By Mike Moore
4:15 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
Wesley Pike said in order for Nicholasville to continue to progress, it has to shed its image of being a bedroom community to Lexington.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to draw in more business, and that can be done — it’s just going to take a lot of effort,” Pike said. “I don’t like the ideal of a bedroom community. I feel like we have our own identity, and we need to grow it.”
Addressing ways to generate revenue for the city, Pike, 32, said the city may have to get creative.
“One of the things I think we need to look it is trying to create revenue in what we already have, as far as parking tickets and things of that nature,” he said.
And another way to increase revenue is recruiting businesses, and being in the real-estate industry, Pike said that gives him a leg up.
“I think that’s going to be very helpful,” he said. “I do think there is a right way and a wrong way to grow. I do believe we have to have more industry here, or otherwise, we’re going to continue to be a bedroom community.”
Pike said he is not opposed to looking at tax increases, if it were warranted.
“It depends on what they’re for, but if it’s going to benefit the city, I think we have to entertain the idea,” he said, adding that he is not in favor of raising taxes for the sake of raising taxes. “It must be a solid reason.”
Economic issues are the biggest obstacles Nicholasville has to overcome, Pike said.
“We’re no different from anyone else; we have some financial issues,” he said. “If I get in, I think the four commissioners and the mayor can figure out ways to make a more financial gain for the community.”
Public-safety needs are also a big issue, and Pike said they go hand-in-hand with the city’s financial woes.
He said the city will have to get creative on projects like new fire stations and police substations.
“I think it’s realistic if we go after federal and state grants,” Pike said. “I’ve talked to some of the firefighters, and they tell me it takes between six and eight minutes to get to the north end, and in that time, a house can burn quickly.”
Pike said the city also needs to discuss with the county officials about the possibility of partnering to build multipurpose facilities that would house city police and fire units, and county EMS units.
Pike said there are pros and cons to the commission versus council form of government debate, but when it all shakes out, with the added cost of more elected officials, the commission form is the way to go.
“If you go to a council, you have to hire people to be over these (city departments), and that puts us further in the red than what we need to be,” Pike said.
Pike is a native of Nicholasville and works for ReMax Elite. He holds an associate and a bachelor’s degree from Strayer University. He ran unsuccessfully for a city commission seat in 2010.