Sutherland, Templin seeking Nicholasville mayor office
From staff reports
First-term Nicholasville Mayor Pete Sutherland is running for re-election this fall against a new write-in candidate, Johnny Templin, the director of Jessamine County Homeless Coalition.
Sutherland is a life-long resident of Jessamine County and was the owner and operator of Sutherland Chevrolet from 1985 to 2009. Sutherland works at Holy Spirit Parish Newman Center, a Catholic church located on University of Kentucky’s campus.
He served as a city commissioner for two terms and is currently finishing up his first term as mayor. He is a past Rotary Club president and has also been an active member of The Knights of Columbus before he became mayor in 2009.
Templin is a Tates Creek High School graduated. He said although he has no previous political experience, he does have leadership experience from being the founding executive director of the JCHC and manager of two Fortune 500 companies.
JJ: What will be your top priority if elected to office?
JT: A full-time mayor, for a full-time city. I intend to fully engage with the office, making sure leadership is active and present for citizens, city departments and employees as well as business prospects.
PS: Top priorities are to bring business to Nicholasville. Improving tourism with outstanding people hired for Joint Economic Development, Joint Tourism. Continue to strengthen Fire and Police Departments. Maintain sound financial practices and continue to grow reserves. Build our newest fire station and police department. If possible a new City Hall.
JJ: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
JT: My vast experience in various leadership positions. Most recently, my experience gained in opening JCHC including working with many local businesses, civic and church leaders to pull ideas and resources together in order to accomplish incredible outcomes.
PS: I have over 25 years of business experience, this includes making decisions at every level. I believe in collaborative decision making, and most of all praising people for a job well done. I love Nicholasville and Jessamine County and I want to see it grow and thrive.
JJ: What professional/political accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
JT: The founding and opening of the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition, Jessamine County’s first and only emergency shelter and 90 day homeless recovery programs.
PS: My three accomplishments, working with Jessamine County and Wilmore to form our Joint Tourism, working with Judge West to revitalize our Joint Economic Development, and bringing new life to Brannon Crossing. The Nicholasville Performance Park which will be dedicated by the first of September.
JJ: What is the biggest challenge our community faces?
JT: Our community deserves a fully-engaged and responsive government able to address issues from infrastructure, such as potholes and traffic, opiate addictions and school safety.
PS: The biggest challenge we face is the drug crises. Almost every bit of our crime is the result of drug abuse in some form. Next biggest challenge is the increasing pension responsibility we have. Within next four years we will have to pay another $1.4 million into the state retirement fund.
JJ: How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?
JT: We need a complete overhaul of the way we engage our community, which includes a full-time mayor for a full-time city. Improved notification systems including Facebook, newsletters, text notifications and a larger commissioner meeting location able to accommodate more active citizens. To have city emails and phone messages verse a generic number.
PS: We need more community involvement and as a result we have started an initiative to not only have an active web page, but are now on Facebook, Twitter and hopefully SnapChat. We think these avenues will increase awareness.
JJ: If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
JT: By engaging smart business growth in an effort to bring new or higher paying jobs to town, this will increase our tax base through new jobs and new residents. Reduce turnover of city employees. Launch a city-wide employee evaluation process designed to enhance support for our great city employees.
PS: At this time the city is on firm financial footing, We are currently working on any area that we may not have been aggressively pursuing for collection of what is owed. We are working everyday.