Pete Sutherland says his work ethic for the people of Nicholasville merits him being re-elected for a second term.
“I have worked hard to serve the people of Nicholasville, and I feel like I’ve worked very closely with the electric and meter department, which is my job,” Sutherland said. “And I’ve kept a great relationship with the employees in those two departments, and I have been available to anybody who has ever needed to talk to me.”
Pushing forward with the eastern bypass and I-75 connector is key for Nicholasville’s future, Sutherland said.
“We are looking at incorporating an area into the city limits that might be of benefit to us, and we are always aggressively looking for new business,” Sutherland said. “That’s why we are excited about the bypass and the I-75 connector. We are hoping it will draw industry and business into Jessamine County.”
Sutherland, 57, said one of the biggest obstacles for Nicholasville to overcome is the state’s retirement system and pension system that this fiscal year will milk nearly $2 million from the city’s general-fund budget.
“It makes things very tight in all of the departments,” Sutherland said.
To combat that, Sutherland said the city needs to increase its revenue through payroll taxes.
“If the real-estate market would come back, that would be a plus because you’d have more property taxes coming in,” he said. “If real-estate values come back, that would be good because we’ve got more than $30 million in assessments.”
Another think that puts Nicholasville behind the eight ball is its close proximity to Lexington, Sutherland said.
“I think it hurts some,” he said. “I think people sometimes overlook Nicholasville for entertainment and dining and overlook some of our places here.”
Sutherland said several projects, such as new public-safety facilities and a new city hall, are on the city’s wish list, but economically, this isn’t the time to move forward.
“I like those ideas, but I would say they are possible in the next 10 years,” he said. “(They) are needed, but I’m not in favor of it if it puts us in the red.”
Sutherland is a staunch believer in the city-commission form of government.
“Even though we are elected at-large, we are all available and accessible to people,” he said. “I think the council form is going to be very costly, and you’re putting too much power in the hands of the mayor.”
Sutherland is a Realtor with Jonah Mitchell Real Estate and business manager at Holy Spirit Parish, The Newman Center in Lexington.
He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1977.