The governing body of Shelby County consists of a Fiscal Court, elected to serve a four year term. The Court is comprised of the County Judge Executive, elected at large by residents of the entire county, and seven magistrates, elected by residents of their corresponding district.
The Kentucky Constitution of 1891 gave the name "Fiscal Court" to the body in each county that would act as that county's government. In Shelby County, the Fiscal Court is composed of a County Judge/Executive and seven County Magistrates. Each member of the Fiscal Court serves a 4-year term. The title "County Judge/Executive" is a blending of the past and the present, going back to the time when the person elected to this position also presided over judicial proceedings. Although those responsibilities were transferred to Kentucky's court system in 1978, the title remained.