Sutherland, Templin vie for Nicholasville Mayor

Published 10:46 am Friday, October 19, 2018

From staff reports

Nicholasville residents will decide between incumbent Peter Sutherland and Johnny Templin for mayor when they head to the polls Nov. 6.

Sutherland earned an associate degree from Marion Military Institute and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He is the former owner and dealer of Sutherland Chevrolet from 1985 to 2009. He has been a licensed insurance agent and has a real estate license in escrow with Jonah Mitchell Real Estate. Sutherland also works as the business manager of Holy Spirit Parish Newman Center, which is the Catholic Church on UK’s campus.

He served as a city commissioner for two terms and is completing his first term as mayor. Sutherland also served as PTO vice president and president at Brookside Elementary. He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Nicholasville Rotary Club, where he served as president for almost two terms. He has also coached youth soccer in Jessamine County for 13 seasons.

Templin studied business at BCTCS and graduated from Tates Creek High School. He is a businessman who has managed 80 employees over three different platforms at one time. He has owned 17 small businesses over the course of 25 years including a national pizza franchise, Gatti’s Pizza, in Nicholasville. He has worked for 17 years for two fortune 500 companies and ran the food service operation for one of the Kentucky Department of Correction facilities. He is also the founder/executive director of the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition. He is also active in several local churches.

JJ: Do you think our Main street/Downtown is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?

PS: I think we have seen an improvement on Main Street. We just finished and dedicated the Nicholasville Performance Park and I would like to see us designate that section as an entertainment district and have scheduled music events. We are hoping to start that next spring. I hope to see the last empty buildings purchased and put to good use. We will look at any opportunity to attract business to downtown.

JT: We spent $1.6 million to improve the appearance of downtown. However, my biggest issue is our lack of planning for repairs when something happens. In late spring, near the corner of Maple and Main, a car crashed into the handrail, street light, mason work and hydrant. To this day, we are still missing a streetlight, capstones on the mason work and a construction cone remains. This is a terrible lack of planning. To fix the downtown area, we need to create a faster response to repairs, invest in the upkeep and try to find creative ways to use the space.

JJ: What’s more important for our city right now, building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding and better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?

PS: We are just coming out of the recession of 2008 and we have been very aggressive in attracting new housing developments, especially in Brannon Crossing but also on the south end of town — Hoover Estates near Kimberly, Burly Ridge on Sulphur Well Road and also just off the bypass, Halfhill Estates. Through our Joint Economic Development, we are getting some of our existing empty buildings occupied in our original development park and are hoping to break ground on our new industrial park.

JT: I don’t like either/or propositions. I think we must approach both at the same time and with different goals in mind. We must continue to grow new homes and commercial properties to keep up with the demand. Additionally, we can seek out community partners interested in gentrification of older worn-down homes and giving a new life hopefully in an affordable housing type of situation.

JJ: How to you plan to help the tourism efforts in Jessamine County?

PS: We are very involved in tourism. Judge West and I approached Wilmore about forming a joint tourism board consisting of Nicholasville, Wilmore and Jessamine County. We were successful in getting this accomplished and the board has hired a new tourism director, Mitchell Pearson. Mitchell is doing a great job. As a group we worked with Brian Miller and Brooks Downing to bring the Barbasol PGA tournament to Nicholasville. I have worked very closely with Judge West in the process of getting Camp Nelson Heritage Park named a national monument. This alone will be a huge boost for our tourism.

JT: By being a full-time mayor for a full-city. We need an elected official in city hall daily. To focus on Jessamine County’s history or entertainment to entice people to come play, eat and stay overnight in our community. This would benefit the local economy.

Work toward my “mayoral bucket list,” which would include opening a medium-sized convention community center. This center would be able to facilitate small concerts, sporting events and fairs. Additionally, it would work well for a small-sized business convention — all of which brings people into town and helps our economy.

JJ: If elected, what would be your top priority?

PS: We have several priorities I am driven to complete. I want to see our Brannon Crossing Fire Station completed and operational, which I hope will be done by late spring. I also want to get a proper location for our growing police force. They need a functional and larger facility. Lastly, I want to see our industrial park completed and some businesses located there.

JT: Being a full-time mayor for a full-time city. We need a passionate elected official in city hall during regular business hours. Community safety both in our schools and in our neighborhoods. I’ve recently come to realize some citizens are rightfully concerned about speeders in the neighborhoods and seem to get an apathetic response from city hall. I plan to work with all departments to respond to this issue when possible. Community addiction programs. This would encompass an “all in approach.” We need to better educate our community to remove the stigma associated with addiction.

JJ: How will you work with the elected officials in Jessamine County to solve community issues?

PS: We are already working with our county officials and the Wilmore city officials through our creation of the Joint Tourism Committee and Joint Economic Development group. The Nicholasville Police Department is working in conjunction with the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Department in a joint drug task force. We will be looking for other opportunities in the coming months.

JT: This one is easy, I’m already doing this and will continue regardless of the results on Nov. 6 because this is about improving our community not about winning an election.

Our city government can offer aid to the county to repaint our landmark courthouse. I have also already engaged two major businesses and one commercial property owner about opportunities which would bring jobs, variety shopping and improved commerce to the city if these ventures come to fruition. Stay tuned as I announce these along with other projects soon.

JJ: Anything else you would like to add?

PS: The City of Nicholasville is forward thinking and forward planning. We have accomplished a lot and will continue to work diligently for the citizens of Nicholasville.

JT: I can only be effective if I listen to our concerned citizens, but they also need to reach out to me as well. Here is the contact information to reach me: www.templinformayor.com, johnny@templinformayor.com, facebook.com/johnnytemplinfornicholasvillecitymayor or call 859-429-1950.