Harry Clarke gets our endorsement in the race to represent the 10th district on the Urban County Council. The incumbent, Doug Martin, has chosen not to run for re-election.
The 10th district encompasses a large portion of southwest Lexington, including an area between Southland Drive and Stone Road west of Nicholasville Road and from Lane Allen south to the Jessamine County line.
Clarke is now retired from the University of Kentucky school of music, which he led as director for 14 years after directing the UK band for 20 years. His experience as educator, administrator and successful planner (the school of music achieved national recognition under his guidance) all recommend him.
In addition, Clarke has demonstrated his commitment to the district and community. He's in his second term as president of the Harrods Hill Neighborhood Association.
In his meeting with the editorial board and in other forums, Clarke demonstrated an understanding of Fayette County's unique opportunity to preserve farmland as both an amenity and an economic asset while enhancing urban life within the Urban Service Boundary.
He supports the PDR program, maintaining the current Urban Service Boundary and creating incentives to encourage infill and redevelopment in the core of the community.
He says compromise is essential in solving city fiscal challenges, including funding the police and fire pensions and he has a good idea of putting more artistic activities in neighborhood parks.
Steve Nelson, Clarke's opponent, did not commit to funding PDR or holding the line on expanding the Urban Services Boundary. Nelson, president of the Pasadena Neighborhood Association, appears lukewarm on proposals to make better use of the area that already has city services, including incentives for redevelopment and affordable housing. He is also hesitant to revisit funding of police and fire pensions, concerned about employee morale.
We believe Clarke's intelligence, judgment and experience will serve both the 10th district and the city well.
The unendorsed candidate may submit a 250-word response by noon Monday.