Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


June 18, 2014

Scott, former Boyd judge-executive, dies

ASHLAND — Former Boyd County Judge-Executive William Fredrick “Bill” Scott died Tuesday in Cabell Huntington Hospital. He was 77.

Scott, who had been in failing health, was hospitalized last week after suffering a massive stroke. His survivors include his wife, Harriett, and a daughter, Kelly.

Scott, a Republican, served three terms as judge-executive. He was first elected to the office in 1990. He was defeated in 1994 by the late Billy Joe Ross, but ran again and won in 1999, defeating former sheriff and current county Commissioner Tom Jackson in the general election. He then served two consecutive terms and sought re-election in 2006, but was beaten by current Judge-Executive William “Bud” Stevens.

Prior to being elected judge-executive, Scott served two consecutive terms as a Boyd County commissioner, from 1982 to 1990.

Scott’s acomplishments as judge-executive included the establishment of a county sewer system, which helped to spur econimic development, particularly along the U.S. 60 corridor; the implementation of a payroll and net profits tax, which helped to put the county on firmer financial footing; the completion of the county animal shelter on Bob McCullough Drive; and the relocation of the county Road Department from its cramped, run-down quarters on the grounds of the Ramey Home to an Ashland Alliance-constructed metal shell building in Paul Coffey Industrial Park.

However, county Economic Development Director Nickie Smith — who’s been with the county since 1980 and worked under Scott during all three of his terms — said the most lasting memory people will likely have of Scott is of his friendly, soft-spoken and easy-going demeanor.

“He could relate to everyone, whether it was the governor or someone out in the street,” she said.

In fact, Smith said she was at a meeting earlier this week in Frankfort and one of the people there inquired about Scott. She said she felt the fact people in the state’s capitol would remember him eight years after he last held office was a measure of the impact he had.

Scott’s decision-making was always guided by what he felt was best for the people of Boyd County and not by party politics, Smith said.

She recalled one instance when Scott angered the state Republican leadership by refusing to endorse a GOP candidate who was attempting to unseat a Democratic incumbent legislator. His reasoning for not getting involved in the race was that the incumbent had always been helpful to the county, she said.

Also, Smith remembered how during the often-rancorous meetings where the payroll tax was debated, Scott refused to adjourn each session until every person in attendance had been given the opportunity to say what was on his or her mind.

Scott was an AK Steel retiree who worked for the company for 34 years. He also served in the National Guard and was a Mason and a Shriner.

Steen Funeral Home is in charge of Scott’s funeral arrangements.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

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