Richmond City Commission candidate Bobby Johns is no stranger to the race. This election season marks his second time running for a seat on the four-member commission.
Annual pay increases for city employees and promotions based on performance are just two of the issues Johns said he would support if elected.
Johns is outspoken in his criticism of the city commission’s rezoning of property at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Barnes Mill Road so a private builder could construct a student housing complex.
He also is critical of changes in fire protection service and city personnel policy.
“One of the first things I wouldn’t have done is to rezone the (John) Lackey property,” he said. “Secondly, I would not have closed Fire Station No. 5. I also wouldn’t have taken away the vacation from the city workers.”
Many cuts were made to city departments to compensate for the city’s growing debt, which has now turned into a $3 million surplus this past year.
“I would be in favor of restoring some funding if the need is there,” Johns said. “I know the playgrounds are in need of mulch and the basketball court at Lake Reba needs to be resurfaced.”
He is speaking about things taken care of by the city’s parks and recreation department, which received one of the biggest funding cut of all city departments in the 2012-13 budget.
“We don’t have enough firefighters,” he said. “I also would recommend that we re-open Station No. 5 on Duncannon Lane. I also understand that some of our firefighters are occupying different ranks instead of promoting to that position. If they are performing duties at a higher rank, then they should be paid for that rank.”
The city should aggressively seek grant funding to perform a mandated upgrade to its storm-water system, he said.
“We need to try to apply for grants from both the state and federal governments,” he said. “I would hope that we could use the $2.10 meter tax to help pay for these projects. We are going to need $1 million for the next 20 years. I would be in favor of selling bonds to cover these projects if we can’t get enough grant funding.”
A proposed “Fairness Ordinance” that would include protection of members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations also has generated controversy this year.
“There is a federal law which protects everyone from discrimination,” Johns said. “You just can’t terminate an employee without proper cause or because of their sexual preference.”
Richmond City Commission candidates
Free Toyota bornlearning Academy workshops begin Tuesday in Berea
Free workshops for parents and caregivers of children birth to age 5 are being offered for the second year at Berea Elementary School.
The workshops begin Tuesday and will continue once a month through April.
Republican announces candidacy in jailer race
Republican William Burl Sweat announced Monday he will be seeking election as county jailer next year.
Sweat, a Madison County native and graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, said he has 20 years of experience in corrections. He currently works for the Kentucky Department of Corrections but said he has worked in corrections in an Oklahoma county as well as with a private corrections industry.
EKU professor to challenge Thomas for jailer
A new challenger has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2014 county jailer’s race.
Stephen Tussey, director of Eastern Kentucky University’s correctional safety program, said Wednesday he would like to run in 2014.
Tussey, a Madison County native, said he has more than 30 years’ experience working in corrections, including working as national safety administrator with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C.
Two new faces on Richmond City Commission
The four-person Richmond City Commission will have two new faces in January as challengers Laura Durham Morgan and Jim Newby came in first and fourth, respectively, in Tuesday eight-person race.
MC School Board: Hager loses to Renfro for 4th-district slot
Only one of the four Madison County School Board members up for re-election was replaced Tuesday night.
Hembree, Powell win seats on Berea City Council
There will be two new faces on the Berea City Council for the next two years. Former council member Chester Powell and newcomer Chad Hembree will join Diane Kerby, Billy Wagers, Violet “Vi” Farmer, Ronnie Terrill, Virgil Burnside and Jerry Little to sit on the council which governs all who live within Berea’s city limits.
Smart, Shell, Mayfield win legislative seats
Madison County will continue to have two Republicans and one Democrat in its delegation to state House of Representatives as Rita Smart, D-Richmond, and Donna Mayfield, R-Winchester, won re-election by comfortable margins and Republican Jonathan Shell of Lancaster won the seat left open by the retirement of long-term legislator Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster.
Democrats fighting to keep edge in state House
Republicans and Democrats were out in force Monday, traveling across the state, trying to haul in a few last votes to provide a winning margin Tuesday.
Ballot boxes delivered all over county Monday
Ballot boxes and election kits were delivered to the county’s 17 polling locations Monday morning in preparation for Election Day.
Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger and a crew from the county road department distributed 112 ballot boxes, two for each of the county’s 56 precincts.
Jaynes enters his first race for city commission
Don Jaynes, a certified public accountant who previously was a community member of the city’s former finance advisory committee, is in his first race for city commission.
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