Top Three Issue Priorities:
Education, Public Health, & Public Safety
Top Three Issue Priorities:
Education, Public Safety, & Transportation
Agriculture & Food Systems
Most Significant Issue: The 4th District is largely residential with some commercial and business. Several restaurants in the 4th District participate in the Ky Proud and Farm to Table Program.
Plan to Address it: I will continue to support the Local Food Coordinator position created to manage the Bluegrass Farm to Table Program.
Most Significant Issue: Having spoken to over a thousand voters all over the district, agriculture and food has never been listed as a concern. The 4th District does host The Summit at Fritz Farm, a commercial development which has a large percentage of locally-sourced food and Kentucky Proud restaurants, which we're grateful for. The closest potential issue I've heard would be ponds in Waterford that have been negatively impacted by nearby developments, and may need remediation. I will look into this once elected.
Plan to Address it: On the banks of the Waterford ponds, there are native plants that were installed with a grant that have been since poorly managed, and are now an eyesore that residents in the neighborhood are particularly unhappy with. I'll connect with the appropriate departments to see what should be done to remedy the situation.
Arts & Culture
Most Significant Issue: There is an opportunity with the neighborhood parks to create new art projects or cultural events.
Plan to Address it: The 4th District has numerous parks where we could work through our Div. of Parks and Recreation to create art projects to bring neighborhoods together . In some neighborhood parks such as Ecton Park, we host small venue concerts. I will look into bringing those same opportunities to the 4th District.
Most Significant Issue: We need to fully fund our public school system to prevent arts and music programs being cut. I believe Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) is the best in the state. No other school district I know of has the variety of educational options available for kids at all ends of the spectrum, from the most challenged, to the most gifted.
Plan to Address it: We need to add preschool to FCPS' purview, and begin the process of reducing the achievement gap. See more in the question on education or at www.barrysaturday.com.
Most Significant Issue: Walkability is an important concept for neighborhoods so that means we need contiguous sidewalks with well marked intersections for pedestrian safety.
Plan to Address it: We are adding contiguous sidewalks on Wilson Downing Road and looking at other areas that need to be addressed. Also we are checking intersections in the 4th District to make sure they are marked properly for pedestrian safety.
Most Significant Issue: We should ensure our parks are better-funded. The Division of Parks and Recreation does a great job with a variety of projects, from maintaining parks to running afterschool programs. The after-school programs could be expanded to give low-cost options to more parents district-wide, and our parks deserve better equipment.
Plan to Address it: Several parks have been renovated city-wide, but while the 7th District's Jacobson Park, the 9th District's Shillito Park, and others have seen improvements, the 4th District's parks have not received sufficient attention under either of the past two 4th District councilmembers.
Development & Housing
Most Significant Issue: The concept of Infill and redevelopment is important but also very concerning.
Plan to Address it: I would like to work with city planners and neighborhoods to identify what infill/redevelopment property looks like within our neighborhoods. Once we are able to recognize it, then we can discuss what type of development can be considered and how that could benefit or impact our neighborhoods. Having these discussions early on would be beneficial to neighborhoods so they can collaborate more when infill/redevelopment projects come forward.
Most Significant Issue: The cost of affordable housing city-wide is rising dramatically, putting a home within Lexington out of reach of many renters and buyers, and contributing to the gentrification that pushes low-income residents out of their homes. Additionally, our affordable housing trust fund is able to assist fewer and fewer residents as housing costs increase.
Plan to Address it: Expanding the city's Urban Services Boundary not only increases the availability of affordable housing, but opens up opportunities for quality employers to invest in Fayette County, increasing the availability of good jobs and tax revenue for the city. If we develop intelligently, we can create a dynamic, future-oriented Lexington that retains our farming culture and heritage.
Most Significant Issue: There are underutilized properties in the 4th District that could be developed and create jobs.
Plan to Address it: We need to have conversations with property owners and management companies so that they understand recently changed zoning laws that would allow them to develop with higher density on underutilized property.
Most Significant Issue: Economically, the 4th District is doing well. Malabu's The Venue and The Summit at Fritz Farm are both newly developed / redeveloped properties with a variety of modern businesses and residential property, and Baptist Health has recently completed a major renovation. Traffic congestion is a major complaint impacting business negatively, particularly on Nicholasville Rd and Tates Creek Rd. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan will increase congestion, and Council should reject it.
