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Busy start to Young’s last year as County Judge

Any thoughts Logan County Judge Gus Young had about cruising to the finish line have proven to be fleeting.

“I bought a boat and I can’t wait to wear that thing out,” Young said last week.

After he announced in December that he would be not been seeking a fourth, two-year term as judge, Young admitted last week that he was hoping for an easy transition into retirement.

That has not been the case.

“I’ve been running all over the country the last two months,” Young said. “We’ve had a bad winter and we’ve got this jail issue coming.”

A month ago, Young was waiting on a thawing process to get a picture of the damage to county roads in the wake of a storm that followed two others, one of which resulted in a Federal disaster declaration that came just days before a smaller storm. The declaration, of course, created reporting work for Young’s office.

Young was repeating the wait and see approach with the roads again last week after yet another winter storm that dumped various forms of frozen precipitation on the county.

While sloppy conditions are an obvious problem for the county’s dirt surfaces, potholes — created by freezing and thawing of moisture on the roads — are a bigger problem on paved roads, Young said.

The jail issue has been one in the making for many years but is apparently coming to a head. Multiple previous discussions never produced anything substantial in terms of replacing the detention center in Paris but in October of last year the county was warned to do something, or else.

Since then one inmate has escaped, twice, there have been fights within the crowded jail, the county has been sued by two former inmates because of the jail and county officials have started discussions with Franklin County officials about the possibility of a bi-county jail.

Young has also issued a pair of burn bans since the calendar turned over to 2014, the later of which was lifted last Monday.

If all that weren’t enough, Young will not be able to work with his successor because the preferential primary filing period drew one Republican in Ray Gack and one Democrat in Mark Limbird. The race between them won’t be decided until November’s general election.

But, Young said, the election of a successor is at least one thing he doesn’t have to deal with over the next nine months.

“I’ve been doing my best to stay out of that but I keep being asked about it,” Young said.

If he has a position he is mum on it.

“It’s been busy the last two months. Maybe it will calm down a little bit,” Young said.