Ike Lawrence- 2018 Primary Candidate Questionnaire
Running for: Mayor of Lexington
View Candidate Website: https://www.ilikeikeformayor.com/
1. What is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing the city of Lexington and your district (if applicable)?
The biggest challenge is addressing the murders of 25-30 youth on the North End and the 70 overdoses, also mostly on the north end of town.
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.
I heard a strong rumor that we still have 2,500 acres left over from the 5,500 acres we let in – in 1995. Plus, we have many commercial and residential buildings that still need to be rehabilitated or torn down, i.e., shotgun houses, old bus depot. Look at what Brett Construction and the Setzers did at IBM! Nice. No need for city incentives. Plenty of land available for infill and redevelopment.
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?
I co-founded the Town & Gown Commission in 1999 which Jim Gray stopped in 2011. I will start it up again and have rural leaders at the table with UK/City/Neighborhood/Student/Landlord leaders represented.
4. Why are you the best candidate for the position you seek?
I am the best candidate because Mayor Gray’s liberal policies have us on the precipice of default: $600+ million in debt, increased payments to Police and Fire, no more revenue from UK’s Dormitory Build, and total mismanagement of the City’s four office buildings. These City buildings could offer walk-up windows to allow for interactive business use. I envision a Wall Street-like, electronic message board, detailing the news of the day, as well as a scrolling docket of the City’s business for that week.
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?
I am a big proponent of grandparents and/or older in-laws or widows/widowers living with their adult children and grandchildren (like the Waltons on TV). Maybe a 10-20% discount on the tax bill each year. They could live in basement or garage/rear apartment to have some sort of independent living.
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?
Again, we still have 2,500 acres untouched that is in the Urban Service Area (USA) that is available for factory and re-zoning. I like the up-zone from 10 to 40 acres minimum we did 20 years ago for the farms. And I support the 840 + 10 acre “farms” and their grandfather status. I feel it is unjust for PVA David O’Neill to take away the 10-acre status by stealing away the use of the land, i.e., land under house, barn and pool.