It is this season that we begin to take inventory of the previous year. Looking back, it has been one incredible year. The most fulfilling part is to see the ideas set forth in 2015 come to fruition in 2016. Let me catch you up on some of our efforts.
One strategic goal in my first term was to increase accessibility and communication in the district. The “Coffee with the Councilmember” has been a great way to interact on a regular basis with those in the district, and I plan on adding new coffee shops locations in 2017. I really enjoy being present in the neighborhoods, so please continue to invite me to join you at your next neighborhood association or community meeting. Just last month, I attended the Beaumont and Pasadena association meetings. I have also been working with associations to provide speakers on public safety and bring a face to the issues that matter most. Jamie and I also hosted the end of year Holiday Celebration at my house to say thanks to our neighborhood leaders who work tirelessly to improve our district.
Another goal is to create a more citizen-friendly government, which I interpret as listening to you first and then taking action. I continually heard concerns about increased traffic in the Beaumont/Harrodsburg Road corridor. It took a year to acquire the funding, but as of today the consultants are out in the field preparing solutions. My office handled all of the public outreach – more than 1300 responded to the online survey and 90 attended public engagement session.
The third goal is to look for ways to increase efficiency in services and improve strong fiscal health. It did take a few tries and it won’t ever be perfect, but I do believe the snow plan now works more effectively. The paving plan went into effect this year and will need some continual tweaking, but it should stretch the paving resources further and increase the city’s commitment to major connecting roads. Strong fiscal health will require that our city works towards strong payroll. I am really proud of the new economic development grant that my office spearheaded.
Lastly, I will continually work to provide innovative ways for the community to grow and prosper. While it may seem small, the new sign welcoming Lexingtonians to the “Southland District” is just one way to foster community investment and economic vitality. My office worked with the Southland Association and the University of Kentucky students to leverage private sector funding from a small grant from the Corridor’s Commission. The sidewalks will begin construction this summer. Lastly, look for some cool new public community spaces in the corridor.
In addition, I believe strongly in promoting public safety by supporting the additional sworn officers and safety officers to increase presence in our neighborhoods. I hope you see that I am working hard to update our parks with a new swing and tennis courts at Southland Park and the addition of the 6th field at Cardinal Run Park this spring. I am serving on the Parks Master Plan which will examine our park land to ensure we are meeting your needs today and in the future. Lexington is a phenomenal city to live and I am honored to continue to be your advocate and servant in the next term.