Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charles B. Honeycutt, August 2, 2000

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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BIRDWHISTELL: Mayor Honeycutt, this is our second session in our interviews for the Kentucky League of Cities Project, and I appreciate you taking time again to meet with me. We're gonna get in today to the--your actual election and service as mayor here in Glasgow, and before we do that I was wondering if you could explain the type of city government that Glasgow has, and what class city it is, and sort of how the mechanics of the city government operates here in Glasgow, and I assume it's been that way since you've been involved with it or has that changed?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it has been--since I've been involved with it, it's stayed the same. We have the council-mayor form of government, which means the mayor is the administrator and the council is the legislative body. Back some years ago when I served on the city council, at that time the council was cut into committees and committees did a lot 00:01:00of the administrative work. I was chairman of a personnel committee that did the hiring and the firing because the mayor didn't want that responsibility, and so he delegated that to a committee. But then the legislature passed some laws back in the eighties [telephone rings]--

BIRDWHISTELL: Mm-kay. Thanks. So legislation in the eighties--

HONEYCUTT: The legislature changed that in the eighties to where those duties could no longer be delegated to council. The mayor now has to do all the hiring and firing. He appoints people to committees, and the council approves those appointments, but they do not have any approval rights on hiring or firing.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Now, was that because of that was being abused in some cities or what?

HONEYCUTT: I suppose. I'm not sure about that. That happened, that 00:02:00happened--that change came about while I was still on the city council back in the eighties. I took office January first of '86 and I believe that occurred somewhere in '84, or somewhere in that general neighborhood.

BIRDWHISTELL: I was just wondering if that was something like the League of Cities promoted or whether it came out of another--

HONEYCUTT: I really don't know.


HONEYCUTT: I can't answer that.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay. Yeah, that's alright.

HONEYCUTT: But the way it's--there're two main forms of government. You can have a mayor and a board, more or less of aldermen, where you have commission--a city commission and maybe four people, and they all have a vote, and the mayor has one vote. And they determine things that way. You usually have a city manager with that type of government.


HONEYCUTT: And the city manager more or less runs the city, and the mayor is more a ceremonial figurehead, signs proclamations and things, and presides over the commission. But in the mayor-council form of 00:03:00government, the mayor is the administrator and the council is the executive officers--I mean the council is the--

BIRDWHISTELL: Legislative--

HONEYCUTT: --the legislative body, and the mayor does not have a vote except in case of a tie--


HONEYCUTT: --on any legislation or anything like that. The mayor proposes--writes the budget, proposes it, presents it to the council. The council has to approve it or decline to approve it. If they decline to approve it, then they have to--or reach an agreement with the mayor, what needs to be changed, they have to present their own budget. That's never occurred here. They've always approved the budget, but I always meet with the council ahead of time, and meet with each department head and with the council, and explain what's going to be done on the budget before it's presented before the entire council for passage.

BIRDWHISTELL: And these elections are nonpartisan elections?

HONEYCUTT: That's correct.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

HONEYCUTT: That's correct.

BIRDWHISTELL: Or allegedly nonpartisan? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: In Glasgow, they are nonpartisan.


BIRDWHISTELL: They are nonpartisan?

HONEYCUTT: Yes. In some cities they do run by party, but here we run nonpartisan. We have democrats and republicans alike on the city council and we also--all the council members run at-large. They don't run by district or anything like that--


HONEYCUTT: --precinct or district, they all run at-large.

BIRDWHISTELL: So they have a sense of representing the entire city--


BIRDWHISTELL: --once they are elected?


BIRDWHISTELL: Tell me--you got into it a little bit last time, but tell me about your getting involved in city government and how you ended up being on the council to begin with.

HONEYCUTT: Well, back earlier during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we organized something known as the auxiliary police, and this was a group that was supposed to really take hold in case of some form of disaster, military or otherwise, and worked under the police departments, but when they were on duty they had certain arrest powers. And I was-- 00:05:00served as chief of that organization for eight years, and we did a lot of patrol, and worked in unmarked cars, and were able to help solve some break-in and entering problems and some things that might not have been so easily done, had it not been for the extra personnel, and we weren't paid. We were given expenses whenever we incurred any, and so that got me interested in city government a lot, and I reported to the mayor and to the council what was going on with the auxiliary police.

BIRDWHISTELL: Who was mayor then when you started that, do you remember?

HONEYCUTT: Luska Twyman.

BIRDWHISTELL: He was already mayor by that time?

HONEYCUTT: Yes. He served seventeen years as mayor.


HONEYCUTT: And I served thirteen years on the city council.


HONEYCUTT: But after serving for eight years on--as chief of the auxiliary police, an opening--one of the council members resigned, an opening occurred on the council, and I was asked if I would like to 00:06:00fill that position, and I said, "Yes, I would." So the mayor appointed me to fill that unexpired term--

BIRDWHISTELL: And that would've been--

HONEYCUTT: Hmm, that would've been way back.

BIRDWHISTELL: Let's see, you served on the council how many years?

HONEYCUTT: I was on the council in the seventies. Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: How many years were you on the council?

HONEYCUTT: Thirteen.

BIRDWHISTELL: Thirteen from--

HONEYCUTT: From '85--

BIRDWHISTELL: --from '85 so--

HONEYCUTT: '82? I mean '72?

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah, 1972.

HONEYCUTT: So at that time, he appointed me to fill out that term and then when that ended, I ran for a regular term after that, and I got elected, and reelected the total thirteen years that I served there. And then the mayor had been mayor for seventeen years and said he was not gonna run again.


HONEYCUTT: And so I told him if he wasn't going to run, that I was going to.

BIRDWHISTELL: Had you wanted to run earlier and just deferred to him?

HONEYCUTT: I had thought about it because the mayor had been mayor a 00:07:00long time and had done some good work, but in the last part of his term, I was a little bit unhappy with the thing--way things were going, because we weren't growing in this community. We were more or less stagnant. We had lost some industry. We hadn't gotten any new industries in a long time, and the communities around us were getting industries in Franklin, and Bowling Green, and ----------(??)--and others were and we were not.


HONEYCUTT: And I just felt like we were not keeping up, and that we should be doing more, and some other people in the city felt the same way. And things were trying to get moving a little bit, but I didn't think they were moving enough, and so--

BIRDWHISTELL: But you didn't--it was like--

HONEYCUTT: I didn't oppose the mayor in anything. I always said the way I felt about things, and he said the way he felt about things. We didn't always agree but most of the time we did. But when he said he 00:08:00was no longer gonna run, why, I told him I was going to, and he said, "Fine." Then another council member said he was going run, and then there was a man out in town, that was a business person, and he said he was gonna run. (Birdwhistell laughs) So that was three of us, and then some of the advisers to the mayor--former advisers and friends and things told him that that, you know, they were a little shaky about who was gonna get elected, and they thought he ought to run again.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: So they convinced him he should run again. He announced he was gonna run again.


HONEYCUTT: That made four running.

BIRDWHISTELL: Including the incumbent.

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. So I told him I'm sorry but, you know, he said he wasn't gonna run. I already announced and I'm gonna run. And having been a teacher here for twenty years in this town and having served on the city council for thirteen, I felt I had a pretty strong base of 00:09:00support, and that I could run with anybody that was running against me. So the other council member decided the same thing. He pulled out, gave his support to me. That left three of us running, and we had to have a primary. And the top two vote getters in the primary run again in November, and that happened to be the mayor and me that got to be the two top vote getters, and I was the top vote getter--

BIRDWHISTELL: In the primary, you got the most elect---

HONEYCUTT: In the primary.

BIRDWHISTELL: --the most votes.

HONEYCUTT: And I really thought he should've retired at that time, but he said, well he didn't really campaign during the primary and he was gonna campaign. He'd do better in November. So he ran again in November, so we both had to run again in November, and I beat him pretty substantially in November.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, I started to pull the microfilm on that election and look at it, and I didn't because I thought, well, Twyman probably 00:10:00retired and Mayor Honeycutt was the logical successor. Now, I regret I didn't go and look at that. (laughs) Was there much local coverage in the paper?

HONEYCUTT: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So what were the issues? How did you handle being a, you know, a career person in the school system, a veteran on the council and then running against an incumbent mayor in a relatively small town? How did that play out? Give me a--give me some insight into that.

HONEYCUTT: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I was unhappy in the progress we were not making and I made light of that in the--in my campaign and in the newspaper ads and things. I pointed out that other communities were getting new industries and businesses and we were not, and that there needed to more effort at recruiting industry and improving conditions in our community, so we'd be more attractive to industry. 00:11:00And he came back and said well, he was doing these things, and that we were gonna get new industry. And he got a friend of his that was a lawyer on--in the legislature at the time to set up an appointment with a gentleman in Washington, D.C. that had connections with an industry. And they went to Washington, D.C. and got this guy, and interviewed him and so forth, and came back with a statement that if that company was going to make any expansions, they would certainly look at Glasgow. (Birdwhistell laughs) And I said (laughs) that's a pretty paper-thin recommendation, you know. And I visited some towns around here, and talked to those mayors, and publicized that fact--


HONEYCUTT: --and what they were doing and what we were not doing.


HONEYCUTT: And stories were run and, he had some backers that really went all out. They spent a lot of money in his campaign, did a lot of 00:12:00advertising and so forth, and people started coming to me and making donations. They wanted me to do a whole lot of that too, so I didn't spend much money of my own, but I spent money that was given to me and--to run. And we ran a lot of ads and did a lot of advertising and things. And I went around door-to-door campaigning and house-to-house and talking to organizations, and every time we had a chance, I was on their programs, and made speeches, and so forth. And that really wasn't his cup of tea and he had never had to campaign. And most of the time he ran unopposed. And so he just--he was not really a campaigner and so he just didn't keep pace with that, and it showed up in the final results.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Now, was that weird for you running against a long- 00:13:00serving mayor, touted as what? The first African American mayor in the South or something like that? I mean the--


BIRDWHISTELL: --you know, and here you are, you know, at--the guy, toward the end of his career, you're going after him, and it sounds like as it heated up, you know, you had to be aggressive in--


BIRDWHISTELL: --in going for the post.

