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2020 Voter General Election Guide

CivicLex and Fayette Alliance have partnered with eleven local community organizations to provide a voter information center for the upcoming 2020 elections in Lexington-Fayette County, available online at Lex.Vote. This voter center includes a ballot generator based on address, a candidate questionnaire distributed to the all LFUCG Council candidates (for both contested and uncontested seats), and a guide to voting in the November 3, 2020 election.

Visit Lex.Vote

Voting Options in 2020

We collectively wrote this questionnaire with community partners to ask City Council candidates to address major issues impacting Lexington that can be affected by Council decisions.


Candidate Forums:

The LexVote coalition hosted series of forums with each of the candidates for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council as well as candidates running unopposed.


Candidate Questionnaires:

JUMP TO CANDIDATE:

District 3: 

Hannah LeGris / Jessica Mohler

District 4:

Susan Lamb

District 5:

Liz Sheehan / Bill Farmer, Jr.

District 6:

David Kloiber

District 8:

Christian Motley / Fred Brown (did not respond)

District 9:

Whitney Baxter / Willy Fogle

District 11:

Jennifer Reynolds

District 12:

Kathy Plomin


JUMP TO TOPIC:

 

District Major Issue / Racial Inequality / Budget Shortfalls / Urban Growth / Housing Issues / COVID-19 Recovery
Public Safety / Social Services / The Economy / Redistricting / Agriculture / Transportation / Public Participation

1. What do you see as the single most important issue facing your district?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- In the coming year we have to overcome an economic crisis and budgetary shortfall. As we work to maintain essential operations, I want the city to make strategic investments that keep people employed, healthy, and safe. This means being responsible stewards of our available resources, fulfilling our existing obligations and project commitments, focusing our policies to be more people-centric, and equitably investing for the needs of everyone to create a more fair and sustainable community.
  • Jessica Mohler- Growth. The 3rd District feels the brunt of Lexington’s growth. And with growth comes disparity. From affordable housing and spatial inequality to preserving older neighborhoods’ identities, while addressing economic segregation in neighborhoods and schools, each decision around growth must be seen through a SMART and EQUITABLE prism. I believe we can take care of current residents and welcome new neighbors. I will always prioritize working to make sure ALL of our city’s population is served.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- The single most important issue facing the 4th District is traffic management in the neighborhoods. During the pandemic while more families are working from home, it is even more important that residents feel safe in their neighborhoods. The 4th District is bound by Tates Creek Road and Nicholasville Road 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.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- Under normal circumstances, smart growth and development would be my primary area of focus. However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic present the most pressing issue. The pandemic has highlighted many long-standing issues. We are witnessing residents getting ill-some dying; neighbors losing jobs and businesses; residents facing foreclosure, eviction, and food insecurity; and our children, educators, and parents adapting to new methods of education.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Continued safety and security throughout.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- As with most of Lexington, I feel that the single largest issue facing my district is that of affordable housing. When I am elected to the council I hope to reinforce existing policies like the Affordable Housing Fund and look for partnerships in the community to help address this issue citywide.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Since knocking our first door last November, we have had many conversations with residents. We have found that voters in the 8th District want government to perform basic functions well, responsive communication with neighbors, and an intentional strategy to support youth. Additionally, we face revenues devastated by the economic slowdown and neighborhoods destabilized due to COVID, and the challenge to repair the breach between law enforcement and community.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Traffic is our most pressing issue. Most importantly, school related traffic at Jessie Clark Middle School and Wellington Elementary. Additionally, Nicholasville Road is one of the busiest in the state with seventy-five thousand travelers per day. The New Circle interchange is unsafe and needs attention.
  • Willy Fogle- Public safety and security concerns. My priority will be to see that our neighborhoods enjoy safe and secure conditions to lead their daily lives. It is essential to ensure we have enough well-trained, well-equipped officers on our streets to help you when you need it most, and that our public safety efforts are up to the expected standards of our citizens. My goal will be to serve on the Council’s Planning & Public Safety Committee.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- While there are various challenges that I could mention, and I see them all as important, I believe the most critical issue is the drug epidemic. It affects the health, crime, and safety of the district, just to name a few things. It is a very complex issue that can not be easily tackled, still it touches most residents one way or another.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- Growth. The 12th District makes up 73% of the land mass in Fayette County. There is ongoing pressure to expand Urban Service Boundary that was established in 1958 to contain urban sprawl and protect the rural area, home to our world known horse farms, farmland and natural resources. Since that time the boundary has been expanded several times, the last being in 1996, with the addition of 5400 acres, including the Hamburg area. The most recent 2018 Comprehensive Plan did not include any expansion.

What is your plan to address this issue?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- Mayor Gorton and the council have worked hard to devote resources for housing insecure residents in this year’s budget. The next step should be to allocate money supporting local businesses and their employees. If elected, I will work to direct state and federal dollars to a local business fund to provide more options for those at-risk. It is critical that we help residents stay employed and stable for individual well-being and also to benefit the city’s economic foundation and tax base.
  • Jessica Mohler- Growth is only sustainable when it is done with an equitable framework in mind. I am committed to advocating for initiatives that help decrease economic disparity while listening to all perspectives before making decisions surrounding growth and development. I will work to bring ALL voices to the table to hear each perspective on growth in order to champion initiatives that mitigate economic and racial inequality.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- We request police presence to ensure those drivers obey the speed limits and stop signs. We also continue to work with neighborhoods and Traffic Engineering to work through the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan implementing traffic calming solutions. We continue to add 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.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- With the added stress on our already-strained budget, thoughtful leadership and creative partnerships, not across-the-board cuts, will be required to ensure we are meeting our community’s basic needs. We need to continue working with state legislators to increase our revenue sources, maximize federal/state funding designed to alleviate economic strains, consider what expenses are necessary, and be prepared to use more of our contingency fund.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Whether that be advancing sewer repairs faster than the pavers can finish it, to enhancing senior benefits beyond the still new Senior Center in Idle Hour Park or slowing things down with signage, traffic calming and enforcement.
    Listen for inclusiveness. Learn the root need. Lead with answers that work!

