Mayor Brandi Harless opens the floor at Paducah City Hall for Q&A
Tuesday night, Mayor Brandi Harless opened up Paducah City Hall to the public for Informed and Involved, a question and answer event. It’s one of the many ways Harless hopes to promote engagement throughout the city.
The hour was focused on four activities participants took part in:
– Engage with the mayor and community members.
– Express yourself by putting issues you care about on paper for display
– Connect with groups of similar goals and interests
-Ask anything anonymously of the mayor
One of the first questions asked of the mayor was about whether incentives are available for small business in the city. Harless explained the possibilities for downtown exclusive development. She mentioned $15,000 in possible grant money for a new business downtown. There is also roof stabilization funding for that area, she said.
Regarding new apartments, she told the crowd about funding for second floor construction.
One citizen said she want a food truck festival, modeled after what she’s experienced near her daughter’s home in Rhode Island. Harless was all for the idea of a food truck festival, but jokingly asked “Who’s going to organize it?” Harless also said how proud she is the city commission passed the food truck ordinance earlier in the year.
There was brief discussion about a county-city merger. Harless said she disagrees with the prospect and reaffirmed her belief that a partnership between city and McCracken County Fiscal Court leadership was best for Paducah.
Progress on the Fountain Avenue development project came up during the event. One question centered around when the street and sidewalks would be complete. Harless confirmed that the city is working on that and looking at revenue sources after a possible grant fell through.
For Blue Thunder Basketball Coach Jeffery Lowery and his players who attended, their eyes were on a place to play basketball. They asked Harless: “Is it possible to build a recreational center in town?”
Harless said: “I don’t know the answer to that yet. When people talk about doing the Taj Mahal recreation centers like in Elizabethtown, I get a little nervous. What do we already have? What do we already have access to? How can we facilitate more access to the things we already have."
Lowery said he brought his players to city hall because he wanted them to know someone believes in them. Although he didn’t get a yes from Harless on the rec center question, he told Local 6 he’s glad to have had the conversation. “Just to hear hope is a good sign,” he said. “They don’t play around. I mean, everybody knows Blue Thunder, from Atlanta to Cincinnati to Nashville to wherever we go, Cape Girardeau, a lot of people know who Blue Thunder is," the coach said.
Harless commended three interns for their hard work and planning for Tuesday’s event. Addie Rogers, a junior at Paducah Tilghman High School; Claire Kelly, a freshman at Belmont University; and Alexia Tyler, a senior at Paducah Tilghman High School were recognized for their efforts.
Harless plans to host more question and answer nights in the future.