Lexington Mayoral Forum Focuses On Land Use, Seniors, And Agriculture

Oct 3, 2018

The mayoral forum Tuesday night at the Central Library Theater. Lexington Candidates Linda Gorton and Ronnie Bastin responded to citizen questions offered by WKYT News Anchor Bill Bryant
Credit Stu Johnson

Lexington’s two mayoral candidates fielded a number of questions Tuesday night on land use issues.  That included the 250 acres of land near interstate 75 as part of the city-UK land-street swap plan. 

Linda Gorton, who served 16 years on the urban county council, suggested surveying the community at large as well as interests like Commerce Lexington, UK, and small businesses. “Get input from everyone who understands business and see what they believe the needs are going to be in the next 20-30 years,” said Gorton

Former Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin says government officials need to be selective, seeking good high paying jobs, but no smoke stacks, quote, “ruining the rural landscape.” “I think we’re going to be in a good position, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to attract the right companies,” noted Bastin.

Bastin says the basic foundations include community safety, workforce development, and embracing diversity.  Gorton believes a strategic plan is needed for the 50 acre parcel that is available now.

Gorton believes Lexington could be a hub for future high tech agriculture activities steeped in computerization. 

On issues related to retirees, Gorton says new employment opportunities rank high.  “Some seniors want to retire from the career they had, but they want kind of a part time smaller job to keep some interests going,” said Gorton.

While the horse industry is deeply ingrained in the bluegrass, Bastin contends mayors and mayoral candidates haven’t looked for ways to help ag industries thrive. “When there is something at the state level, legislatively that might help their industry to thrive, we don’t need to take a second seat and stay at home over here.  We need to go to Frankfort and make sure we stand up for those industries,” contended Bastin.

Both Gorton and Bastin are steadfast in their positions to maintain the current urban service boundary, as a way of protecting the rural areas of Fayette County.