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- I am committed to getting results for our district with high quality constituent service. We are keeping neighbors updated on items like COVID testing locations and details on Tates Creek campus construction. And I’m engaged in ongoing work to support youth and meet equity challenges, for example, as a member of the United Way’s Community Impact Taskforce and the Bluegrass Community Foundation’s advisory committee overseeing deployment of resources to combat economic disparities and racial bias.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter-  To address school traffic, I would have crosswalk signals similar to what is seen at Rosa Parks Elementary installed. Nicholasville Road requires a much larger plan. I will continue to support the Imagine Nicholasville Road initiative and look forward to community input to develop a plan together.
  • Willy Fogle- My priority will be to see that our neighborhoods enjoy safe and secure conditions to lead their daily lives. It is essential to ensure we have enough well-trained, well-equipped officers on our streets to help you when you need it most, and that our public safety efforts are up to the expected standards of our citizens. My goal will be to serve on the Council’s Planning & Public Safety Committee.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- This is a very large issue that faces the city, state, and nation. On a local level I am trying to work with the Mayor’s office on how specific populations in the 11th can have access to recovery and the resources they need. I have worked closely with Police to address narcotics problems in the 11th. I would like to expand the paramedicine program to address mental health and substance abuse disorder because access to healthcare and resources are lacking.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- I currently serve on the Infill and Redevelopment Committee and we are looking at various ways to accommodate more growth within the USB. Most recently Council approved a Floor Area Ratio, a Zone Ordinance Text Amendment that will increase density in multi-family housing in specific zones, providing more opportunities for expanded housing opportunities and increased affordable housing within the USB. We must continue to look at creative and strategic ways to grow within the USB.

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2. Given your understanding of Lexington’s long and complicated history around racial injustices, what do you plan to do to directly address inequality and its root causes in our city?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris-We can take meaningful steps to reduce structural racism in several ways including:

    Create sunshine policies within LFUCG for transparency to ensure that all residents are treated fairly, regardless of ethnicity or orientation

    Community-led review groups for local government agencies

    Expand partnerships with organizations like the Urban League, KCTC, & Workforce Development to provide education, job training, and affordable housing to assist those who have suffered from discrimination

  • Jessica Mohler- I will always listen to and follow the lead of those most directly impacted by racial inequality. To that end, as a councilmember, I will support the NAACP and local Black faith leaders’ stipulations that Lexington has 15% minority representation in city contracts. The current Commission for Racial Justice & Equality must be a permanent government department with a direct revenue stream to help develop and track equity-related metrics. Such data will identify where the city is failing BIPOC.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- First step, realization that racial injustice does exist in our community. The Mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality recommendations will be one of many steps to understand how our community moves forward on addressing the racial injustices. I look forward to engaging in conversations with community members to discuss the recommendations as well as other thoughts and plans.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- I believe that it is important that we are always forward looking when it comes to the issues and concerns that affect our citizens. As a council member I will do my best to address any and every issue of inequality that is brought before us during my time in office, with an eye towards preventing their recurrence in the future.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- Addressing racism must start with listening. The Mayor’s commission has met since July, including subcommittees of residents and professionals from across Lexington. We should listen to their suggestions and those of our communities of color and then act swiftly. To increase transparency, we can set up a website to list an action plan, metrics, and regular progress reports. We can appoint a dedicated person to oversee this work. We also need to work to engage more of the public in government.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- While STEM is good those graduates need to become active business owners and entrepreneurs in their own right. To me a long-term, well thought out partnership with the entities like the Urban League would bare the most fruit. We must lead by example, demand better from our community and innovate. I am also a proponent for meeting out in the community so folks can have better access to their local government.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Defeating systemic racism is bigger than any one of us, and reaches across sectors and lived experiences. Creating a community where we all know we belong will take a commitment to economic inclusion, fundamental fairness in our justice system, and investing in public spaces where we can connect across differences. As a council member, I will be committed to all three, but I also recognize that creating a community of belonging will take us all.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- I agree that systemic racism is present in our community and I’m proud we are taking steps to recognize and correct these injustices. The Mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality is already making a difference because we are taking the time to talk through the issues. I will work with the community to address policies related to education, finance, and law enforcement. Most importantly, I will continue to speak out and demand equality for all.
  • Willy Fogle- My first step will always be to keep an open mind and to seek out and listen to all voices in the district and in the community. The ongoing message must be made clear that in Lexington, racism, intolerance, injustice, discrimination, and hate will not be tolerated. I will fight to ensure our policies, practices, and norms offer equal opportunity and prosperity for all.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- Now is the time to adress injustices! I’ve already been working with a few other CMs to put several items in the Planning and Public Safety Committee that look at city and Police policy around equity and racial justice. I have made suggestions for the local CBA negotiations. I plan to consider recommendations coming out of the Mayor’s Commissions for Racial Justice and Equity. I have been asking lots of questions and want to come up with policies that leads to real change for people of color!

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- The Mayor recently established a Commission on Racial Disparity on which I served. The Commission will be presenting their work in mid-October. There will be action steps and a timetable, not more “talk”There needs to be more “voice” from black and hispanic community members at decision making levels. In addition our community needs to be educated on these disparities and our role in correcting them

