Josh McCurn- 2018 Candidate Questionnaire
Running for: Urban County Council- District 2
I believe in the idea of a better 2nd District. An idea that has our neighborhoods brought together through unity, an idea that raises the bar for our education system instead of settling for the status quo, an idea that foresees safety for our homes and our families. An idea that is now time to put into effect.
I am running for City Council to seek a positive change that benefits all our communities and unites us together. Our District needs a Councilmember who knows the community and listens to their needs, someone who is responsive and has open communication, and someone who will fight for them. We need a Councilmember who is fiscally responsible and can take on the task of being a good steward with our tax money and the city’s budget while keeping our district at the center of the conversation.
Lexington is truly an amazing city, a place that I take pride in calling my home. I want to see Lexington realize its full potential with safe neighborhoods, clean parks, new job opportunities, and a thriving social and economic community strengthened together.
Let’s keep Lexington values at heart while creating a better future for all our neighbors.
Together, let’s make a difference.
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?
Currently, the city of Lexington is aiming to continue infill and redevelopment and working with the community to assess what they feel is needed and not wanted is an important step. I support working to improve our neighborhoods and develop higher density housing to benefit the community. The Urban Service Boundary should be responsibly assessed for growth on the incoming number of residents into Lexington and the amount of available, affordable houses.
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?
I recommend all improvements and changes involve the community’s input from the very beginning. We need to embrace the history of neighborhoods and encompass this into changes and respect the needs of the community.
3. What specific recommendations do you have to address Lexington’s affordable housing issue?
Lexington needs to have the proper zoning in place to fit the needs of all neighborhoods. We need to address zoning amendments and changes to adapt to the needs of Lexington. I propose working with developers and incentivizing building affordable housing and ensuring they are up kept and maintained; higher density and high-quality housing. LFUCG works with over 80 boards and I feel that we need to highlight these resources and continue advancing our relationship with them.
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?
We are facing a crisis of affordable senior living in Lexington and this need is only going to continue to grow as neighborhoods continue to develop. I think that we need to have a plan in place to affordably suit our aging population, one that fits a diverse budget for each person. The design needs to be focused around areas that public transit is readily available, along with local commercial shopping opportunities. As property values rise, we need to protect those who are unable to afford their growing property tax because of neighborhood transitions and highlight the affordable opportunities available.
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.
I support fulfilling the plan to protect the planned 50,000 acres of PDR land and to continue until reaching this point. Lexington is accepting application for PDR and should continue to accept applications and have the PDR board meet to assess changes for in the future.
6. Citizens have noted frustration with traffic congestion. What are your specific ideas to address traffic congestion?
Public transit and the use of it is a great source to limit traffic congestions. I propose that we move to smaller, more frequent bus routes that would allow for neighbors to easily get on and arrive at their destination sooner rather than the current routes which keep you on the bus longer than needed. A campaign that promotes public transit use would bring awareness to locations, accessibility and times and would encourage the use of public transportation. Furthermore, ride share bikes and scooters have allowed opportunities, at an affordable cost, to limit the use of vehicles for some and allow for a cleaner, eco-friendly transportation.
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?
As we talk about growth in Lexington, you commonly hear the phrases “smart growth” and “responsible growth”, and while yes that is true, need to make decisions based on the residents of the second district through public input. I feel that we need to look at both options fiscally and assess where we can save and make the most of our investments, and which one is the most prosperous to Lexington, and ensure there is not a lack of cohesiveness.
8. What is the biggest challenge facing your district? What are your specific recommendations to address that challenge?
District 2 faces a series of challenges ahead, but one issues that we are experiencing more of is a lack of cohesiveness. The district is full of diversity and opportunities, but it lacks what brings our neighborhoods together. As Councilmember, I will not only be hands on in the community to give back and continue understanding each neighborhood better, but I will work to bring our neighborhoods together. We need effective communication, encouragement on participation at events, and bringing back our grassroots that binds neighborhoods together. This change needs to be now.