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GENERAL ELECTION 2018

This is the third of eight question and answer sessions with candidates for local office. This week, candidates for Midway City Council for election this November, are featured. Each answer, including the bio, was limited to 150 words. In the event of answers longer than that, we are forced to cut from the bottom up.

Stacy Thurman

Brief bio:

My husband, Ian, and I moved to Midway 10 years ago and are raising our two children, Chase and Clara, here. I started working at the Midway Branch Library shortly after we moved and it didn’t take long for a part-time job to turn into a career. I received my Master’s in Library Science and was hired as the Branch Manager in 2015. Working at the library has allowed me to serve the community of Midway in a valuable way and to form relationships with residents of all ages and backgrounds. Under my leadership, the library has increased outreach…

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

The biggest challenge for Midway is maintaining our identity as we face progress. Change is inevitable, but the qualities that make Midway special should not be compromised as a result. As more young families move to Midway, we must consider that this next generation will invest in our town, both personally and financially, and help us thrive. As a council member, I will work to keep these families in Midway by actively supporting affordable housing, quality childcare, continued development of our park, as well as initiating the creation of a youth sports league. I will honor Midway’s rich history…

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

People have different ideas about what “affordable” means. I believe that there is certainly a deficit in the range of housing offered in Midway. There is no easy solution to providing housing options to all socioeconomic levels, but I think continuing to pursue infill development will keep Midway from growing at an undesirable rate. I would work with individuals and neighborhood associations to find viable infill lots and develop housing that is affordable, not cheap, and that fit with the existing infrastructure and landscape. At this time, I am not in favor of expanding our urban service boundary.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

I believe that more of the people already holding those positions would relocate to Midway if it were not for the issues discussed in question 2 - housing, childcare, etc. In order to fill more positions with folks already residing in Woodford County, I would reach out to businesses and provide opportunities for them to promote positions within the community. Job fairs at the library, booths at some of our block parties and farmers’ markets, and contact with high school counselors would all serve as direct routes to our residents.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

I genuinely believe that one person can change the world; and therefore, one city council member can absolutely make a difference to the residents of Midway; we have to work together, respectfully and with open minds. As a member of the council, I will listen to individuals, take into account every possible angle, and make decisions based on what will best serve the city as a whole. I will consider all the people of Midway, not just those with the loudest voices and try to create opportunities for us to work together toward common goals.

Logan Nance

Brief bio:

I am a Kentucky native and United States Army Veteran, having served my country honorably in Afghanistan. My wife and I decided to start our family in Midway in 2015. We both fell in love with this town and are so proud to call it home. We have a 2-year-old daughter, Olivia, and another daughter on the way. I am a member of Midway Baptist Church, and an active volunteer in the community. I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and currently work to promote literacy as a regional representative for Scholastic.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

The biggest challenge facing Midway is deciding how we will address maintaining the small-town aesthetic we know and love while also encouraging businesses to bring jobs to this area. I want to make sure that we create a long-term plan for Midway Station that takes into account future growth and discourages reactionary zoning and rezoning in the area. The heart and soul of our town will always be our railroad shops and restaurants. I believe it is important we consider the long-term implications of all future development decisions and how they will affect tourism in the area.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

There is not enough affordable housing in Midway. The city needs to look at the land available within the city limits and take adequate steps to encourage housing development in those areas. Midway is so centrally located to everything; it’s an ideal spot for young families and retirees alike. There are several locations on both sides of the interstate suitable for townhome development. It is important we add affordable housing in Midway. It wasn’t long ago that people were unhappy with the development of the Northridge neighborhood. Now, Northridge is a vibrant community and home to many wonderful families.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

A good first step to encouraging more Woodford County residents to be employed at Midway Station would be to add additional housing options. There is land available at Midway Station which I believe would be great for townhomes and/or apartments. When a corporation has employees who predominantly live in a town they become much more invested in the community. Affordable housing at Midway Station would make it more appealing to the current companies operating there as well as making it easier to attract future businesses who are looking to set up shop.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

The thing I love most about Midway is the diversity of our community. We have people from all walks of life. Some citizens have lived here their whole lives, while others moved here to start their families within the past year. Some citizens work in towns throughout Central Kentucky, while others walk just a few minutes to work each day. We all have rich ideas for how we believe our community could be improved. I will listen to those ideas, and advocate for what I believe to be the predominate values of our community: diversity, inclusiveness, and good food.

