Lexington city council members criticize attempts to ‘intimidate’ them before urban service boundary vote

WEKU | By John McGary

Last Thursday, the Lexington Urban County Council gave a tentative go-ahead to expanding the city’s Urban Service Boundary by between 2,700 and 5,000 acres. The majority of the council’s committee of the whole seemed to agree with Councilmember Preston Worley’s argument that the expansion was needed for more than just new, affordable housing.

“This community is losing jobs constantly to surrounding communities that welcome them welcome development in their land. But our community says no. So it is not equitable. And it is not right to have a policy that cannot house people. And that cannot provide them a decent wage.”

During the meeting, longtime Councilmember Fred Brown criticized the Fayette Alliance, which lobbied against expanding the city’s urban service boundary, for not being willing to compromise. He said a lawyer representing the group sent a letter designed to intimidate him. Without naming the source, first-term Councilmember Denise Gray said she’d received the same sort of pressure.

“I didn’t realize we would be threatened with litigation for doing our job. This is not a game to us. And the threats of litigation. I do not take lightly whatsoever.”

People and groups for and against the expansion will have at least another 10 days to lobby lawmakers before a final vote. The Fayette Alliance did not respond to a request for comment.

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Photo by John McGary, WEKU

Republished with permission.