8 on ballot for Nicholasville City Commission

Published 10:52 am Friday, October 19, 2018

From staff reports

Nicholasville will have eight choices for city commissioner on Nov.6 — incumbent’s Betty Black, Doug Blackford, Andy Williams, Patty Teater and newcomers Ann Marie Nipp, Jeff Moberly, Bethany Davis and Alex Carter.

Candidates were given the same questionnaire they received during the primary election. However, this time, each candidate was given 100 words in which to answer their questions instead of the previous 50.

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Black is the owner of Printer’s Ink in Nicholasville and has served as city commissioner for eight years. She is a member of Edgewood Baptist Church and has served on the electric meter department during her first term. For the past six years she has served over public safety with the Nicholasville Police and Fire Departments.

She is a past member of the Nicholasville Lions Club and Jessamine County Saddle Club. Black was the first female to serve as president for the Lions Club and receive the Lions of the Year award. She has served as chairperson and brought the first Carson and Barnes Circus to Nicholasville. Black has also chaired the first Lions Club Hoof-a-Nanny and the Feed the Needy Program.

Blackford has served on the Nicholasville City Commission for nine years. He is a graduate of Morehead State University and has a 26-year career in manufacturing. He is employed as the supplier quality engineer at Sargent and Greenleaf. Blackford’s civic involvement includes 12 years as a youth sports coach.

Williams is a graduate from Jessamine County High School and his professional background includes being employed as a factory worker and sales representative. He has 13.5 years of experience in city government. His civic involvement includes many years with youth sports and 4-H. He is also involved with local churches.

Nipp is a graduate of West Jessamine High School, Midway College and Eastern Kentucky University. She is the CEO of GEN47, a digital marketing and advertising company. Her civic involvement includes being director of the Hope Over Jessamine Fall Fest and the Children’s Ministry Director at Ignite Church.

Moberly is a lifelong resident of Jessamine County and his professional background includes being a business owner of a construction and excavation company in Nicholasville, a volunteer fireman for Jessamine County Fire District and the Wilmore City Fire Department for more than 19 years. Moberly also served on the County Fire District Board and worked previously with the City of Wilmore. He is the field supervisor for the City of Wilmore over distribution and collection and has served on the Jessamine County Fire District Board or elected officials.

His civic involvement includes being a volunteer firefighter, church board member, coach for youth softball and soccer teams and a volunteer at Jessamine County Schools.

Davis is a graduate of East Jessamine High School and graduated in 2015 from University of the Cumberlands with a degree in accounting and in 2016 with an MBA. She worked as a graduate assistant at the UC under current Asbury softball coach Angie Dean. After graduation, she began working for Creative Lodging Solutions which was founded by Jessamine County resident Mike Tetterton – where she is currently employed as an accountant.

Her political experience includes serving on the student council in high school and college where she held the treasurer position. Davis also served in the student athlete advisory committee for the Carson-Newman University. Her civic involvement includes serving on the children’s ministry at Ignite Church, coaching Jessamine County fastpitch and hosting softball tournaments to raise funds for school supplies. She is also an avid supporter of veterans in Jessamine County.

Carter is a graduate from West Jessamine High School and Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. He has a bachelor of business administration with a major in finance and economics. He has been a small business owner in Nicholasville for 11 years and works as a real estate appraiser and consultant at Alex Carter Appraisal Company. His work experience includes management of rental properties for Walker Homes, home builder and home renovation business as well as a home energy rating and consulting business owner for Walker Energy Efficient Homes. His civic involvement includes serving on the Nicholasville Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustments and the 2015 Jessamine County Joint Wilmore Nicholasville Comprehensive Plan Committee.

JJ: What will be your top priority if elected to office?

BB: If re-elected to the city commission, my top priorities will be continuing to keep a balance budget for the city, continuing growth of Nicholasville, public safety for all departments, building a new fire and police department along with a new city hall and focusing on a community center to host events in the city of Nicholasville.

