the issues

What is a Judge Executive?

What is a Judge Executive?

When people hear the term "Judge Executive" their mind usually has a picture of a judge presiding over a courtroom, most likely someone who needs experience or education as an attorney; however, the position of Judge Executive in Kentucky has not had any judicial responsibilities since 1975.

In other states and Commonwealths, what we in Kentucky call "Judge Executive" others call "County Executives", because this position requires the Judge Executive to act on behalf of the County, just as the Chief Executive of a corporation would act on behalf of their company. He or she is responsible for daily operations of the executive branch of the county and managing its departments and personnel, including budgets, and also presides over the Fiscal Court.

Grant County’s Fiscal Court has four members, including the Judge Executive and three other elected officials, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd District Magistrates. Together, this legislative arm is responsible for passing budgets and ordinances affecting our County. Many of the most important decisions made by the Judge Executive need approval of the Magistrates, which is made through a majority vote.

Judge Executives are elected officials serving terms of four years. They can be re-elected indefinitely. As the elected representative of the County, the Judge Executive plays is as an ambassador for the County to the rest of the state, country and world. As such, the Judge Executive should be able to maintain a good rapport with others, be a good negotiator and champion working in partnership with other cities and counties within the state to support the County and its residents’ goals.

Duties of the Judge Executive

The Judge Executive of the county is the chief executive of the county with all the powers to  perform all the duties of an executive and administrative nature vested in, or imposed upon, the county or its fiscal court by law, or by agreement with any municipality or other subdivision of government, and such additional powers as are granted by the fiscal court. 


According to KRS67.710 Powers and duties. 

The Judge Executive is responsible for the proper administration of the affairs of the county placed in his charge. His responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Provide for the execution of all ordinances and resolutions of the fiscal court, execute all contracts entered into by the fiscal court, and provide for the execution of all laws by the state subject to enforcement by him or by officers who are under his direction and supervision;
  2. Prepare and submit to the fiscal court for approval an administrative code incorporating the details of administrative procedure for the operation of the county and review such code and suggest revisions periodically or at the request of the fiscal court;
  3. Furnish the fiscal court with information concerning the operations of the county departments, boards, or commissions, necessary for the fiscal court to exercise its powers or as requested by the fiscal court; 
  4. Require all officials, elected or appointed, whose offices utilize county funds, and all boards, special districts, and commissions exclusive of city governments and their agencies located within the county to make a detailed annual financial report to the fiscal court concerning the business and condition of their office, department, board, commission, or special districts;
  5. Consistent with procedures set forth in KRS Chapter 68, prepare and submit to the fiscal court an annual budget and administer the provisions of the budget when adopted by the fiscal court; 
  6. Keep the fiscal court fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the county and make such other reports from time to time as required by the fiscal court or as he deems necessary;
  7. Exercise with the approval of the fiscal court the authority to appoint, supervise, suspend, and remove county personnel (unless otherwise provided by state law); and 
  8. With the approval of the fiscal court, make appointments to or remove members from such boards, commissions, and designated administrative positions as the fiscal court, charter, law or ordinance may create. The requirement of fiscal court approval must be designated as such in the county administrative code or the county charter. In counties containing a city of the first class, the county judge/executive shall appoint to those seats which are not subject to prior qualification on a board or commission an equal number of members from each district, as defined in KRS 67.045, into which the authority of the board or commission extends. If there are more districts than members of a particular board or commission, he shall not appoint more than one (1) member from any district. If there are more members of a particular board or commission than there are districts, he shall equalize appointments to the extent possible. The county judge/executive shall not be required, but shall use his best efforts, to balance appointments on a board or commission if the appointments are to be made from nominees submitted by other groups or individuals or if nominees must have a professional or technical background, expertise or membership. He shall attempt to balance appointments among all such boards and commissions in order to equalize representation of all districts over the entire range of such boards and commissions.


Effective:  July 15, 1988
History:  Amended 1988 Ky. Acts ch. 338, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1988. -- Amended
1986 Ky. Acts ch. 101, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1986. -- Created 1976 Ky. Acts ch.
20, sec. 3, effective January 2, 1978.
Legislative Research Commission Note.  See Legislative Research Commission Note
following KRS 67.705.

What is a Judge Executive? What does a Judge Executive do? Find out about the office of Judge Executive and a Judge Executive's responsibilities.