Over the past three decades, Ace has invited Lexington’s incoming Mayor and Council Members to contribute an essay to our “What Lexington Needs” space that began as an Ace tradition in the 80s.
WHAT LEXINGTON NEEDS: Jobs, Recycling, Hemp, and Recovery
By Councilmember-at-Large, Richard Moloney
Here’s the four things I am most passionate about for Lexington:
- Getting high school kids into good jobs by partnering with our local businesses to provide job training while they are still in school. Going to college straight from high school is not an option for a lot of kids in our community, but if they get job training to match the skills needed to fill local job openings, it’s a win-win situation for all. They graduate and become employees and immediately start earning good money. Many of our great local businesses will help them with college tuition if they decide to further their education after they have been working for a while.
- Improving our current recycling practices is something we must do. One of the things I think we can do is to make Lexington a glass recycling hub for the region. Also, we need to be more innovative about how we collect and process trash and recyclables. Right now, we use some of our trash to make electricity for Toyota. We need to do more great things like this.
- Hemp production is our future for agriculture. We can be a leader not just in Kentucky, but in the United States. Kentucky soils and climate are the best for growing and Lexington is the perfect place to become the headquarters for everything hemp.
- Opioid addiction is a problem in our community, and I pushed for the lawsuit against the drug companies, who need to be held liable for the lives they destroyed. We need to educate and prevent, and it needs to be a regional effort with our surrounding counties.
This essay also appears in a February 2019 print edition of Ace.
Lexington native Richard Moloney returns to the Urban County Government to serve citizens in his second term as a Council Member At-Large. Formerly representing the 11th district, Moloney served 7 terms over a twenty year period. He was elected to serve his first four year term as Council Member At-Large in January 2015. With his 2018 re-election, Moloney becomes the longest serving member.
Moloney also served as Chief Administrative Officer and Commissioner of Environmental Quality & Public Works for Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. Prior to that, he led the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction under the Beshear administration.
Moloney serves on three standing committees: Budget, Finance & Economic Development, Environmental Quality & Public Works, and General Government & Social Services. He has also been appointed to serve on the Airport Board, Commission for People with Disabilities, Commission on Veterans Affairs and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.
About ‘What Lexington Needs’
Thirty years ago, Ace began including a regular feature from our readers titled, “What Lexington Needs.” A diverse array of local leaders — from artists and architects, to bankers and business owners, and elected officials of every stripe and party — participated over the decades.
In honor of our 30th anniversary, we’ve re-opened the forum. Anyone can contribute. Essays are typically 500 words or less, and the most important criteria is that the writer be passionate about what they believe Lexington needs.
Do you have ideas about What Lexington Needs? Share them. Email 500 words or less to acelist at aceweekly dot com. Include a photo and a sentence or two about yourself.
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