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Lexington Mayor Unveils More Optimistic 'Budget For Everyone'

Josh James

Mayor Linda Gorton has revealed a nearly $400 million budget focusing on investing in basics while setting a post-pandemic direction for Lexington.

After a "rollercoaster" financial year, Gorton says the new spending plan marks a shift from 2020's bare bones budget. After a year of belt-tightening, she says the city is ready to renew investments in basic services and lay the groundwork for a more inclusive city.

Included in the budget are a number of priorities shaped by the Mayor's Commission on Racial Justice & Equality — funding for body cameras for all police officers, more dollars for affordable housing, and a new senior staff position designed to speed up implementation of the commission's recommendations.

The budget also adds a 3 percent raise for all employees outside of collective bargaining contracts and allots $4.8 million for parks improvements.

The more expansive list was made possible by tighter financial management over the last year, which enabled the city to get by without dipping into its Rainy Day Fund.

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.