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3. In recent years Lexington’s budget obligations have outpaced its ability to generate revenue. In the FY 20/21 budget, this has dramatically impacted everything from economic development to social services. What strategies do you recommend to address revenue shortages while balancing spending priorities?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- There was already a budget shortfall before COVID-19, illustrating the importance of careful tax forecasts. At present, we can create new tax districts and consider a small single-time user fee. I also support participatory budgeting so residents have an increased say in how the LFUCG allocates funds and ensure that costs are distributed equitably. In the future, we should continue to advocate through the legislative delegation for changes in Frankfort to explore future revenue options.
  • Jessica Mohler- COVID-19 has shown the importance of diversifying revenue streams. I will explore many options to balance revenue with spending needs, such as restructuring the taxation system so the bulk of revenue is not coming from one source; renegotiating state agreements and contracts to give equity across government organizations; and examining public safety funds to find ways some departments could contract directly with organizations whose services they rely upon, such as Arbor Youth and GreenHouse17.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- It is a known fact that Kentucky local governments are limited in the revenue options. We need to continue pushing our State Legislators to pass legislation that allows more local options. We need to continue looking for ways to provide services in a more cost-effective manner. We have learned about cost savings on operations while so many employees are teleworking so we need to review those savings and see if there are operations that we need to continue for cost effectiveness.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- We must have honest conversations about the priorities we collectively advance as we face budget strains. I will advocate for continued support to address affordable housing, our nonprofits, and the basics of governing. In order to attract revenue-generating high paying jobs we must focus on policies demonstrating the strength of our community. We can work to increase our revenue by building relationships with state legislators and lobbying for changes in the laws controlling our revenue sources.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- For the last two budgets we have effectively spent ourselves smaller. The current budget relied too heavily on “one time” funds. One perhaps opportunity of the pandemic is the ability to look at the budget and the income strategies behind it in a whole new light. We need to re-center on what we need to deliver as a city and then begin a different kind of budget process to accommodate that demonstrated need.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- The city budget is a large concern of mine, and I am looking forward to diving into the details. I have not had enough exposure to the daily operations of the LFUCG, but with my experience dealing with funds of this magnitude, I am hopeful that I can find new and creative ways to create a sustainable path forward for our community.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Pre-COVID, we knew that we would face budget challenges and there was discussion about options to raise revenue. We know that one of the strongest indicators of a positive budget forecast is a robust economy. As we continue to battle a pandemic whose impact has destabilized families and small businesses, I believe our essential focus must be an equitable recovery that gets this health crisis under control and fortifies our economy so that we build for the future from a place of strength.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Examining the needs versus the ambitions of our city must be a priority. City leaders and residents should consider alternatives to unnecessary historical budget expenditures. It’s Council’s responsibility to make smart budget decisions with hard-earned tax dollars. Public safety should receive the majority of our budget dollars followed by essential and social services. We must be conscientious about spending the remainder of our expected revenue until we have fully recovered.
  • Willy Fogle- In addition to budget tightening, we need more options to diversify revenue. We are overly reliant on occupational taxes, which limits revenue growth potential. My focus will be to fight to ensure essential services (public safety, trash collection, street paving, etc.) are maintained at the highest possible level—and simultaneously that the city consults with economic development and employment experts routinely such as the U.K. Gatton College of Business and Economics.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- I think in particular 2020 has presented itself with more budgetary challenges than normal since as a city we lost so much of our payroll revenue. Moving forward we need to be focused on what the city values as priorities for the budget. For our residents that is a wide variety of things. Ideally, our budget would keep the same level of quality of life for our residents. We are going to have to look at some cuts, and eventually, I do think we need to consider additional sources of revenue.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- This is a challenge. In 2020 we have faced unprecedented circumstances that have resulted in a 30 million budget shortfall. We have received one time Federal funding and made internal cuts that we can’t count on moving forward. Our annual revenue has four sources predominated by payroll tax, others include net profit taxes from our businesses, insurance and franchise fees.We need to be looking at these areas as considerations for revenue growth.

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4. Lexington’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan encourages infill and redevelopment as Lexington’s main growth strategy. What specific implementation aspects of the Comprehensive Plan are working and what challenges need to be addressed?


District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- I support redevelopment plans that recognize the character and diversity of neighborhoods, but effective planning cannot function without effective enforcement and implementation. In order to meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan we need to change our zoning and code enforcement processes to make them consistent and dependable. As councilmember I want to encourage broad community participation so that we can promote infill, sustainable growth, and liveability throughout the district and city.
  • Jessica Mohler- I support the goals in the plan that focus on “building-up” instead of “out.” One of my top priorities is ensuring that conversation is geared toward smart, equitable growth. A challenge is incorporating the neighbors into the early stages of development to avoid the long, expensive process of defending their neighborhoods. The key to solving this challenge is through community engagement, collaboration, and listening––approaches that will drive all my decision-making as a councilmember.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- There have been several recent Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments relating to Infill and Redevelopment and I am hopeful that we will see more opportunities for development given these changes. Also, we are experiencing changes during the pandemic which are going to change the needs and demands as it relates to office space as more people continue working from home. I believe this will be part of the transition over time and it will also bring different development opportunities in our community.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- We must continue to preserve our agricultural economy by maintaining the Urban Service Boundary and the PDR Program, assessing development on our corridors, promoting infill and redevelopment, making progress on the consent decree and improving sustainability of government buildings. Challenges: increasing the diversity of our housing, affordable housing, pedestrian and bike safety, decreasing single-occupancy vehicles, improving sustainability in the community, incentivizing green building.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Everything comprehensive plan related needs as much public knowledge and input as possible even during a pandemic. Recently the lack of public comment has been a side obstacle but in the flat of it more folks need to know what the plan says and what the strategies look like to make that happen. Without context some have not understood the current dynamic of housing needs right now and the decisions both the council and Planning Commission are making.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- With the cost of living increasing every day, I think it is important that we evaluate all of our policies for both intended and unintended consequences. I do not know of any specific implementations that are at issue currently, but when talking about the growth of our city, I think we should enact policy with an eye towards making sure that our community is a home for everyone.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- I believe that Lexington should prioritize infill and redevelopment as laid out in the Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. As Lextran board chairman, I have been encouraged by the work to reimagine the Nicholasville Road corridor, where we have an incredible opportunity to take a collaborative approach to align redevelopment efforts with public transportation. We should build on implementation by incentivizing density, affordability, and walkability.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- The planning phase and community involvement has been impressive so far. Infill and redevelopment is the best option to protect our landmark horse farms surrounding Lexington. However, we are seeing developments, including some in our district, that have begun development and then stalled. We must hold developers accountable to develop these precious acres we have committed to infill and redevelopment and perhaps set more strict guidelines on what is proposed and how it will be funded.
  • Willy Fogle- The Division of Planning has formed an advisory panel including developers, community representatives and residents to help define/develop a Public Engagement Toolkit. The goal is to offer developers overall guidance and to educate citizens on development review process and how to find info about proposed developments and stages in process where they can have input. A huge step forward. And we must educate the public about the Comp Plan and of its importance to our growth.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- The Comprehesive Plan has positively,been able to set up specific guidelines for redevelopment and growth that support Lexington’s growth strategy. It can be complex and confusing to the public at times. I appreciate the components that require public notice and input. That being said, it seems that some residents still feel uninformed about changes presented. In the end if we do not follow the plan for infill we will be forced to reevaluate the decision not to expand the Urban Service Boundary.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- Aspects working in the Comp Plan include a more aggressive and creative approach to infill and redevelopment (example FAR-ZOTA)land swap with UK resulting in increasing land within USB. Challenges include pressure from developers, builders and real estate agents (we are currently looking at exactions fees that will offer developers a less expensive approach for development within the USB)

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5. Lexington faces challenges across districts with regard to housing affordability, diversity and accessibility. What is the City’s role in addressing affordable housing and how would you recommend prioritizing policy change to address these challenges?


