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CivicLex Candidate Survey

District 11

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Sandy Shafer

Top Three Issue Priorities:
Arts & Culture, Community Design,
& Economic Development

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Jennifer Reynolds

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


Agriculture & Food Systems

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: The need for a study that would look at pockets where Sustainable Agriculture could be achieved. There are many homes that have chickens and roosters, which are causing tensions between neighbors. However, non- traditional farming could easily happen as there are many people who garden. Having a discussion about all parts of this topic could increase interest and decrease problem areas.

Plan to Address it: To partner with UK and interested neighbors to begin designing a Plan of Sustainable Gardening. Also we would want to continue to support the Farmer's Market with G2 Greater Gardenside.

Jennifer Reynolds

Most Significant Issue: In the 11th District we are fortunate to have many grocers and unique restaurants that nourish our residents. It is vital that every resident have access to affordable food. Glean Kentucky also has several distribution points in our district which makes nutritious free food available to all.

Plan to Address it: In terms of agriculture, I see the preservation of our rural areas and horse farms as a priority to maintain our city’s tourism niche, and agriculture and equine industries.


Arts & Culture

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: The 11th District is having its own Community Center. In the "Oxford Circle Redevelopment Feasibility Study" lead by Councilmember Henson, a community center at the cost of $2.6 million was recommended. I have seen across the city, how other community centers have offered "a place" for families and children to grow, study, celebrate and learn. It would be invaluable for our diverse population in this area.

Plan to Address it: Establish a "Blue Ribbon" committee of Stake Holders that would assist, direct and guide the beginning phases of this project through completion.

Jennifer Reynolds

Most Significant Issue: The 11th district is rich in culture and we have so much to offer the rest of Lexington.

Plan to Address it: As an artist and world citizen who is currently collaborating with LexArts, Bluegrass Youth Ballet, and the Foundation for Latin American Culture and Arts in my district, I believe promoting and expanding upon the art and culture that make our district unique and working on having beautiful cohesive corridors our are biggest needs. I will use my cultural and arts contacts to do this!


Community Design

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: The implementation of the 2015 Oxford Circle Feasibility Study. This study is part of the Cardinal Valley Small Area Plan. Included in the study is the need for a Community Center and a space for a larger Village Branch Library. This study is in the 2013 Comp Plan and was ranked highest in significance by the public for potential action.

Plan to Address it: Establish a "Blue Ribbon" committee of Stake Holders that would assist, direct and guide the beginning phases of this project through completion.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: Three significant issues are starting construction on the Versailles Rd. corridor project, revitalizing Oxford Cir., and responsible infill development.

Plan to Address it: I will fight to make the Versailles Rd. corridor project a priority to our city and state government to secure the funding needed to finish it. I will work to bring our communities together in order to revitalize Oxford Cir. and ensure responsible infill development throughout the district.


Development & Housing

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: The age and condition of many of the older apartment units in the Versailles Road / Alexandria Drive area. The units are under management groups or have out-of-town owners and there is little incentive to invest and upgrade to higher standards. This degradation of property leads to crime and unsafe activity which is a cycle that seems to have no end.

Plan to Address it: Start an 11th District Landlord's group. This Landlord group could meet regularly, have speakers to educate on issues and just have a meet and greet. Just getting a few together could provide for a healthy discussion on property values and increased investment. The networking could reach beyond Lexington to out-of-town Landlords to apply pressure or for local purchase of buildings and properties.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: Our residents want to maintain the balance and diversity that gives our community its character.

Plan to Address it: As councilwoman, I will have tough conversations regarding development and work with code enforcement, managers, owners, and developers to raise the standard on the quality of housing in the district and discourage illegal activity. I will use my bridge building skills to navigate these discussions because making sure everyone has a safe place to live is important in creating a thriving community.


Economic Development

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: Implementation of the Oxford Circle Feasibility Study. The implementation of this plan alone would be a game-changer. Currently the Lexington Library is beginning its process to access the needs of its branches and facilities. The timing is right to proceed with plans to acquire land, purchase buildings for adaptive reuse and find necessary funding to implement this study, which has been approved.

Plan to Address it: Establish a "Blue Ribbon" committee of Stake Holders that would assist, direct and guide the beginning phases of this project through completion.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: Lexington has many economic strengths: agriculture, equine, high tech, healthcare, and professional services. Our biggest issue concerning economic development is not straying from what makes our city’s economy unique.

Plan to Address it: If we focus on these industries that already set Lexington apart from similar cities by strengthening them and encouraging more growth within these sectors, our economy will grow. If we lose sight of what makes Lexington special, we endanger our economic success.


Education

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: Additional support for Cardinal Valley School. Cardinal Valley Elementary, in 2017, was ranked 32nd of 34 schools in Fayette County. The school has 94% of the children on free lunch. The population is 73% Hispanic, 13.9% White and 10.5% black. The student teacher ratio is in the top 11 of Fayette County schools.

Plan to Address it: Meet with Principal Kevin Disney, and others in leadership to develop a plan of action.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: I have been an educator in the performing arts for 17 years. I’ve seen the importance of high quality youth programing outside of school. I’ve worked with many youth centered organization including Partners for Youth.