DB: My top priority is to implement major building projects for the city. Over the last few years we have been working diligently to create revenue for building projects. Today we have that revenue that will allow us to consider breaking ground on a new fire station, building a new city hall and a new police station.

AW: To finish what has already been started since in office.

AN: My top priority will include creating a more transparent, innovative and responsive city government using technology. It is important to me to hear and understand the interest and concerns of Nicholasville citizens first. Street and speed signs, pot holes, city beautification etc. are among the top issues I hear from citizens now. We need a process in which we can take action, citizens can be involved in knowing the timeline and we’re able to see completion together. Next, supporting and teaming up with Nicholasville’s local non-profits to combat issues our community faces such as the drug epidemic, homelessness, etc.

JM: My top priority if elected would be to help ensure the City of Nicholasville employees are paid comparable to surrounding communities to help keep the retention rate higher.

BD: My top priority if elected city commissioner will be to help in expanding the budget for parks and recreation. By revitalizing parks and rec, not only do we give our children more to do we also give adults more things to get involved in. The more people in the community involved in parks and rec, the bigger sense of a close-knit community we can establish and the less people we have with idle time on their hands.

AC: My No. 1 priority will be to represent the citizens of Nicholasville. I will strive to listen and connect with our citizens and operate a fiscally-responsible Nicholasville government while making investments in our community that will benefit our future. It is important to ensure future generations have the benefits to prosper in this community.

JJ: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

BB: I have gained valuable experience and insight from eight years serving as Nicholasville City Commissioner. I have a proven record of listening to our citizens and helping address their concerns. I always respond to all questions and concerns. I know how to get things done.

DB: My education, experience, leadership, work ethic and commonsense approach to problem solving makes me the best candidate for the job. Working in the manufacturing industry for the last 26 years has given me the experience with balancing budgets, creating revenue and overseeing projects. All of these skills are used in my current role as city commissioner where I have served as vice mayor six of the nine years as commissioner.

AW: I would say the hard work that I have given the city of Nicholasville in the past 13.5 years. Experience.

AN: I’m willing to think outside the traditional political way and find creative and innovative solutions for the needs of Nicholasville citizens. My business leadership, education, experience and drive makes for the right candidate for Nicholasville City Commissioner. 

JM: Having hands-on experience in areas including being on the Jessamine County Fire District, working for the City of Wilmore as a supervisor and having owned my own business for years makes me a candidate that could base his decisions on facts from experience.

BD: My drive and determination along with my faith helps make me a great candidate. I will always stay true to myself and listen to what those in the community want and need versus what may be popular. I will vote based on what I think is best and not because voting one way will help me get something done in the future.

AC: As a small business owner, I have the leadership experience to operate the city and help our government run as efficiently as possible while providing quality city services to Nicholasville residents. The city government budget must plan for what the future holds and make sound financial decisions today that will affect your ability to operate in the future.

JJ: What professional/political experiences are you most proud of?

BB: First, I am proud of being able operate a business for 40-plus years. Also, I worked with Rep. Bob Damron to get grant funding to build the first skate park at Lake Mingo. Also, being able to obtain new equipment for the police and fire departments — two new fire trucks in the last 4.5 years and an accident re-construction vehicle for the police department.

DB: Professionally, I am most proud of my work ethic, thus allowing for career advancement while maintaining integrity and the ability to work well with others. Politically, I am most proud of moving Nicholasville forward financially by creating new revenue and keeping our tax rate and utility rates low. Nicholasville is on a solid financial foundation.

AW: Raising my family here and watching our city grow to be a very good place to live.

AN: At 32, I’m a local business leader and CEO of Gen47, a digital marketing and advertising agency. My most proud accomplishment is working with hundreds of local and surrounding leaders in growing their business, increasing their revenue and enhancing their community support. 