District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- The city has already taken important steps by creating the Affordable Housing Plan and Trust. If elected I will work to create more diversified, mixed-income, and evolving format housing to serve the growing community need. LFUCG should continue to look for grants, public/private partnerships, and federal subsidies to incentivize affordable housing initiatives. Safe housing is a human right and it is critical to address this issue intelligently and inclusively now to minimize future costs.
  • Jessica Mohler- Safe, adequate, and affordable housing is a cornerstone of a just and equitable community. Fully funding the Affordable Housing Fund is the No.1 policy to pass. Forging creative partnerships with mission-driven organizations maximizes the efficiency of current resources. I support the impactful use of our city’s vacant land to secure long-term housing solutions. We must ensure our city’s growth is self-sustaining, accessible to all, and considerate of neighborhood identity and culture.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- The mission of the Affordable Housing Fund is to leverage public investment to preserve, produce, and provide safe, quality, affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Fund had an initial allocation of $3 million in the FY2014 budget. Annual allocations of at least $2 million were adopted by Ordinance 103-2014. While I fully support to continue annual allocations for Lexington’s Affordable Housing Program, I do believe going forward we need to discuss sustainable funding options.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- Our comprehensive plan is an agreed upon document voted on by Council and should guide our decisions. Addressing our affordable housing shortage is a goal of the plan. It is the responsibility of the government to work toward this goal and to ensure we are meeting residents’ basic needs. We can establish dedicated funding for our Affordable Housing Fund. We need to prioritize mixed-use and mixed-rate development, particularly along our major corridors with access to public transportation.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- The city’s role in affordable housing is to keep to keep the Commission on Homelessness working for great partners and more importantly keep funding in place for more successes going forward. If anything I’d formalize or otherwise make the funding permanent.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- I think the city should take an active role in planning for its development into the future. To this end we need to enact policies that make sure we protect our most economically vulnerable populations, while simultaneously stimulating economic growth to create the revenue to sustain them.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Too many residents struggle to make ends meet, and faced eviction before this pandemic. This health crisis, and its impact on the economy and jobs, further highlights the urgency for housing stabilization right now. I support the city’s deployment of CARES funds for service employees like educators, non profit, and retail workers at risk of being evicted. For long term housing stability, we must fully fund the affordable housing trust fund, modernize zoning, and mitigate displacement.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Plagued with a lack of affordable housing, the City must first preserve the current affordable housing inventory. We also must protect underserved areas from gentrification and resident displacement. We should incentivize developers to build housing to accommodate a variety of income levels and concentrate building efforts in our Opportunity Zones. Continuing to contribute to the Affordable Housing Fund should be a priority as well.
  • Willy Fogle- Lexington’s Affordable Housing Program, which includes the Affordable Housing Fund, the Affordable Housing Governing Board and the Office of Affordable Housing, is focused on these challenges and I will certainly support their important work going forward as additional strategies are developed and implemented to promote pathways to affordable home ownership as we close the affordability gap. We must ensure our local regulations are not unnecessarily increasing development costs.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- Our growth strategy must prioritize the accesibilty of affordable housing and our budget contintue to put dollars towards affordable housing fund. Additionally, we need to encourage and incentivize developers to construct more affordable housing units so the compensation is worth their investment in a high demand market. I am interested in what other cities are doing and more policies that encourage additional affordable housing units.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- We desperately need more affordable housing. It is a matter of supply and demand The FAR zota will help, gentrification needs to be addressed. A few ideas we could look at are better tax incentives for builders, increasing our affordable Trust Fund, transform vacant buildings and land (we have plenty) into affordable units, faith based organizations involvement, more strategic transportation, relax zoning and developing rules

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6. The impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and non-profits will be significant and long lasting. What will you do as a council member to support their recovery and foster their resilience?


District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- Local organizations are the first affected within our economy and service network; they need all the support we can give. Whether by creating a local business fund, leveraging new regional partnerships, or fully funding nonprofits within LFUCG, I support strategic investment and minimizing burdens for local organizations. If elected, I will create policies that promote nonprofits, recommend national service volunteers to build capacity, and direct resources toward local organizations.
  • Jessica Mohler- The interplay between citizens, business owners, nonprofits, and the government has never been more important. Lexington’s greatest asset is our people. Listening directly to the business owners and nonprofit directors as we move into this phase of recovery will strengthen those relationships. The city has a responsibility to make sure that data about our local economic recovery efforts is looked at with an equitable framework, to confirm aid is not being distributed disproportionately.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- We will continue to understand the needs of our local businesses and non-profits. In the meantime, we have used Reimbursement CARES funds to help with additional housing for our most vulnerable community members and grants for local businesses to support their recovery. I also supported an ordinance to create more outdoor space for restaurants during this time. I will continue supporting efforts such as these to help our local community.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- The success of local businesses affects all of us in a variety of ways, and they need our support. A local COVID-19 relief fund of $2.5mil was established for small businesses. Since the fund is a partnership with Commerce Lexington, we should ask them to hold workshops to get businesses ready to apply for future funds made available from the state and federal government. Some missed the prior opportunity to apply for these because quick action was needed before the funds ran out.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- I want to continue the critical and life-saving work I helped lead through the council. First, the local stimulus program that benefited both profit and nonprofit entities followed by the eviction assistance fund of the same nature to landlords and tenants. All politics is local and more programs like these will help folks here and now. Giving folks hope to move forward is needed at a time like this.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- I believe that economic growth is the cornerstone to providing more and better services to our community. As a council member I will look to support policies which create lasting partnerships in the private sector that focus on creating and maintaining growth, especially during this time of recovery from the COVID pandemic.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- The phased reopening of the economy through COVID has been helpful to support the fiscal health and resilience of small businesses and the nonprofit community. Creating a climate where business can thrive requires that we do the hard work to defeat this public health crisis. I supported the Council’s actions to provide relief to these employers and service providers. We must continue to pair that effort with the work to increase access to testing, promote the use of masks and guidance from CDC.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Local businesses and nonprofits are the heart of Lexington and the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will be felt for years to come. As council members, it is our responsibility to step up and offer support. I will work alongside those affected most to develop plans to protect and insulate their future interests in times of crisis. I do support city donation matching programs if they prove fiscally responsible.
  • Willy Fogle- Many citizens face financial difficulties to pay their mortgage, utilities and essentials. We will continue to deal with impact of the Coronavirus for the foreseeable future including some businesses that may not reopen. The current and next City Council will need to focus on related fallout to keep our city moving forward. I would recommend an impact subcommittee be established in Council’s General General Gov & Social Services committee to study the matter in greater detail.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- As part of Council we passed a stimulus for local businesses and non-profits. We also put back the ESR funding in the budget for this year. I also helped allowing restaurants to expand their seating due to Covid restrictions. I want to do whatever I can to support businesses and non-profits and if there is more funding available, I will support giving more stimulus to them. I would also support trying to keep funding for them in future budgets and helping any way I can.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- I am a strong advocate for the city’s support of our non-profits. The city can’t afford to provide these services on our own. Local businesses also need our financial support which we recently provided through two of our restricted funds. As mentioned, we must look at our four revenue sources to provide this critical support. There are not any other meaningful alternatives and it is inevitable.

