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CivicLex Candidate Survey

District 6

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Angela Evans

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

Gabriel Wilburn

Top Three Issue Priorities:
Has not responded as of 9/21/2018


Agriculture & Food Systems

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: Most 6th district residents are within a short automobile ride to a nearby traditional large grocery store. However, some residents have expressed the desire to see more organic and specialty grocery stores within the district, like they see in other areas of town. 

Plan to Address it: Overall economic growth that will show the district has the income to spend on usually higher priced groceries will lead the discussion in attracting specialty and organic grocery stores to parts of the district. 

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: District 6 is primarily a developed area with little agricultural or farm land available. The residents rely strictly on the local supermarkets, restaurants, and convenience store for its nutritional intake. For lower and moderate-income residents they are at the liberty of the agricultural markets price and availability for food.

Plan to Address it: As population increases the focus for a sustainable future is required. We need to bring education and awareness as well as continue to cultivate existing programs such as community and urban gardens, local farmers markets, indoor growing containers, and small producers. We need to look at offering benefits to those residents and communities that increase agricultural output through these programs, and fund improvements much like the PDR programs for larger farms that surround our county.


Arts & Culture

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The most significant issue is continually reminding and encouraging the arts community that public art should be displayed beyond downtown.  Many residents in the 6th district enjoy the arts as much as those who live downtown and they should not always have to venture there to enjoy it.

Plan to Address it: There are venues conducive to art shows and smaller concerts outside of downtown that the art community should consider utilizing to engage more of the city and potentially add to its support and donor base.

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Although our District has a rich cultural history with Cadentown School, Hamburg Farm, the fort Bryan Station area, and the once amusement park of Joyland, it is surprising to know that we do not have a single cultural point of interest for residents to enjoy or visit. For our size, we do not have a community center, a library, an arts or science center, a museum, a technology center, or an all-weather shelter to host cultural or arts programs.

Plan to Address it: In my three-point EEI (Economic, Education, infrastructure) plan, one of the single most important focus areas is the creation of a public community center or point of interest like a museum, library, or technology center that will serve as a center for cultural experiences. Weather it is private or public funding, I feel it is the responsibility of the District Council rep to use their vote, influence, and connections to bring a much-needed resource to the residents of this community.


Community Design

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The most significant issue in the district is for the city to keep the realistic behavior and human nature of residents in mind when approving development plans for new neighborhoods and traffic requests by residents. Acknowledging that residents park on the streets even when they have a garage, and that it’s human nature to increase speed in and out of neighborhoods, should encourage streets from being built so narrow, which also results in cars parked on the street being hit by other drivers. 

Plan to Address it: I will continue my advocacy all fronts: drivers parking in driveway, wider streets and assisting neighbors with discussing various options for slowing down traffic through neighborhoods.   

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Half of our Districts border is outlined by the New Circle Road Corridor that is littered with traffic lights. This has become an economic issue that negates our residents of being able to move freely from one side of the city to the other, keeping them from having the ability to find higher paying jobs outside of its boundaries. It also acts as a deterrent that keeps other district residents from visiting or working for the local businesses on our side of town.

Plan to Address it: As population increases we must focus on a way to create an express way from one side of our city to the other. As part of the Infrastructure portion of my EEI plan for District 6 we must focus on finding a way to change the New Circle road corridor by making it “light free” or extending New Circle road exits at both Newtown to the interstate as well as Alumni road to the interstate. This will create a larger express way that would incorporate and connect New Circle RD, I-64, and I-75.


Development & Housing

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: A consistent issue in the district regarding development and housing in the 6th district is absentee/community un-invested landlords. 

Plan to Address it: Since the landlord is absent, I, along with the neighborhood association members must develop a relationship with residents who do not own the property and encourage them to become fully engaged and participate in the neighborhood. I would encourage further avenues of how that engagement could be extended.

(response edited for word count)

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: We must look at making affordable homes available to owner occupied residents. With Lexington's growth boundary, we see the home values increasing to a point that doesn’t match the affordability of our average income. Many neighborhoods are seeing those remaining affordable homes being purchased by investors for rental properties before being available to owner occupied residents on the open market. A first look program may be the answer to helping this issue.

Plan to Address it: 70 million of Fed, State, and Local tax money have gone to fund the purchase of development rights of Lexington's farm lands. Protecting our farms is important from an agricultural, cultural, and tourism perspective but I also feel this to be a one-sided approach. We need to look at funding developers and potential owner-occupied home owners in the same manor. Freddie Macs First Look programs have found success in other cities by giving owner occupied tenants first opportunity.


Economic Development

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The issue residents are very vocal about is the out-dated appearance of much of the New Circle corridor within the district. 

Plan to Address it: While the city can't require property owners to renovate simply for cosmetic purposes, it can require buildings and signs to comply with city ordinances. The sign ordinance has just been reviewed and education and enforcement of the new ordinances will change the appearance of some of the businesses. I will work closely with code enforcement, neighborhoods and local businesses to ensure they are well informed about the new ordinances and that they remain or come into compliance with them.

(response edited for word count)

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: The lack of a point of interest to bring out side dollars into our communities. For the size of our district we do not have a tourist attraction, a community center, museum, art or technology center, hospital, or anything that would entice residents of Lexington and surrounding counties the need to come visit us.

