Lexington Council

Lexington Herald-Leader

Members of a Lexington council committee got an update Tuesday on ongoing staffing challenges at the Fayette County Detention Center .

When current Community Corrections Director Steve Haney came onboard in 2016, there were 52 correctional officer vacancies.  In less than a year, the vacancies were eliminated.  But, Haney noted, “the stars aligned” for that to happen.  This week vacancies stand in the mid 30’s.  Haney said that leads to overtime which can be impacted by staffing for hospitalized inmates.

Fayette County Nearing PDR Milestone

Oct 22, 2018

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County government is closing in on another milestone in its effort to protect rural farmland.  Lexington council members got an update on the purchase of development rights program last week.

From January to August of this year, 700 more acres of farmland got Purchase of Development Rights or PDR designation.  PDR Program Manager Beth Overman told council committee members another 1000 acres are under contract and those owners have already received the matching federal and local funding.

Lexington Mayor Proposes $370 Million Budget

Apr 10, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray presented his $370 million budget recommendations Tuesday for consideration by the urban county council. One significant expense is still being debated by lawmakers and the governor in Frankfort.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Council Member Jennifer Scutchfield has decided to resign her position on the governmental body to take a job with the State Board of Elections.

Scutchfield made the announcement Tuesday afternoon during the council work session.

“I do think this is a good time for me.  It’s a good opportunity for me.  Somebody is going to have to file to run by January 20, so this is a good time to open that up,” said Scutchfield.

Scutchfield, an attorney who represents the Seventh Council District, is in her third two year term. 


Lexington’s council is expected to vote Thursday night on a road-swap strategy involving both city-maintained and state-maintained roadways.

It’s a modified plan that came about following vocal opposition from some Lexington residents.



Members of a downtown Lexington church with a history that predates the Civil War continue to have concerns about how a major park project could impact their worship activities.  


The differing opinions about how Lexington should grow in the years ahead became evident in two close votes at City Hall Tuesday. 

As part of the government leaders made a key decision regarding the county’s comprehensive plan.


Lexington council’s examination of comprehensive plan issues includes debate about the future location of social service facilities. 

The matter got a lengthy review Tuesday during another discussion of recommended goals and objectives for the plan intended to help determine future growth.

The chair of a Lexington’Urban County Council committee says it’s not always dollars that lure commercial enterprises to local areas.

Economic development incentives got a going-over last week at Lexington City Hall. 


A review of Lexington’s Purchase of Development Rights program by a Council committee Tuesday included discussion of a designated revenue stream to help support the rural land preservation effort. 

It would involve the use of hotel/motel tax money.


A Lexington council committee will study ways of increasing representation of women through public art.  

Council member Jennifer Mossotti made the request Tuesday.


Courtesy: /www.csbsju.edu

NOTE: As of Wednesday July 12, Lexington officials say that, due to a large expected crowd, the  location for the public meeting, and possibly the date, are likely to change.: 

Lexington residents with concerns about their cable television or Internet service get a chance next month to air those grievances in a public meeting.  

The opportunity to sound off was announced during Tuesday’s Lexington council work session.


Lexington Council Passes $358 Million Budget

Jun 23, 2017

Lexington’s council has overwhelmingly approved a new budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. 

The $358 million spending plan includes funding for 30 additional police officers.  Mayor Jim Gray says it’s the city’s biggest investment ever in public safety.

Stu Johnson

Mayor Jim Gray has appointed longtime realtor and lifelong Lexington resident Joe Smith to the Urban County Council representing the Second District.  

Smith’s appointment comes following the April resignation of Sasha Love Higgins.  

Love Higgins stepped down following felony theft indictments against her.


Lexington’s programs to assist foreign-language-speaking residents are getting positive reactions from several city council members. 

Stu Johnson

More than two dozen Lexington residents chose to experience for one day what being homeless is like.  Included in that group was Lexington Council Member Susan Lamb.

During the noon hour Wednesday Lamb was at Lighthouse Ministries where well over a hundred homeless and low income citizens got lunch.  Lamb participated in the 24-hour “Give Kids a Home” homeless experience and fundraiser.  She slept on the ground downtown and met many homeless people. 


Lexington police are developing informational material for the public about proper response to “stops” by law enforcement officers.  It will be included in a pamphlet that will soon be released.

The brochure is expected to include information on how to act when stopped in a car, on the street, or if an officer comes to a residence. 


Lexington council members will be asked to set aside money for infrastructure improvements that could bring new jobs.  Budget committee members discussed the details of the program Tuesday.  Funds could be used for road, sewer, sidewalk, streetscape, and public transportation improvements. 

Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen says such improvements could encourage economic development.  “I think it’s one of those things we don’t want to make it just a downtown issue,” said Paulsen.

