Lexington City Council

Lexington Mayor Proposes Continuation Budget

Apr 9, 2019
Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is recommending ‘a continuation budget’ that she says resets the city’s spending.  Gorton delivered her suggestions for the $379 million budget to council Tuesday afternoon.

The first-term mayor says private sector job and salary growth have slowed and so funds coming into the city are lower than expected.  Gorton says fixed costs for utilities, pensions, personnel, and debt service have increased.   Still, citizens should not expect to be asked to dig deeper into their pockets.


City Councilman Richard Moloney shared his concerns about Lexington’s budget this week as the council got its monthly update from city revenue officials.  

During that report, Moloney said city funding for big community projects is partly responsible for a tight budget. “We spent more money than we should have.  For instance, we’ve done a couple, three projects that we usually take….been here 30 years, that I saw go through once every ten years or maybe once every 15.  But we did all three within three years.”


University of Kentucky officials detailed Tuesday afternoon an updated student code of conduct policies to Lexington council members.  The university adopted a new code of conduct in June of 2016. 

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Lexington city leaders are moving forward with working with a consultant to study re-timing certain traffic signals on weekends. 

The study involves more than 40 traffic lights in the Hamburg and Nicholasville road areas.  Council Member Jennifer Mossotti asked Acting Environmental Quality and Public Works Commissioner Charlie Martin about the Reynolds Road light near Fayette Mall. “I mean that whole intersection is just a dead stop now.  Not any better when the holidays are gone,” said Mossotti. 

Lexington Herald-Leader

The Lexington Council has voted to spend up to $90,000 to build a temporary parking lot for Main Street Baptist Church.  The expansion of the downtown convention center is anticipated to wipe out much of the area currently used for church parking. 

Elder Wayne Cornelius says church members are happy the council moved in their favor, but long-term issues remain. “So, after this is done, we have to think about long-term, at times when the park comes back into play.  Then that’s another whole series of negotiations have to go on,” said Cornelius

As family and friends prepare to eulogize former U.S. President George H.W. Bush Wednesday, civic leaders in communities all across the country are remembering the country’s 41st president.   Lexington council members observed a moment of silence just prior to Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mayor Jim Gray commented how he, a Democrat, called his sister, a Democrat, in 1992 to see who she would vote for in the presidential race. “My sister said to me George Bush reminds me of our father who had died a full 20 years before.  I think to many people he did remind us of a father figure.”

Stu Johnson

With her inauguration as Lexington’s next mayor just over a month away, Linda Gorton announced her transition team members Tuesday. The former vice mayor-turned-mayor predicts a seamless move from the Jim Gray administration to a Linda Gorton-run government.

Lexington Herald-Leader

More students at career academies in three Fayette County public schools may participate in a summer youth job training program next year.  The programs, found at Tates Creek, Bryan Station, and Frederick Douglas high schools, were highlighted during a Lexington council committee meeting last week.

Council Member Amanda Mays Bledsoe says the city’s summer youth program could mirror the school’s career academies.

successful dealer

There’s an effort underway among Lexington’s globally headquartered companies to recruit senior talent. A presentation Tuesday at city hall detailed the RecruitLex initiative.

Officials with globally headquartered firms like Valvoline, Alltech, and Linkbelt have been meeting for about eight months.  A key part of the strategy involves a newly produced video, highlighting Lexington.

Lexington Herald-Leader

OrgCode Consulting President Iain De Jong has lectured on ways to end homelessness in many U.S. communities.  He was scheduled to make a presentation to Lexington’s city council Tuesday, but got snowed in in Chicago. 

Lexington Building Projects Raise Parking Concerns

Nov 16, 2018

Two high profile projects in downtown Lexington are impacting parking.  Work is underway on a convention center expansion while the Town Branch Park will also be developed in that same area.  Members of Main Street Baptist Church have been meeting with city officials for months about parking concerns. 


 Lexington city council members held a workshop yesterday to hear from an engineering group regarding the possibility of building a new city hall on top of the current transit center parking garage.  Poage Engineers  & Associates President Chris Kelly told council the building could support up to a 15- story structure above it. 

Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council has taken the first step to contract with a New York organization to conduct an analysis of group violence. Council moved the contract with the National Network for Safe Communities onto the regular docket. Suggestions for reducing violence would also be offered. 


Lexington city leaders are moving to expand development opportunities in one zoning category, in anticipation of changing retail buying habits. 


Lexington’s community paramedicine program is working to save citizens, local government, and private insurers thousands of dollars.  That was the gist of a report offered to Lexington council members Tuesday. 

A federal grant of $277,000 enabled paramedics to lend assistance to patients and, in so doing, greatly reducing visits to the emergency department. 


Lexington council members are asking for the ability to be more involved when city government considers certain capital construction projects. 

It stems partly from the council’s consideration this past summer of a proposed new city hall project.


The official launch of a neighborhood park project came Monday in southeast Lexington.   The city’s park system is growing by one.

The passive, open, green space, labeled Buckhorn Park, will be situated on two acres of land already owned by the city.  The addition will increase both Lexington’s number of parks and the ability for residents to find one within a ten minute walk, a goal of Mayor Jim Gray’s.  

Lexington Losing Leaves and Trees

Oct 22, 2018

It’s almost leaf vacuuming time along the streets of Lexington.  Members of the Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee will be briefed Tuesday on this year’s plan. 


The Lexington Council will be asked to increase the number of members on a key land management panel.  The discussion Tuesday at city hall covered more than the size of boards and commissions.

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.