Lexington City Council

kentucky.com

Lexington’s city hall is likely to be a bit quieter this week, as council members continue on their summer break.  A couple of issues, one a tradition every year and another, a newer hot topic will be first on the agenda come August.

kentucky.com

The future of Lexington’s city hall has been a topic of discussion for many years.  It’s been talked about off and on, but never gotten on a council docket for action.  That could change this summer.  But, it remains a difficult issue on which to get consensus.

The city hall talk turned much more serious this year when the call went out for proposals from developers.  Four were given consideration and an independent committee recommended a city hall move, through a lease arrangement, to the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Midland Avenue and Main Street. 

Stu Johnson

Lexington council members Thursday got more details about the land-street swap deal between city government and the University of Kentucky.  

 

 

 

The plan, already endorsed by the UK board, could come before council for final approval in the next few weeks.

 

kentucky.com

A long standing debate over a proposed cell tower in northern Fayette County has taken another turn.  The urban county council took action Tuesday.

The Lexington council voted to reject placing a cell tower on property off Iron Works Pike.  Knox Van Nagell Pfister appeared before council, representing the Mount Brilliant horse farm. “So the question is not if an additional cell tower is built, but where.  And 3360 Huffman Mill Road is simply too close to our farm residences and their families for comfort,” said Pfister.

Stu Johnson

Beginning later this summer, many of Lexington’s homeless will be able to access free public transportation for a year.  The new program called upLIFT aims at increasing self-sufficiency.

Polly Ruddick oversees the city’s efforts to address homelessness.

She told the city council Tuesday that access to Lextran reduces barriers to employment, childcare, healthcare, and housing.  She says participants must be living in a shelter or transitional housing and  working with a case manager on a plan for a permanent home.

Lexington Council Discusses Budget Modifications

May 24, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are discussing modifications to Mayor Jim Gray’s recommended budget for next year.  One issue brought up during Thursday’s Council Committee meeting was the need and cost of a new shelter for the city’s police dogs.  

Stu Johnson

Former Lexington Council Member Linda Gorton was the clear cut winner in yesterday’s mayoral Primary Election.  Gorton and former Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin will now compete in the fall for the top government job.

Gorton’s supporters showed their appreciation as she stepped down from the podium after her victory speech last night.

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are considering spending more money on neighborhood repaving.  The Council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee supported the plan Tuesday.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is suggesting $12 million dollars be set aside for street paving next year.  The current budget calls for 42 percent of funding to go toward local neighborhood streets.  Public Works Commissioner Dowell Hoskins-Squier says the yet to be voted on budget dedicates 65 percent of the funds to neighborhood streets.

kentucky.com

Lexington council members Tuesday discussed whether the public should be made more aware when firefighters or police officers are up for disciplinary measures.

Member Angela Evans moved that any actions should be listed on meeting dockets presented to council.  “I’m not asking for any names.  I’m not asking for any kind of identifying information.  But simply notification to the public that disciplinary action will be presented to this council,” said Evans.

lexingtonky.gov

Lexington’s city council is set to approve a 10-year master plan for community parks. It’s been two years in the making and involved 3000 citizens.

The parks master plan is a guidebook for things like programs, facilities, operations, and land acquisition.  Consultant Pat Hoagland  made a presentation to the council Tuesday. “It’s not just a capital facilities plan.  That’s what a lot of people will focus on.  It focuses on the next ten years and beyond,” said Hoagland.

Stu Johnson

Four candidates for Lexington mayor fielded questions last night at a forum sponsored by Operation Turnout and the People’s Campaign Community Network.

Former Vice-Mayor Linda Gorton told those in the Central Library’s Farrish Theater she’s been an honest public servant and a collaborative leader who’s brought people together to find consensus. “I have a proven record with those kinds of traits and they’re just part of me, so that’s how I operate,” said Gorton.

lexingtonky.gov

Lexington city leaders have quizzed local law enforcement and a prosecutor on criminal gang activity.  There was a presentation Tuesday on the Project Safe Neighborhood Program.

Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn told members of a council committee that a critical component of the program is identifying high risk offenders.  “Your law enforcement community, your state, local, and federal law enforcement community and your prosecutors in this county are working together like they’ve never worked together before,” said Red Corn.