Plan to Address it: Promoting business by reducing traffic congestion will require two things: increasing stoplight timing along Nicholasville Rd to around three minutes. Second, reject the 2018 Comprehensive Plan's prioritization of development along the arterials. The plan is designed to increase traffic congestion on our primary roads, and will devastate 4th District small business. Email all councilmembers immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to reject the plan.
Most Significant Issue: Safety of our schools is a top priority for everyone.
Plan to Address it: I am encouraged by and support Fayette County Public Schools 10-Point Safety Investment Plan. I have strongly suggested there be a serious level of transparency for the use of taxpayers dollars for this Plan and glad that Fayette County Public Schools is publishing a status tracker with timelines, budgets and measures of progress. I will work with Superintendent Caulk and school principals to ensure our schools remain safe.
Most Significant Issue: Lack of early childhood education causes many children to fall far behind those with a quality pre-K program. As these students realize they are behind the others, they attempt to gain attention in less productive ways, and fall further behind. As the years pass, this achievement gap widens, and the students too often end up in a downward spiral of depression, drugs, or gangs. We can support our community by providing funding for FCPS' development of a preschool program for all kids.
Plan to Address it: Adding preschool to our public school setup is a proven way to reduce achievement gaps and increase positive outcomes for students. Funding this at the city level would cost less than half as much as LexTran (about $13.6M), and the cost would be passed on to FCPS over the course of 10-15 years. Removing the bus system's overhead would save taxpayers $17M, meaning we could fund the preschool program with the leftover funds after mass-transit patrons' ride-hailing subsidies are paid.
Environment & Energy
Most Significant Issue: Educating residents about energy initiatives and recognizing environmental issues are always important.
Plan to Address it: In 2006 the U.S. EPA and the Commonwealth of Ky filed a lawsuit against Lexington for violations of the Clean Water Act. The consent decree which was finalized in January 2011 requires the study, design and implementation of numerous construction projects to repair sewer pipes and to improve our stormwater system. We will continue to provide grant funds for businesses, schools and neighborhoods to undertake stormwater infrastructure and education projects.
Most Significant Issue: The 2018 Comprehensive Plan is doing three things: increasing traffic congestion which increases exhaust fumes, promoting tree canopy loss, and increasing stormwater issues. All this occurred recently at the Tates Creek Rd zone change in the Glendover neighborhood when a single-family home was demolished to make way for a development that was all but unanimously opposed by the church next door, the neighborhood association, and hundreds of residents who wrote in and/or voiced opposition to it.
Plan to Address it: As the current 4th District councilmember voted to move the 2018 Comprehensive Plan forward and also to approve a zone change over the objections of the neighborhood, 4th District residents are not currently well-represented. Voters electing new representation in the 4th will bring a voice that will support the voice of neighborhoods, and actively work to reduce congestion on Nicholasville Rd and Tates Creek Rd.
Most Significant Issue: I believe we are always working to improve ways to engage citizens, encourage them to get more involved and become more educated about how Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government runs. More importantly how the city uses your tax dollars to run the city and provide services.
Plan to Address it: We are working to host a boards and commissions event where citizens can learn about the various opportunities to serve our community. I want to continue supporting programs such as Leadership Lexington and Senior Intern Week where youth and adults learn about the operations of local government and new leaders are inspired each year.
Most Significant Issue: Some divisions of city employees are given much too broad scope with which to operate, and as I have learned, are not sharing long-term decisions with voters, or even council. This needs to be addressed, and I will work with council and the mayor to ensure leadership of each division realizes that the elected leaders of Lexington, and thereby the voters, must be informed of long-term planning goals and a consensus reached on how to attain them.
Plan to Address it: I will work with the mayor to ensure leadership of each division understands that the elected leaders of Lexington, and thereby the voters, must be informed of long-term planning goals and a consensus reached on how to attain them. Further, I will work with Council to create a long-term planning process that is inclusive, values the input of all stakeholders, and is communicated effectively.
Most Significant Issue: 4th District has a very diverse population. I am interested in making everyone feel welcome and to understand the resources that are available in our community.
