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Angela Evans- 2018 Candidate Questionnaire

Running for: Urban County Council- District 6

Short Bio:

Angela Evans is a native of Lexington and serving in her second term as Council Member of the 6th District and works at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland as an associate attorney. Angela received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with honors, from Clark Atlanta then attended the University of Tennessee, College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate in 2000 and the Dean’s Citation for exemplary service to the College of Law. Prior to her election, Angela served as an Assistant Attorney General of Kentucky and as General Counsel and Elections Administrator in the Kentucky Secretary of State’s under Trey Grayson. Councilmember Evans began her legal career as a Public Defender in Lexington, Kentucky, representing indigent clients in misdemeanor and felony court. She also served on the Ethics Commission from 2002 to 2009, serving as Chairperson from 2007 to 2009. Prior to her election, Angela had the amazing opportunity to take her civil service to the international community, participating in two Expert Meetings hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria. She has contributed to two UN handbooks focused on preventing recidivism and reintegrating offenders into society published in 2012 and regulating civilian private security services published in in 2014. Angela is proud of her public service career and one of her proudest accomplishments on Council is the implementation of Lexington’s first Youth Citizens Academy, providing high school freshmen a hands-on introduction to local government.

1. Do you support prioritizing infill/redevelopment as Lexington’s primary growth strategy? Under what circumstances would you support expansion of the Urban Services Boundary or Rural Activity Centers?

I support utilizing under developed property for it most effective & needed purposes. It has been my observation that having one method as the PRIMARY strategy is impacting districts like the 6th, more drastically than others. So the redevelpment that occurs must be very thoughtful and sensitive to the surrounding area.

2. What specific recommendations do you have to protect the character and context of existing neighborhoods while diversifying our housing stock to meet the needs of our community?

While development plans and asthetics are still fully within the developer’s rights, depending on the neighborhood, I might suggest designing similar TO the closest or oldest neighborhood as opposed simply designing the most modern or latest style residence. Conforming to the overall style of the neighborhood MIGHT be more palitable and appropriate for some neighborhoods.

3. What specific recommendations do you have to address Lexington’s affordable housing issue?

I encourage developers to take advantage of tax credits available that will benefit them in the building process and a percentage of tenants who will reside there. There are a limited amount of developers in Lexington engaged in affordable housing and we need more. Understanding affordable housing development isn’t an area for everyone, a focused recruitment effort might be required, (in state or out) to find developers willing to do work here. The Office of Affordable Housing has worked with various developers in the city and has done great work utilizing funds to renovate and expand properties in Lexington but more needs to be done, and we ned more participation.

4. The number of households headed by someone aged 65 or older is projected to increase significantly over the next decade and beyond. What specific recommendations do you have to meet the needs of our growing senior population?

I presume the question is referring to meeting housing needs of the growing senior population. More senior independent and assisted living facilities will be needed in Lexington and across the country. The 6th district has at least 3 different examples of senior living facilities currently in it within 3 miles of each other. I believe the need for more appropriate housing for a growing senior population is a reason to consider expanding the urban service boundary, as it naturally takes more space (one level, wider halls, etc) for a senior conscious residence, whether single residence or multiple. Additionally, the city will need to exam if and how the Senior Citizens Center’s role will or should change with a growing population. Will it need more staff to provide more direct services? Stay mainly as a community center? I encourage the Senior Services Commission to submit ideas to the administration and Council with plans/ideas for services based on research that the city could implement over the next 10 years to best assist the grown senior population.

5. Do you support an annual funding allocation for Lexington’s Purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR)? Please list your specific ideas to support the continued strength and growth of our agricultural and tourism industries. 

The PDR program has been an important program in Lexington. Due to budget constraints, obligations beyond council’s control, and prioritizing needs of the city, the PDR program was not funded this year. While I am hopeful for Lexington’s future budgets, the federal and state funds that also support the program may not exist, which I suspect would directly impact Lexington’s financial support of the program. Everyone agrees that Fayette County is beautiful but people want to experience it just as much as they want to observe its beauty. Whether its horse farms or adventure tourism, we need to be more inviting to our own citizens and others. So, I would strongly encourage continuing the Come Meet the NEIGHbors! and adding the perspective of other new generation, business-minded professionals, tourism focused organizations, like LeXenomics.

6. Citizens have noted frustration with traffic congestion. What are your specific ideas to address traffic congestion? 

The first issue I addressed my first term in office was the traffice on Liberty Road in the 6th district. That 1 mile of road between New Circle and Man O War had seen more car accidents, fatalities and traffice increases than almost any road of its size in the city AND it had become a road MANY Lexington drivers used to get to Hamburg, and for 600 households, Liberty Road is the only way in or out of their subdivision. I worked with the Department of Transportation and my state senator and representative (of different political parties) to obtain funding for the re-design of Liberty Road. Much of the congestion within the 6th district is on state roads, so I will continue to advocate for my district on the state level and work with my general assembly delegates to help them understand the needs of their constituents so they can better advocate for funding on our behalf.

7. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan for Lexington includes a goal to create “a new process for determining long-term land use decisions” involving the Urban Services Boundary and Rural Activity Centers. If you support the creation of this new process, what are some of the elements that should be included? 

I do support this new process but am disappointed at the time it has taken to have a full discussion about this issue. Admittedly, this is an area I am still learning about, which is why I am so eager to have these discussions to hear various sides, pros & cons of each argument. Until those discussions are held, I would refrain from naming elements that I think should be included.

8. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? What are your specific recommendations to address that challenge?

The biggest challenge facing my district is the over abundance of car lots on New Circle Road. Even though New Circle Road is just as heavily traveled as Nicholasville, the consumer options are vastly different, which sends a message to citizens that creates a socioeconomic & geographica tension that is difficult to overcome.