John Payne

Political party: 
Question 1: 

What are the major issues facing the City of Berea?

Infrastructure maintenance and improvement, attracting new business and industry to the community,  improving telecomm services and public wifi access,  improving communication and partnership between community and city government

Question 2: 

What is your position on future growth and development issues as they affect Berea; including further development of historical districts, tourism, and sustainable “buy local” initiatives?

As our community continues to grow, we must strive to plan ahead for infrastructure needs (roads, water, electric, sewer) as new developments place more demand on them.  Plans to attract tourism should include emphasis on improving Berea's pedestrian pathways, parks, community centers and other local resources as these efforts also improve the quality of life for Berea citizens.

Question 3: 

Are you in favor of the development of pedestrian and bicycle pathways as safe and practical options to motorized transportation in Berea? If so, what projects of this kind would be your priority?

The recent emphasis on pedestrian and multi used pathways are great additions to citizen and tourist resources and have allowed Berea to attain status as a Kentucky Trail Town.  As these paths are expanded, Berea becomes more attractive to new residents, tourists and businesses alike.  As improvements are made, attention must also be made towards visibility at crossings and accompanying signs drawing motorists attention to pedestrians and cyclists safety.

Question 4: 

State and federal laws do not exist that ban discrimination against people in areas of housing, employment and public accommodation based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Knowing that, would you be in favor of passing a fairness ordinance in Berea that would address this type of discrimination? Please explain.

Fairness fits the spirit of the founding of our city.  Fairness ordinances are also send an positive and attracting message to new businesses.  I publically spoke out in favor of the previous attempt at a fairness ordinance. Given the opportunity, I would vote in favor of fairness.

Question 5: 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the years of 2010-2014, 19.7% of the residents of Madison County lived below the poverty line. What policies will you support to improve the availability of safe affordable housing and increased economic opportunities for all citizens?

I would support investigating uniformity in Berea landlord and tenant contracts so that both landlord and tenant have clear understandings towards their rights and responsibilities.

As our infrastructure improvements are made and tourism efforts become more effective, our city becomes more attractive to business and improves opportunities.

Question 6: 

What actions or initiatives can the city take to provide help and alternatives to families and people in Berea living with addiction?

We must look to our existing local programs such as alcoholics anonymous and narconon ensure that they  have appropriate meeting locations and that individuals in need can easily find the dates and times through a maintained resource list.

Question 7: 

What measures do you support to foster good relations between law enforcement officers and our local community?

The Berea Police Department were early adopters of body cameras and should continue outreach initiatives such as their 10K run, and smartphone APP.  Citizens should partner with the BPD in the establishment of more neighborhood watch organizations.

Question 8: 

Last year there was a great deal of controversy around the selling of confederate flag merchandise at the Spoonbread Festival, and Berea students reported being harassed on the basis of race while in town. Given that, what measures do you support to address racial harassment in Berea?

Last year, the Kentucky Fair Board blocked the sales of confederate flag merchandise in an attempt to disassociate itself from racial use of this symbol.  In 2016, Berea's city government followed suit in keeping with our city's founding ideals.  I am certain that Berea will see large festivals again in its near future while maintaining high standards against discrimination.

Question 9: 

Berea is in the midst of making long-term decisions about where and how it gets and manages its wholesale electric power. Beyond safety, reliability and affordability, what considerations should be made with respect to Berea's electric power choices?

For the first time in history, solar is approaching cost competitiveness with other forms of energy production.    Once remaining leases are purchased at the Berea solar farm, the additional purchase of more cells can be considered.  Berea Utilities should continue to monitor competition with renewables.