Paducahans hope for growth and development with next city commission

PADUCAH — How will Paducah grow? It’s a task with which the new city commission will have to grapple.

Mayor Brandi Harless says working together is going to be the name of the game. Commissioners Sandra Wilson and Richard Abraham and newly elected commissioners Gerald Watkins and Brenda McElroy all talked about jobs, infrastructure, and the city’s drop in population.

Harless says the city puts $250,000 per year toward job recruitment and development. With the new commission officially taking office in January, some hope there’s more potential for development throughout our city.

Daniel Jones has owned and operated the Strawberry Hills Pharmacy for eight years. He says the location near the mall has been open for about two years. “Our primary mission is to love people. So far we feel like we’re doing a great job of that,” Jones says.

With the success of his business, Jones says he wants to expand beyond his two existing locations and is looking to come to the south side of the city.

“We felt now is the time. We’re seeing other things that are happening over there with some of the businesses that are continuing to grow,” Jones says.

The desire for growth is one reason the new commission is going to have to buckle down and solve some of the issues Paducah has faced for years.

Harless says it’s up to her and these the other four people on the new commission to lead the way.

“What’s important is that we all start to work together and start to solve these problems as a community and I know that this community can do that. I know we can be a bright light in a nation that’s divided,” Harless says.

Back at the pharmacy, Jones says he believes stepping into 2019 with new leadership is something our city can benefit from if the groundwork is done take Paducah to the next level.

“Development of anything is great. Anything that can help grow to get tax revenue in there now. I know with the change in the city commission going forward into January, I’m excited about that. I know they’ve all looked at the population being a huge issue for them to kind of keep that into the city, just growth in general. I think all of them working together will be a positive attitude for that as well,” Jones says.

The two new city commissioners, Watkins and McElroy, will go through an orientation next week. They will officially join incumbent commissioners Abraham and Wilson in January.

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