Jessie Zagaruyka moved to Stamping Ground in 2017 with her family and quickly fell in love with the town.
On Tuesday night, she was tapped to help lead the town, filling Stamping Ground’s Parks and Public Works Commissioner opening. She fills the seat vacated by Will Hollon, who resigned due to a new job that would have him out of town.
“I am so excited. I wanted to run for commissioner in the last election, but was just shy of the residency requirement,” she said. “I was going to wait for the next election, but I saw the previous commissioner resigned, I saw the opportunity.”
Zagaruyka took an unusual route to find Stamping Ground. She is from Palm Beach, Florida, moved to Kentucky when she was 14, living in Lexington, Georgetown and then Stamping Ground.
“I come from the big city, so this is the total opposite,” she said. “This is where we want to be. We have dug in and put our roots down.”
She and her husband, Cory, built their house in town, her in-laws built right next to them and her husband’s brother and wife live down the street. It was her brother and sister-in-law that introduced them to Stamping Ground. Her children, Gabriel, 11; Andy, 9; and Charlie, 5 are also active in the school and community.
In fact, Charlie sells muffins with her at the farmer’s market where Jessie sells her cheesecakes from her home business Cheesecake from the Heart.
“We’ve done fundraisers at Buffalo Springs Park and was part of a surprise birthday party for Police Chief Roger Nowakowski and that is where a lot of people got to know me,” she said.
Mayor Keith Murphy said the commissioners are excited about what she can bring to the city and the commission. Commissioner David Clark made the motion and Murphy seconded to seat Zagaruyka.
“She’s been very active with a lot of Parks’ activities since she and her husband moved here and people have gotten to know her very well,” Murphy said. “She was well-versed in activities going on in Stamping Ground and it seemed to be a good fit.”
“I know that Stamping Ground has a big milestone birthday (230th) coming up. I’m really excited to be part of the planning of that,” Zagaruyka said.
She will finish Hollon’s term which expires in 2020, so she would need to run again next year.
“I have fallen in love with the town,” she said. “I felt like this was the thing that was missing from my heart, and my husband said he thought this just might be my calling.”
In other action at the special-called meeting, the commission set tax rates the same as last year, and also confirmed locations for the Highway 227 Yard Sale. The lot at the corner of Main and Mulberry, the Buffalo Square Park and green space between the post office and elementary school are available for people to set up for the Aug. 31 yard sale.
Steve MCClain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.