HONEYCUTT: I had a lot of African American support because a lot of those people felt the same way that jobs were not here, the jobs were in other towns, and things were not--things were becoming stagnant here--


HONEYCUTT: --and plus, I had been a schoolteacher working with all factions of the community, all races, all political and religious groups, and everything else. And they knew me very well and trusted what I said, and so I had a lot of support.

BIRDWHISTELL: Were--did issues come up like who would have jobs in city 00:14:00hall? Who would be the police chief? Who would--


BIRDWHISTELL: Were those ever contested?

HONEYCUTT: Well, some of the--one or two of the department heads. Most of them--most city employees sat back pretty quiet.

BIRDWHISTELL: Tried to l-, tried to keep their head down? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Which they should've done. There were one or two that stuck their neck out and campaigned for him. And he made some statements to some, some of the city employees, well, if I got elected, they might not be here anymore, you know. I came to city hall and went--talked to all the staff and went around all departments saying, "I'm not running for your job. I'm running for the job of mayor. If you're doing a good job, you can feel secure. And if we have problems, I'll call you and we'll talk about it, but I'm not running to fire anybody. I'm just running for the office of mayor to try to do a better job." And that was the way we handled it and--


HONEYCUTT: --didn't amount to anything. And after it was--the election 00:15:00was over, then those people came back, you know, and said, "We're sorry, you know, we didn't understand." all this kind of stuff. I said, "Forget it," you know.

BIRDWHISTELL: What about the two who went out publicly, did they have to leave?

HONEYCUTT: No. There was one guy that was on a board, one of the boards that the mayor appoints. He did quite a bit of open campaigning and made a few remarks that were not true--


HONEYCUTT: --and then, he came up for a reappointment and he came to see me, you know, wanted to be reappointed. And I said, "You know, I am really sorry but, you know, this is a political appointment, and you politically worked against me and said some things I didn't appreciate, and I don't think you should expect to be reappointed. And if you do except it, I'm sorry, but you're not going to be reappointed. And," 00:16:00I said, "when you do things like this, and you're in a political appointed job, you should know there'll be consequences." So he, "Okay, I understand." And that was it. And so he didn't serve for the next four years. I appointed a guy to serve a four-year term. He served about three and a half years of it and died, and the guy--I called him up, the other fellow, and I called him back in and I said, "Do you still want the job?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "You think you can--" He said, "I can cooperate fine." (both laugh) And so--

BIRDWHISTELL: You're a pretty tough politician, aren't you? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: So I reappointed him, and he's been on there ever since.

BIRDWHISTELL: I guess one could argue you have pretty good political instincts, it sounds like, in how to deal with this stuff.

HONEYCUTT: Well, it's the realities of life.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. So why were people wanting to put money into Mayor Twyman's campaign? What was the--what did they feel like--?


HONEYCUTT: During the period that he was mayor, we underwent school desegregation which is a lot of people's--scared a lot of people to death.


HONEYCUTT: And we planned for it very well in the school system--I was in the school system at the time, we had meetings, we talked about any changes that we were gonna have to make in the way we addressed people and the way we handled ourselves, and the way we talked in groups. And the way we taught our classes might be--we might have to change a few things in order not to hurt someone's feelings or alienate somebody, and we really planned for it and tried to look at communities that had through integration successfully, so that we would know how to do it and not cause any problems. And Mr. Twyman--Mayor Twyman was appointed assistant principal at the high school, although he was full-time principal down at the Bunch School and--strictly to handle 00:18:00any integration problems that might come up with the African American race. And so we went through that period, and it went very smoothly. We had no problems at all, and a lot of people gave him full credit for that and thought that the reason we didn't have any problems with integration, was strictly because of his efforts. And he certainly made a contribution and so for that reason, he had a lot of support, plus he had been a good mayor. He'd been honest. He never did anything underhanded that I know of; he never was overly critical of people or projects or anything else--

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, and that counts for a lot in local government.

HONEYCUTT: Sure it does. In a small community.

BIRDWHISTELL: I mean to be honest and--


BIRDWHISTELL: --straightforward and--yeah. Was there a tradition, a 00:19:00history of good government in Glasgow?

HONEYCUTT: I think there was. Yes, we've had some good mayors. And--

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, because some cities don't have a history of good government.


BIRDWHISTELL: I would argue. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Right. You're right. But I cannot think of any bad mayors that we've ever had, and I've gone back pretty far--

BIRDWHISTELL: Yes, sir, you have.

HONEYCUTT: --in the 1800s, and I don't know of any bad mayors we ever had in this community--

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

HONEYCUTT: --some were better than others, but I think we've been blessed that way and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you retire from the school system while you were on the council?


BIRDWHISTELL: During that period you retired--


BIRDWHISTELL: --from the school system?


BIRDWHISTELL: So you--by the time you're elected mayor, you're retired from the--


BIRDWHISTELL: --from the school system?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, I would not have run for mayor--


HONEYCUTT: --while I was a school employee. No. Because there was too much involved, and I could see it took too much time and I was wanting to divert--devote full time to it.

BIRDWHISTELL: That Tuesday night in November when the votes were 00:20:00counted, and you had won, what went through your mind, as you knew that you would take office as mayor in January?

HONEYCUTT: Well, I was very pleased, of course, and quite a bit of (laughs) relief too that it was over, because I worked pretty hard and felt like that you were in a--living in a glass house for a long time there. You had to go in--through two elections, one the primary and one the general election.

BIRDWHISTELL: That entire year was sort of taken up with--

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it was. And I was relieved that it was over and I was proud that it'd come out the way it had and pleased as I could be, and the community as a whole seemed very pleased that I'd been elected and were very supportive, and I felt very good about the situation.

BIRDWHISTELL: What'd Mayor Twyman say to you that night?

HONEYCUTT: Nothing. We--I don't think we saw each other that night. 00:21:00They had a habit of gathering in the newspaper office to have the returns come in. They were posted on a big board and crowded them together--

BIRDWHISTELL: I assumed it was in the courthouse.


BIRDWHISTELL: I assumed that was all done in the courthouse.

HONEYCUTT: At that time it was done in the newspaper office.


HONEYCUTT: And they served coffee, and usually the radio stations would be there and report as the precincts came in. And after the election was over, they interviewed people, and I always went to those things, even when I was running for city council, and he just never went in for that much, and I don't think he was even there that night. But that night, why, of course, I got interviewed and a lot of people came around and congratulated me and everything and--but I don't believe he was there, and I don't think we even talked about it and--


BIRDWHISTELL: So did you the next day?

HONEYCUTT: Don't think so. Don't think so. Don't think so. We--

BIRDWHISTELL: At some point you had to talk and start the transition, right?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, we--it took a wh-, you know, he sure--he felt bad about it, and I really felt bad about running against him because we were friends--


HONEYCUTT: --and I never said anything bad about him. I just said what I thought needed to be done and what I wanted to do, and that's the only think I ever said in that campaign. Except I said, "I think, you know, he's talking about running for another term and he's been mayor for seventeen years. I think that's long enough. He's done some good work. I think it's time we change some things." And that's all I said about it. And so that's the way it went.

BIRDWHISTELL: What'd they charge with you--what'd they charge you with? 00:23:00Too ambitious or--?

HONEYCUTT: I don't know. I don't recall really. (Birdwhistell laughs) Of course, in a small town you get a lot of rumors and gossip and things, and there's always people ready to shoot you down in a lot of different, different directions and--


HONEYCUTT: --you have to grow a pretty thick skin.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, you do. Public life's hard, isn't it?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it is.

BIRDWHISTELL: People don't--I don't think people really appreciate how hard it is, and in--on a local level, it's real tough because these are people you've known all your life, people you see every day, right? What were your--let's talk about the transition into the mayor's office, how do go about--you'd been on the council, so knew how things worked and actually you--as you described, you were an active member of the city council in charge of personnel--

HONEYCUTT: Was also chairman of public safety, the director of the public safety committee, which means I, at that time, was more or less 00:24:00over the police department and the fire department--

BIRDWHISTELL: Police, fire.

HONEYCUTT: --so those were big departments.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did the city have its own ambulance service at that point?

HONEYCUTT: No, at that time, it was privately operated.

BIRDWHISTELL: Private? Um-hm.

HONEYCUTT: Funeral homes took care of that.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, so you--

HONEYCUTT: Legislature changed that law.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. So after election night you didn't have to get up the next morning and try to figure out how city government ran?'


BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) You knew that.


BIRDWHISTELL: But you had to make some plans and then you had to work for the--how the transition was gonna work. Did that go pretty well?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, yes, we didn't have any problems. I guess, the only incident that I can think of where we maybe had a little bit of a disagreement was, there'd been a person working for the police department that had had some lapses in judgment and had gotten some reprimands. And as chairman of the public safety committee, I knew about this, and the mayor had discussed some of these problems with 00:25:00this person, and after I took office, the person had another problem, and I fired that person. And the person appealed to the EEOC that-- hadn't been treated fairly or something and this person was an African American and had to have a hearing in Louisville, and so forth and I-- they--this--asked me to ask people who I wanted to come up as witnesses that would know about the situation and so forth. And I listed him as one of the witnesses, and they called him up there and he came up there, but he was not willing to say that this person had caused any problems in the past and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Mayor Twyman wouldn't?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. I was disappointed in that and--


BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Hmm. He kind of left you hanging, didn't he?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, a little bit, but nothing ever came of it. They were-- they upheld our decision and so nothing came of it.

BIRDWHISTELL: I just went through that not long ago and so I can appreciate what that feels like, when a colleague leaves you hanging like that. What was your--a lot of times when people take this public offices and--mayor, county judge, governor, president, sometimes you're surprised by something. Does anything surprise you about the job, that even with all your city experience--city government experience, were there any surprises?