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7. In recent months, much of our country’s attention has been directed to issues of systemic racism, specifically as it applies to policing and the justice system. What measures would you support to ensure that Lexington’s policing and justice system is equitable?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- As councilmember I want to create policies to eliminate the racial disparity in policing, prioritize early interventions and wrap-around services, and hold those who abuse the public trust to account. I will work with public safety and community partners to address homelessness, addiction, and mental health through shared services rather than first responders. I support increasing transparency and community input for policing so that we can rebuild trust, protect people, and keep Lexington safe.
  • Jessica Mohler- Accountability and transparency among government entities are critical to build a safe, trusting community. Changes to the LPD’s collective bargaining agreement, such as forming a disciplinary citizen review board for police and banning officers from removing past disciplinary actions from personnel files, will help. We also must strive to hire officers who reflect the communities they serve, by race and gender. Faith and trust in our officers, in those who protect and serve, make us ALL safer.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- Our police officers are currently completing adult Crisis Intervention Training and I want youth CIT to be implemented next. We need to continue to strive for our police officer’s demographics to more align with our community’s population. Police Neighborhood Resource Officers are very effective because they have the opportunity to get to know the neighbors. This builds respect and trust between police officers and neighbors which leads to safer neighborhoods. We need to have more NRO’s.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- PUBLIC is the first word in Public Safety. While all residents aren’t experts in law enforcement, they should have a say in the welfare of their community, especially where there are inequities. At Chief Weathers’ swearing-in ceremony, he spoke about compassion, community policing, and listening to the public about what is and isn’t working. The community asked for no-knock warrants, mandatory body camera usage and a citizen’s review board.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Black Lives Matter. The signs and the reality are everywhere. Both my and the councils’ best work is to support Mayor Gorton and her initiative-driven Public Engagement Committees. That important work and those outcomes will need legislative leadership which I pledge. With so many needs, focus will be important to the long lasting healing and change that is required. I believe every citizen has a responsibility to oppose white supremacy, address racial inequality and support justice.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- In Lexington we are very fortunate to have a justice system that has already implemented the majority of the best practices available. Most of the issues that other cities across the nation are looking to reform have been standard practice here for some time. I believe that if our goal is to increase how equitable our justice system is, we need to ensure that programs like our paramedicine group are given the resources they need to continue to develop in the positive direction they are headed.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- The work to build public trust in our justice system requires accountability and policy change to ensure fundamental fairness. Since June, I have called for an end to no-knock warrants, expanded use of body cameras and exploring the creation of a civilian review board with robust oversight authority. I support Mayor Gorton’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality, and look forward to recommendations from the Law Enforcement, Justice and Accountability Subcommittee.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Systemic racism is present in our community and I’m proud we are taking steps to recognize and correct these injustices. The work of the Mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality is already making a difference because we are taking the time to talk through every related issue. Policing and justice equity will only occur when all parties talk openly and I plan on helping facilitate those difficult but necessary conversations.
  • Willy Fogle- Internal and external checks and balances are essential towards making sure our officers carry out their duties properly and always act with integrity. That requires the proper direction from the Mayor, the Council, the police chain of command, and certainly the community. There must be ongoing dialogue and comprehensive reviews in place.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- I mentioned already that I helped put quite a few items in the Planning and Public Safety to review including body worn camera and off duty officer policies as well as made recommendations for the CBA. I am in support of making policy changes that reflect equity for all and hope that our conversations over the next few months about racial equality and Police policy will lead to change and more transparency in the LPD and local government.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- I believe we must first look at our training programs for our incoming recruits. If our police are taught responses to certain acts of crime and use that trained response, they are doing what they have been taught and they perceive that action acceptable. I support a citizens advisory board and full disclosure to the council. Collective bargaining needs to be more open and communicated. I respect and support our police but there is always room for improvement for any public organization.

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8. Revenue shortfalls have made it difficult for the city to continue supporting external social resource agencies at a time when they are needed most. What specific city-level policies do you support to ensure that every resident has access to a basic quality of life?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- City government has always focused on public safety, streets and roads, and trash pickup. However because of growing disparities in health, wealth, and safety within our city, I believe we need to make strategic investments in affordable housing, local agriculture, recycling and environmental health, and workforce development. While we can’t fund all of these programs, we can use data-based policies that will ultimately reduce our costs over time, and protect our most vulnerable residents.
  • Jessica Mohler- Funding the Affordable Housing Fund and making it a permanent line item in our budget is the #1 policy that needs to pass. Second, all our workers deserve to make a wage that commensurate with our cost of living. While this is tied up in Frankfort, Lexington could lead by example and pay a living wage to all city employees–even part-time. It’s our everyday people who make up this community that inspires me to fight for a unified Lexington. My heart is with the people. That’s why I’m running.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- City-level policies are provided by many areas including social services, environmental services, public safety, general services to name a few. Each area is vital for our residents to access basic quality of life. I will continue to work with all areas to ensure we find ways to support our community.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- Our Extended Social Resource (ESR) program has been used in the past to provide funding to nonprofits in our community providing essential services, such as housing support (e.g. Arbor Youth, Hope Center), addressing food insecurity (e.g. GleanKY, God’s Pantry), and safety and mental health (e.g. Greenhouse17, NAMI). We must continue this program. We could look at government owned properties that might be used for a community land trust, similar to the Davis Park neighborhood.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Social service agencies provide programs and outreach that help so many, especially those who are most at risk. For this reason, I was morally obligated to help lead the council in refunding those agencies not funded in the mayors proposed budget for the greater good. That $2.1 million in essential community support passed the council last night. For many assured relief is at hand. I believe we can reorient needs now based on COVID and then examine more stable funding across the spectrum.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- I strongly support the affordable housing fund and the work it does to ensure that more of our residents have the ability to live and work in our great community.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Funding through the ESR Program has facilitated partnerships with community organizations to meet critical outcomes for residents, particularly those related to youth, families and our most vulnerable populations. The budget landscape will be challenging, not just for the city, but every service organization in our community. We have to reimagine our frame for investments to emphasize results and impact, and grow public and private partnerships to meet challenges and align for results.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- Everyone has the right to food, shelter, and public safety. Even though the proposed budget for ESRs was depleted, we must concentrate on what can still be provided regarding homelessness, affordable housing, and food security. Thankfully our budget for public safety will go unchanged. I would like to gather those affected to discuss how we can still serve our city and what support is needed from the community to supplement our food banks, shelters, and other community sustaining non-profits.
  • Willy Fogle- Clearly, the Mayor/Council must do everything possible to ensure future funding keeps pace with the need but that may not be possible without the support and generosity of private sector. There is nothing more vital than taking care of the less fortunate. The work these organizations do has a large impact on quality of life for so many people. With the budget shortfall, there is tremendous uncertainly right now and we must set our priorities and move forward. Everything is on the table.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- I think Lexington has a very high quality of life. Still there is always a debate about what the government’s role is in supporting external resources. I am a big believer in the important role of social agencies and non-profits and that they compliment and support the city and fill in gaps in services. I support the ESR program and want to find a way to maintain it even if there are shortfalls.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- As previously stated I believe our city must support these agencies. Financial support is imperative and our ESR program provides due diligence and should be continued as accessing and funding our community needs. 211 is an excellent resource to provide access to our citizens and could be better integrated and marketed in our city’s outreach

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9. Lexington’s tax revenue base is dependent on a thriving and sustainable local economy. What are your top three priorities for helping the city promote and support economic development?


