Vice Mayor Wu says proposed city employee pay raise deserves attention as Mayor’s proposed budget tops $500M for the first time

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

Lexington, Ky.–Lexington Vice Mayor Dan Wu says a proposed pay raise for city workers deserves Council attention. In outlining her budget recommendations Tuesday, Mayor Linda Gorton suggested a 5% pay hike for non-sworn employees. Wu said it’s partly about attracting and retaining workers.

“We have to stay competitive and that’s always difficult because we, generally speaking, can’t compete with the private sector. It doesn’t really work that way. So, I think any little bit helps in terms of improving our recruitment and retention,” said Wu.

The mayor’s spending plan includes $6 million toward a city hall project, whether that be a substantial renovation, retrofitting another building, or a new facility. Wu said he’s curious and optimistic to see what happens. And the vice mayor said it’s important to allow opportunities for public input into the city hall discussion.

Council Member Jennifer Reynolds said Mayor Gorton’s budget proposal includes a lot of items and is a little bigger than she expected. For the first time, the recommended spending plan exceeds $500 million.

Included in the mayor’s budget, is funding for an integrated public safety camera program. It would feature license reading cameras, traffic cameras, and voluntary cameras from businesses and residents. Reynolds said how to further public safety is an item for discussion.

“I think what we have to figure out is how does the public want to be policed. But, if you look at it as a tool, it seems to be a very, very useful tool at being able to see where crimes happen and who committed the crimes,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds said she’s particularly excited about funding in the mayor’s budget to significantly expand the City’s para-medicine program. Council will conduct numerous hearings in the coming weeks with a final budget vote in June.

Republished with permission from WEKU

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Photo: Vice Mayor Dan Wu says some advocates have called him “wishy-washy” during his first term in office. (Lexington Times file photo)