Sandy Shafer- 2018 Primary Candidate Questionnaire
Running for: Urban County Council 11th District
Candidate Website: http://www.electsandy.com/
1. What is the biggest challenge and opportunity facing the city of Lexington and your district (if applicable)?
The 11th District is a very diverse district. The biggest challenge for the district are safe and affordable housing, jobs, and education for ALL its people; and yet these are its greatest opportunity. I believe this is true about all of Lexington – Fayette County.
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.
Infill and Redevelopment MUST be neighborhood friendly to ensure a positive neighborhood impact. Any change should work to preserve the character of each neighborhood. This is done by using neighborhood specific criteria and guidelines, which need to be considered ALONG with neighborhood input to ensure its integrity. More neighborhood associations are needed so that every house would be under the “umbrella” of a neighborhood association! This would be one way to grow and educate citizens on the issues of planning and zoning.
If we could add “more tools to the tool chest”, one I would add is additional living spaces on property inside the USB. This could be done by allowing connected spaces over a garage or in a basement to create more density. Freestanding dwellings could also be considered. This would allow single-family structures and zoning which creates additional dwelling units and income. This would not jeopardize the integrity of the overall area, but creates additional living accommodations while adding to basic services ie LexTran, schools and roads.
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 main economic pillars in Lexington are its PEOPLE, public/private partnerships, and parks. Lexington’s people are our BEST asset and should have the highest consideration, value, and care. Lexington needs to provide housing that is safe and affordable, with education and experience-based learning that is available for all learning levels. Community activities should work to develop the youngest to the oldest and of all abilities! Knowing yourself and knowing your neighbor(s), volunteering, and learning to be a team player all move us towards a caring community.
Housing should be clean and safe! There should be strong strategies in place to force property owner(s) to begin a process of standardization and cleanup. There needs to be appropriate infill that would allow the size and configuration of units needed. (Adding of granny flats, etc., as already stated.)
I believe that a workgroup with LFUCG, Fayette County Public Schools, and the University of KY, partnering and talking more on a regular basis would help identify areas where we fall short in education and work force development.
I would like to see GREEN infrastructure that would join all of our parks together. This would provide alternative travel, exercise, and stormwater control. Also, I am in favor of the downtown urban greenway as well as a greenway that would take us from Fayette County to Ashland. How nice it would be to be able to bike from Pikeville to Paducah (through Lexington) to see my state.
Public/private partnerships that range from the agriculture based (horse farms, family farms, and tourism), to education, health care, service-oriented businesses and non-profits are what make Lexington great. I would like to see Lexington be more “GREEN” across all of those. This means a shift in how we grow and what we “throw away”. No more trucking our waste to another county. Let’s have better recycling for all residents AND businesses. Let’s create more reliance on solar, wind, or other sustainable energy sources to become a leading GREEN city! Diversity in new agricultural endeavors, i.e. brewing, distilling, and hemp productions are also big. We must LEAD, and I would support incentives to make this happen by making changes at the city level, as well as supporting changes at all levels.
4. Why are you the best candidate for the position you seek?
I was elected to the 10th District Council seat in 1994 and held that seat till 2006 when I was “termed out”. That is 13 years of being an elected official, which is as long as you are in school, K-12. I will bring knowledge of this job, and the ability to work with citizens, council and a mayor, as well as state and congressional leadership.
I have 13 years of experience with RESULTS (look at Southland Drive).
• I was instrumental in Fayette County becoming the first KY County to have a smoking band in place.
• I created more neighborhood associations than any other council member, Picadome NA which I started in 1988 , before I was on the council.
• I lead the efforts to build four Creative Playgrounds in 1988, 1991, 1992, and 1994.
• I started Friends of the Parks in Fayette County, Inc., which has brought grant monies into our parks over the last 25 years. We still see the benefits of this organization. In 2016 and 2017, Friends planted 500 trees at Shillito Park and another 225 trees are to be planted along the Legacy Trail in October 2018. My motto has been and still is “LEX Build It Together”.
These are just a few of my accomplishments; for more you can go to www.electsandy.com
On a more personal note, I am a home grown Lexingtonian and am a graduate of Lafayette High School and was in the band. I attended the University of KY, and was in the UK band and am in the Alumni Band now. I am married to Paul Shafer and have 4 grown children and 9 grandchildren, with one more due in JUNE.
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?
This is an infill and redevelopment issue, to age in place, to have affordable and suitable living accommodations near facilities that provide help, support, and comfort. We need more “tools” to provide and build housing, walking and biking paths for exercise, and access to basic services. Assistance for those with lower income, special needs, and minorities also need to be considered. “If one boat rises, they all rise….” Let’s lift the lowest boat….
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?
This opening statement says it all! I supported the PDR program when it was created and will continue to do so. Our signature industry is tied to jobs throughout the Commonwealth! That, in turn, points to the need of having a PDR program with a permanent funding source to ensure growth and continued strength. This funding source should not just rely on local funding from the LFUCG. We must have the land mass to sustain this important land use that we are internationally known for! I would like a review of the zoning ordinance to consider removal of all non-agricultural related uses that could have a negative impact.