JM: While running my excavation company and working on sites with more than 100 contractors for the top four production builders in Central Kentucky, I was voted Contractor of the Year in 2006. My award reads that it is not the size of the contractor but the size of the commitment of the contractor that matters.

BD: When starting at Creative Lodging Solutions, I was able to move my way up from a billing specialist position to an accounting position in just eight months. Hard work pays off. Politically, making it to the fall made me so ecstatic at the chance to one day serve our great community.

AC: My successful small business operations are a great personal accomplishment. I am truly blessed in many ways and thankful for my mentors, but most of all God.

JJ: What is the biggest challenge our community faces?

BB: Our biggest challenge our community faces is our drug epidemic. We must continue to work at the epidemic much in the same way we have been while continuing to learn and adapt to the ever-changing drug problems. The City of Nicholasville is no different than any other city in Kentucky. There isn’t one community who is not affected by this epidemic. I would like to broaden our D.A.R.E. program in the school systems. Also, I would put more resource officers in the school system.

DB: Our biggest challenge in our community is the drug epidemic, especially heroin. I will continue to support and work diligently with public safety to look for new options to fight this epidemic.

AW: Our growth. We have to make sure it is all good and eliminate the drugs. Also, to see Brannon Crossing complete.

AN: Our biggest challenge that our community faces is the drug epidemic. I look forward to combatting this issue with two big key roles. No. 1, supporting our local non-profits who have seen success with recovery and sobriety and No. 2, introducing a paramedicine program to our first responders. This will allow us to become more proactive and provide better long-term solutions and follow-up care for our citizens. 

JM: The biggest challenge our community faces is with finding the necessary financial needs to handle the growth of our community, especially with regards to the growth of the police, fire, EMS, water and sewer departments.

BD: Our biggest challenge we face is the drug problem. Having a sibling that had overcome addiction has shown me first-hand the struggle that has become a harsh reality. With the hopeful building of a new jail we will be able to give inmates a chance at beating addiction and reintroduction into society without automatic failure and relapse.

AC: The growth rate and how to address increasing city constraints on public safety and city services. Proper planning for future city services and public safety need to be on our horizon for 10 to 20 years in the future, not just for the present time period.

JJ: How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?

BB: I have always had an open-door policy to all citizens. Also, my contact information is always available at city hall or my office at Printer’s Ink.

DB: As always, I support an open-door policy for our residents to be involved in discussion of issues involving our town. My contact information, email and phone number, is available through the city. In the past, I have met with several different groups to discuss issues and to get feedback on various topics. Currently our city meetings are available to watch on TV as well as social media.

AW: Through the local paper, newsletters and social media. That seems to work now.

AN: Technology. Meetings are and will always be public. However, it’s important for our citizens to stay connected and have the opportunity to submit a concern, and have it seen through completion. I want to put action behind the talk and use my marketing and advertising skills and knowledge to create better communication between the city and the citizens using technology. 

JM: I would involve residents in decision-making processes by being available to groups for meetings, being able to lend an open ear for their concerns and by inviting more people to attend the commissioner meetings.

BD: I want to make our meetings more accessible by possibly holding them somewhere more accommodating to the public. Also, I would like to incorporate the addition of online polling when it comes to bigger community decisions. If we can hear the thoughts of more people, we can better prioritize our decisions.

AC: City residents deserve continuous interaction with their elected officials, not just during an election year. I plan to be in direct contact with our citizens being accessible throughout work day hours and after hours with routine open-door office meetings with Nicholasville residents. I am accessible to all residents during all hours of the day.

JJ: If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?

BB: Our city is on a firm financial footing due of the current city commissioner work over the last six years. We will keep continuing creating better growth to generate more revenue to help maintain low tax rates. The 1-75 connector will bring much-needed industry to the area for growth also. This will also help in bringing finer restaurants and other food places here. I will always be on board for what’s right for the people and our county. Our housing market is continuing to grow, so that will bring more revenue as well.