District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- Since the shutdown, LFUCG has worked hard to keep the Affordable Housing Fund solvent and provide financial resources for the housing insecure. The next step should be allocating funds to help local businesses and their employees. If elected, I will work to direct state and federal dollars to a local business fund, giving more options for those at-risk. It is also important to maintain basic services like streets, sidewalks, and trash collection so businesses can continue to accommodate clients.
  • Jessica Mohler- Investing in education & closing the “achievement gap,” which I prefer to call the opportunity gap, is essential to a strong economy.Added assistance to businesses that are more vulnerable due to structural inequalities. It’s important to make sure they are seen & receive needed resources.Work with economic entities to develop & sustainably grow the great community of Lexington businesses so they can hire more people – and pay them more – is just as important to bringing in more revenue.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- I will continue to support the Lexington-Fayette County Industrial Authority who is managing the 250 acres in Coldstream to bring new businesses and create more jobs. Workforce development and business grant/loan opportunities continue to be very important priorities in supporting economic development. We need to look into Opportunity Zones to understand Lexington’s potential with this program.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- We need to look at where the majority of revenue comes from: Occupational Tax. My priorities would be: 1) Higher wage jobs: attract high tech jobs with our gigabit infrastructure, and look at ways to raise local wages. 49% of our kids in FCPS qualify for free or reduced lunch, meaning many families are not making enough income, 2) Stop our “brain drain” of young professionals and college students leaving Lexington,3) Attract businesses by continuing to increase the quality of life we offer.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- Jobs is the answer. We need to immediately reorient our economic calling card to attract new jobs that are unfolding in fulfillment and logistics. Those jobs can foster in different places along and near the Interstate 64 and 75 corridor. Strengthened housing priorities for those job seekers is needed. Lastly the Citation Boulevard connection from Newtown Pike to Winburn Drive here in Lexington reshapes opportunity across Lexington’s north end. It’s timely completion warrants priority.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber-In no particular order, my top three priorities would be as follows:Creating sustainable partnerships to allow local businesses to grow and expand. Marketing ourselves to potential out of state businesses by creating incentive packages to bring them to our city. Leveraging the opportunities that our local universities produce by striving to cultivate jobs that are favorable to our highly educated workforce

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- A recovery through this pandemic is essential to any effort to rebuild our fiscal health. We should continue partnering with employers responding to COVID needs, deploy CARES funds to stabilize neighborhoods, and defeat this public health crisis. Additionally, we need a strategy to support minority owned businesses with an improved LFUCG purchasing process, curated supports for capacity building, and partnerships with other agencies to take equitable purchasing to scale.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- In order to have a sustainable economy we must continue to responsibly open businesses, start promoting area tourism once again, and address affordable housing and housing shortages. We want to attract people to come visit and spend time in our great city. We also want to convince them to stay and start businesses. Unfortunately, if we don’t have adequate housing for newcomers, they may move to a more accommodating city. Our economy will only thrive if we promote continued economic development.
  • Willy Fogle- We must continue to build on relationships with Economic Development Partner agencies like Commerce Lexington and U.K. in our efforts of job recruitment and retention. They are key to attracting new businesses in health and educational services, technology, retail trade and manufacturing. In addition, I support strengthening the City’s Job Fund–a business incentive program designed to support business expansion. The value of a strong workforce development program should also not be overlooked.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds-1) Continuing to be a city that attracts talent and business to Lexington. That means maintaining a high quality of life.2) Make the city a better place for everyone by improving the infrastructure with complete streets type policies to be more pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation friendly which in part makes accessing local businesses easier.3) Working with our economic development Program to partner with companies adding jobs to Lexington.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- Increase our recruitment of more tech companies to Lexington, especially equine related. Higher pay and smaller space needs. More regional approach to recruitment of business’s relocation to area. More competitive relocation incentives

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10. LFUCG Council will soon have the responsibility of council redistricting. What is your approach to including public participation in the redistricting process?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- I believe public servants have a responsibility to advocate for rules that facilitate participation, provide quality information, and increase the resiliency of our civic system. Since day 1, my campaign has worked to educate and empower people both young and old regarding the civic process. An informed and active voter base is essential to democracy and I support collaborating with state election officials to share information and promote participation and voting access.
  • Jessica Mohler- I will appoint an advisory committee to aid the County Clerk in gathering citizen input from the community. The committee would include 12 citizens, each representing the district where they live, their council member, and an at-large member to oversee. The committee would offer a series of digital public meetings & public educational opportunities in each district to solicit public input. An online survey will be available for additional input or a printed survey sent by mail if requested.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- Section 4.03 of our Urban County Charter explains the timeline for which a Redistricting Ordinance has to be approved. A committee will be appointed to review the 2020 Census data once that data is released. Each council district has an appointed constituent serving on the committee. I value public participation in all government processes and will review the past redistricting committee process to see where we can improve or change to ensure more public input opportunity.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- A commission of diverse residents and community leaders should be appointed to create an independent, inclusive and transparent process. All meetings should be public and recorded. Accounting for future growth, the population should be evenly distributed across districts without splitting neighborhoods. Amendments by Council to the commission’s proposal should be made cautiously. Councilmembers who rely on votes to get elected should not be the people who are determining how the lines are drawn.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- By volunteer or by service this will be the 4th post census redistricting that I will participate in on behalf of the 5th district either directly or in the official capacity. Public input is key and between my weekly Enews and direct neighborhood engagement that highlights the best input one can have.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- I believe that a non-partisan third party committee should be heavily involved in the process. This will allow the council to set aside any natural biases, and give a level of certainty to our community that any changes will be fair and equitably done.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Council redistricting is a process we go through every 10 years, informed by the Census, and is important to ensuring fundamental fairness in our democracy. Our process should be transparent, data driven, free from self interest and held in open dialogue with our residents to ensure public trust.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- As our city continues to grow, our Council districts will need to be adjusted. To include public participation in this process, I would nominate someone to the redistricting committee that is fair, mindful, and would do their best to represent the different areas of town well. I would also ask for any public input that may help the committee make their decisions.
  • Willy Fogle- Informed citizens are our democracy’s best defense. The Council must utilize every means possible to get the word out to constituents and the community at large regarding the specifics of the upcoming redistricting process, including newsletters, social media, neighborhood meetings and such. Public participation will be vital to the discussion.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- This will be my first round of redistricting. I think it will be based on numbers from the Census. I am not opposed to public participation if that is something that is desired.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- Of course the census plays a pivotal role in the redistricting process. So public participation in the Census intake is essential and this year’s pandemic restrictions will have an impact. Perhaps a district focus group would be helpful but the Census and each Councilmember would provide a strong perspective on the needs if redistricting the county

