2022 Candidate Q&A – Richard Maloney

Richard Maloney
Richard Maloney

Running for: Council At-Large
Website: http://richardmoloney.com

1. Nicholasville Road corridor is a major contributor to how Pensacola Park neighborhood interacts with the city, in fact only one of our routes from our neighborhood goes to a different location (Rosemont Garden); so most of our streets spill out onto Nicholasville Road primarily. While the Imagine Nicholasville Road comprehensive plan focuses on the bus and car, aka the driving experience, our neighborhood often uses other forms of transportation, like walking and biking; as we make up UK professors, medical professionals, students, families, and elderly people. If you were elected to council, how do you propose to be our advocate in working to improve upon the Nicholasville Road experience? For instance, how would you help work with us and the state to get a median installed so that pedestrians have a refuge to cross over to the other side? How do you propose to help widen walkways to be more ADA compliant? How do you propose to safely transverse bikers up the Nicholasville Road corridor?

I serve on the MPO and also on the Commission for People with Disabilities, so I am currently supporting programs and policies that make our city accessible to all. ADA compliant sidewalks on both sides of the road and highly visible crosswalks and raised medians are goals of the Nicholasville Road project that I will fully support.

2. In February 2020, Louisville Metro Council passed the 100% renewable-energy ordinance setting out the goals of 100% clean electricity for Metro operations by 2030, 100% clean energy for Metro operations by 2035, and 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040. Similarly, Frankfort recently passed a resolution that calls for 100% clean renewable electricity for City government operations by 2023, 100% clean energy for City government by 2030, and 100% clean renewable electricity community-wide by 2030. At the moment, Lexington has no plans for transition to renewables despite having been named “BigFoot” for having the largest per capita carbon footprint in the nation. What will you do to remedy this situation? What renewable energy goals will you propose for Lexington (LFUCG and the community), and what actions and what policies will you implement to achieve those goals?

For the past 10 years, the City has focused on energy efficiency and established the Energy Improvement Fund, which has saved more than $2.5 Million in utility costs across government. We are now doing more distributed generation, such as solar panels on City buildings. I am supportive of renewable energy initiatives within government and throughout the community.

3. Per the KRS Chapter 67C, fair, diverse representation is cited as a must when it comes to a planning commission, but Lexington has declared itself not a consolidated
local government but an urban county government under KRS Chapter 67a, which means it has its own governing rules in this arena. Currently, they do not have governing bylaws that address a balanced governing body, nor mandates that only a certain amount of appointees sit on the commission that have direct financial interests in development; there are no restrictions on how long a district representation can sit on the commission, no real transparency on who is sitting on the board, and a lack of professional representation when it comes to the cities infrastructure (eg. social workers, environmentalists, landscape architects, urban planners, civil engineers, professors, transportation engineers, traffic engineers, stormwater engineers, etc). While planning commission is appointed by the mayor, they are confirmed by Council. If you are elected for Council, how do you propose amending our current planning commission bylaws to be more transparent, equal, and fair?

The Mayor and Council are committed to diversity and inclusion across all boards and commissions. The Planning Commission, like every other board, has term limits and members are bound by the ethics rules regarding financial disclosures and conflicts of interest. When approving applicants, we strive for diverse representatives from our community willing to serve as volunteers.

4. Neighborhoods currently feel under attack when it comes to developmentally driven projects that are pushed through by LFUCG, with little regard to how they engage with their surroundings. This is often a result of there being a lack of smart developmental design guidelines in zoning texts that would ultimately help integrate newer developments into existing urban fabric. The original Imagine Lexington comprehensive plan proposed city design guidelines that would address this issue, but this was nixed on a council level. If you are elected to this position, how do you propose addressing potential design guidelines with planning staff as they amend current zoning laws to help for better developmental integration into existing neighborhoods?

Imagine Lexington is the comprehensive plan of 2018, and in 2023 it will go through the 5 year renewal process. I look forward to this review to see what we learned using the new model of planning and how we can improve even more over the next 5 years. The Council’s role in the comp plan process is to approve the goals and objectives, and the top goal was growing successful neighborhoods. I support the same emphasis in 2023.

5. Do you believe there is a housing shortage? If so, do you support the downzoning of commercial properties to mixed use residential and potential moratoriums on issuing commercial permits to help address the current housing crisis?

I have been involved with affordable housing for my entire career and know very well of the pressures on our housing market. I think there are many creative housing options and I support incentives that leverage funds to bring new units to the market.