HONEYCUTT: I don't recall any great surprises. I had some disappointments. There was one person that was the city attorney, 00:27:00was a very good man and had been very valuable to the city, and he supported Mayor Twyman in the election, and after I got elected, he continued to serve for about a few months--


HONEYCUTT: --and then said he was gonna to resign, and I was disappointed in that, and--but I think he was planning on bettering himself, and he later became a judge and had a--I guess it was a federal office, that he maintained for a certain area that--in Louisville, he presided, and so he went into that position and just retired from that recently so--and we're still good friends, but--


HONEYCUTT: --I had hoped that we would remain there and--because he was very helpful.


BIRDWHISTELL: You need a good city attorney that's for sure.


BIRDWHISTELL: So were you able to replace him with a good attorney, I assume?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, and I appointed another lawyer as the city attorney, and we had, had advertised for the job, and two or three applied, and appointed one, and one of them was not happy because he wasn't appointed so that's (Birdwhistell laughs)--that's the way that goes.

BIRDWHISTELL: Tell me about the relationship between Glasgow city government and the Barren County government during this period when you were on the council and as you transition into the mayor's office. How was that relationship and how did it work?

HONEYCUTT: Well, when I took office, Judge Gardner was county judge executive, and he and I belonged to the same political party and knew each other pretty well and had no problems whatsoever. Now, there's 00:29:00some differences between city and county government (Birdwhistell laughs) and different responsibilities, and you're gonna always have a few differences of opinion between city government and county government because the--

BIRDWHISTELL: Just by definition.

HONEYCUTT: --the responsibilities are different and the goals are a little bit different at times so--but we got along very well, and we both had ideas of trying to be progressive and promote the community and city and county, and so we didn't have real problems. He served for, I think, a couple of terms while I was mayor, and then we had another young man come in and he got elected from another party. And we had a few more disagreements, and it was a little harder to deal with and he had more trouble because he belonged to one party, and the fiscal court, all of them, belonged to another party.

BIRDWHISTELL: It was Louie Nunn revisited, huh?



BIRDWHISTELL: That was Governor Nunn's problem (laughs).

HONEYCUTT: That's exactly the same case.

BIRDWHISTELL: Was he the first Republican county judge since Governor Nunn?


BIRDWHISTELL: And is the current--?

HONEYCUTT: No, he's not--

BIRDWHISTELL: He's not current.

HONEYCUTT: --he was not reelected. So--

BIRDWHISTELL: I see. So it's a Democrat or a Republican now?

HONEYCUTT: Freddy Travis, he's--Judge Travis is a Democrat.


HONEYCUTT: And he and I cooperate very, very well. Of course, city and county governments always cooperate well together. We have inter-local agreements with our ambulance service, inter-local agreements with our 911 service--

BIRDWHISTELL: I was gonna say 911 must be part of that.

HONEYCUTT: --inter-local agreement with a mapping service, and ambulance service. I don't remember if I mentioned the ambulance or not, but-- and so it's--and disaster and emergency services--


HONEYCUTT: --we have inter-local agreements there. So it's--we've always worked together and complemented each other, I believe.


BIRDWHISTELL: What about your relationships with other communities within the county?

HONEYCUTT: They've always been good. There're not a lot of communities in the county, and none as big as Glasgow, and each one is a little different, but we've all tried to work together, and I don't have any problems with any of them.

BIRDWHISTELL: How many--do the other communities have mayors or is that- -are they incorporated communities?

HONEYCUTT: Some are incorporated, some are not, but they all got mayors. We have Hiseville, Cave City, Park City, I guess that's it in tow-, in Glasgow. Of course, there's some little communities that don't have mayors but--such as Temple Hill. But those--Hiseville, Cave City, and Park City are smaller communities that have mayors, and we all get 00:32:00along fine and cooperate together and--

BIRDWHISTELL: I guess of those communities, Cave City would be the most ambitious? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Yes, that's the biggest of the others besides Glasgow, and they're very, very smaller--very much smaller than Glasgow.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Glasgow, being the county seat, you've got a--you've got a--the upper hand there. Have you ever thought or wondered, or hoped for, or even thought about trying to get any kind of merged government in this county? Is that something that you think would be helpful?

HONEYCUTT: I don't think so at this point in time. I see it maybe coming about in the future, but right now, a lot of goals and objectives are different in city and county, and the tax rates are different, and some of the tax structures are different. And a lot of people have to do a 00:33:00lot of adjusting, and I think there'd be a lot of unhappiness and right now I don't see that. Everything is running very smoothly between the city and the county. We try to help each other all we can. As I said, we cooperate. We have inter-local agreements, and also with the neighboring county, we do inter-local agreements with and--

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

HONEYCUTT: --I don't feel like that'd be the best for everybody's interest at this time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Well, the county government's system's so deeply rooted in tradition and our culture, it--I mean, I think people still don't understand how it passed in Lexington. To this day (laughs) they don't know how that happened. Of course, Louisville can't--they can't pull it off so--did you ever think about running for county judge?

HONEYCUTT: Um, briefly at one time.

BIRDWHISTELL: After the Republican got elected?


HONEYCUTT: I don't remember whether it was during his term or before.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) That would've been a likely time to think about it probably? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. Yeah. I didn't think about it very long because that's really--

BIRDWHISTELL: You got over it, huh?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, the--like I said, the interests, and the goals, and the activities are so different. And the city has so many more responsibilities than the county in this particular situation. I don't know how it is in other cities and counties, but we have the responsibility of running the landfill, we have a full-time police department, full-time fire department, a city parks department with five city parks and over a million dollar budget just for that department, a street department, an airport, all these things that are run by the city. And the county has a county road department and the county jail and that's about it. They don't have all these other activities or 00:35:00interests and they don't have the tax structure that we've got. One thing, we've built industrial parks here, and the industries that have come in have been in the city limits, and they've improved the city tax base, and the city tax base is, I think, much better than the county, and the fact that we have an insurance premium tax and they don't. We have a payroll tax and they don't, and the payroll tax especially is very, very valuable to the city. And if you work in the city, even if you commute from one of the surrounding counties, you still pay the one and a half percent payroll tax, and that's--is as it should be because we got the industries in here. We supply the infrastructure to keep those communities here, and keeps them supported. And if you work in 00:36:00our industry, then I think you, or--if you make your salary here, you ought to try to support some of these things.

BIRDWHISTELL: Has the payroll tax been in place for a long time?

HONEYCUTT: No, not for a long time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that under your administration?

HONEYCUTT: It came in just before, I believe, just before I was elected, if I re--

BIRDWHISTELL: You were an advocate of it, I would--

HONEYCUTT: Yes, I was on the city council and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Was there resentment, locally, to a payroll tax?

HONEYCUTT: Some. If I remember right, the night after it was passed, there was some council members, got their tires slashed.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, goodness! (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: And--but since I've been mayor, we thought we needed a revolving loan fund to help attract industries, so we could offer industry low-rate loans to help them finance moving here, building their buildings, or buying equipment, and this committee got together, and they came before the city council, and requested that we raise the payroll tax from one percent to one and a half percent and dedicate 00:37:00a million dollars to a revolving loan fund to help attract industry. And we did that, and that's helped us grow and prosper and helped our industries. We can help them when they wanna expand, out of that fund. And we've attracted new industries to come in because of that fund, and that's part of that payroll tax and helps everybody.

BIRDWHISTELL: So what you're describing is an activist government, a government that's proactive to use an over-used term, but it--we've gone through a period in our political history in this country, where people are wanting government to cut back, not do more, be less involved, not be more involved.

HONEYCUTT: Not in this community.

BIRDWHISTELL: But what you're--what you're saying here--well, I mean nationally and they--


BIRDWHISTELL: --if you look at national politics with the rhetoric 00:38:00that's out there, and of course, at the national level they say we want to turn all these things to the--to local governments, but in fact, government involvement is government involvement, whether it's national or local, right?

HONEYCUTT: Right. The first year I was mayor, they did away with revenue sharing, federal revenue sharing.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, goodness!

HONEYCUTT: And I felt like somebody'd pulled the rug out from under me.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, they had. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: First year as mayor, and all of a sudden all these federal funds, we'd been used to having come into our budget, were pulled out, and they didn't away with federal revenue sharing. So we had less money to operate on, and the first year or two was pretty close.


HONEYCUTT: And it was hard to put a budget together. It was hard to do things because we didn't have the money to do some of the things we needed--knew needed to be done. But as you grow, if you can--you can grow your economy. When you grow new business and new industry, that means more income for your community, and so things got better. But 00:39:00now the state has gone through a similar thing where they want to do away with welfare and some of the things like that. And what that does is put more strain on local government because people that used to get help from state agencies and some of the federal agencies now come to city and want us to help them.

BIRDWHISTELL: So I thought that would put more stress on the county government than, say, the city government, but in welfare and--

HONEYCUTT: The county doesn't touch it.


HONEYCUTT: No. We have a community relief program here--

BIRDWHISTELL: So you're the safety net?

HONEYCUTT: --and we put 70,000 dollars a year into it out of the city government, and their office is located here in the basement of our city hall, and the county puts some money into it too, but nowhere near that much.


HONEYCUTT: And then they get funds from churches and local 00:40:00organizations, but the lion's share of the support comes from the city. 70,000 a year.

BIRDWHISTELL: See, I learn something every day, now that's surprises me. I thought the county would take the biggest hit on that.

HONEYCUTT: And then the administrator of that organization has set up certain rules, and if they've helped somebody in the last six months, they won't help them again. And if, if they want help, they have to come in and prove their income and bring in receipts of how they spent their money--


HONEYCUTT: --and social security information and a lot things like that, and some of those people are not adept at keeping records.


