Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Wishlist

I guess it is time I thought about a list of wishes and desires for next year. There are the old stand by desires of the community--A better economy, the usual mix of development and preservation and a call for better government representation. I have a set of continued desires in my wish list.

1. It is past time for Lexington to start to really plan for a future without abundant fossil fuels. Whether or not we go with mass transit or personal vehicles, they will have to be powered somehow. There are no state or local plans in place to provide either enough electric power or any other alternative fuel systems devised to make that possible. We could rely on private industry to provide the answers, but for the last 40 years that has just led us to the position in which we find ourselves today, with no national or local solution. Our local planning efforts consist of looking at the recent past and trendlining for the next 20 years. I would like to see the LFUCG and the two universities co-operate and plan for some kind of a solution.

2. The continued gentrification of Lexington will not be possible with the proliferation of service economy jobs. With the cost of transportation for goods and travel, Lexington will need to begin producing most of its own supplies. We will need to re-establish a manufacturing base and a re-localized, sustainable agricultural system. PDR is a step in a direction but I feel that the wrong people are receiving the benefits for the wrong reasons. The whole of Central Kentucky is losing land for the manufacturing of goods we will need should the cost of global shipping become untenable. Planning for a manufacturing base is on my list of needs.

3. For our downtown to really work, there needs to be a transit system planned before we become a city with no parking and no transportation for the masses. With continued growth and the increased densification called for in the Comprehensive Plan the land downtown will become too valuable to park cars on for 8-10 hours a day. Other cities already know this and parking spots on some of the major cities are valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. Driving into downtown will be similar to Fayette Mall at holiday time. Planning for a streetcar system is next on my list of wishes.

4. Lastly, Lexington should return to the days when a professional manager would run the day to day business of the government and have the Council set policy and direction. This i feel would go a long way toward the desired transparency the citizens have asked for. Lexington should return the the CAO/City Manager arrangement of the original charter.

So, there you have it, my wish list for the coming year of 2009. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

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