Richard Moloney- 2018 Primary Candidate Questionnaire
Running for:Urban County Council At-Large
Candidate Website: http://richardmoloney.com/
1. What is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing the city of Lexington and your district (if applicable)?
I think the pension funding issue is the biggest challenge facing the city because of its impact on the budget over the next four years; we will need more than $20 Million just to cover current staffing levels. I think our greatest opportunities will be in advancing clean energy initiatives that will bring significant savings and efficiencies.
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 voted to adopt the Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, which are part of the zoning ordinance and which provide very specific recommendations for future development throughout our community. I will expect the Planning Commission to apply the recommendations to all infill/redevelopment plans that comes before them; that is their function. Yes, I would support incentives, especially for programs that support affordable housing development and leverage state and federal funds.
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?
The Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, which I support, provide our land use planning policies. Jobs and employment are what drive our local and regional economy. I want our biggest employers, like the University of Kentucky and Fayette County Public Schools to remain stable and provide the well-educated workforce that is attractive to new businesses wanting to locate in Lexington and the surrounding area. We must continue to fund workforce development programs and work closely with Commerce Lexington, our economic development partner, to support and expand existing businesses and recruit new companies.
4. Why are you the best candidate for the position you seek?
Experience is what sets me apart from the other candidates. I have a proven track record for taking a balanced approach to addressing tough issues facing our community.
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?
Again, I supported the Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, and there are specific recommendations for neighborhood design that will help the quality of life for our aging population. I do see a need for the development of more senior and assisted living facilities, and I will work with our Office of Affordable Housing to encourage development of housing options for middle and low income seniors.
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 have supported funding of the PDR program for many budget cycles and I am proud of the success of the program; more than 30,000 acres protected towards a 50,000 acre goal! It has been an important program that ensures the viability of the agricultural sector of our economy, especially our signature horse industry. To name just a few, I supported the development of the Distillery District, the Local Food Coordinator program, the re-establishment of the Bluegrass Stockyards after their devastating fire, and I am a proponent of a permanent, indoor, year-long farmers’ market.