David Jones- 2018 Primary Candidate Questionnaire
Running for: Urban County Council 11th District
Candidate Website: http://www.davidisbetter.com/
1. What is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing the city of Lexington and your district (if applicable)?
We must create more and higher paying jobs so that we can grow our payroll tax based revenues without increasing taxes as a city. For the 11th district, we must reduce crime and revitalize the existing physical infrastructure as well as older commercial and residential areas. Versailles Road is the true gateway to Lexington and the first view airport visitors see while traveling downtown and it should be treated accordingly.
2. The newly adopted Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan prioritize infill/redevelopment as a primary strategy to accommodate our growth needs. In fact, studies indicate there are many infill/redevelopment opportunities throughout the city. What specific recommendations do you have to protect the character and context of existing neighborhoods while pursuing this needed strategy? Would you support a program that provides incentives for infill/redevelopment projects within the Urban Services Area? If so, what specific types of incentives.
There are a number of ways to protect the character and content of existing neighborhoods, many of which I detailed here http://davidisbetter.com/road-map. While mine were geared to the 11th district, they are applicable city wide.
3. Land use planning and economic development go hand-in-hand. What are the main economic pillars in Lexington and what specific planning policies support their growth? What specific policies do you support to ensure we create 21st jobs that maximize our unique assets?
Encourage and support local business creation – the All Techs, the Exstream Softwares, the West 6th Breweries, the Big Ass Fans etc. We need a shovel ready enterprise business park and 200 acres is a good amount for the immediate needs of the city. Flexible zoning also encourages a more modern live- work type of city or area, among other actions.
4. Why are you the best candidate for the position you seek?
I am a 20 year district 11 resident, and I bring 27 years of proven and successful business experience as well as a law degree to the job, with over $100 million in privately funded projects brought to completion. Out of 5 candidates for the office I am the only one who has proposed an actual concrete plan of action that will enhance our district, lower crime and increase the quality of life.
5. Like the rest of the nation, Lexington’s population is aging. In the next decade and beyond, a majority of households will be headed by someone 65 or older for the first time in our history. Our aging demographic has significant implications for housing and neighborhood design. What specific recommendations do you have to ensure we provide safe, accessible, affordable housing to our seniors in ways that ensure they maintain independence and social connections as they age?
Alternative Dwelling Units may be one of the single most important ideas to help this and I have been a long time proponent of those. Additionally, a multitude of housing options that are new and foreign to Lexington but have proven successful over time in other cities should be in the discussion as well.
6. Fayette County agriculture is an annual $2.3 billion industry that supports one in twelve jobs in Lexington. Fayette County farmland is the factory-floor of this industry, which also anchors a burgeoning travel and tourism industry. To ensure continued viability of our agricultural industries, do you support an annual funding allocation to the Purchase of Development Rights Program? Why or why not. What other specific policies do you support to ensure the continued strength and growth of our agriculture industries?
I support annual funding of the PDR program provided it is to applicants who qualify under local, state and federal funds so that the city does not shoulder the sole burden of the program or any specific purchase. Just as I mentioned in question 3 I would support the same for the agriculture industries. I would also support more focus and expansion on the Horse Park and the role it plays in bringing outside visitors from all over the world as well as the economic impact it has locally.