Christine Stanley – 2020 Primary Questionnaire
Running for: 3rd District Council
Campaign Website: https://christineforlex.com/
1. What do you see as the single most important issue facing your district?
The most important issue facing the citizens in my council district is incentivizing developers to develop in this area while upholding parts of the comprehensive plan that seek to preserve and enhance existing established neighborhoods.
What is your plan to address this issue?
I will give my voice to support of polices that would modify land development ordinances and zoning ordinances that would protect these neighborhoods from infill that disregards our own comp plan. Additionally, I will work with neighborhood associations to identify what we need to do to improve stability, home ownership, property values, and protect significant views in their community.
2. 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?
I support revising pricing models for city services and fines. For example, fines for speeding would be linked to the income of violators and how much over the speed limit they were traveling when caught. I would also propose we implement higher fees for faster processing times for any paper-based transactions or services, such as business licensing fees, construction permits, or land registration fees. Additionally, I would propose we optimize collections and audit processes to increase collect
3. 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?
The comprehensive plans promotes development on commercial corridors, but developers have time and again focus their attention on existing residential neighborhoods. To incentivize developers to actually develop in the commercial sectors that are in desperate need of densification I would modify land use development ordinances and zoning ordinances in order to uphold the other parts of the comprehensive plan that seek to preserve and enhance existing established neighborhoods.
4. 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?
The City’s role is to ensure that’s its citizens are given a fair chance to their human right to housing. We can strengthen the Lexington Affordable Housing Trust and state that any housing policy in Lexington must include further measures to combat gentrification. Additionally, we can incentivize construction of more affordable housing stock, expand of tenants’ rights, and limit the amount that can be charged for a security deposit and limit credit and background checks time periods.
5. 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?
The proposal eliminates the previous $2.1 million budget for the extended social resource programs, as part of the elimination of a broader $6 million fund for grants to nonprofits. We must commit to fund 50% of grant requests in the Community Wellness & Safety, and Shelter priority areas to protect homeless youth, domestic violence victims, and those whose health is at risk. Safe, healthy and housed residents will support local business ten-fold when they aren’t worried about their basic needs.
6. Over half of the city budget’s General Fund is allocated to public safety, yet those needs are different in each district. How will you address the specific public safety needs of your district while ensuring that those services are responsive to and effective for the community as a whole?
By engaging the community and drafting policies that are designed to meet the wide variety of specific challenges a neighborhood might face, while alleviating individual concerns. The use of technology and the ability to collect and understand traffic, parking and safety data will improve how cities provide services and protect their citizens. Most of the public safety issues that our residents face relate to pedestrian and cyclist safety so our streets need to adjust for all modes of transport.
7. 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?
By addressing racial inequality and supporting racial justice for Black people, indigenous people, Latinx people, immigrants, those who are undocumented and all people of color by engaging individuals, community leaders and organizations in developing specific strategies, programs and policies that explicitly address institutional racism and to expand opportunity and access for individuals by strengthening outreach, public engagement, and access to City services. PLANT MORE TREES
8. 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?
Investments in housing infrastructure strengthen Lexington’s long-term fiscal health. We can fund social services through a combination of additional budget savings, and updating taxes and fees. Additionally, I repeat others’ calls to our statewide leaders in Frankfort to advance a state Constitutional Amendment to give localities like Lexington more revenue options.
9. In light of the COVID-19 crisis and new voting regulations, what can you do as a council member to improve voting access, education, and security?
I generally support vote-by-mail initiatives, in addition to implementing automatic voter registration, eliminating ex-offender disenfranchisement laws, making Election Day and primaries local holidays, strengthen civics education in schools, and investing in integrated voter engagement and outreach.
10. The agricultural sector has a $2.3B economic impact on Fayette County, 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?
Work with the many experts within the food system – including Cooperative Extension agents, Soil & Water Conservation District staff & boards, planners, developers, and community groups – to promote a sustainable food system within the city. There are multiple options for flexible local ordinances and incentives; more community gardens, urban agriculture, mobile markets, expanding local food supply chain infrastructure, agritourism, microlending & access to capital for food related businesses.
11. 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?
As the transit network expands, we can expect a corresponding increase in jobs related to transit as well as an increase in the city’s tax base. We should strive to eventually make transportation free of charge, lobby the state and federal government for more investment in public transit and as the severity of the climate crisis becomes more evident; public transportation will help reduce air pollution, reduces traffic congestion, and increase mobility and independence.
12. Meaningful public participation is vital to a responsive local government. What are three innovative approaches that you would advocate for to make government processes more accessible, equitable, and transparent?
I support moving meetings to times that are less likely to conflict with work schedules, increasing the use of internet services like Zoom or Skype, and allow citizens to submit questions or comments online during meetings, as has already been done in some Council work sessions; Free Wi-Fi on our public transportation system to allow citizens to interact with city government on their commute; Empowering our neighborhood associations by implementing participatory budgeting.