John McDaniel

Brief bio:

As have many of my family members, I have lived and worked in Midway most of my life. I have served as past President of: Midway Merchants Association, Midway Renaissance, Midway Veteran’s Memorial Committee, and Midway Museum Inc. I now have the privilege of serving on a council that has paid off the sewer plant debt which has resulted in Midway’s strongest financial position in its history. I have received the Governor’s Citation for Community Service in 2007 and 2013 and was recognized as Midway’s Most Outstanding Citizen in 2003.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway and what will you do about it?

I believe that the Midway City Council should continue to make the issue of infrastructure updates on the storm sewers, water and waste water lines their number one priority. These improvements should also include upgrading streets and sidewalks. Growth is very important to the vitality of a city, however, we in city government have to constantly work to regulate that growth so that we grow at a rate that maintains that vitality and not destroy the uniqueness of our city and the residential lifestyle that we have today.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

This question demands a definition for the phrase ‘Affordable Housing.” Affordable housing can mean section 8 housing, apartment buildings, adaptable housing for seniors, or a mix of some measure. Defining our needs in this area will determine the plan and approach for achieving our goals. The challenge of drafting desired plans will require the cooperation of financial institutions, local, state and federal government programs, and land that can be purchased at reasonable prices. Long term planning is a must.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

Increasing the employment base, whether individual workers are from the community or other counties, is proving to be a positive development for Midway. Attracting workers don’t necessarily mean targeting a separate and/or specific group or location, but rather creating the most positive work environment for all. Reaching out to Midway Station businesses and workers can provide opportunities to develop positive projects and plans (anti-drug use, continuing education, planned development). Work with those businesses to determine exactly what they require (drug free, higher education, more housing, more tradesmen) and take that knowledge to develop programs to provide young Woodford County residents lifetime job opportunities.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

Individual council members are the eyes and ears of the community. Aside from the leadership responsibilities and skills of perception that council members bring to the table, individual members should be a conduit for our community member’s issues and needs. Individual council members may champion particular ideas or plans, but, in the end, it is the democratic process that best serves the community’s interests and allow both the community and the council to work together toward a common cause.

John Holloway

Brief Bio:

John Holloway is a recently retired UK professor, having taught design there since 1983. He and his wife Patty have lived on Stephens Street in Midway for the past seven years. John was “Midway Citizen of the Year” for 2017. He designed and built the bridge over Lee’s Branch. He is a member of the Park Board and the current manager of Walter Bradley Park, which is a volunteer job for no pay. John and the Park Board have been responsible for the improvements you have seen in the park over the past three years.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

I think the greatest challenge facing Midway is how to manage growth while preserving our small-town charm. We don’t necessarily need to be larger to be happy, but cities do tend to grow over time. We should be careful not to destroy Midway/Woodford County’s agricultural heritage to add housing subdivisions, but we should do more to repair some of the dilapidated buildings and to encourage affordable houses on vacant lots. We need to try harder to preserve the city’s Victorian architectural look.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

People in Midway often discuss the lack of affordable housing, which is telling me that there must be a need. This issue was discussed at a Council meeting a few weeks ago. Part of the problem is that there is only so much land to build on. But infill on vacant lots is another possibility. Perhaps we could provide tax advantages for owners to do that. Or maybe there is a way to partner with Habitat for Humanity which has built a couple of new houses here recently. Midway has a number of substandard homes that need serious repair.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

The City of Midway’s obligations like streets, security, and upkeep are largely funded by the tax that business owners pay on their employee’s wages. Most Midwayans work in Lexington or Frankfort or elsewhere in the county, so in the past that tax base was severely limited. Several large businesses have opened in Midway Station, and revenues have gone up sharply. That will remain true no matter where the employees live. Of course it would be better if out of work Midwayans could have those jobs.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

