Candidates vying for Lexington’s 3rd District want to address crime, affordable housing

BY TAYLOR SIX

UPDATED OCTOBER 17, 2022 9:17 AM

Incumbent Hannah LeGris, left, and Kate Savage are running for the Urban County Council District 3 seat. The election takes place Nov. 8, 2022. Photos provided by the candidates


Incumbent Hannah LeGris and council-hopeful Kate Savage are running for the Urban County Council 3rd District seat, and both agree more needs to be done to address crime in their district, an issue which they say has many contributing factors.


The 3rd District covers downtown areas of South Broadway, South Limestone, Main Street and Woodland Avenue. The district includes the University of Kentucky, the Arboretum, Nicholasville Road and local Chevy Chase shops.


WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES?


LeGris, 36, has served on council since January 2021. She is a career counselor at the University of Kentucky.

She got a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree at UK. She serves on several local committees and boards:

· General Government and Social Service Committee

· Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee

· Downtown Lexington Management District Board

· Sister Cities Commission Tree Board


Savage, 70, came to Lexington in 1977 from England where she got degrees in English and art history from the University of London’s Bedford College. She owned and operated a Lexington catering and restaurant business for 30 years. She is the CEO and executive director of Arts Connect, a non-profit designed to support local artists.


She served as a board member for Ampersand (formerly known as the Rape Crisis Center) and was a volunteer reader for a radio service for the visually impaired. She was appointed by former Mayor Jim Gray to serve on the 2013 commission for homelessness as well as the town and gown commission with UK. She also is on the University Neighborhood Advisory Council board.


TOP ISSUES IN DISTRICT


LeGris and Savage agree public safety is a top issue among constituents. They say addressing crime is a multifaceted issue coupled with affordable housing, youth support and mental health counseling, which are other top priorities for the two.


When we consider housing access and public safety, those are top concerns for me,” LeGris said. “Frankly, I think they’re interconnected. We have worked with the mayor’s office on council to increase patrols and to pursue crime more equitably and support youth crime intervention programs.”


LeGris said a “major goal” is to increase funding for housing assistance to help those who need stability and determine what additional legislation would help.


Crime is definitely an issue,” Savage echoed. “I see so many of these issues we are facing right now as all kind of feeding into housing. Housing and education, they all sort of become bundled into one issue. They are all tributaries of the same one problem. People need adequate housing, they need to feel safe, and should be allowed to enjoy a certain degree quality of life.”


LeGris also said part of public safety includes safe transportation in the downtown corridor.


“People want to feel safe as they move into the city whether it is on foot, bike, in a car, or a bus,” she said. “ ... Downtown belongs to everyone, and we want to make sure that it is healthy in every way.”


Environmental issues are another focus for LeGris, including more greenspace, better transportation methods and addressing noise pollution.


Savage said helping the homeless is a key reason she’s running.


“I feel compassionately towards the homeless,” she said. “We need to make efforts to humanize these people and not demonize them. There is an aspect with the mental health issue that needs to be addressed.”

Savage said more facilities and services for homeless people, particularly social services, would help.

She said this speaks to the need for more affordable housing in Lexington. She said more money should go towards in Lexington’s budget, which currently allocates $2 million annually.


HANNAH LEGRIS


Age: 36


Job experience: Career counselor at the University of Kentucky.


Offices held: LeGris was elected to serve on the council since November 2020. Serves on the General Government and Social Services, the Environmental Quality and Public Works committees, a number of 3rd District and LFUCG boards and commissions including the Downtown Lexington Management District Board, the Sister Cities Commission, and the Tree Board.


Family: Partner Andrew


KATE SAVAGE


Age: 70


Job experience: Owned and operated a Lexington catering and restaurant business for 30 years. CEO and executive director of Arts Connect.


Offices held: She was appointed by former Mayor Jim Gray to serve on the 2013 commission for homelessness as well as the town and gown commission with UK. She also is on the University Neighborhood Advisory Council board.


Family: Son David, and daughter-in-law Meg.


This story was originally published October 13, 2022 6:00 PM.


https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/election/article266417516.html


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