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New Youth Development & Public Safety Panel To Meet Next Week

By Alan Lytle

Lexington, KY – Fifty people have answered Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and First District Councilman Chris Ford's call to serve on the city's new Commission on Youth Development and Public Safety. The mayor says the size of the commission is a reflection of the scope of the challenge.

"What do you do when you try to solve problems? You bring people together. You crowd the table. That's what this is about. We've got a challenge. We're going step up and work on it."

Ford says the cross-section of business, community, and other stakeholders represent the kind of comprehensive approach that is needed to keep young people active and out of trouble.

"We know that government cannot do it all. We expressed that early on. But we want to tie-in to the community resources and the advocates that have long been supporting our youth."

Councilman Ford got the mayor to fast-track the idea following a recent increase in youth-related crime.

Lexington Police Commander Lawrence Weathers will chair the Commission's sub-committee on Safety, Health, and Crime Prevention. Parks and Recreation's Evelyn Bolgna will head up Leisure, Recreation, and Quality of Life, and LFUCG Director of Youth Services Stephanie Hong will handle Personal Development and Economic Stimulus. Ford says the group hopes to have a preliminary report ready for the Urban County Council by late summer. Its first meeting will be next Tuesday.