LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – Every five years, Lexington city officials come together to chart the city’s future and they ask for your help in bringing ideas to the table.
When the historic Charles Young Center reopened in 2012 in the east, advisory board chairman Charles Fields said many believed the odds of it staying open were 70-30. But 10 years on, it still stands as a thriving community anchor.
“Recreation is a driving force here, but this community has kind of established itself in a program-oriented atmosphere. I mean, you don’t just walk in and out. We wanted to strengthen it until that it becomes an enduring force in this region,” Fields said.
With this program-centric focus, the center is equipped with a full-size gym, senior center, career and workforce center, huddle space, reading rooms and soon a water park. Fields says seniors are the driving and most engaged demographic. They participate in art classes, aerobics, and various other leadership roles at the center.
“That would be my mission period – to keep seniors involved,” Fields said.
But Fields says none of this would have been possible without community input and people being willing to ask the city for what they want.
“It’s up to the neighborhoods to find the direction. When this center opened, we had meetings here. We had a working group for almost a year and we had people from the community here – everyone in and out of this building, downtown everywhere,” Champs said. “It took some great guidance from downtown for us to come together as a community to show what we wanted, and we did.”
This is exactly the non-profit model that CIVICLEX is trying to get people across Lexington to participate in the city’s “On The Table” community conversations.
“Which is a week of conversations all over Lexington in places where people already go and restaurants, parks and libraries and it can be in their homes,” said Kit Anderson, assessment manager.
Conversations will center on what people want to see in Lexington’s future to gather information and data to shape the city’s most important planning document – the Comprehensive Plan.
“I think the easiest way to start understanding how it affects your day-to-day life is to just look at the main themes of it. So the compensation plan is built around the five themes of neighborhoods, environment, jobs, transportation, and then urban-rural balance,” Anderson said. “The way I think about it is when the planners come up with the new compensation plan, it’s like they’re had different ingredients for the recipe. Thus, public input is an ingredient. Their own research is one ingredient, and then some sort of local government priorities of the commission council is another.”
The conversations will take place from April 10-16.
For more information on how to participate and where to pick up the materials you need, visit the attached link.