HONEYCUTT: They don't have bank accounts--


HONEYCUTT: --and sometimes it's impossible for them to satisfy all the rules of the community relief agency, which is run by a board and--city and county people on it, so they're turned down. Then when they're 00:41:00turned down, these people come to my office, and I have some funds-- some discretionary funds, and I investigate the situation. And if it looks like that these people really are desperate, I'm not gonna have street people in the city of Glasgow. If that means me letting them borrow rent money or pay the rent for them I'll do it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, government doesn't get any more local than that, does it?

HONEYCUTT: No, it doesn't.

BIRDWHISTELL: When you're the last resort for somebody who needs your help.

HONEYCUTT: Exactly right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Last resort. Talking about the payroll tax and the new industries being within the city limits, where has this city been in regard to annexation? What kind of history do you have with that? 00:42:00Different cities have different histories with that issue and--

HONEYCUTT: Right after I became mayor, we had a building inspector who was pretty active, and we sat down and talked, and looked at a map of the city and the ways we thought the city was going to develop out certain streets, and areas, and highways. And we thought for the good of the city and the county, in the future, these areas should be annexed into the city. We should provide city services to them such as a full-time police department, full-time fire department, fire hydrants, lower insurance rates because of those things. And so we drew up a program that was gonna annex a large area around the city in all directions. We presented that to the public and those people out there didn't want to be annexed, and they didn't want us to tell them 00:43:00what was good for them. They knew what was good for them, and what was good for them was to do what they wanted to do without the city telling them what to do. And so they were very much opposed to it, so we dropped it. And the city council and I have adopted a policy: we don't attempt to annex anybody, unless they come and ask to be annexed.


HONEYCUTT: And we have, we have withdrawn some of the city services. For instance, full-time paid professional fire department of about forty members used to, if you lived three or four miles out of the city and your house caught on fire, you called the fire department and they jumped in their trucks, and came out there, and took care of it.

BIRDWHISTELL: No questions asked.

HONEYCUTT: And--was volunteer fire departments out in that--out in the county that would come too, but it took them longer to get there, and they weren't on duty constantly, weren't organized that way, and--



HONEYCUTT: --weren't paid full-time, and so it was a different situation. But after those people refused to be annexed then, you know, we said, you know, we've got to look at the situation here. Are we treating our taxpayers fairly by spending our funds and our energies out there at the areas that don't wanna to support that and don't wanna help pay for it? And we said, no, we're not. So we decided then--we passed some new regulations that we will not be the first responder on anything outside of the city. If your house catches on fire and you live a mile out of the city limits or a hundred yards out of the city limits, first, one of these volunteer fire departments has to get there and the request our assistance. Then we will go and assist them, but they have to be first responder. And the same here. I mean, if we have a fire here in Glasgow and it's a factory or something, and we need help from the county, we get there, and we get on the scene. And then we request 00:45:00their help and they come help us. We go help them, but they have to be first responder in the county. We're first responder in the city. And we sell water all over the county that's processed, filtered from our filtration plant. The city has built the two filtration plants that we have. But we don't build those lines out in there unless we have enough people in that street or that area to pay for the cost of putting that out there. And then when we sell the water to them, it costs them more than it does people in the city limits--


HONEYCUTT: --because they didn't help build the plant. They don't help keep it up--


HONEYCUTT: --and so it costs them more. And those are some of the 00:46:00things that I think the governor doesn't understand. He thinks some cities are ripping off people that live outside of the city for water, and utilities, and things. And it's just a fact of life and a business proposition that it costs more to maintain and supply those areas than it does the ones in the city, and those people are not contributing to the everyday upkeep and operation of that organization and the building of it. They didn't help building it in the fu-, in the past and if they're gonna enjoy it now, they have to pay more for it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Of course, the governor wasn't a mayor, he was a county judge.

HONEYCUTT: That's right. (Birdwhistell laughs) Exactly right. His outlook is different.

BIRDWHISTELL: So have you had areas since you've been mayor then request to be annexed and that--


BIRDWHISTELL: --and that's been done?

HONEYCUTT: A lot of them.

BIRDWHISTELL: A lot of them. Hmm. I'm always intrigued--I spent a lot 00:47:00of time looking at your map out here. I love to have a city map out on the wall, when I go in to do these interviews because--or access to one some other way, because city boundaries are really a patchwork of--


BIRDWHISTELL: --of areas, you know, like your landfill is kind of below the parkway down there kind of on its own, and you've reached kind of a little area almost out to the airport, but the airport's not in the-- not actually in the city limits.

HONEYCUTT: Not yet. We're getting ready to annex it because we bought some property--


HONEYCUTT: --down to the end of our runway to expand the airport, and that's contiguous with--


HONEYCUTT: --the airport so we're gonna annex this airport.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, I was thinking--I was looking at your map I said, it can't be long ----------(??) I mean, that's your airport, so why wouldn't you want it in your--

HONEYCUTT: We want it, but it has to be contiguous before you can annex 00:48:00it.


HONEYCUTT: You can't jump across somebody else's property.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so the city actually bought the property, then, to expand the airport and then that makes you contiguous with the--


BIRDWHISTELL: --with the airport?


BIRDWHISTELL: And so has most of the annexation that you've done been successful?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it has.

BIRDWHISTELL: Been very positive?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it has.

BIRDWHISTELL: And you haven't taken on too much that your resources couldn't--


BIRDWHISTELL: --couldn't deliver?

HONEYCUTT: --before we--they come to us and first it has to go before the planning and zoning commission, which is a joint city-county organization, and they have to approve it. Then it has to come to city council, and before we approve it, we ask our fire chief, and our police chief, and others to look at it to see--and our street department to see if we can serve garbage collection there, which the county doesn't have--


HONEYCUTT: --see if we can have a full-time police department that can cover it, if it's gonna be where our fire department can cover it, and they all say "okay," then we annex it. If they say no, then we don't.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah. Makes sense.


HONEYCUTT: Can we break?


[Pause in recording.]

BIRDWHISTELL: Would you say that the issues of police, fire, water, sewer, public works, roads are about the same in Glasgow as they would be any city of similar size in Kentucky, that when you talk to other mayors of comparable cities it's--comparable cities, it's about the same?

HONEYCUTT: I think so, yeah. One of the most disturbing things for a lot of communities and certainly in ours once in a while, not always, but when certain people want to have a zone change. If something has been zoned residential, and there have been enough changes in the 00:50:00neighborhood, and in the property, and in the business around there, that they think it needs to be changed to business, or light industry, or something like that. They'll go to the planning and zoning board, and they'll make that application to get that change, and there'll usually be a certain number of citizens that come in and support that, and there will be a certain number of citizens that come in and oppose it.


HONEYCUTT: And they have some pretty fiery sessions, and then if they approve it, then it goes before the city council, and sometimes those people come before the city council then, and do the same thing all over again.

BIRDWHISTELL: I watch it in on TV in Lexington.

HONEYCUTT: It's a trial-type hearing and it's--it can be pretty, pretty hard to deal with.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now, in Lexington they'll go to midnight or 1 AM on those hearings. Do you-all try to get through a civilized time.

HONEYCUTT: No, we, we stay till it--everybody has had a chance to be 00:51:00heard. Our longest things have been when we--for instance, we--if you have a complaint against a police officer. Some citizen thinks he's been wronged by a police officer and then--the police officers have gotten something through the legislature called, the police officers' bill of rights, and there's certain procedures you have to follow. They have to put that complaint in writing, have it notarized, present it to the chief and to the mayor. Then, if they think that it's adequate--if the mayor thinks there's adequate proof that there is something that could be wrong, then you have a trial-type hearing and the police officer has the right to be represented by counsel, and the people who bring in the charges have a right to be represented by counsel. And each can call witnesses, and those things we've had--they started at seven and last till two in the morning sometimes. They're very difficult to deal with. And sometimes it results in a police officer being demoted, or being suspended, or being fired, and they 00:52:00always have a lawyer there to represent them, and it becomes pretty hairy. And the mayor has to act as judge and preside over the hearing and try to keep every--fair to both sides, and then the council acts as a jury, and they go out and decide right or wrong, what to be done, whether the police officer is guilty, and if he is, they recommend a punishment. And then--

BIRDWHISTELL: And who decides after the recommendation, you?

HONEYCUTT: I decide after the recommendations are made.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you seem to have a judicial temperament.

HONEYCUTT: More or less, I guess. (Birdwhistell laughs) I've had some complements by opposing lawyers that's--thought that I ran things fairly.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah. That would be my guess. How many police officers do you have?

HONEYCUTT: About forty, I think.


BIRDWHISTELL: Forty? See, I didn't have any idea what size of police force you would have in a city like Glasgow. That seems like a lot--

HONEYCUTT: We have, I believe, four detectives, and then the regular patrolmen, and we have some--we've gotten some federal grants for housing authority. We have one or two that are assigned to public housing authority.


HONEYCUTT: They spend most of their time--nearly all of their time down at public housing projects. And then we've also--we and the schools together have gotten some grants since school started having terrorism and things like that. We have some police officers assigned to schools. And that's--that count of forty's including those people that are on grant--we're--being paid through grants.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you're still responsible for them?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, they still--we have to send them to--do all the training. 00:54:00We still do all the fringe benefits, the salary, and everything for them and--but most of that is taken care of by federal grants.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, these federal grants--so these federal grants have come since the Clinton administration made that a priority or is that--?

HONEYCUTT: Um-hm. Yeah. Well, it--

BIRDWHISTELL: --to put police on the street--

HONEYCUTT: I think they've--well, there's one called Cops Fast, and it was established to help get police officers into the school system.

BIRDWHISTELL: Have you had the same chief since you've been mayor?

HONEYCUTT: No, I've got my third police chief police since I've been mayor.

BIRDWHISTELL: Are they going to larger cities or retiring or what?

HONEYCUTT: Retiring.

BIRDWHISTELL: Retiring. I was wondering if--in terms of--you bring in young police officers, send them to Eastern, you send them to get them trained, get them up and running, and then I would guess that you have a problem with them being recruited away by maybe a larger city, is that an issue?