Plan to Address it: I plan to put pressure on the council to help recruit and promote our area to create a point of interest. Lets find a way to bring a Hospital, a museum, a community attraction, distillery, or tourist attraction to an already wonderful area.


Education

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The 6th district has the most public schools of any council district and they are all in need of more volunteers and more money for supplies for teachers but more importantly basic needs for their students.  Unfortunately, this is not an issue unique to the 6th district. 

Plan to Address it: I will continue to encourage residents neighboring schools to contact the Family Resource Center Coordinator of the nearby school and ask what need they can help meet.  I will also continue to serve on the Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Board which is charged with selecting effective  housing programs to fund with federal and city money.

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: We need to bridge the Gap between our two local High Schools Career Academies and the local communities and businesses. Many are starting to hear the success of the Lexington Academies Programs at Fredrick Douglas and Bryan Station High Schools, but it takes the whole community getting involved to help.

Plan to Address it: Bringing the community and local businesses together to help guide the curriculums that go into the professional certifications the students obtain while in high school will greatly improve our education for both college, professionally certified careers, and skilled trades.


Environment & Energy

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: (Note: the file that CM Evans sent was missing pages, we will update her post upon receipt)

Plan to Address it: (Note: the file that CM Evans sent was missing pages, we will update her post upon receipt)

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: We have some drainage issues in several neighborhoods and parks in the District that need to be looked at.

Plan to Address it: Press on the city to get engineers out to correct the issue.


General Governance

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: Lexington was ranked 4th on WalletHub’s 2018 Best Run Cities in America, which was based on operating efficiencies and quality of services. 

Plan to Address it: This ranking is supported by data collection, but the anecdotal evidence is also strong when speaking to new residents from large cities who sing Lexington’s praises for city services provided, general affordability to live here and overall good quality of life.

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: I am very pleased with the Comprehensive plan the city has put in place as a whole but I do not feel it is specific enough and thoroughly addresses the individual Districts improvements. It is a wholistic plan for the city.

Plan to Address it: I would like to see that each district have a requirement to create their own comprehensive plan that utilizes the community, its schools, and businesses that will guide who ever is in office to focus on the needs of that specific District


Immigration

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: Immigration in the 6th district is not any more of an issue than in Lexington as a whole. 

Plan to Address it: I support the efforts of GlobalLex, which has been an asset to Lexington in fostering partnerships in government and other areas for our growing international community. 

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Our district is home to both immigrants and refugees in need of a community center that can help them properly learn the correct steps toward legally becoming a citizen. Currently they have to leave their community to get any type of help.

Plan to Address it: One of my number one priorities is getting a funded, all weathered community center for the District. We do not have a Community, Art, Library, or Technology Center in all of the District, and that needs to change.


Public Health

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The public health issues of Lexington impact the 6th district equally, if not sometimes more significantly than other areas.  The cost of health care for chronic diseases and significant illnesses in general, often requires residents choosing between paying for medication or paying their mortgage or needed repairs to their home. This is a scenario I have seen within the district and throughout the city of Lexington.

Plan to Address it: The health of our citizens impacts us all and we must work in conjunction with the Health Department to encourage better lifestyles and support scientific programs that reduce health-risks for our citizens.

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Mosquitos! With the drainage problems in the area, we have seen a large increase of mosquitos. With the confirmed cases of West Nile in our District this needs to be addressed.

Plan to Address it: I would like to make sure we have a spraying program much like other cities, that spray on a regular basis, not just during time of increased reporting. Its time for it to be a regular scheduled activity to protect our citizens.


Public Safety

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The Neighborhood Resource Officer program has been a wonderful addition to the police department and it provides citizens with a police officer they can have direct contact with who they know will respond directly to their neighborhood needs, in the most professional manner.  The Neighborhood Resource Officer program is essential to developing and maintaining positive relationships between the community and the Lexington Police Department and I will encourage the expansion of the program.

Plan to Address it: I will continue to support, promote and work with the police Neighborhood Resource Officers assigned to the 6th district. 

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Many of our major roads are in need of complete walkways. Too often when traveling our area you will see pedestrians and bikers having to share the road with vehicles moving at speeds of 45 mph or higher.

Plan to Address it: When looking at the numerous projects that are making the city of Lexington amazing, we need to look at how we connect our pedestrians and bikers to the public parks and tails. The only safe way to enjoy these additions is drive to a trail head, park, and then walk or bike. We need to combine the parks and trail budgets with connectivity projects to make sure every community has a safe pathway to these trails and parks


Transportation

Angela Evans:

Most Significant Issue: The transportation needs of the 6th district are similar to that of Lexington as a whole. 

Plan to Address it: The public transportation system is not convenient to most residents within the 6th district. 

Gabriel Wilburn:

Most Significant Issue: Much like my answer for Community design, our inability to move freely around the city due to the stop lights along New Circle road is no longer a transportation issue. We need to begin looking at it as an Economic issue.

Plan to Address it: We need to continue pushing for creating a new express way connecting our Interstate access to New Circle Rd or, redesigning our New Circle Road corridor, or creating a brand new express way! As our population grows, better traffic light patterns are a band aid and not a solution.


Richard Young