Plan to Address it: I fully support the City's Office of Multicultural Affairs. This office also known as Global Lex provides multilingual assistance, cross-cultural education, citizenship classes, multilingual ESL Drivers Safety, and connection to trained interpreters and international communities through the city. We created a Mayor's International Affairs Advisory Commission to help understand concerning issues affecting foreign born residents of Lexington-Fayette County.
Most Significant Issue: The 4th District has less need of assistance with immigration issues than some others, particularly the farming areas in the 12th for example. As a whole, Lexington desperately needs worker visas so that those working on our horse farms and other places in the city have the ability to both live legally in the city, but also travel and pay taxes appropriately.
Plan to Address it: I will encourage council and our business community including agribusiness, to recommend to our elected leaders at the federal level to take up the issue and pass needed reforms that will increase local, state and national tax receipts and improve the lives of immigrants currently working here.
Most Significant Issue: I believe opioids, alcohol/drug abuse and mental health problems are very prevalent issues.
Plan to Address it: I fully support Mental Health Court which is an effective way to bring people up and out of addiction and mental health problems. We must continue identifying grant funding opportunities such as the recent $2 million over four years for the First Responders & Community Partners Overdose Prevention Project. We just completed an Opioids Misuse Resource and Needs Assessment so that will help us identify next steps also.
Most Significant Issue: Drug addiction, particularly opioids, is certainly the topic du jour regarding public health. We spend too much money each year on Narcan and emergency response and hospitalization of those addicted to these drugs.
Plan to Address it: To reduce supply, options include increasing law enforcement partnerships to interdict illegal drugs, adopting policy limiting the ability of local MDs to prescribe opioids, and limiting pharmacy opioid sales.
To reduce demand, we can increase funding for mental health treatment, criminal justice reform providing alternative recourse for crimes in which police have discretion, and funding voluntary treatment programs for those recovering.
Most Significant Issue: Drug addictions cause numerous public safety issues including personal property break-ins and vehicle thefts. Neighborhood cut-through traffic is also a public safety issue when drivers are not obeying the speed limits and stop signs.
Plan to Address it: We continue to educate neighbors about best practices to prevent vehicular break-ins and thefts. We encourage neighbors to report break-ins and thefts to the police so they can increase patrol as a deterrent. We request increased police patrol on neighborhood streets during peak hours for traffic safety and continue discussing traffic calming with our Div. of Traffic Engineering.
Most Significant Issue: Comparatively, the 4th District has relatively minor public safety concerns, which is a blessing. We do have a fair amount of petty theft, including car break-ins, some drug sales and abuse, but the police are regularly patrolling areas and largely, and the 4th District is overall a very nice place to live. As I go door-to-door listening to concerns, our residents are grateful for that.
Plan to Address it: Generationally, Lexington, including the 4th District, needs to remove the achievement gap in schools, and enjoy the resulting increase in opportunities for those who were born or raised in highly challenging or stressful environments. Starting public school at age 4 will create a better equipped and prepared workforce, which will be highly attractive to business investment and incentivize job production in the community. For more, see my answer on education or go to www.barrysaturday.com.
Most Significant Issue: The 4th District is bound by Tates Creek and Nicholasville Roads and there are numerous cut-through streets. During peak hour travel times, more cars choose to travel through the 4th District rather than stay on the main corridors.
Plan to Address it: We will continue to increase police presence to ensure those drivers obey the speed limits and stop signs. We also continue to discuss with Traffic Engineering possible traffic calming solutions. We have added more signage to ensure drivers know the speed limits and continue to update those signs within the neighborhoods. We want our neighborhoods to be a safe place for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as other drivers.
Most Significant Issue: The LexTran bus system is sparsely used, obsolete, ineffective, and inefficient, and a major source of traffic congestion during rush hour, particularly along Tates Creek Rd and Nicholasville Rd.
Plan to Address it: We can save taxpayers the $17M spent annually on busing, and reallocate it to allow transit patrons to use Uber. This on-call car service will provide better service for most users, and ensure citywide access. As Toyota recently decided to build driverless cars for Uber, supporting the greater Bluegrass economy and local manufacturing has never been easier. Contracting with Toyota, we can pilot their driverless car initiative, and generate a successful, and cost-effective long-term partnership.