HONEYCUTT: No, it isn't here. We are the larger city that recruits them 00:55:00from the smaller cities. (Birdwhistell laughs) But we don't really recruit them. They come and put in their application, like when we advertise a job opening, they put their application in and if you've got someone that's been through all the training at Richmond, he's got three years of experience with the police department, and you've got somebody else that applies for the job who's got no experience, no training--

BIRDWHISTELL: No college education.

HONEYCUTT: --and this man we can put on the job tomorrow--


HONEYCUTT: --the other guy you got to send him for training to Eastern. You got to go through to all this thing, and you don't know whether he's really got the skills or not, and it's hard to not hire the experienced person. If you're trying to take care of what's the best interest for your taxpayers in your community, then you gonna hire an experienced person.

BIRDWHISTELL: Do you have women on the force?


BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)--what's the population in Glasgow right 00:56:00now? I mean--

HONEYCUTT: We think it's about 14,500. Of course, that's our estimates and the Barren River Area Development District's estimates based on water meters, two people per meter, or something like that, or electric meters, and post office, and how many houses are delivered mail, and based on the average number of people that live in a house and--

BIRDWHISTELL: So is that significantly up from the last census?

HONEYCUTT: Oh, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was the last census?


HONEYCUTT: What was the last ----------(??)

HONEYCUTT: In 1990 it was 12,700, something like that.

BIRDWHISTELL: You think you gained a couple of thousand?

HONEYCUTT: We think it was a real bad census in 1990.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, okay. (laughs) Yeah, even ----------(??) not only--I see. So what would--what other cities in Kentucky are comp-, are the same--generally the same size as Glasgow? What would be cities a lot like Glasgow around Kentucky, if you had to think of some?


HONEYCUTT: Danville.


HONEYCUTT: Owensboro's bigger, but we're very similar in a lot of ideas and areas. And being on the river makes it--they've got some advantages there that we don't have.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, they've been bigger for longer.


BIRDWHISTELL: They were a bigger city--


BIRDWHISTELL: --much longer than ----------(??).

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. Bardstown may be a little smaller.

BIRDWHISTELL: Shelbyville, is that small?

HONEYCUTT: I don't really know. We have never compared ourselves to Shelbyville. We've compared ourselves to Bardstown, Franklin, Russellville, which we're larger than Franklin or Russellville--


HONEYCUTT: --but they have some other advantages. They are on interstate, they are on the main line of the railroad and a few things like that, but we have some big advantages over them. We have unlimited 00:58:00water supply, which is a big problem in Franklin and Russellville.


HONEYCUTT: And we've been more successful in building our industrial base and--but we're very similar. We got similar problems. We have a lot of similar problems with Bowling Green. Of course, Bowling Green is three times bigger than we are.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah. Well, going back to this police business for just a second. Part of the--well, let me back up and say, a lot of attention in the newspapers both Lexington Herald and the Courier- Journal and those statewide newspapers for the last couple of weeks are more on DUI. Has that been an issue here locally for you-all?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, we just had a write-up in the paper earlier this week. Of course, when something comes out statewide, courts are soft on 00:59:00DUIs--


HONEYCUTT: --then that--the newspapers here immediately go to the judges here and say, "Well, is this true?" (Birdwhistell laughs) Well, we had a whole big front-page story, took up most of the front page one day this week the judges saying no, they're not soft on DUI. A very small number of cases are dismissed. Some are reduced to reckless driving or something like that, but very small number, and they don't think they're soft on DUI, so it hasn't been something that's being brought to our attention as any big problem here. I think as a rule, lower courts, local courts are probably more lenient than they should be because they know the people that's involved, they know their aunts, 01:00:00uncles, and cousins and--


HONEYCUTT: --they don't want to hurt the family, and they feel more empathy for them, and I think they lean over backwards.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. I guess--

HONEYCUTT: If was on trial, I'd want them to lean over backwards.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) It's--people understand the human nature of the whole thing, and I guess if you're mayor--if anyone's mayor long enough, someone is gonna to come up and ask you to go talk to the police chief or somebody about something that's been done--

HONEYCUTT: Constantly.

BIRDWHISTELL: Constantly? (laughs) And so as mayor, I guess you have to let--protect your police chief, right? I mean a good mayor--if you have a good police chief, your--one of your obligations is to protect that chief.

HONEYCUTT: Plus the police officers' bill of rights helps with that too. You tell them, you know, "What is your complaint?" You listen to 01:01:00it, and "Have you complained to the police chief?" And if they haven't then, "Okay, well, then I'm not gonna do anything. You go complain to him first, and see if he can't help you with your problem. If he doesn't, then you can complain to me. But now if you got a complaint against a police officer or against the chief, then you have to put it in writing, you have to get it notarized, you bring it to me, I determine or not if it has merit. If it has merit, we have a hearing, and the council decides right or wrong."

BIRDWHISTELL: Now, with the Cumberland Parkway running through the city in two spots, is that a--can you generate revenue out of there by catching speeders?

HONEYCUTT: Nope. (Birdwhistell laughs) The reason is the legislature some years ago froze all that--


HONEYCUTT: Yeah, it was back in the eighties. I don't remember what year it was but, they said that--let's say you got 10,000 dollars a 01:02:00year from fines in 1988, they passed a law that says from here on out that's what you're gonna get.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, that's right. That became the benchmark, right?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. And if you give 500 tickets and fine 500 people, or if you give five tickets and fine five people, you still get that same amount of money. So it doesn't help your revenue stream any to give tickets. And that keeps from having speed traps and things like that, and I can see the merit of that but, it's not fair, not fair to communities that are really helping police work, of the state police, and helping make the whole state safer.

BIRDWHISTELL: So then your city police don't patrol the parkway?

HONEYCUTT: Not much.


BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, there wouldn't be any reason to.

HONEYCUTT: You have the vehicle enforcement officers and you have the state police to do that.


HONEYCUTT: We sometimes will venture onto it. If you had a complaint about something we might go out there and sit around the entrance or something.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah, something that affects public safety of the citizens in Glasgow, right? Yeah. We're sitting in a very nice city hall here in Glasgow on the town square, and I understand from the comment you made the last time that this city hall was brought about during your administration here. And I guess that having a functional and pleasantly--a pleasant place to visit, that type of city hall is a--is an important part of the city government.

HONEYCUTT: I think very much so. City Hall was located in a very old building. It was built in the thirties and--back when the city 01:04:00was probably a third as large as it is now and the police and fire department was a third as big as they are now, maybe even smaller, and all that operated out of that one building. City government, the police department and the fire department all operated out of one building, and of course, there's been a large growth in the number of policemen, firemen, and responsibilities, and responsibilities of city government, and the staff has grown. So we were bursting at the seams. Also, the old building was not handicap accessible.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, goodness gracious.

HONEYCUTT: And the Americans Disabilities Act said that we had to do something, and it was gonna cost almost a million dollars to put in elevators and do away with narrow doors and halls and things that--to make that building handicap accessible. And this was a department 01:05:00store here that was owned by a family that owned department stores in a couple of three states, and the family more or less died off, and they got out of business, and closed down the store. And this was an empty store building here on the Square, and Mrs. Nunn, being the active politician and person that she was, bought this building for 50,000 dollars, and was the idea that she might establish the museum here, and she was very active in promoting and establishing a museum here. But then another building became accessible to her that she thought was much better, so she came to me and wanted to know if the city would 01:06:00like to buy this building for a city hall. And we had looked earlier at buying a building, that a bank later bought, for city hall. And so she said, you can buy it for the same amount that she paid for it, 50,000 dollars. So yeah, we bought it.

BIRDWHISTELL: That sounds like a bargain.

HONEYCUTT: It was a great bargain. And we have --

BIRDWHISTELL: I guess then you invested in refurbishing and--

HONEYCUTT: Oh, we spent--yeah, we spent lots of money to refurbish it. We spent about 900,000 dollars to redo the building. There were--we had three floors and we established offices for our water and sewer department on the far side of the hall over there, and it's grown a lot. And we have our mapping service upstairs which is--wasn't even in existence back earlier. It's a computerized mapping service where we do fly-overs of the community and then digitize everything 01:07:00in the computer, and we can call up maps showing every house, every building in the city. And we can show the topography of every street and hillside, and we can show where the water mains are and where the power lines are, and this saves all sorts of engineering cost and time. When we're building the sewer line or something, you call up that neighborhood and see how the sewers are gonna drain. You don't have to go out there and survey and all that because it's all in the computer.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now, was this an initiative in your administration?

HONEYCUTT: Yes. And all that's digitalized in there, and of course, then we went to an enhanced 911 system, and all this information from the mapping service went into the computers for the enhanced 911 service. So when we get a call, it comes up on the screen showing the street intersection, the telephone number who lives there, and if there are any additional information such as a couple of infants live here or whatever, it's there. And if a call comes in and they can't 01:08:00say anything, if they're choked or something, all you do is dial 911, why, that's all they can do, then we send an ambulance and the police department to that number, boom. And so that mapping service is a great asset, and that's located on the top floor.

BIRDWHISTELL: Do most cities besides Glasgow have that type of mapping?

HONEYCUTT: No. No. We've been a pioneer in that area for communities our size, at least. And then we have a building inspector that we have a suite of offices upstairs for him, and his assistant and secretary, and their maps and everything that they have to have. And that's upstairs. We brought in other offices that were scattered around town and located them--centralized them.


