Jim Newby, a Richmond firefighter, is making his first bid for public office by seeking a seat on the Richmond City Commission. If elected, he could not also be a city employee.
He addressed questions from the Richmond Register during an interview. His edited responses appear below.
Should funding be restored to the Parks and Recreation Department, which saw the biggest reduction in the 2012-13 budget?
“Yes, I think some of that funding should be restored. Parks and Recreation helps bring people and revenue to the city.”
Is the number of firefighters, 52, which is two below budgeted strength, adequate?
“I think it was a huge mistake to shut down Fire Station 5 off Duncannon Lane. About two weeks later, we had several emergency runs in that area. Station 4 on North Keeneland now has to cover that area. Relying on the county fire department to help cover it is not enough, and Station 4 has to cover county areas along Lexington Road. To respond to an bad accident in the northbound lane north of Exit 83, we had to go south from Station 4 near Exit 90, cross the bridge at Exit 83 and then head north. That took 12 to 15 minutes instead of 2 to 3 minutes it would have taken from Station 5.”
How to fix the city's storm-water problems, and pay for it.
“This is something we need to address without punishing the citizens. We need to study this more, find out what needs to be done and how much it will cost.”
Rezoning corner of Barnes Mill Road and Lancaster Avenue for a student housing complex?
“I don't think (the rezoning) was a good idea. I've talked with more than 800 residents of that area and almost all were against it. I don't think the commission was looking out for the interest of people who live in that neighborhood.”