Plan to Address it: As a city, we need to continue to foster the joy of learning and provide lifelong educational opportunities for all ages. Though city government has no jurisdiction over public schools, I will support them and teachers any way I am able as well.


Environment & Energy

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: Need for protection of our natural resources. Within the District are two watersheds and several natural areas. Wolf Run Creek, Preston Springs, McConnell Springs, and Vaughn's Branch. These natural areas need protection and water quality monitoring along with organized cleanups. Energy usage could be helped with the planting of more street trees and just trees in general.

Plan to Address it: Partner with Friends of Wolf Run Creek, LFUCG Division of Environmental Services to develop a plan of action. Also applying for grants from KU or KAWC to plant trees would Tree-mendous.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: I am impressed with the 11th District neighborhood associations and Friends of Wolf Run who have sponsored many creek clean-ups and restoration projects to protect the creek banks.

Plan to Address it: Recently, I toured the Wolf Run Watershed and support their desire to have a healthy, clean watershed. However, overall we are not making big enough strides towards becoming an energy efficient and cleaner city. I will work with local groups to make that change!


General Governance

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: When thinking about the LFUCG as a whole the issues I have with how the city is governed is on the shoulders of each individual. How well you know the issues, how much you are willing to learn, be involved and to understand the issues is huge. We are policy makers and it takes commitment, compromise and courage to make good policy. Reading documents, attending meetings, taking action is all left up to the person you elect.

Plan to Address it: My specific plan to tackle the issues I see with how the city is governed is to work my hardest for the two years I am elected and get back up and do it again.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: In attending various city meetings, I have seen a disparity of representation of residents based on race, social status, and demographics.

My Plan to Address it: Acknowledging and addressing this is extremely important because a few people from similar demographics are representing the masses. Often those making decisions in local government are not in touch with the average Lexitonian and how their decisions may affect them. The city lacks in communicating effectively with all its residents.


Immigration

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: The issue of legal status. Immigration is a complex issue and the 11th District has the highest Hispanic population. Many have brought their families, have their businesses here and have made significant changes. America is their home and Lexington is their city and the 11th District is where they reside. Welcome home!

Plan to Address it: Have bi-lingual services available at the District level. I would like to meet with families, church groups, individuals through invitation or meetings to grasp the complexity of each unique situation. Families Belong Together. Also working at the Mayors level I would like to develop a plan with the Multicultural Affairs office to broaden the outreach. This is not just a district issue but a city-wide issue.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: The 11th district is home to the KY Refugees Ministry, Global Lex, as well as a growing Hispanic population. Welcoming immigrants into our community is important for a healthy Lexington. I believe the biggest issue is the fragmentation of people of different ethnicities.

Plan to Address it: I want to bring people together to tackle common issues. Only when we can communicate with one another we can solve the complex issues of our community.


Public Health

Sandy Shafer

Most Significant Issue: Use of drugs, heroin and opioids. Drugs is the leading cause of violence and crime, and Kentucky ranks high in the number of deaths to drug use. The 11th District is on the front line of this activity and needs citywide help to intervene. This is a devastating epidemic and has no regard for economic status, age or race.

Plan to Address it: Add follow up with each opioid arrest or overdose with the help of a Social Worker. Social Workers work in a holistic way and are in a unique position to reach out in prevention, intervention and recovery. They provide services in all settings - schools, at home, work places and agencies of all kinds. This would be a fiscal matter and could be added to the budgetary process for FY 20.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: Residents tell me their biggest concern is the drug epidemic. It is important that we address the root cause that brings people into drug use.

Plan to Address it: I want to work together with the Police Department to bring One Lexington to the 11th district, support needle exchange programs with the Health Department, and spread the word about the great resources of Substance Abuse and Violence Intervention (SAVI). I will continue to support youth programing that will provide positive, healthy opportunities.


Public Safety

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: Have the 4th Sector added to the Division of Police. Lexington has experienced large growth over the last decade, with our population reaching 320K. With the development and growth in the Hamburg area, the fourth sector would provide more of an opportunity to have Community Policing across the county. This holistic approach of policing works best when officers truly know and are known by those that live in the area.

Plan to Address it: Support recommendations from the Division of Police as they make steps to implement the 4th Sector.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: Lack of communication in our district is our biggest challenge.

Plan to Address it: I’ve spoken to Chief Weathers encouraging the Lexington Police Department to continue to build trusting relationships with our community. I have been a part of conversations recently and plan to host more opportunities for open dialogue between officers and residents to bridge the communication gaps that currently exist so that we can work together to prevent and stop crime.


Transportation

Sandy Shafer:

Most Significant Issue: Have MORE bus routes throughout the District to accommodate growth. One route would go from Tates Creek to Newtown using Alexandria Drive and connecting roads. Additional routes need to be reviewed so that travel time is not 2 hours each way but gets people to work and home in a timely fashion.

Plan to Address it: Talk and work with LexTran. Finding riders that could give information would be important in connecting all the dots.

Jennifer Reynolds:

Most Significant Issue: The biggest issue is a lack of education for bicycle and pedestrian safety on the major corridors as well as speeding in our neighborhoods.

Plan to Address it: I will work with the State Department of Transportation to make signage clear, and hold informational sessions in the district to help people understand the state transportation laws which will make our corridors and neighborhoods more safe for all.


Richard Young