Council Members Updated on CentrePointe and City Hall Issues

Dec 10, 2015

Lexington Attorney Mason Miller says investors of the CentrePointe commercial development project say they are making progress.  Miller says they have met with construction companies and architects.  He responded to a few questions about CenterPointe this week during the Lexington council meeting.  Council Member Richard Moloney asked if building a new city hall in the nearby dug out block is still being discussed.  “Are we still the main tenant to make this project work for them? Asked Moloney.  “We’re the main tenant they would like to see in the project,” said Miller.

Lexington Council Votes to Increase City Minimum Wage

Nov 20, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


After some eight months of debate, Lexington’s city council has approved a minimum wage increase.  Council heard public comments Thursday night right up until the last minute. 

After hearing comments from more than 30 residents, followed by discussion among council members, a vote on the proposal to raise the minimum wage was taken.


Lexington city council members are continuing to investigate ways to help taxi companies and transportation network businesses coexist.  TNC firms like Lyft and Uber have entered the transportation market in recent years.  They are regulated only under state law.  The public safety committee discussed the issue this week. Committee Chair Jennifer Mossotti asked Glenda George in the law department about TNC participation in local licensing.  “If they didn’t apply for a license we don’t know if they're legitimately operating, correct?” Asked Mossotti.

Lexington Council to Split $4M in Surplus Among Districts

Nov 6, 2015

Lexington’s city council has made some decisions on how to spend some $7 million in surplus funds.  The council voted Thursday night to set aside $4 million to be divided up equally among all 15 members. 

Council member Bill Farmer argued the approach may fall short of full disclosure perceptions.  “I think it’s important for us to make decisions on behalf of the community, with the community being present and giving input rather than running to our favorite spending list upstairs and making decisions that are not really part of what may be better for the whole,” said Farmer.

Route and Service Changes at Lextran Coming in 2016

Oct 23, 2015

Beginning next year, Lexington’s mass transit system will make numerous changes to its services.  Those include adding two-way Sunday service on routes 1-13.  The Lextran Board made the decisions Wednesday.  Some of the proposed changes were outlined to Lexington council members earlier this week.  Board Chair Jeff Fugate says improvements to the Vine Street transit center are also being considered.  “If you’ve been down there it’s a tough spot, but almost all of our riders, in fact up to around seven to eight hundred an hour will transfer there at its busiest peaks,”  said Fugate.

Lexington Lawmakers Question Drone Use in Fayette County

Oct 14, 2015


The use of drones in and around Lexington is being discussed at City Hall.  Government officials say public use of unmanned aircraft is an evolving conversation.

Lexington Council Hears Fire Station Recommendations

Oct 14, 2015

A comprehensive fire station location study in Lexington is not expected to result in any major changes anytime soon.  City council members heard the report during Tuesday’s work session.  Public Safety Commissioner Ronnie Bastin says the recommended consolidation of two downtown fire stations would come with some costs.  “The merger of the two stations that they mentioned, there’s a cost of having to do an addition onto one of the stations in order to house the equipment from the station that would be closed if that decision were made,” said Bastin.

Kentucky Businesses Interested in Trade with Cuba

Sep 28, 2015

Representatives from the Kentucky World Trade Center are taking a business related trip to Cuba next month.  Lexington council members received an update last week of trade center activities. Center President Ed Webb says area business leaders approached him about a trip to Cuba. “Basically we said initially no because the embargo still exists,” Webb said. “It’s still in place which means we cannot do any kind of business activity except for humanitarian aid, which would be medical and food supplies.”

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington city leaders have decided to wait before moving forward with home delivery restrictions on unsolicited publications. The debate at city hall pertains primarily to an advertising and news product of the Lexington Herald Leader.  A council committee voted earlier this summer to require such publications to be placed on doorsteps, rather than on front lawns or on driveways. Council member Bill Farmer believes there are free speech issues to consider.  “We’re taking a broad brush approach to stopping the paper from delivering this circular, this informational circular, and it harms t


Lexington council members should be expecting a request in the next week or so to hire an architectural firm to design new uses for the old courthouse.  Council was updated on the project during Tuesday’s work session.   Jenifer Wuorenmaa with the Chief Administrator’s Office says the plan is to form a for-profit general partner to take advantage of tax credits.  “This project has to sort of work together with exterior work, some internal work, and some roof replacement so we can start spending money and capturing as much of those expenses as we can," said Wuorenmaa.  

Lexington Council Reschedules Meeting on Minimum Wage

Aug 18, 2015

A Lexington council meeting focusing on a proposal to raise the minimum wage citywide has been postponed.  The decision to reschedule came during Tuesday’s work session.

Lexington Begins Food Truck Fire Safety Inspections

Aug 17, 2015

The city of Lexington is initiating a fire inspection program for food trucks.  Details were spelled out last week during a council committee meeting.  Lexington Fire Marshal Mike Farmer says the review covers many aspects of cooking on food trucks.  “We have a meter that will try to ascertain if there’s a propane leak, if they’re using propane to cook with," Farmer said. "We check their fire protection systems like their hood system.  We’re gonna check their extinguishers to make sure they’re up to date and current.”