Lexington City Council

Stu Johnson

Lexington city officials announced this week the local government will benefit from a $2 million federal grant to help reduce opioid overdoses.  Later that same day, the urban county council got details about the Opioid Misuse Resource and Needs Assessment.  


Members of a Lexington council committee got an update this week on efforts to link workers with jobs that are in demand.  Some $150,000 was appropriated for workforce development which resulted in the job placement of 105 people. 

Budget Committee Chair Kevin Stinnett says that means new revenues for the local government. “We often talk in payroll tax dollars in terms of getting meaningful investment.  So, we invest $150,000.  At your 105 placements at average of median at  $10.28, that’s $2.3 million in payroll and that $50,516 in payroll tax,” said Stinnett.


Lexington council members appear ready to move forward with the demolition of a downtown street bridge to further work on a major capital construction project. 

The discussion Tuesday included concerns about increased traffic congestion once the bridge comes down.

Lexington Council Committee Gets MetroNet Update

Sep 24, 2018

The Indiana based MetroNet company is working to bring fiber optic connections to homeowners in Lexington.  MetroNet representatives offered an update on installation progress during last week’s Lexington council committee meeting. 


A Lexington city council committee Tuesday moved forward a resolution seeking to boost solar energy use within the central Kentucky community. The solarizing Lexington program involves incentives to bolster solar paneling of homes.

Lexington Council Rejects City Hall Proposal

Sep 13, 2018
Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council has voted down a proposal to relocate city hall in the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Main and Midland.  The dramatic vote came after weeks of wrestling over the matter.

While this plan to repurpose the long-time home of the local newspaper got traction this summer, the idea of finding or building a more suitable site for city government has surfaced off and on for years.  But, when it came time to vote, Vice Mayor Steve Kay, an ardent supporter of the proposal, said the votes weren’t there.


Lexington’s city council is considering hiring a negotiator as part of the process in relocating city hall.  A final vote on a proposed move to the Lexington Herald-Leader building is scheduled for Thursday night.

The city hall proposal has the city entering into a long term lease to own agreement, paying $5 million over 35 years.  Ninth District Council Member Jennifer Mossotti won backing to move hiring a lease negotiator onto the meeting docket. 

Lexington City Leaders Discuss Borrowing Policies

Aug 30, 2018

Lexington council members got into an indepth discussion about borrowing policies this week at city hall.  It came during the Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee meeting.

Council Member Amanda Mays Bledsoe asked Finance Commissioner Bill O’mara if bonding, or borrowing for infrastructure and capital construction expenses, will virtually always be a part of budgeting.

“You’d have to stop bonding for a while to catch up. I guess is my point.  And we’re not going to see that anytime soon.  Right?” asked Mays Bledsoe.

Stu Johnson

Fayette school officials are exploring a social media ‘listening technology’ as a way to watch for warning signs about potential school violence.  That was just one aspect of a presentation offered this week to members of a Lexington city council committee. 


A year after implementing a city ordinance partly aimed at reducing panhandling on Lexington street corners, some concerns are being voiced about its effectiveness.  A review of the pedestrian and traffic safety law came during a council committee meeting Tuesday.  The ordinance allows for citations if solicitors get into the street. 

Stu Johnson

A proposal to convert the Lexington Herald Leader building into a city hall government complex remains in play, but just by the slimmest of vote margins. 

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray was called upon to break a tie vote during Tuesday’s meeting.


Lexington’s council is expected to vote on establishing a public art fund later this month.  The matter was discussed both in committee and during council work session earlier this week. 

Stu Johnson

Lexington’s public golf courses continue to carry a cost to government of more than $900,000 a year.  

Stu Johnson

Lexington city council members spent close to three hours last night hearing citizen comments about a proposed plan to relocate city hall.  No vote was taken on the recommended move.

Lexington Council Consider E-Scooter Ride Sharing

Aug 15, 2018

Lexington city leaders are considering ways to incorporate pay per minute electric scooter ride sharing.  Such thin two wheeled slow speed scooters are not currently found in the bluegrass community.


Lexington’s city hall is likely to be a bit quieter this week, as council members continue on their summer break.  A couple of issues, one a tradition every year and another, a newer hot topic will be first on the agenda come August.


The future of Lexington’s city hall has been a topic of discussion for many years.  It’s been talked about off and on, but never gotten on a council docket for action.  That could change this summer.  But, it remains a difficult issue on which to get consensus.