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11. The agricultural sector has a $2.3B economic impact on FayetteCounty, accounting for over $8.5M of the city’s payroll revenue. It is poised to grow with the support of Mayor Gorton’s Administration for making Fayette County a center for ag-tech. As a councilmember, what are your priorities for the agriculture and food system economy?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- Local agriculture is critical to making our community healthier, minimizing our environmental impact, bolstering our economy, and increasing our resilience to supply chain disruptions. We’ve already seen substantial economic gains due to the local food coordinator position. I will continue to support accommodations for local producers and farmers markets, increase participation and education around food systems and the environment, and promote more connections between producers and consumers.
  • Jessica Mohler- Fewer hungry mouths in Lexington will always be my top priority when it comes to agriculture and food systems. As a councilmember, I will bring together local farmers and community members to develop a sustainable system that incentivizes an increase in food production being allocated to those who need it the most. I also would like to help create economic programs that foster new ag-tech research and development in Lexington, as well as attract existing ag-tech companies to our city.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- While the Ky. Secretary of State, Board of Elections and County Clerks have been making the decisions, I have disseminated their information via social media and newsletters. Following the 2016 election, I supported the financial obligation and decision to purchase state-of-the-art voting technology for the Fayette County Clerk which is being used in the 2020 election.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- We can attract new farmers by supporting training programs in college and the K12 level (ex. FCPS Locust Trace AgriScience Center), urban farming, and organizations like Black Soil. We can increase public involvement, learning experiences, and tourism within the industry, similar to Horse Country, the education center at Bluegrass Stockyards, and the UK Cooperative Extension Service. We can continue to expand our Farm to Table programs and farmer’s markets.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- The immediate priority there is food safety here in Fayette county. We have to use that wealth to help those in need here first. Beyond that everything local is better and more in demand than ever. The new Chevy Chase Farmers’ Market I helped foster is fresh proof of that.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- As a council member I would look to treat the Agricultural economy just as I would any other thriving and successful industry in our local community. I know that in the short term our efforts should be focused on those in the services and hospitality industries, as they have been the most heavily affected by the recent pandemic. As recovery takes place, there will be ample opportunities to evaluate each and every industry in the city to see what measures we can implement to help stimulate growth.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- The agriculture industry has major impact on our local economy, and I agree with Mayor Gorton on its potential for growth in the coming years. My priorities include promoting the industry as a place for innovative workforce solutions, particularly as opportunities for hi-tech agriculture begin to flower. We should support greater access for young people to learn about agriculture and food systems through experiential learning, and promote opportunities for new, diverse industry leadership.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- While much in our economy is uncertain, we can trust in our agricultural opportunities. I am happy to see the support of the Mayor’s Administration and think continuing to encourage conversations between local farmers, restaurant owners, and city officials is important. Food security and hunger is something I am very passionate about. If we can continue to encourage programs such as Farms to Food Banks and FoodChain Lex, we will feed the underserved community and grow our food system economy.
  • Willy Fogle- The importance of the Ag sector to our community’s economy cannot be overstated. I strongly support Mayor Gorton’s effort to make Fayette County a high-profile center for Agri-tech. As the Mayor has noted, our highly educated workforce, low-cost of living, quality of life, Ag infrastructure, and world-class University of KY make this area extremely attractive to such new businesses. We are well-positioned to be extraordinarily successful in this area of economic development.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- I agree that they are vital to our economy and as CM I will try to balance maintaining them as a priority along with smart growth. Our food system is crucial and supporting these industries is what helps make Lexington unique and thriving. I want the city to continue being a good partner with the agriculture industry as it has been for many years.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- The 12th District is home to our farmland and it is a priority for me. I am an ongoing vocal advocate of our farmland and its economic impact within our county. I applaud the Mayor’s commitment to our ag sector. We have one the country’s most respected Ag schools in the country and we must work closely with the University’s College of Agricultural to recruit and retain ag-tech companies to our city and county. Also aggressive outreach and marketing of our local foods programs is vital to goal

