Our municipal code states that eight council members shall be voted for and elected by voters of the city at large. Not included in our code is that within our mayor-council plan form of government, we can have no fewer than six and no more than twelve council members. In 2000, the population in our city was 18,271, and we had eight councilors representing us then. As of today, with a population that has more than doubled to 38,702, still only eight positions are filled. Rumored growth projections show our county could grow to upwards of 100,000 by 2040. It is important to note that Georgetown now makes up more than half of the county's population.

If we are not careful we could soon find ourselves in a similar situation with our population growth and representation. Realizing these positions come with budgetary needs if we added one member starting with the 2028 election then every 4 years after we could reach 12 council members by 2040. Upon nearing the maximum number of council members allowed we could finalize plans for implementing a hybrid ward system. It would entail giving us a specific number of elected at-large within the entire city and a specific number of seats subject to the ward system. It would be our choice on how we set up everything but one example could be to have 8 ward and 4 at-large positions.

For over two decades, our city has seen many council candidates file but when it came down to the final results, not too many new names emerged. Viable candidates would give a strong showing but it was not enough against someone with more name recognition, popularity, or past election success. We need to consider putting term limits on consecutive terms of office. Council members would serve a term of office for 2 years but not be elected for more than 4 consecutive terms of office. I have no reservations that each voter makes the right choice for them when that time comes. This option would help give non-incumbents more of a fighting chance to become elected and serve in this capacity one day. 

Since construction is ongoing and has been so for a long time we can wait no more on establishing development impact fees. In the past, it may have been seen as an incentive to lure more business here before but going forward we cannot afford to do the same. Our current process for public comments during meetings does not currently allow for much interaction. If this continues, we must ensure matters are being followed up on and feedback is being provided in other ways. A public input committee or citizen advisory board could be formed to increase the chances of voices being heard and acted upon. 

Annual reports from our departments and agreements between our local governments should be made available to address any forms of uncertainty. This info would help us be better informed and prepared for future actions. While exploring future revenue options we must also look at bringing stakeholders together to discuss the growth that is driving the demand. When the line is always moving it is hard to measure success. An impact on community study is something we could look into to better plan for wastewater plant expansion and projected 2040 growth. It would also be beneficial to work with the Kentucky League of Cities to develop a Council Work Plan that highlights goals and priorities.                

Vote on or before May 21, 2024. Look for ballot position # 21. 

Paid for by Jeremy Emerson

Powered by OnlineCandidate.com