Memorial to late clerk to be displayed in courthouse

Tonya S. Grace/Kentucky New Era

Current Todd County Clerk Cindy O'Bryan (right) displays a portrait of Leslie Cunningham, the late Todd County clerk who succumbed to cancer last year. Cunningham's portrait will now be on display at the Todd County Courthouse.

It just got the best of her, said Leslie Cunningham's friend and former colleague, Cindy O'Bryan, of the late county clerk's struggle with metastatic breast cancer.

Cunningham had only been clerk for a couple of months when she'd been diagnosed with the illness early last year. She succumbed to it in the summer.

O'Bryan was appointed by the Todd County Fiscal Court to fill the void left by her friend's death, and on Friday, she stood before magistrates at the Todd Ccunty Courthouse to present a copy of an oil painting commissioned by Cunningham's parents, Randall and Diane Francis.

"Her parents wanted to do something in memory of Leslie at the courthouse," explained O'Bryan of plans to display the portrait in the building along with a memorial plaque and a replica of the state of Kentucky fashioned from pink license plates.

Pink is the color associated with breast cancer awareness efforts.

O'Bryan said the portrait was painted by Sharon Grove resident Lexi Johnson, a Todd County Central High School graduate and artist in the local community.

The homage to Cunningham took place during the court's regularly scheduled meeting, which also included the approval of several resolutions and a decision to purchase a van for the Todd County Senior Center, among other business items.

The continuity of government resolution approved by magistrates provides for the orderly succession of the office of judge-executive if he is absent or disabled, giving those duties temporarily to Todd County Magistrate Jimmy Turner should a national, state or local emergency occur that requires his services at that time.

If neither Todd County Judge-Executive Todd Mansfield nor Turner can serve, the resolution provides for Magistrates Brent Spurlin, John Camp, Alfred Blake and Billy Bryant, respectively, to serve in that capacity during any emergency.

A second resolution passed on Friday provides for the continuing operation of the functions of county government during a natural or manmade disaster.

The court also approved a resolution of affiliation with the Todd County Rescue Squad that will allow the rescue squad to perform its job in the county, according to Todd County Emergency Management Director Daniel Smith.

Magistrates also approved a motion to enter into an agreement, a memorandum of understanding, with Pennyrile Allied Community Services regarding the purchase of a van that will belong to the county but which will be used by the Todd County Senior Center to transport clients and deliver meals.

The van is being purchased by the county at a cost of just less than $25,000, Mansfield said, noting that if PACS at any point ceases to provide its Title III services at the senior center, the van will then be transferred back to the county.

Todd County Sheriff Tracy White also told the court on Friday that the Todd County Sheriff's Department has had a lot of complaints recently, experiencing almost double the number of calls last year in a comparison with 2015.

Five years ago, his office handled 4,400 calls and received 8,600 calls last year.

"In December, we were really slammed," said White, who noted that mental health warrants, which are time-consuming, increased a lot for his office.

He said reasons for the complaints have varied, although the biggest has been for cows in the road. White said the hiring of a new bailiff will alleviate some of the issue since he will help transport people, one of the duties of White's office.

Additionally, Todd County Jailer Jeff Penick presented his report to the court, noting among other things, that he has had 86 new bookings in the past month.

"That's significant to have two-thirds of our population turn over in that amount of time," said Penick, noting that the Todd County Jail currently has 137 inmates.

In other business

• The court approved a request from the Allensville Fire Department to act on its behalf for grant funds that will be used to buy turnout gear for the firefighters.

• Todd County Treasurer Tammy Robertson reported that the county had $2.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2019, and $5.8 million including certificates of deposit.

• Fiscal court approved a motion to pay $3,000 each to the rescue squad, Elkton Fire Department and Sharon Grove and Trenton volunteer fire departments.

• O'Bryan said a public drawing on Thursday will determine positions on the ballot for the upcoming May 19 primary elections.

• Todd County Judge-Executive Todd Mansfield announced the appointments of John Martin and Dianne Higgins to the Todd County Extension District Board.

• Magistrates approved the appointment of William Lear to the Todd County Water District Board.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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