HONEYCUTT: Our community relief office is downstairs. Our Red Cross is downstairs. Salvation Army is downstairs. We have set up down there 01:09:00a command center of emergency operation center, which we can run eleven phone lines out there in case of a tornado or ice storms, and we've had two tornadoes and an ice storm, which we got to use it. And we have an emergency generator that kicks on automatically, supplies this building and that center downstairs with power when everything else is off, and it will run either on natural gas, or bottled gas, or kerosene, or anything else just about. And that's all down in the basement. And we have a very fine council chamber and--upstairs for the council and chairs--seats for the audience, citizens to sit in if they have a problem. And then we have a closed-session room up there in case we want to go into closed session for a personnel problem or to consider 01:10:00purchase or selling of real estate, which is two things you can do in closed session. And so this is a very practical facility for us here. We have our license inspector here in this office, our city treasurer. And then when the county took over the courthouse over here and turned it over into a justice center, moved out the county offices so now all you have over there is three courtrooms and a county circuit court clerk--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, that explains when I went over there to look around the last visit down here just--I'm not used to these courthouses changing so much. I thought you walk in, there's a long corridor, and you have the judge's office, the sheriff's office--


BIRDWHISTELL: --I was immediately into a, into a metal detector. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Exactly, yeah. Oh, that was all changed. The offices--the courts took that over from the county in the last administration. There's been quite a bit of discussion about that, whether that was 01:11:00good or bad. And--

BIRDWHISTELL: Seems like you want to build a justice center rather than a--than move the cour-, the offices out. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: That'd be my opinion too, but that wasn't what happened. The county offices spread--they're all around in shopping centers and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Shopping centers?

HONEYCUTT: --different places like that, and they're building a new county office center over here.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that what--

HONEYCUTT: That's where the big hole is over there where they tore down a couple of buildings.


HONEYCUTT: And they're gonna put the county office building over there.


HONEYCUTT: And right now we've got a suite of offices in this building that we turned over to the county judge and the county treasurer and his staff, the county building inspector, free of charge. We're not charging them any rent or anything. We're just letting them use these offices until theirs is built over there. And that's another example how we cooperate with the county.

BIRDWHISTELL: And at least they're centralizing the offices on the town square, which is important--


HONEYCUTT: That's very important to us that we keep our downtown alive and viable--


HONEYCUTT: --and there was talk--some magistrates talked about building it out somewhere, and we were very, very interested in seeing it stayed downtown.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow. Yeah, that--that's funny, when walking in the--into the courthouse, it just seemed odd that--

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. Well, now this will be more a government center downtown here because you'll have your courthouse, three courts, you got your city government and you'll have all the county governments all within walking distance here, hundred yards of each other, and that's very convenient for our citizens. And we own a city-owned parking structure back there behind where the county office building will be. Right now it's two floors and we're gonna add a third floor to that.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that free parking?

HONEYCUTT: It's free, but we--are some areas on the bottom floors that's 01:13:00reserved, you can rent them--


HONEYCUTT: It's covered parking down at the bottom floor, and you can rent those and be sure of a place to park always.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??) on my first trip down here I wasn't sure where to park because everything said there was a one-hour limit.

HONEYCUTT: On the square and a block off in each direction it's one hour limit.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) I thought well, I don't want to be able to interviewing the mayor and get my car towed, so--or get a ticket (laughs).

HONEYCUTT: So you can park in the parking structure all day free of charge, and there's a lot up on the hill up here--up here that's also owned by the city--

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, there's a lot up the hill here?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah and you can park there too.

BIRDWHISTELL: There's a big lot over the--across from the churches down here. I didn't know--

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, that belongs to the church, but you can park there too--

BIRDWHISTELL: That's what I ----------(??)--

HONEYCUTT: --all day free of charge.

BIRDWHISTELL: --parking friendly--parking friendly, but I didn't park there, I wasn't at church, so ----------(??).

HONEYCUTT: Out back is--we have a few places for visitors, but nearly all that's reserved for ----------(??) company employees, city 01:14:00employees that are--work out of this building and businesses that back up to that lot. We've allowed them to have a couple of parking places for each business.

BIRDWHISTELL: Let's talk a little bit about economic development. That's a--since the time you've been involvement in city government, that prob-, other than annexation, there's probably nothing hotter, in terms of what it means to local government than economic development.


BIRDWHISTELL: And I've read in the, some of your literature, and of course, if you look at the Glasgow's home page on the internet, all these things are designed to present a friendly face, if you will, to prospective industrial initiatives. Does that take up--let's start out by, I guess, this way--it--does it take up a lot of your time working on economic development for the city of Glasgow?


HONEYCUTT: Not as much as it did at first. As I told you, that was one of the things that I campaigned on.

BIRDWHISTELL: It was an issue in your campaign.



HONEYCUTT: That I was gonna to work hard to go after new business and new industry and I did. In 1987 I went to Tokyo and spent a week with a couple of people from our economic office here and one from the state Kentucky Economic Development Office, and we visited twelve industries, board of directors, went and met with them, showed them videos about Glasgow, took them gifts, and talked about our schools and the quality life here, and the fact that we would give them low-interest loans if they were ready to expand and wanted to come here. We'd be willing to work with them and help them any way we could and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Was this still the Collins administration or was it already the Wilkinson?


HONEYCUTT: This was the Wilkinson administration.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you still had the spillover, I guess, of the--

HONEYCUTT: Well, you had a lot of--Toyota had already located in Georgetown, and you had some other industries then that were lo-, interested in locating in Kentucky to be a supplier for Toyota and we--most of them, that we went and met with were automotive-related.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you get any of them?

HONEYCUTT: Well, not at that particular moment.


HONEYCUTT: But we also met with ten Japanese banks, and Japanese banks not only finance Japanese industry, they advise them. And we did the same thing with the banks. We told them about our community and about what we could do for businesses here, and how we would support them, provide low interest loans to them. And pretty soon after that visit, we started getting interest from Japanese industry, and we felt like if 01:17:00that sure opened up the door for us. And the state of Kentucky had an economic development office in Tokyo, and met with that gentleman, and he went with us--this Japanese gentleman that went with us and met with all these people, introduced us, and gave us a foot in the door. And we felt like that that did a lot to open the door for relations between Glasgow, Kentucky and Japan, not just Kentucky, which had already been opened by Martha Collin's administration.

[Pause in recording.]


HONEYCUTT: I think I was the first Kentucky mayor to visit Japan. I was--of course, Governor Collins had visited and her staff, but I think I was the first mayor. Other mayors came later, Scottie Baesler from Lexington, and others, but I think I was the first mayor from Kentucky 01:18:00to visit. And the Japanese are easily impressed, I guess. (laughs) (Birdwhistell laughs) But of course, we did things in a big way. We visited via limousine, and stayed in the best hotel in Tokyo, and put on a good face, (Birdwhistell laughs) and that's important in doing business with the Japanese, and we spent some time doing our homework before we went to find out about Japanese practices, etiquette in doing business.

BIRDWHISTELL: And that's really important too, isn't it?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it is.

BIRDWHISTELL: So what's been your biggest achievement in the area of economic development?

HONEYCUTT: Well, after that visit and after things began to roll--of course, we--we built our first industrial park, which had paved roads, and fire hydrants, and utilities all there, and then we built a spec building, a shell building, that was available for quick occupancy 01:19:00and development for some industry that wanted to get going in a hurry. And you take a chance on those things, but we borrowed the money, and built the building--a factory building, and it was just a shell, had electricity in it and a gravel floor in it, so they could come and concrete and put their machinery wherever they wanted it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is this the city government version of field of dreams?


BIRDWHISTELL: If you built it, they will come (laughs)--

HONEYCUTT: And it sold and an industry came and located, but the industry didn't come from Japan, it came from Finland.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. And so--

BIRDWHISTELL: So have you been to Helsinki?

HONEYCUTT: I haven't been to Finland.

BIRDWHISTELL: You ought to go.


BIRDWHISTELL: It's a great place. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: But anyway, they located here, and they're still here, and we started getting more industry in, and meeting with them. And once you get the ball rolling, it becomes easier because they learn 01:20:00of other industries that have located in your community, and they may know these people, and they may contact them. And we had one gentleman here that's been a real help, he was the personnel manager and later the manager of one of the industries here. And when we got a client, a prospect, we always saw to it that they went to visit him and his industry here in Glasgow to see how successful they had been here and to talk to him, because he was a great disciple for building your business here in Glasgow. He came from Tennessee, and he thought it was the greatest place he'd ever lived, and he really did a good sales pitch for us, and they knew that he wasn't working--he wasn't an elected official or any like that. He was a factory manager like they 01:21:00were, and he told them what he thought about it, and he had a great influence, I think. And all I can say, once you get one or two going, then it's easier to get the others. Success builds on a success.

BIRDWHISTELL: So, what are the biggest catches that you've had as mayor?

HONEYCUTT: Hmm. Well, that's hard to say, I guess. ACK, which is a joint venture Japanese-American industry, they build control cables and things for the automotive industry, came in at about, oh, 75 people in there, up around 500 now.


HONEYCUTT: And that's grown, and they have bought additional land behind their industry so they can expand--expand more. Techno Trim came in building automobile seats and seats covers, started about a hundred, and they got to 500. Then President Clinton did his Free Trade Act, 01:22:00and they went to Mexico.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, so, you've already had some come and go--

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. Yeah. And we've had several industries that--blue jeans, Chic, Chic Jeans, and things like that, that went to Mexico after he did that Free Trade Act, which we don't approve of. And--but we've been very successful in having a lot of automo-, automotive related industries and others come in. Our biggest success stories are our Donnelley came in with a hundred employees, now up to 1400. That's our biggest industry, and they're commercial printers. They print catalogues for Sears-Roebuck, magazines for all different national publications and they're a very, very strong industry. And then Eaton Axle has been a good one for us. They're now Dana, bought up by Dana. Fortunately, when Techno Trim went to Mexico, Johnson Controls 01:23:00bought that building, and they're now up there. They're not up to the strength that Techno Trim was when they left, but they're growing. And Nelson Metals came in at about a hundred, and they're expanding like crazy, but now they have been bought by J.L. French company, and they're gonna be more than doubled or tripled in size.



BIRDWHISTELL: Well, that's a pretty good list.

