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CivicLex Candidate Survey

District 12

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Monteia Owenby

Top Three Issue Priorities:
Development & Housing, Economic Development, & Public Safety

Kathy Plomin

Top Three Issue Priorities:
Economic Development, Education,
& Public Safety


Agriculture & Food Systems

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Access to decent internet. 22,000 residents living outside the Urban Services Boundary are excluded from the MetroNet deal and the current options are not sufficient. Horse farms, cattle farms, truck farms, etc. are unable to competitively conduct business.

Plan to Address it: First, I will represent the ENTIRE 12th District when considering Council decisions. Second, I will explore options to provide my constituents with the internet connectivity they need.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: The 12th District is home to most of our farmland in Fayette County. It is vital that we foster strong relations and support the industry.

Plan to Address it: LFUCG as well as other entities have worked together to form partnerships whereby our residents can access and purchase fresh farm products on a regular basis. These types of programs should be replicated and marketed on a city and regional basis.


Arts & Culture

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Agritourism.

Plan to Address it: Promoting and creating agritourism in the 12th District is crucial. We have a beautiful rural landscape just minutes from downtown and it is important to let people know about the wonderful experiences to be had. Tours like Horse Country, which is still growing, could be a key element for other agricultural ventures. I will provide assistance through possible grants, funding, and creative support in any way possible.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Funding for public arts projects.

Plan to Address it: Council just recently passed an ordinance whereby 3% of capital projects over 10 million will be earmarked for public art. Our arts and culture play such an important role in our city’s attractiveness for potential relocations of businesses and industry. We must continue to look at additional ways for our city to support this important part of community’s make up.


Community Development

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: The 12th District includes many rural hamlets. While they are very isolated, underdeveloped, and there is not a lot known about them, these hamlets are part of our government's history. The rural hamlets need more connectivity to the rest of the community.

Plan to Address it: I will look at providing sidewalks, bike paths, and possible trails. Along with these, I will explore locations for bus routes and bus stops.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: There have been efforts to come to consensus on our community design, but nothing has been finalized to date. With that said, there are numerous projects that have and will impact our city’s design. Town Branch, our old courthouse, City Center are just a few that are contributing to our city’s design.

Plan to Address it: Find ways to better coordinate and communicate the "look" of city projects so that they result in a more cohesive overall city design.


Development & Housing

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Infill and redevelopment impacts the 12th District significantly because it is where a majority of the undeveloped land is located.

Plan to Address it: I will ensure that infill and redevelopment projects are done efficiently and properly. It is also imperative that incentives are offered to developers and builders who do infill and redevelopment, as it is often more costly than conducting a project on undeveloped land.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Expansion of the Urban Service Boundary greatly impacts the 12th District which comprises 70% of the land mass in Fayette County.

Plan to Address it: We need to look to at infill and redevelopment within the Urban Service Boundary. We need to make it easier for our developers to look at infill and redevelopment rather than sprawl which is much easier to navigate and less expensive. We also need to provide affordable housing and we have made progress however there is still a need. A working relationship with our developers and looking at other potential funding resources can assist in this community need.


Economic Development

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Jobs.

Plan to Address it: There is existing shovel-ready land available within the 12th District that is zoned appropriately. Due to a lack of regional planning and cooperation, projects such as the Bluegrass Station extension have failed. I will work within the region to tie economic development plans together. This includes working with County Judge Executives.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Attracting jobs, especially from the tech industry, to the area.

Plan to Address it: The annual contract with Commerce Lexington leads this charge and they have done a good job for us. Tech has been success and I believe we should continue to target this sector. They provide higher paying jobs and don’t require the footprint that other companies would need or want in our city. The recent acquisition of 250 acres within the Urban Service Boundary via a land swap with the University of Kentucky will also make a difference with our future economic development.


Education

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Decent internet connectivity is no longer a luxury, it is necessity for school children to receive/submit assignments, get information, and so much more.

Plan to Address it: Once again, I will explore options to provide my constituents with the internet connectivity they need.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: School safety and building a closer relationship between city government and the school system.

