things,” said West: 1. Promote constructive relationship between state agencies and the small business community; 2. Coordinate and educate the small business community on federal, state, and local government initiatives importance to them; 3. Advocate for the small business, as necessary when regulatory implementation is overly burdensome, costly, and harmful to the success and growth of small businesses; 4. Collect information and research those public policies and government practices which are helpful or detrimental to the success and growth of the small business community.”

West has served both the City of Barbourville and Knox County in various positions through the years. His service on the Commission on Small Business Advocacy will end August 22, 2021.