Lexington Council and Administration express concern about employee feedback on diversity-equity and inclusion

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

A survey of employees in Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government shows there are areas of concern. The issue got attention last week during a Council Committee meeting.

Lexington’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer Arthur Lucas said more than 15 hundred employees participated in workshops with over 700 responding to feedback surveys. In detailing a few employee comments about workplace culture, Lucas said those included, quote, “rooted in tradition and procedure and we’re in 2022 but it’s 1929 here.”

Sixth District Council Member Denise Gray said she’s heard from several government workers.

“Let me say, it’s probably because I’m new as someone has mentioned a large number of our employees have been coming to me regarding their unhappiness with their employment,” said Gray.

Gray explained those concerns include what these employees deem as unfair additional work hours, bullying, and worrying about being punished for expressing grievances. Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton said some of the steps taken to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues are not working. Hamilton said there will be a regrouping around this issue.

“What we’re doing it too departmentalized….is in silos..we need to undo those silos and then we need to make sure that these are not just words. We need to make sure there are actions, backing up these words.”

Hamilton added it’s important to rip off the band-aid to bring attention to some of the issues tied to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She said a lot of employees have doubts about the government’s seriousness on these matters.

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Photo: Lexington Diversity and Inclusion Officer Arthur Lucas (Stu Johnson)