© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mayoral Candidates: Take A Breather Before Rebooting City Hall Debate

Josh James

With support for an all-purpose government center at Midland Avenue and Main Street crumbling last week, Lexington's mayoral candidates recommend hitting pause on discussions about a new city hall. 

Despite community momentum and a mayor and vice mayor on board, in the end city leaders could not coalesce around a proposal by local developer CRM to rehome city operations in the current Herald-Leader building. In a surprise turnaround after the failed vote, the Urban County Council set the wheels in motion to reconsider Phoenix Park properties near the downtown Central Library later this month, but both contenders for Lexington's top job have a suggestion: let the dust settle. 

"Everybody who's said publicly to me... they all think (the CRM proposal) would have been a great idea," says former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton. "So I'm hearing a lot of that, but I think the council will kind of take a step back and regroup." 

Former police chief Ronnie Bastin concurs, noting that any decision about a new facility appears certain to land on the shoulders of the next mayor and council.

"I think it's time to reset, look at the process. There were some criticisms of the process," the candidate says, suggesting the council update the approval mechanism to ensure "the highest level of transparency and involvement." 

City leaders remain in general agreement that Lexington government needs a new home, as upkeep costs on the current facilities continue to climb. The council estimates the city has already racked up roughly $22 million in deferred maintenance. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
Related Content