Lexington Council Begins Budget Review

Apr 17, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington’s city council got a more thorough explanation of Mayor Jim Gray’s budget funding rationale during a workshop Tuesday at city hall.  

kentucky.com

Lexington Council Member Jennifer Mossotti says Mayor Jim Gray’s suggested investment to fund a monument celebrating the history of women was, quote, “a better number than I expected.”  Gray proposed $100,000 go toward the initiative.  

Mossotti says the city money will be augmented through private fundraising.  “We do a lot of private fundraising.  We’re going to deal with other entities throughout the community.  By 2020 we are going to have in place a monument or some public art that will be dedicated to women in Lexington,” said Mossotti.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has named a veteran law enforcement officer to head the Division of Police.  A packed city hall lobby welcomed the news that Lawrence Weathers will be the city’s new police chief.

Mayor Jim Gray noted the community support before offering his formal remarks. “I will tell you something right out of the gate Lawrence, before we even talk that, this is by far the largest crowd that we have ever had in this room,” said Gray to an applauding audience.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has offered his eighth ‘State of the City’ address to city, civic, and business leaders Tuesday.  The two term mayor spent much time recapping his seven years in office.

Gray talked about going from financial straits to budget surpluses, expanding the convention center and building an eye-catching park in the heart of downtown. 

 

Stu Johnson

Former Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton is entering the race for urban county government’s top job. 

Gorton, who spent 16 years on the city council, made her entry into the mayor’s race Tuesday morning before a group of supporters downtown. “I will roll up my sleeves, work tirelessly toward consensus and unity, be respectful of all opinions, and see issues through to common sense solutions,” offered Gorton.

Gorton says part of that work will be finding ways for cities to help with state pension reforms.

Lexington Leaders Look for New Tourism Strategies

Dec 11, 2017
kentuckytourism.com

Lexington is developing new ways to draw tourists to the central Kentucky community. The council recently got briefed on a Destination Development Plan.

WEKU file photo

About a dozen refugees have seasonal jobs with the Lexington government.  

Workforce Development Manager Elodie Dickinson told council members this week that refugees have helped with leaf collection in the streets and roads department.  She says it’s part of a pilot program designed to build job skills. “To try to help them gain some work experience and gain some work referrals, references.  So, that they can move to a different position maybe with another seasonal position within the city or a permanent position,” said Dickinson.

Stu Johnson

A number of recommendations for improving accessibility to buildings in Lexington were brought before council members yesterday.  Much of the emphasis was on pre-construction planning.


kentucky.com

Lexington’s business umbrella organization continues to focus on seven targeted commercial sectors.  Questions about business priorities came up during a recent presentation by Commerce Lexington.

 

kentucky.com

The future of economic development in Lexington will be under review Tuesday at City Hall.

Members of the council’s Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee will hear from Commerce Lexington, the local umbrella organization representing a wide variety of businesses. 


Lexington Council Discusses Bike Lane Development

Nov 20, 2017
lexingtonky.gov

Lexington council members have discussed the timing and location for the development of new bike lanes in Fayette County. 

The matter came before the Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee last week.


uky.edu

Lexington’s council is expected to move Tuesday onto it’s docket the goals and objectives for the 2018 comprehensive plan.  It’s this document that will help coordinate growth over the next five years.


Stu Johnson

On the day after Mayor Jim Gray announced a "conditional yes" by the Lexington Cemetery Board to accept two Confederate statues urban county council members offered their reactions. 

All their public remarks yesterday indicated satisfaction for how the matter is being handled.

Audio Pending...

nps.gov

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is asking the board at a local cemetery to consider placement of two Confederate statues on its historic burial grounds. 

A letter dated August 24 making such a request went to the General Manager of Lexington Cemetery Mark Durbin.


kentucky.com

Lexington leaders are considering ways to help ensure fire trucks and ambulances don’t encounter any parked car delays in getting to those in need.  

Council members heard Tuesday about a proposal to limit some neighborhood parking to one side of the street.


Lexington Council Votes to Move Confederate Statues

Aug 18, 2017
Stu Johnson

Lexington's council has voted to proceed with plans to move two Confederate statues from a historic downtown site.

Next steps include asking the Kentucky Military History Commission for permission to relocate the statues. 


Stu Johnson

countu

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to back Mayor Jim Gray’s plan to move two Confederate statues from the old historic courthouse grounds. 

Where to move them looms as a large question.


kentucky.com

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will ask the urban county council this week to petition the state to relocate two confederate monuments that stand in the heart of downtown.   

In a Youtube video released Sunday, Mayor Gray said his family has ties to America’s Civil War.

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