HONEYCUTT: A lot of--we've had Amak Brake, which was a Japanese company that came in. They're a division of Akebono, which is the largest brake manufacturing in Japan, in the world, and they have factories in Japan, all over the United States in different places. And they came in about 100, and they hoped that by this year they'd be up to 300, and 01:24:00they're up to 500 already.

BIRDWHISTELL: Pretty interesting situation for a guy who, as a young man, was preparing for an invasion of (laughs)--of Japan, don't you think?


BIRDWHISTELL: You think of that occasionally, I guess.

HONEYCUTT: I do and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that irony or is that--?

HONEYCUTT: Yes. It astounded me and a few times and I--one of the things that I had to do on Guam was guard Japanese prisoners, and take them out, and work them on work details, and I've always thought I hope I don't run into one of these guys, and they say, "Weren't you on Guam? Did I know you on Guam?" (both laugh) Of course, I always treated them nice, and they treated me nice.

BIRDWHISTELL: There you go.

HONEYCUTT: But a war is a war.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.


BIRDWHISTELL: Well, the other thing that comes to mind, Mayor, is that, you know, thinking about Mayor Honeycutt here in Glasgow waking up some night from a nightmare that your city has faced the same dilemma as Campbellsville that--I mean that--I don't know the details of that, but 01:25:00I guess Campbellsville is every mayor's nightmare in terms of--

HONEYCUTT: Two things.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Two things. One, all their fish were in one barrel--


HONEYCUTT: --one big industry, and that big industry was the lifeblood of the community, and everybody that lived over there worked in that one industry. And it was a garment-type industry.


HONEYCUTT: And President Clinton's Free Trade Act cleaned them out and they left. Another problem with Campbellsville: their industries have all been located outside the city limits.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, they were? Oh.

HONEYCUTT: Therefore if they get a--they can't do a payroll tax that'll do them any good, and they're handicapped in that direction. They ought to have had the finances to do what needs to be done.

BIRDWHISTELL: That surprises me because that plant looked like it was downtown.

HONEYCUTT: Not in the city limits.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. So diversify, right, in terms of your 01:26:00economic base--

HONEYCUTT: Yes, I--that's one very important thing, and we--we're heavily into automotive-related industries, as the whole nation is--


HONEYCUTT: --and if the automotive industry should suddenly go bust in the United States, the whole country is gonna (Birdwhistell laughs) suffer severely, but we have a lot of other industries too, but not enough to counterbalance what we'd lose if the automotive industry went under, but that's not likely unless an all-out war or something, and then they'd be converted over to building war materials.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you're continuing your economic development where-- that's still a high priority for you as sh--

HONEYCUTT: It surely is.

BIRDWHISTELL: --it would be for any mayor, I guess, or should be for any mayor.

HONEYCUTT: Of course, when I took office we--our unemployment rate was around twelve percent--

BIRDWHISTELL: Pretty high.

HONEYCUTT: --and now it's around three and a half, four percent. That 01:27:00changes your priorities--


HONEYCUTT: --because then you get to the point about we have a l- . . when we have an industry expand now, most of the jobs have to commute in from outside because we really don't have enough trained quality people that are not already in technical jobs so that an industry coming in would have a hard time finding some of the skills that they wanted unless we trained them, and that's one of the things we're working on with our new college that's coming in, our--which is gonna be a pioneering step in the state where you have a technical college and a liberal arts institution like Western Kentucky University, under 01:28:00the same roof. That's gonna be--


HONEYCUTT: A--an administrator that will be running the whole show.

BIRDWHISTELL: That reports to who?

HONEYCUTT: This board of post-secondary education, right. And the governor has committed nine million dollars for that building here, and the city has done the site work, to prepare for it, as our share to help get ready for it.

BIRDWHISTELL: And where does that go?

HONEYCUTT: It's going out next to Barren County High School, and it's gonna be a big asset to our community because they--we already have a good program going. We have a vocational school here that serves our city high school, the county high school, Metcalfe County and, I think, maybe another Allen--maybe Allen County, all come here in buses 01:29:00and go to this vocational school during the day, and learn all sorts of trades. And our industry then has gotten together a board--has put together a program for advancing our people, who are already working in the industry here to help them improve their skills. It's called BRAVE, and I'm not sure what all the letters stand for, Barren River is the first two--


HONEYCUTT: --and but it--what it does is supply a night school for adults. When the schoolchildren get out of there at the end of the school day, then it's opened up for adults at night, and they have all of these advanced technical courses in there at night: robotics, hydraulics, all sorts of advanced technical skills, teague welding, 01:30:00that will improve a person's abilities and technical training, so he can maybe go from just a line worker in a factory up to a higher skill position and help fill some of these skill positions that we don't have people to fill. And that's already in operation with over a hundred people a night operating in there, taking these--and the factories donated equipment, cities donated some seed money to get started, about 50,000 I think, and then the state came along and matched that, and then got a federal grant to match that. And so we've gotten a lot of advanced equipment, and they work at night, work all day for schoolchildren, at night for adults.


HONEYCUTT: And then that facility and all that with the technical college is gonna move into this new building and go at one end and take higher math at Western, go up down the hall and take a--some kind of technical skill that requires higher math at the other end in the 01:31:00technical college, all staying in the same roof.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you have high hopes for that?

HONEYCUTT: Very high hopes, could mean a lot to our community in the future.

BIRDWHISTELL: One of the things I'm trying to figure out, Mayor, is- -when I interview you mayors, the best of you, it seems, get excited about developing your communities' economic development, improving education, basically a s-, a deep seated concern for bettering the community, and I don't get what motivates you. I mean why don't you go to Florida and just play golf? (laughs) Why do you people care so much? Why do you work so hard for these communities?


BIRDWHISTELL: Is that a fair question? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: Yes. I guess it depends on the individual but--


HONEYCUTT: If you want to--if you run for a political office or a governmental office, you surely know what the duties of that office are 01:32:00and what the community needs. If you're a mayor, you look at what the community--where it is and where it needs to be, and then you look at- -I looked at other communities that seemed to be making progress, and talked to other mayors, and I learned a lot by being involved with the Kentucky League of Cities which is 330 or so cities all joined together to help solve--so we don't have to reinvent the wheel all the time.


HONEYCUTT: We learn from each other. We have training sessions. We have all sorts of things. We have schools for newly elected officials to tell them what the laws are and the requirements of their duties, of their job, and it's been a very helpful thing to me. I've attended every convention, every training session that I could go to.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you've actually become a leader in that--

HONEYCUTT: I've served as second vice president, vice president, and 01:33:00president, and served on the board of directors for a number of years and still serve on the board of directors, and I think it's a very important organization. And we have a, a low-interest loan program for cities. We have borrowed money from them to build our landfill. We've borrowed money from them to rehab this building, and we do it on a lease-type deal, that some loans are not legal, the cities can't incur debt, but you can go on a lease business.


HONEYCUTT: And what you actually do is, when you build your landfill for instance, you just turn it over to the Kentucky League of Cities, then you're paying them back over your loan period, leasing the landfill from them, and at the end of the--when you get it paid off, then it's 01:34:00yours. And that's the way you can have funds and still stay within the limits of the law, not incurring debt. We have to have a balanced budget. And the state requires us to have a surplus, so we can't be like the federal government.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Yeah. You have to be like the state government.


BIRDWHISTELL: It--things have gotten more complicated for cities over the last half-century. It seems to me mayors have had to become more sophisticated in how they, how they operate, and I guess that the-- having the Kentucky League of Cities where these people can come together and pool their, as you say, pool their knowledge and their resources and try to bring new mayors along more quickly, because oftentimes while a lot of mayors do come from council experience, you can have a 01:35:00mayor come in that's fairly new to the issue of being mayor anyway--


BIRDWHISTELL: --you know, which is a big responsibility.


BIRDWHISTELL: And then you've been involved in the National League of Cities, I guess, to some extent--


BIRDWHISTELL: --as a member anyway and--

HONEYCUTT: Yeah. Not greatly involved there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh. And then--

HONEYCUTT: That hasn't really interested me. (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. But then you've been involved with the Barren River Area Development--


BIRDWHISTELL: --which is a regional--

HONEYCUTT: That's a ten-county area that--area development district that--they serve as a clearinghouse for all grants, and they help you get grants, and then they have--also have training sessions and- -statewide and nationally, too, and I've been very involved with them. I've gone to--they set up conferences with congressmen, and I've gone to Washington, D.C. several times under their auspices to meet with our congressmen and senators and talk about problems that we have and 01:36:00that are common to the ten-county area, and that are common to the whole state of Kentucky. So we have that group that operates as a ten-county group, and then we, we're part of the statewide group that operates as a state group to go to see our congressmen and so forth. And I've been chairman of that organization and been on the board ever since I'd been elected mayor.

BIRDWHISTELL: Are there state administrations that have been more helpful than others to your city?

HONEYCUTT: Sure. Yeah. Yes. (Birdwhistell laughs) Short answer. Well, all of them--we haven't had any that'd been hostile to us.


HONEYCUTT: Some, by their nature, are more interested in things that we're interested than others.


BIRDWHISTELL: Who's been most interested in what you're interested in?

HONEYCUTT: I think the Wilkinson administration was very good for us. They helped us get a lot of things, and we had a local man in the administration that helped me s-, helped steer me into the right departments and the right contacts to promote things for our community.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's Rogers Wells, right?

HONEYCUTT: That's correct. And the Patton administration has been very helpful and understanding with us. We haven't gotten everything we've asked for, but we haven't gotten that from any administration. But one thing is sure, if you don't ask for it you don't get it, so I haven't been hesitant to ask.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) They're not calling you up to see what you need, right?

HONEYCUTT: They don't, they don't do that, naw. And so you have to go ask. You have to be willing to travel and knock on doors and do a little persuading, and I've been willing to do that.

