Lexington Mayor Jim Gray focuses on the economy in state of the city address

01/24/2017 04:32 PM

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is moving forward after an election night loss to Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul, and focusing on the economy in his city.

Delivering the state of the city address on Tuesday, Gray started his speech acknowledging the tension and concerns of the presidential election, and reassuring people that Lexington is moving in the right direction.

“There are people from all points of view asking honest and legitimate questions about the direction of our country.”

Gray continued, “I’m here to tell you that in Lexington we are moving forward. We are getting things done. We are building a great American City.”

The rest of Gray’s address mostly focused on the economy, highlighting the different industries and businesses that reside in Lexington, and acknowledging that the city’s largest employer, the University of Kentucky, does more than just supply jobs.

“The university is our community’s largest employer, but it brings our city much more than jobs and economic vitality,” Gray said. “It brings dynamic, creative energetic, spirited people who define our city and its potential.”

Construction was another sector Gray touched on in his speech. While the final phase of the Newton extension, the Scott Street connector, is still not funded Gray seemed optimistic about receiving federal funding.

“As the new administration in Washington considers funding for infrastructure, Kentucky is in a unique position to tap into those funds,” Gray said. “We will be working to attract federal support for this and other proposals.”

While he didn’t mention Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name, Gray seemed to hint at McConnell and his spouse, Elaine Chao, when he was speaking about out Kentucky’s influential federal position.

Chao is President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Transportation, and will oversee the distribution of millions in funds.

Gray ended his address touching on city safety and community involvement; mentioning the growth of the Lexington Police Department, and calling on the community to be engaged.

“Addressing these concerns calls for something more than a police response,” Gray said. “As a community we must respond, especially on behalf of our young people.”

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