The city of Lexington will have its first commissioner dedicated primarily to planning, if the Urban County Council approves Mayor Jim Gray's appointment next week. Dr. Derek Paulsen, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, has been named as the city's first planning commissioner - a position Mayor Jim Gray envisioned as part of his "Fresh Start Plan" during his campaign. Paulsen, who has a background in urban planning and crime analysis issues, says he's interested in bringing together Lexington's splintered planning and development agencies.
"Historic preservation, PDR, planning department, and building inspection... trying to get them together is going to be part of the job and that's really just trying to make sure that we're all communicating well," Paulsen says.
Paulsen says he'll be also be involved in the Arts and Entertainment District project downtown, but also in cultivating neighborhoods across the city with a the goal of enhancing what he calls "livability." Paulsen's appointment is subject to council approval. His confirmation hearing is scheduled for February 16th.