DB: Nicholasville’s current financial status is one of the strongest in the state of Kentucky. No. 1, utilizing smart economic growth has increased revenue for the city substantially allowing for low tax and utility rates. I will continue to support responsible growth. No. 2, continue to be innovative by looking at new revenue opportunities for the city. We have to be forward thinking in order to keep Nicholasville moving in the right direction. No. 3, I will continue to be cost efficient in all aspects of city business. In our day to day operations we need to be mindful of keeping cost low and waste to a minimum.

AW: I don’t know how much better we can be from what we are at the present. Our growth will bring in tax revenue that will add to the finance of the city. Not raise taxes and not waste tax dollars.

AN: I look forward to helping put our city on a firmer financial footing by reducing emergency costs with proper planning and budgeting, creating more revenue-generating ideas throughout our city and applying for federal grants that can help each division. 

JM: I would help to put our city on a firmer financial footing by making choices for smart growth and helping welcome desirable businesses to choose our community while also making every effort to use local businesses and contractors for the needs of our city.

BD: I would like to work on making our city a hub for hosting tournaments. With soccer, baseball/softball fields and plenty of schools with basketball gyms, we have a perfect opportunity to bring money to our city without having to gather it from our citizens. Developing Brannon Crossing to its fullest potential will allow us to draw in crowds not only from Nicholasville, but Lancaster, Danville and Lexington. Also, buying some of the empty lots behind Main Street may allow us to better develop our downtown, which would bring in more local businesses and bring in outside visitors.

AC: First, invest and improve our infrastructure preventing newly-paved street repairs. Second, address increasing insurance premiums, effectively tax increase, created by the downgrade in our city’s ISO rating due to public safety requirements. Third, ensure competitive wages and benefits for our police and fire departments to properly train and retain our community’s first responders.

JJ: Do you have any additional comments?

BB: It has been a privilege serving the citizens of Nicholasville for the last eight years. I am looking forward to serving the city of Nicholasville for the next two years if re-elected and keeping the city moving forward. I enjoy what I do and care deeply about our community.

DB: It has been an honor to serve my hometown as your city commissioner for the last nine years. I will continue to implement infrastructure and growth planning so our community can continue to prosper. I also will continue to support programs like our School Resource Officer Program that keeps our students, teachers and staff safe. I will continue to work hard with dedicated leadership to keep our city moving forward. I am asking for your vote Nov. 6. No. 5 on the ballot.

AW: It has been an honor to serve as a city commissioner. Thank you for giving me that chance to work for you the citizens of Nicholasville. I can only hope that I am worthy of the chance to serve you again.

AN: I look forward to the opportunity in serving my community and representing the citizens of Nicholasville. I would love to hear your questions and/or concerns at NippforNicholasville.com or call 859-553-6887 or email ann.marie.nipp@gmail.com

JM: With the election nearing, I have been humbled by the support I have received. I have had the opportunity to speak with people that I have known for years as well people I have recently met. I would like to say that I have the utmost respect for the commissioners holding office at this time, but with that being said I think there comes a time for change. I would greatly appreciate your continued support and vote on Nov. 6.

BD: I am a Nicholasville native, daughter of Angie and Joey Davis, granddaughter of Mike and Pat Hammond, Eddie and Becky King, niece of Mike Hammond, Tammy and Chad Hammond. A member of the Bowman/Humphrey clan. My great-grandfather was once our chief of police. The bottom line is my roots run deep in Nicholasville. I’ve heard amazing stories of what it once was, and I have amazing dreams for what we can be. I’d like to do my best to help create a better Nicholasville.

AC: I love this community and hope to have the opportunity to represent the residents of Nicholasville and be a strong voice for change. My priority is to represent you and to ensure that our community’s future generations have opportunities to succeed and enjoy the quality of life Nicholasville has to offer. If you have any questions, contact me on my Facebook page @AlexCarterforCityCommissioner or call me at 859-230-6459. I humbly ask for your vote Nov. 6.