BIRDWHISTELL: The--you know, it's hard to say how history will ultimately judge the Wilkinson administration and judge Governor 01:38:00Wilkinson as a governor, but I think any historian will have to deal with the fact that Governor Wilkinson did have a--or seem to have, from my perspective, a concern for those areas of Kentucky which might have been left out of some initiatives in the past, of a, of a--he was a--concerned about the rural--


BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??) of this state it seemed to me.

HONEYCUTT: I think he was concerned about the rural areas and the small communities--


HONEYCUTT: --more than some of the previous mayors. And I think Governor Patton is very concerned too, but I think a lot of his concern has been with Eastern Kentucky, which is where he comes from and an area that needs more help. And my first job was in that area, so I think he's right. That is an area that's, that's fallen on hard times, and he's right in trying to direct more programs in that direction. Of 01:39:00course, we're sometimes envious at some of those (Birdwhistell laughs) programs. We, we could like to have them too, but he has had some good statewide programs. For instance, the Creda program that helped us recruit industry by setting up means that when an industry came in, the state would give them a large loan, and then we would be willing to set aside a certain amount of our taxes, for instance, the payroll tax, we would turn that back to the industry for a number of years, and they would take that money they would collect from their employees that would normally come to us; that money was sent to the state to apply on their loan. So, what it amounted to was their employees were paying off their loans.


HONEYCUTT: And of course, the cities were giving up income in order to have them here, and after their loan is paid off, then that payroll tax 01:40:00comes back to the city. But that usually takes ten years or so.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Um-hm. Yeah. And I didn't notice until today that the bypass--Glasgow bypass is named Rogers Wells Boulevard, I guess, in recognition of the contributions he's made.

HONEYCUTT: Um-hm. And he had a lot to do with helping us get that into a six-lane, rather than just the two or three lanes it was.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. You have other road improvements that you're looking at in terms--?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, we've been preaching since the eighties for a circle bypass, which would include part of that bypass out there joining in with part of Cumberland Parkway to make a complete circle around the community because, as it is now, coming in from the east, coming on a narrow two-lane road and then have to drive through town in order to 01:41:00get over to the west side, and we have tractor-trailers and all sorts of business and--

BIRDWHISTELL: I saw one trying to turn ----------(??)--

HONEYCUTT: --freight turn right through the middle of our town--

BIRDWHISTELL: --a tanker was trying to turn right down here at this intersection onto 80, I guess, or to 68.

HONEYCUTT: We got some, we got some right-angled turns coming into the community. We got one building that's been hit about fifteen times by trailers trying to get around the corner, knocked the corner off the building, I don't know how many times. And our--because of our expansion of industry and more people commuting in from the east and other directions into our communities to work in our industry and then commuting back home at night, the traffic has increased so much, and we need a circle bypass to get us around the town without having to route everything through the middle of town.

BIRDWHISTELL: Can't Mr. Nunn get state money for you?


BIRDWHISTELL: Can't Mr. Nunn get state money to do that? (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: (laughs) Well, we've gotten the first couple of phases. 01:42:00We've already had the--we've had public hearings and engineering and design, all that's been done, and we're now in p-, in the phase of buying right-of-way--

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, you are?

HONEYCUTT: --and next year the ci-, the state has appropriated twelve million for the building the first phase of it. And they're supposed to start building next year, the first phase.

BIRDWHISTELL: Congratulations.

HONEYCUTT: Twelve million. Thank you.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow! Those are hard things to do.

HONEYCUTT: Yes, they are. It's--

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) I'm not telling you anything.

HONEYCUTT: When Governor Patton was first running for office, he came by visiting.

BIRDWHISTELL: What do you need, Mayor and you told him, right?

HONEYCUTT: The first think I showed him was a map of where we are, and what the traffic count was, and how we need this, and it was drawn on a map. And he said, "I can see where it would help," but he never committed to it. He didn't commit to anything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, (laughs) it's hard to when you're going around to 01:43:00all the--


BIRDWHISTELL: --communities.

HONEYCUTT: But he has been helpful.

BIRDWHISTELL: You--I assume you're a proponent of I-66, which would come--

HONEYCUTT: I-66? Yes. We're hoping that gets built, and if it does, we're expecting that to come down Cumberland Parkway right through the edge of our community. Which will ----------(??) help our community with tourists, and tourism, and hopefully, industrial development too.

BIRDWHISTELL: And that's a long-term--

HONEYCUTT: Very long term.

BIRDWHISTELL: --project. Airport, continued the expansion on the airport, a vital part of any community's development.

HONEYCUTT: We think it's very vital. We have a 4,000-foot runway, and we've got twin engine jets coming in, supplying our industries with parts, and occasionally managerial people who come in to tour and to 01:44:00make changes in the factories. And some insurance companies will let them land in Glasgow and some make them land in Bowling Green and rent cars, and come over here. And people in the industry have told us we need to improve the airport, increase the amount of runway space, so we can handle these faster, bigger airplanes, and we had that on our government table for quite a while, and we've gotten the first two phases of that. We're building about 1600 more feet out there on the end of that, and runways will be 100 feet wide, instead of 75, and it'll be thicker to handle the heavier planes coming in, and lighting and instrumentation will be improved, and it will go to a commercial class airport, instead of just general aviation. And we're supposed to get 2.19--almost two and a half million--two and a quarter million. 01:45:00This has already been improved for this next phase. FAA has approved that, and when we're gonna start to get the money, I don't know, but--


HONEYCUTT: --we have a natural gas pipe line across the end of the runway we've got to move, and that's very expensive. We have paid Texas Gas Transmission to move that line, and that's all engineered and waiting to go as soon as we get the money.

BIRDWHISTELL: Isn't Bowling Green trying to build a new airport?

HONEYCUTT: They're doing a--it's--yes.

BIRDWHISTELL: They're trying to move it from--

HONEYCUTT: It's an industrial type of thing that will have not only an airport but a rail junction and a track--


HONEYCUTT: --terminal, and it's something will be built halfway between Glasgow and Bowling Green, closer to Bowling Green than Glasgow, but in between Glasgow and Bowling Green, and just almost on the border 01:46:00between Warren and Barren Counties, and it will help us as well as Bowling Green, help Bowling Green more than it will us, but it will help us too.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that was what I was wondering if--

HONEYCUTT: Yeah, we're in favor of it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, but that doesn't change what you're trying to do to your own airport?

HONEYCUTT: No, this is local concern to serve our own factories here that we need now. We needed it yesterday.

BIRDWHISTELL: And the one in Bowling Green is several years down the road, right?

HONEYCUTT: Well, it--I don't know. I don't know how long down the road it'll--

BIRDWHISTELL: But they're arguing about it, aren't they--?


BIRDWHISTELL: --about the--

HONEYCUTT: It's--it's debatable.

BIRDWHISTELL: I--debating, excuse me, did I--I didn't mean to say arguing. (laughs)

HONEYCUTT: And I understand that some of the scope's been reduced, and I have a meeting with the people about that tomorrow--


HONEYCUTT: General Cherry is coming over for a meeting to discuss that with me, about that airport--


HONEYCUTT: --that project. We supported it and he wants my continued support.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. I would assume having Glasgow's support for a project like that would be very beneficial in selling it to people. 01:47:00So, Mayor, what's the future of Glasgow? Can--what's your crystal ball telling you these days about the future of this community?

HONEYCUTT: Well, I think when we get our highway system up to where it needs to be and we get our airport up to where it needs to be, I think we're ahead of the game on--on our fiber optics we're recognized as the leader in the nation--


HONEYCUTT: --and we're ahead of the game there. We're--I think we're ahead of--or at least up to, up to snuff on the enhanced 911 system that we have. We have a good public safety system here. Our airport and our highways are two things that we need to improve, and I think that's in the works. And with the new college, higher education coming in, that's gonna improve things, and I look for the community to continue to grow and improve.


BIRDWHISTELL: People looking back 50 or 100 years at this point in Glasgow's history and development, what would you want them to know about Mayor Honeycutt?

HONEYCUTT: Well, that my decisions were based on study, and planning, and the best information that I can get at this time as to what's best for this community now and in the future, and that's what my decisions have been based on. And everybody hasn't always agreed with me, but I've done what I thought was the right thing for the community and will continue to do that. Some things, I may be proved to be wrong about, but so far it's worked out well, and we've been progressive, and continue to be that way. And I think that--I hope that my record will show that I worked for the best for the community and--best interest of 01:49:00the community, and that was my goal.

BIRDWHISTELL: When do you run again?


BIRDWHISTELL: When do you run again?

HONEYCUTT: I don't. (laughs) (Birdwhistell laughs) My term has two more years to run after this one, but I do not intend to seek reelection. I intend to retire at that time and let someone else have a chance at solving some of these problems.

BIRDWHISTELL: Are you--has this community developing good young leadership? Do you feel good about the leadership of the future?

HONEYCUTT: Yes, I think we have good people in the community and we've got twelve good council members. Some have ambitions to go on further. At least two have already said they're gonna run for mayor, and there may be others on there out of the twelve. And we have some good people in the community that are interested in seeing that we have a very good 01:50:00renaissance program going and a lot of community leaders have taken part in that, that shows that their heart is in the right place, and they're willing to spend some time and effort to improve the things, and I think things look good down that line.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. You gonna endorse anybody?

HONEYCUTT: No. I don't plan to. (Birdwhistell laughs) I--if somebody ask me about a candidate, I'll be happy to say that that candidate I think would make a good mayor--


HONEYCUTT: --or has a--has the capabilities of making a good mayor, and if they ask me about a candidate, somebody that runs for office that I don't know anything about I just be able to say, I really don't know enough about the capabilities of that person to make an opinion. (Birdwhistell laughs) And that's gonna be my stance on that.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you taking time to do this, Mayor. I've learned a lot from your explanations of city government, 01:51:00local politics and how that works. It's a--it's quite a fascinating enterprise.

HONEYCUTT: Yes, it is.

BIRDWHISTELL: And thank you again.

HONEYCUTT: You're very welcome. Thank you.

[End of interview.]