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12. Well-planned infrastructure strengthens communities, boosts local economies, expands opportunity, and promotes equitable development. What policies would you support to achieve a more accessible, efficient, and sustainable transportation system in Lexington and the Bluegrass region?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- I believe public transit should be a convenience, not a compromise, but that requires re-evaluating our current system and promoting smart mass transportation. I want to update our transportation plan to build bike/ped infrastructure, reduce traffic in residential areas, generate options for alternative transit, and increase liveability. We should also consider limiting new development in high-traffic areas, creating commuter routes, and promoting rideshare programs.
  • Jessica Mohler- Our streets were designed for the hurried driver. Instead they should be envisioned as public spaces everybody has a right to use. The lack of multimodal convenience is one reason I support public transportation and transit-oriented development. The only agency Council has over Lextran is their budget, which I will scrutinize. However, I will support new Lextran initiatives that diversify their vehicles to entice drivers to keep their cars at home and attract new riders with different options.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- I am supportive of Lexington’s Farm to Table initiative. Also having local agri businesses mentor young farm owners to learn new ways to use their land and manage their farms. We are fortunate to have the University of Ky who plays a key role in helping agri-tech industry realize its full growth potential.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- To get people to consider alternatives to our reliance on cars, we need to address safety concerns and time constraints. For bicyclists and pedestrians, we need to increase safety by adding more bike and pedestrian paths, lowering speed limits, and educating the public on how to drive with bikers. For our bus systems, we need to shorten commute times. We could add dedicated bus lanes and another transfer station. To do all this, we need increased ridership so that the system can sustain itself.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- I have long been a multimodal transportation advocate. From bike lanes to first the Legacy Trail and now the Town Branch Trail. The commitment and lasting determination to connect Masterson Station to Jacobson Park. Few cities have made such a bold statement in reshaping themselves. I am proud to have helped so far and look forward to successive projects.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- Infrastructure needs to be an important piece of our development plans. As we look to cultivate the growth of our city we need to be keenly aware of our transportation needs, and make sure we build both public transit and multimodal avenues into our vision for the future.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- Effective public transportation contributes to the economy, promotes sustainability, and enhances our quality of life. With emerging services across ride-share, bike-share, fixed route buses, and paratransit, it is also important that we consider how we create alignment and efficiency for residents and ensure mobility freedom for all. As Lextran board chairman, I have also supported bus shelter improvements, increasing electric buses in the fleet, and collaborations with our library system.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- There are changes to be made in our public transit system to increase accessibility. We should address transit routes making them more efficient and consider a Bus Rapid Transit option. Most people shy away from public transit because of its uncertainty. Guaranteed commute times will ease their concerns. Transportation Oriented Developments should be considered as well. Designing more efficient roadways in conjunction with less overall traffic will improve transportation overall.
  • Willy Fogle- I support the ongoing work of the Lexington Area MPO–a federally mandated planning organization that tracks population and transportation trends in Fayette and Jessamine County in order to develop solutions for managing our growth and transportation needs. They also coordinate the allocation of federal transportation funds for our area, including investments in roads, public transit, bikeways and walkways.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- A good public transportation is key to a thriving city. In my experience Lextran has done a good job with what they have. I would like to see it grow and be more accessible to everyone in the city with more routes and quicker routes. I think a complete street policy would help foster more connectivity. I’ve been working with Lextran and plan to work with them more on improving transportation in my district. I also serve on the area MPO where I work for improved transportation in Central KY.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- Our local transportation system specifically Lextran, still a stigma within the community. Our buses are primarily used by our lower income population while most community members drive their own vehicles with very little ride-sharing. Lextran has offered creative programs with UK and a few others. Perhaps this option could be expanded. I would like to see a regional transportation option (Louisville/Cincinnati) Also perhaps a direct route to Fayette Mall/Hamburg area. No money for light rail

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13. Lexington has temporarily suspended public comment in all public Zoom meetings. Meaningful public participation is vital to a responsive local government, and COVID-19 has created a new set of challenges in that regard. What strategies would you support to make ongoing public participation accessible for all?

District 3 Candidate Responses:

  • Hannah LeGris- COVID-19 has exacerbated the disparities within our community and as leaders, we need to engage residents and incorporate their feedback. We should use technology to gather widespread community input, update council protocol to screen and accept comments from those who can’t attend, and solicit more participation throughout the council cycle. In my campaign and my service on the board of Civic Lex I have worked to promote civic engagement and if elected I will continue that work at city hall.
  • Jessica Mohler- I was in the meeting overrun by racists. What our councilmembers endured–CMs James Brown and Angela Evans, the only two Black members on the council, were specifically targeted–was appalling. I believe that voices need to be heard and have a direct impact on council decisions. I am mindful of how traumatic comments can be, especially when those spewing hate are clothed in anonymity. It makes sense to update our current technology to allow for prescreening of those signed up for public comments.

District 4 Candidate Responses:

  • Susan Lamb- Public participation is very important as is transparency in local government. I have discussed options with the administration that other cities are using for public comment. I believe the addition of a dedicated phone line to allow pre-recorded voicemail comments plus accepting written comments via email will help reinstate public participation until we figure out the hybrid meeting model where people will be allowed back in the Chamber to speak.

District 5 Candidate Responses:

  • Liz Sheehan- We need to look at who is participating in government and who is absent. If we want a city that works for all of us, then everyone needs a voice in our government. Whether it be seats on boards/commissions, shifting meeting times, providing childcare at meetings, allowing for different formats for public feedback, we need a structure that gets everyone to the table when decisions are being made.
  • Bill Farmer, Jr.- I have worried over this and lament the loss at every meeting. LEX TV folks continue to vie for the best online answer. I am one of four that voted to begin in-person meetings again not only as a point of engagement with the council but the public too. Resolution here is one of my top priorities. I would like a good resolution here as soon as safely possible. We must be guided by the voices of our constituents now and always.

District 6 Candidate Responses:

  • David Kloiber- Public participation is an essential part of the legislative process and I would move to see it resumed as soon as possible. I do not believe that the council should be censoring anyone’s voice in the process, and if there are those that would abuse this forum, in contravention of our decorum rules found in Sec. 4.106 of the code of ordinances, it is a simple matter to remove them from a zoom call just as we would at an in person meeting.

District 8 Candidate Responses:

  • Christian Motley- In the age of COVID, remote options have allowed for greater access, but the truth is that council meetings should not be the only time that residents see their council member working. I have learned that many residents in my district do not know our current member or receive regular updates on key issues. I would work with residents to meet these needs, and promote remote hours spent at locations within the district, in public spaces, easily accessible via Lextran.
  • Fred Brown– The candidate chose not to respond.

District 9 Candidate Responses:

  • Whitney Elliott Baxter- With the suspension of public comment, those passionate about our community have been silenced. Public involvement is one of the cornerstones of my campaign and I want to encourage participation and open conversations with my constituents. With the challenges of COVID-19, we will have to meet the people where they are even more. Social media, online surveys, and virtual neighborhood meetings may become commonplace. We should take this opportunity to modernize the tools we use for public input.
  • Willy Fogle- The suspension public participation is temporary and warranted due to the disgusting abuse of the opportunity by an small number of attention-seeking individuals who sought to disrupt meetings and anger and inflame tensions. There are several other options for public feedback to the Mayor and Council, including by telephone, email, social media, etc. The Council Administrator has publicly informed the Council that a solution is being sought to resume public participation as soon as possible.

District 11 Candidate Responses:

  • Jennifer Reynolds- I think public comment is vital for us as Councilmembers because we are elected to support the interests of the people. That being said, we have had horrible Zoom meetings due to trolls. Currently, the best way to contact us is through phone calls or email. I’m in support of doing hybrid meetings or an in person meetings, following CDC guidelines, so that we can have in person comments in a socially distanced way in the Government Center. I believe it is the best option all considered.

District 12 Candidate Responses:

  • Kathy Plomin- We tried live public comment and it was abused. We do not have a system for a delayed response. We have looked at a few options such as sending in a written comment via email, voice message or recorded video for public comment. It is a frustrating situation Hopefully we will be back in the Chambers with public comment in the near future. We are looking at a hybrid approach having some councilmembers in Chamber and some on Zoom which could accommodate public comment back in Chambers in person

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