The city hall talk turned much more serious this year when the call went out for proposals from developers.  Four were given consideration and an independent committee recommended a city hall move, through a lease arrangement, to the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Midland Avenue and Main Street. 

Stu Johnson

Lexington council members Thursday got more details about the land-street swap deal between city government and the University of Kentucky.  




The plan, already endorsed by the UK board, could come before council for final approval in the next few weeks.



A long standing debate over a proposed cell tower in northern Fayette County has taken another turn.  The urban county council took action Tuesday.

The Lexington council voted to reject placing a cell tower on property off Iron Works Pike.  Knox Van Nagell Pfister appeared before council, representing the Mount Brilliant horse farm. “So the question is not if an additional cell tower is built, but where.  And 3360 Huffman Mill Road is simply too close to our farm residences and their families for comfort,” said Pfister.

Stu Johnson

Beginning later this summer, many of Lexington’s homeless will be able to access free public transportation for a year.  The new program called upLIFT aims at increasing self-sufficiency.

Polly Ruddick oversees the city’s efforts to address homelessness.

She told the city council Tuesday that access to Lextran reduces barriers to employment, childcare, healthcare, and housing.  She says participants must be living in a shelter or transitional housing and  working with a case manager on a plan for a permanent home.

Lexington Council Discusses Budget Modifications

May 24, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are discussing modifications to Mayor Jim Gray’s recommended budget for next year.  One issue brought up during Thursday’s Council Committee meeting was the need and cost of a new shelter for the city’s police dogs.  

Stu Johnson

Former Lexington Council Member Linda Gorton was the clear cut winner in yesterday’s mayoral Primary Election.  Gorton and former Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin will now compete in the fall for the top government job.

Gorton’s supporters showed their appreciation as she stepped down from the podium after her victory speech last night.

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are considering spending more money on neighborhood repaving.  The Council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee supported the plan Tuesday.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is suggesting $12 million dollars be set aside for street paving next year.  The current budget calls for 42 percent of funding to go toward local neighborhood streets.  Public Works Commissioner Dowell Hoskins-Squier says the yet to be voted on budget dedicates 65 percent of the funds to neighborhood streets.


Lexington council members Tuesday discussed whether the public should be made more aware when firefighters or police officers are up for disciplinary measures.

Member Angela Evans moved that any actions should be listed on meeting dockets presented to council.  “I’m not asking for any names.  I’m not asking for any kind of identifying information.  But simply notification to the public that disciplinary action will be presented to this council,” said Evans.


Lexington’s city council is set to approve a 10-year master plan for community parks. It’s been two years in the making and involved 3000 citizens.

The parks master plan is a guidebook for things like programs, facilities, operations, and land acquisition.  Consultant Pat Hoagland  made a presentation to the council Tuesday. “It’s not just a capital facilities plan.  That’s what a lot of people will focus on.  It focuses on the next ten years and beyond,” said Hoagland.

Stu Johnson

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.


Lexington city leaders have quizzed local law enforcement and a prosecutor on criminal gang activity.  There was a presentation Tuesday on the Project Safe Neighborhood Program.

Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn told members of a council committee that a critical component of the program is identifying high risk offenders.  “Your law enforcement community, your state, local, and federal law enforcement community and your prosecutors in this county are working together like they’ve never worked together before,” said Red Corn.

Lexington Council Begins Budget Review

Apr 17, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington’s city council got a more thorough explanation of Mayor Jim Gray’s budget funding rationale during a workshop Tuesday at city hall.  


Lexington Council Member Jennifer Mossotti says Mayor Jim Gray’s suggested investment to fund a monument celebrating the history of women was, quote, “a better number than I expected.”  Gray proposed $100,000 go toward the initiative.  

Mossotti says the city money will be augmented through private fundraising.  “We do a lot of private fundraising.  We’re going to deal with other entities throughout the community.  By 2020 we are going to have in place a monument or some public art that will be dedicated to women in Lexington,” said Mossotti.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has named a veteran law enforcement officer to head the Division of Police.  A packed city hall lobby welcomed the news that Lawrence Weathers will be the city’s new police chief.

Mayor Jim Gray noted the community support before offering his formal remarks. “I will tell you something right out of the gate Lawrence, before we even talk that, this is by far the largest crowd that we have ever had in this room,” said Gray to an applauding audience.