Mayor Gorton delivers annual State of City/County address
Mayor Linda Gorton’s 2024 priorities mirror those touted throughout her time in office. Right out of the gate, her speech focused on public safety.
“Citizens must have public safety. A safe community. Strong public safety is the foundation of any successful city and it is our top priority.”
Gorton touched on the implementation of flock cameras to help solve crimes, the addition of the fire paramedicine program, the growth of One Lexington, and the reduction of homicides and gun violence last year.
“For the first time in five years, Lexington had fewer than 100 shootings just in 2023. This is progress.”
When it comes to the economy, the mayor says the city is breaking employment records.
“Economic development is our bread and butter and it’s something we focus on every single day. We’re getting results. Our economy is running full steam ahead. Fully recovered from the pandemic.” Gorton said, “There are almost three thousand more people employed right now in Fayette County than in March of 2020, just before the pandemic delivered a body blow to our economy. We have more than recovered. We are thriving.”
Creating affordable housing also topped Gorton’s priority list. Her next budget will allocate one percent of the prior year’s revenue to the Affordable Housing Fund.
“This will generate about five million dollars annually. A significant increase." Gorton added, "This year nearly 28 hundred acres of expansion land were identified for development with a priority placed on constructing affordable and workforce housing. New regulations will be designed that further promote equity and housing development throughout the urban service area.”
Construction projects are also on the horizon, including a new city hall. Gorton anticipates “having definite plans by this summer.”