Election 2022 Candidate Questionnaire – Brack Marquette

Running for: Council District 4

Does this candidate have a Primary Election on Tuesday, May 17, 2022? YesBrack Marquette election 2022

Question: What brought you to Lexington-Fayette County? What do you love about our community?

I moved to Lexington in 1983 after joining Gov. Collins’ administration.. I am a native of Williamstown in No Kentucky, went to Georgetown College, and headed out of state for graduate schools and my fist college teaching job before returning to Kentucky committed to stay and make a contribution here. Having traveled for business and pleasure widely in the US and Europe, there are very few places that compare with the amenities of our beloved Lexington and Central Kentucky. My in-laws have deep roots and Lexington and my two grown sons could not have had a better place to prepare them.

Question: Like the rest of the nation, Lexington faces critical challenges around developing adequate Affordable housing for low-income families and increasing attainable missing middle housing for the average income resident. What specific policy recommendations do you have to address these different challenges?

The are a number of solutions being put forward in our city as well as in other cities to address this complex and confounding set of circumstances. Few of them adequately address to any degree the lowest income individuals/families. Before we ever imagine fully solving the affordable housing challenges, we must have solutions which address the full range of needful individuals/families not just those at the higher ranges of low income. MUCH work remains to be done on this matter before good solutions can emerge, but I am fully committed to that task of research, input from the public and experts, and open participation in the evaluation of possible solutions.

Question: The 2018 Comprehensive Plan, Imagine Lexington, prioritizes infill redevelopment within the Urban Service Boundary as a primary strategy to accommodate our growth needs. How do you propose we incentivize infill and redevelopment to activate the approximately 17,000 acres of vacant, underused and underutilized land (much of which exists on our major commercial corridors) within the Urban Service Area? What specific policy recommendations or incentives do you think we could utilize to ensure we sustainably use our existing resources to meet our needs?

As a former state environmental official I understand the complexity of redevelopment in areas where environmental damage has occurred. While this factor does not pertain to all the idle and reuse acres inside the boundary it may apply to some. In every case, though, reuse and redevelopment tends to be more complex, slower to implement, more costly, and more risky than conventional open land development. I will be looking for ways to incentivize reuse and redevelopment to lower the costs and risks so it will be a more attractive option for developers. Lexington will grow in population. We must determine how a WELL BALANCED comprehensive plan can make all areas of Lexington-Fayette maximize the potential of our existing business and attract new businesses and jobs which will grow our economic diversity and gainful employment.

Question: The balance between our urban and rural areas is essential to our unique economy, environment, and quality of life in Lexington-Fayette County. Since the last expansion of the Urban Service Boundary in 1996, only 51% of the land brought within the boundary has been developed, and no Affordable housing has been built in those dedicated expansion areas. Do you support an expansion of the Urban Service Area during the current Comprehensive Planning update process? Please explain.

see answers above

Question: To grow Lexington-Fayette County sustainably, we must grow equitably and consider impacts on our marginalized and underserved communities. What specific policies would you recommend to incentivize community-driven investments in historically disinvested neighborhoods while preventing displacement which can result from gentrification? 

Here are some of the needs I will lead in addressing:
–neighborhood organization and investment in neighborhood leadership development
–neighborhood driven and based solutions to crime and lawlessness
–leadership from city government to invigorate the full potential of all our schools
–FULL partnership with neighborhood-based organizations to solve problems TOGETHER
–FULL support for making diversity our PARTNER in progress and our future

Question: What do you see as the pillars of Lexington-Fayette County’s strong and diverse economy? What specific policies do you recommend for: a) activating existing economic development land for jobs, such as the nearly 250 acres at Coldstream; b) creating opportunities for job growth utilizing the significant vacant office and commercial spaces within our urban area, and c) leveraging our unique assets and community strengths to support job growth and continued economic prosperity?

With many of my career years spent working with economic development in numerous communities in several states, I am well informed on the issues of growing quality jobs in Fayette County across all sectors. The one thing Fayette County and Central Kentucky has that many other areas lack is superior attractiveness and an environment that attracts people. The solution ahead for our city/county cannot be one of isolation but must be accomplished in tandem with the cities and counties in our larger region . . . together all of Central Kentucky can prosper.

Question: Fayette County agriculture industries are a significant part of our local economy and cultural identity, having a $2.3 billion dollar annual economic impact, supporting 1 out of every 12 jobs, and anchoring a $2 billion dollar local tourism industry. What specific policies do you support to ensure the continued strength of our agriculture industries and the rural land that supports them?

Any that can keep and grow those jobs and maximize that economic sector. I believe its future viability is essential. Full stop.

Question: The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds offer Lexington-Fayette County a transformational opportunity to invest in transportation, water, power and energy, environmental remediation, public lands, community resilience and broadband. What specific policy recommendations do you have for approaching quality of life investments and capital improvements to make the most efficient use of these funds in the coming years? What are the top priorities for investment in Lexington-Fayette County?

Access to broadband. Quality drinking water and waste water management. Solid waste infrastructure at the highest levels of innovation. Rehab environmental dead zones inside the boundary that impede reuse and redevelopment. Upgrades to our existing parks and recreation infrastructure and search for more greenspace acquisition.

Question: According to the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the average Lexingtonian spends 24% of their income on transportation costs and 26% on housing. What specific policies would you propose to incentivize public transportation, bike/pedestrian improvements, and walkable developments near existing infrastructure to help alleviate both traffic and transportation costs in our community?

Studies have already been done, and more updated ones need to be accomplished. Most believe our city, because of its major artery configuration, is always to be tied to high vehicle volumes. That said, investment in public transportation solutions that are INNOVATIVE and repositioned to meet TODAY’s needs is critical. We have century-old public transportation solutions that must be retooled in the next decade. I look forward to helping address this important issue which is key to our city’s economic and social diversity and success,