2040 Vision for Lexington released

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Mayor Jim Newberry today released the final “Destination 2040″ report.

In early 2007, the Mayor and Council said they would make development of a community vision one of their six pillars, or priorities, for the community. Work on Destination 2040 began fall of 2007, with “the gathering of information from citizens in all walks of life.”

[Ace wasn't invited. But the city DID keep us engaged in the democratic process this fall, trying to kick our Big Red Boxes off the city streets.]

We were cc’d on the 2040 press release though, and can report that the city says the committee and work team took “broad citizen input and developed it into a broad community vision that also includes 75 specific strategies to move the vision forward, over time. These strategies target human needs, physical growth, economic expansion and cultural creativity.”

For example, according to the report, “Cultural creativity needs include:

  • Development of an arts and entertainment district, including recommendations for increased arts and entertainment establishments [no mention of the ones that got bulldozed]
  • Attraction of tourism, including recommendations for a downtown circulator and the building of successful community brands.
  • Diverse cultural offerings and events, including recommendations for accessible music and arts education, growth of private and public funding support and establishment of a film commission.
  • Performing arts facilities, including recommendations for more outdoor performances, improved programming and a cultural web site.”

Audio segments from Mayor Jim Newberry and Charlie Boland are available at LexingtonKY.gov

Feel free to comment.

  • Eric Patrick Marr

    I’ll comment.

    I was a facilitator for this D2040 project. In fact, probably one of the lead facilitators, as there were 102 of us, and 2000 citizens were engaged. That’s an average of 20 citizens per “meeting leader.”

    I met with 80 or so.

    A couple of important things – the IDEA of Destination 2040 is a great thing. Our future WILL come from the bottom-up and inside-out, from within our people. With that in mind, Charlie Boland’s pet project here (he’s announced his retirement, recently) is good, in concept.

    However, LFUCG still suffers from the antiquated paradigms of bygone eras.

    LFUCG presents D2040 has having engaged 3000 citizens, which sounds like a lot, at first earshot. But Lexington has 280,000 citizens. Therefore, the percentage of citizens actually listened to is 1.1%.

    That’s right, 1.1% of our city was engaged for this project, yet it is being billed as “of the people.”

    Go ask your neighbors, I guarantee a huge percentage will say THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT, before.

    I wonder, if only 1.1% of the City Council was listened to, would THEY accept it as a good thing? I wonder, if Mayor Newberry only was able to express 1.1% of his thoughts, how “true” would that be?

    And a couple of other things – this whole project was finished BEFORE the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, so how many citizens were really thinking about Economic Development then?

    And since NO ONE knows that LFUCG derives 83% of its revenue from the local payroll tax (making GOOD jobs the most important thing they SHOULD BE doing), how many citizens ranked economic development as Lexington’s top priority?

    From preliminary information I’ve seen, as a “privileged” facilitator, most citizens focus on other areas of needs. Which is fine, but if they were ever actually informed that EVERYTHING in this city depends almost ENTIRELY on GREAT PAYING JOBS, the statistics would tilt heavily toward the need for cultivating our economic future.

    Anyway, we shall see what Council does with D2040′s findings, if anything. From my observations last year, Council couldn’t care less about them. Several meetings were even postponed, because of disinterest.

  • Eric Patrick Marr

    PS –

    Back to that 1.1%.

    Don’t forget Gallup’s CEO, Jim Clifton, and his findings on what triggers Brain GAIN (not drain) and hence, economic growth.

    He said the holy grail of a robust economy, in your city, is COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, because it ATTRACTS the leading minds and innovators to your city. He said mayors and city leaders must understand what today’s SMART people want – to be involved.

    Yet LFUCG defends its meager 1.1% engagement rate, to the death.

  • Andrew Wyllie

    I managed to get up to the part about the monorail and decided to put the document down for a little while and do something else like give the cat a bath.

    Again, my major concern/comment is that the city does not seem to be willing to take advantage of the internet. I have heard a little about this project, as I tend to watch a little channel 3 every once in a while, but I did not know how to get involved. Public forums, blogs, tweets and even plain old mailing lists, when used effectively, can really help to get the message out to the people and get a lot more public involvement.



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