Plan to Address it: In light of the ongoing shootings in our country’s schools, we need a proactive partnership to protect our children. Council recently had a presentation from Central Office that outlined the 13-million-dollar security plan that is being put in place. I support this effort, although I believe there should be more transparency in the school board decision making process


Environment & Energy

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Protection of the Kentucky River and its tributaries.

Plan to Address it: I will work alongside the Environmental Commission to assure continued and adequate protection of these precious water sources.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Reduction of the city's carbon footprint.

Plan to Address it: Our 2018 Comprehensive Plan reflects the importance of our continued commitment towards the reduction of our carbon footprint. The objectives set forth will be the continuation programs and initiatives to improve energy efficiency, anticipate the community’s needs by encouraging environmentally sustainable uses of natural resources, provide incentives, green building standards and prioritize multi-model options that de-emphasize single-occupancy vehicle dependence. I do support clean energy.


General Governance

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Wasteful spending.

Plan to Address it: I will advocate for more efficient spending. It LFUCG's job to spend the taxpayers' money as judiciously as if it were their own personal income. There is too much bonding and everything cannot be put on the government's tab. We must prioritize our spending.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Our biggest challenge is the budget, especially with the pension liability.

Plan to Address it: I am hopeful that our next administration will continue to provide leadership that supports our downtown development, ongoing economic development and smart land use especially in light of representing the 12th District.


Immigration

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Farms in the 12th District employ many immigrants, creating a need for avenues of communication.

Plan to Address it: I plan to investigate the processes that are in place at this time and enhance the communication efforts within the parameters of the law.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Supporting immigrants in our city.

Plan to Address it: I support immigrants both documented and undocumented. I believe that they, like all of our community members deserve the same safety and livelihood that our city provides in many ways. LFUCG’s Global Lex embraces this diverse population and provides many services that support our immigrants in navigating throughout our community. There are 162 plus languages spoken in Lexington for a total of 18% of population that have come from foreign countries.


Public Health

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: The opioid epidemic impacts the 12th District, as it impacts all of Lexington.

Plan to Address it: I plan to work with community partners to ensure treatment programs for the proper time period are available. We must also punish distributors and suppliers who illegally provide/overprescribe to the fullest extent of the law.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: Like most cities across the country, our biggest challenge within our public health arena is the opioid crisis. It impacts the safety our community as most crime related incidents in our city can be traced back to the use and need for drugs.

Plan to Address it: Addiction is a challenge and more education and access to recovery programs is paramount. We need to work with our jails to provide programs that could assist in in recovery.


Public Safety

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Resources for law enforcement.

Plan to Address it: I will always support our local law enforcement and advocate for the resources they need. I have made that clear, which is one of the reasons I am endorsed by the FOP. I plan to push for the budgeting of funds needed to open a fourth sector.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: I believe public safety is the number one priority for any city.

Plan to Address it: I have supported spending 62% of our annual budget on public safety. We have added 30 more police and will be adding a 4th police sector to assure that our public safety issues are proactively addressed.


Transportation

Monteia Owenby:

Most Significant Issue: Lack of access to public transportation.

Plan to Address it: Public transportation needs to be looked at as a whole due to the over 50% commuter rate. However, the 12th District has the least public transportation options to begin with. I plan to work with public transportation agencies to create a plan to provide 12th District residents with increased access.

Kathy Plomin:

Most Significant Issue: One of Lextran’s challenges is our community members perception of riding buses in Lexington, A recent project that deserves merit and could address this perception is the contractual financial relationship between Lextran and the University of Kentucky. The University now pays LexTran for passes for all UK faculty and staff to travel by bus to any location on their routes. Not only does arrangement gives thousands a bus transportation experience but also serves as a meaningful revenue pocket.

Plan to Address it: LexTran is and should continue to look at expanding that model to other higher educational institutions and also consider corporate contractual relationships. Although expensive, we need to again consider light rail especially on a regional cost share basis which has been on the table for quite a while. We need to look at other city’s programs for ride-sharing incentives.


Richard Young