I started working on Walter Bradley Park three years ago when an adjacent property owner asked me to help in clearing honeysuckle and winter creeper. After years of stuffy faculty meetings, I found great satisfaction in the task. Since then I’ve worked on numerous projects in the park, building bridges and trails and planting trees. As a result, Walter Bradley Park is miles ahead of where it was then. Although I certainly had help with all that, a lot of the encouragement came from me. I am proud of what we have accomplished and want to double down…

Sara Hicks

Brief bio:

My childhood home was two miles from Midway, Hicks Brothers Farms, where I raised and showed purebred Aberdeen Angus steers at fairs all over Kentucky. Marriage and Family Therapy was my 30-year career.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

Midway’s biggest challenge is updating and improving our aging infrastructure. I will continue to keep our care of the city in the forefront of budget planning and focus to make yearly progress.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

We must work as a community to attract investors and developers to increase affordable housing by infilling undeveloped areas within our community.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

We must also continue to support the Chamber of Commerce and high school work ready programs to increase Woodford residents’ employment at Midway Station.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

We make life better for all Midway residents by actively participating in community activities while making ourselves available to hear our neighbors concerns and hopes for Midway.

Kaye Nite Gallagher

Brief bio:

I would appreciate your help and vote to re-elect me to the Midway City Council for a third term. I have had the pleasure of living in Midway the past 25 years. I live in my grandparents’ house; so I have always had a connection to Midway. I am retired and co-own a candy store downtown. I serve on the Woodford County Tourism Commission and still have ideas for Midway. I have enjoyed my last four years and look forward to serving many more. I feel there is more to accomplish for our great town.

What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

Since serving on the council I have had a few challenges and feel I handled them accordingly. We helped develop Midway Station, create jobs, pass a Fairness Ordinance and are in the process of getting an ambulance station. I feel the biggest challenge will be our antiquated infrastructure. However, with the current “new” revenues, we should be able to address this challenge. We are in the planning stage of looking at our sewer lines. We will then move forward with repairing or replacing these lines.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

I am told all the time how great Midway is and how lucky I am to live here. They also comment on how expensive it is to live here. From the housing cost to the high water bill. We recently paid off the old sewer debt and are looking at reducing the sewer fee. With the new development at Midway Station, there probably should be more housing. This is something I look forward to facing when re-elected to the council.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

From what I have been told, the current manufacturing companies are almost at full capacity. Other than a few people, Lakeshore Learning has hired all potential applicants that have applied. However, I am not sure how many are from Midway or Woodford County. I personally know employees from Woodford, Scott and Franklin counties. With new development, should come new opportunities for employment. Hopefully the pay and benefits will be comparable to surrounding counties. Again, another issue I am willing to explore in my next term.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

In my four years I have learned, I am just one vote. You have to be able to listen to everyone, no matter where they are from. They can be a citizen or just a visitor to Midway. After you have listened then you need to express their concerns to the full council. Hopefully you can present it in a way to have the council agree. I really think the current council works well together. It is my hope that the new council will as well. I will do my best to represent, help and/or listen to everyone.

Danielle Doth

Brief Bio:

Danielle Doth is a Marine Corps combat veteran and a Midway College graduate. Danielle currently owns and operates her own fitness company, Equony Fitness, LLC. What’s the biggest challenge facing Midway, and what will you do about it?

One of the biggest challenges facing Midway is balancing Midway’s growth with its aging infrastructure such as the sidewalks.

Is there enough affordable housing in Midway? If not, how can you bring more to town?

Midway has an overall lack of available housing, but that makes Midway a truly unique and desirable town to live in.

A good percentage of the employees at Midway Station come from other counties. Would you prefer to see more Woodford County residents working there? If so, what can you do to increase that percentage?

Midway Station area has hired those that are qualified for the jobs and want to work at Midway Station. If Woodford County residents would like to work at Midway Station, then they should apply.

What can one city council member do to make life better for all Midway residents?

One way is for the city council member to be approachable and to truly listen, putting personal biases aside and be the voice for Midway residents. On that note, I think a great example of what one person can do to make life better is to look at John Holloway’s work and dedication to improving Midway for its residents out of his own pocket and his own time. John has worked diligently to make Walter Bradley Park an amazing desirable place to spend time in…

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