Newest Paducah commissioners want hotel, jobs
PADUCAH, KY- Allan Rhodes is eager to help lead the city. Rhodes owns and operates a coffee shop in Lowertown. But, just a few blocks away, things are not as busy.
People like Tracie Powers Gonzales have noticed. On the WPSD Facebook Fanpage she writes, "We need something to be done with the abandoned buildings downtown."
Rhodes says, "Downtown is a great resource but its not sustainable they way it is. The way you make downtown work, you take those large buildings and you develop those upper floors as apartments. That puts feet on the street and brings in other businesses.
Sandra Wilson is also new to the Commission. She took a question from Jeff Akin. He writes, "The City put the new sports park on hold. Now that the election is over, will the idea be revisited?"
"If people have jobs the rest will kinda fall into place. They will have the money to help to do projects here and help fund other activities, so jobs are really number one for me," she said Wednesday.
Wilson and Rhodes both tell Local 6 they will continue to focus and assist in job creation and getting a riverfront hotel to the downtown area.
"Anything we can do to help develop the riverfront is something that will be a priority for me. I know funding will be a challenge for anything we do there but I think we need to roll up our sleeves and look for good and creative ways to do those things," Wilson added.
On Tuesday, Paducah voters re-elected Richard Abraham and Carol Gault.
Jane Carrigan wrote on Facebook "I would like to see Paducah- McCracken County put more industry back...Keep all the younger people home. They are all going to other states to find jobs and new lives."
Richard Abraham is a father with two kids in college. We asked him his plans for keeping a younger population in Paducah.
"If we could get a four year university, you know how that works. Kids will come in, go to school- if they want to go into engineering, we've got a engineering school. Alright, now they gotta go to work. So, I think that would help," he said.
Abraham added that university would not be the final answer, job creation still needs to be worked on.
Facebook fan Terry Rodgers tells commissioners, "Quit worrying about beautifying everything and focus on jobs, homelessness, and keeping some (people) fed."
Carol Gault, returning for her third term, took this one. She says its important to keep the city clean and beautiful, because that is what attracts business.
But, Gault says,she plans on working to lessen the city's population that are going without, "From the Community Kitchen to the River City Mission we have lots of organizations that contribute and that's one of the great things about Paducah. Again, its something with Impact Poverty we're going to see United Way work with. They have a 10 year plan and the Commission will certainly become active in that."
Each of the 4 commissioners will serve a 2-year term beginning in January.