The Urban County Council is losing four veteran members this month: Tom Blues of the 2nd district, K.C. Crosbie of the 7th, Jay McChord of the 9th, and Doug Martin of the 10th.
Each has contributed in unique and valuable ways during his or her time on the council.
Martin, who has served the least time of the four, since 2008 when he was appointed to fill out the term of Don Blevins, worked long and hard to bring the pending crisis in the pension fund for Lexington's police and fire employees to the community's attention.
His voice has finally been heard, with a task force appointed by Mayor Jim Gray now working with police and fire representatives to craft a solution.
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McChord, who was first elected in 2004, has been an energetic proponent of a healthier, more active Lexington. A staunch supporter of more and better trails, he also spearheaded Lexington's participation in the Second Sunday movement. Now in its third year, the Second Sundays have attracted more than 10,000 participants who met outside on airport runways and downtown streets to learn how to be more active.
Crosbie, who was first elected in 2006, has played a particularly important role in her district through efforts, now successful, to deal with the Pennington Place apartments, a massive, abandoned development in Woodhill that had attracted crime, vagrants, fires and vermin. Construction has begun to transform them into high quality apartments that will enhance the neighborhood.
Crosbie also took on the role of watchdog, championing public accountability, fiscal responsibility and more efficient and effective government operations.
However, Crosbie, who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer last year and has indicated an interest in higher office, waited a long time to announce that she wouldn't seek re-election, a move that discouraged potential candidates.
Two people filed, one of whom was disqualified because he did not have enough verifiable signatures on his petition. As a result, the voters in Crosbie's district had no choice in the election.
Tom Blues, first elected in 2006, has distinguished himself on the council through his hard work, careful preparation and thoughtful, even-handed style. He took on sometimes thankless tasks, like co-chairing an investigation into a noise ordinance and chairing the Environmental Quality Committee as it wrestled with the city's expensive obligation to clean up sewer and stormwater problems after being sued by the EPA for violations of the Clean Water Act.
Blues also took on the delicate work of chairing the Design Excellence Task Force that worked for over a year to craft guidelines for construction in downtown Lexington. Blues always kept public interest front and center during deliberations noting, for example, that city-owned golf courses make the sport affordable for many taxpayers who might not otherwise be able to play.
We wish all these departing council members well in their future careers or well-deserved retirements and thank them for their service.