Four candidates for Lexington mayor fielded questions last night at a forum sponsored by Operation Turnout and the People’s Campaign Community Network.
Former Vice-Mayor Linda Gorton told those in the Central Library’s Farrish Theater she’s been an honest public servant and a collaborative leader who’s brought people together to find consensus. “I have a proven record with those kinds of traits and they’re just part of me, so that’s how I operate,” said Gorton.
Former Police Chief and Public Safety Commissioner Ronnie Bastin believes violent crime can be reduced by cutting the amount of opioids coming into Lexington. “We have to put significant enforcement dollars and efforts into enforcing the supply and cutting that down coming into the community. And we can do that,” noted Bastin. “I’ve led efforts to do that before.”
Many of the questions centered on social and economic justice issues. Former Mayor Teresa Issac said visits to at risk neighborhoods promote community confidence. “I think you gain the trust of the people. You hear the ideas of people who maybe are too intimidated to come to the government building,” said Issac.
Council Member Kevin Stinnett says one of the biggest housing needs involves seniors who want to downsize. “We need to find affordable housing for our middle class seniors, so they can leave the headache of painting and grass of a large home and move into a home they can stay here in Lexington and afford at the same time,” explained Stinnett.
The other two mayoral candidates participating last night were former Mayor Teresa Issac and long time city council member Kevin Stinnett. On an education matter, all four said they would not authorize charter schools in Lexington.
Three others running for mayor, Ike Lawrence, Skip Horine, and William Weyman were not invited to take part in the forum. Moderator Patrice Muhammad said the four selected had a previous record in government or were involved in local government in some way.