The following interview questions were posed by Peter Brackney on his "A Better Nicholasville" Facebook page.
Note: I did give credit where credit is due. In all fairness, there is information that I learned from other candidates and they deserve the credit.
These are my responses:
1) What do you see as the most pressing needs for infrastructure or capital projects in this city?
-Correcting long overlooked water distribution problems. I can see where the city is doing the best job possible at building up a monetary surplus, but at what cost to the long term?
-Providing much needed vehicles & equipment to police & fire rather than waiting until it requires an "emergency grant" that will most likely be paid off with a huge portion of the next years budget funds for that department. Withholding funds from much needed emergency services is a dangerous game to play.
- Providing fire stations to the outlying areas that Nicholasville has chosen to annex as part of the city. If you wish to annex it, you should be more than willing to provide the needed services to maintain it and keep it safe. Don't claim the land and then exile the people.
2) How can impact, or exaction, fees be better utilized or collected in order to improve community infrastructure?
-Proper funding and truly competitive wages for our police & fire departments. It's sad when city employees in low risk administrative positions pull down over $100,000 per year, but we struggle to let go of $20,000 to train new police officers. McLane's starting pay is higher than that of a police officer or a firefighter, but the city feels it is acceptable that these individuals put their lives on the line for us, but they don't return the favor with an acceptable paycheck.
_Building fire departments that were promised by the city over a decade ago, rather than refusing to make good on that promise because current commissioners weren't commissioners then. When a commission meeting is called to order, everyone has one name, "Nicholasville City Commission." It is the responsibility of the com mission to fulfill the promises made by previous administrations UNLESS they are illegal or unethical. I'm pretty certain a firehouse is neither of those.
3) Have you made any "pledges" in connection with your campaign?
-Effective, not passive, school security & safety protocol that eliminates the "soft target" permanently. There is no ethical reason why Nicholasville and Jessamine County should have to wait years for the state or federal government to rectify this matter. The kids in our schools are our kids, not theirs. Shouldn't the safety of our children be more important to us than Frankfort or DC. If you think it's pressing on their minds, remember one date: April 20, 1999. The federal government hasn't caught on since Columbine; why would they catch on now?
-Stronger enforcement of traffic laws. A higher expectation of city employees and officials to abide by them. Engineers can only be blamed for their ignorance of design. They can't be blamed for violation of law by those who choose not to accept it.
4) What specific steps will you, as Commissioner, take to make local government more transparent and open to its citizens?
-Although it was a concept presented by another Commissioner candidate, Ann Marie Nipp, I believe it should be more publicized when and where meetings are held. Posting meeting times and dates on the door at city hall doesn't really help anyone who doesn't know that meetings are held at city hall. Maybe it's time for Nicholasville to invest in a digital sign for city hall. They seem to be working wonders for McDonald's and Culver's, but then they want to be noticed.
5) What specific steps will you take to reduce the ISO rating?
-Until recently, I was unaware of the reasons why Nicholasville's ISO rating was so high as well as the reasons it's not higher. Now that I know, it is imperative that all available resources be used to rectify the issues before it costs lives. City hall has a bank of surplus money they won't use and a downtown area sitting on a powder keg. Use the resources to resolve the issue for a far more profitable future before it literally explodes. Thank you "Mikey" Garrett for the educational speech you made on these issues. It was quite eye opening to the dark secrets of downtown Nicholasville.
6) Would you support a fairness ordinance to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation for LGBT persons?
-An ordinance to prohibit discrimination to LGBT shouldn't even be a discussion. While I firmly disagree with that lifestyle, everyone is entitled to fairness in housing & employment. Public accommodations are allowable to the extent that they don't infringe on others rights or wallets.
We left the 20th century nearly two decades ago. Prejudice should be extinct by now. Sadly, I don't have a cure for that disease.
7) Should Nicholasville join other Kentucky communities in adopting the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act to improve the quality of housing in our community?
-Yes, we should. There are so many tenant protections that are ignored in our community. Most of which deal solely with the business integrity of the landlord and the lack thereof. Furthermore, we need to insure that it is encompassing of crooked commercial property "slum lords" who don't maintain the premises to a usable standard but hold the tenants to a higher expectation. There are a few of those in Nicholasville and it's shocking who they are.
8) Do you support term limits for City Commissioners?
-As individuals sit longer and longer in these seats, they become complacent. That is an all inclusive statement and is not intended to single any one individual out. As the commission seat is currently only a two year term, a maximum of 4 consecutive terms should be allowed. This does not disqualify an individual from running for the same office after a one term hiatus.
9) What are your thoughts on the I-75 Connector?
-While the I-75 Connector has the potential to drive revenue, Nicholasville is not prepared for the booming growth, traffic, and challenges it will bring. Law enforcement officers and fire services must be drastically scaled up prior to the opening of the Connector. Pre-development of the areas surrounding the Connector needs to be done so that businesses and residential areas that pop up along the route can be quickly developed. In some instances, the planning for the future of the I-75 Connector looks like a Monopoly board. Buy a street and pop up a community out of nothing. It's the real world ladies and gentlemen, not a board game.
10) What do you want the electorate to know about you and your campaign; what distinguishes you from the others running?
-All citizens of Nicholasville need to be aware of what goes on in the local government. It will affect you more than any state or federal policy or laws ever will. Citizens need to be more proactive in their personal involvement with the government, not only when it affects you, but when it affects our neighbors, coworkers, or friends.
-All parts of the local government need to be more proactive in dealing with state level politics, especially in matters that involve our children's lives, their education, their future, and their prosperity.
-The commission needs to be more proactive in insuring that the local ordinances are enforced. They should also be sure that they themselves are abiding by those ordinances as they represent the body that past those laws.