It is likely that many people here have noticed that Winchester and Clark County consistently get short shrift from Lexington and Fayette County. For years, local officials in city hall and the courthouse, as well as a good many private groups and individuals, including tourism, attempted to get items of local interest published in the Life section of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
That paper was constantly advertising that it welcomed submissions from around central Kentucky to be placed in the paper.
And yet, often, when items were submitted they seemed to vanish into thin air, and local events which might have benefitted from publication were simply left out. Mayor Burtner expressed his frequent disappointment over the lack of coverage of Winchester events in that paper and he even made personal contact with staff there to try to alleviate the problem, to no avail.
Another issue which illustrates how Clark County is treated as a stepchild to Fayette County is the condition of roads leading to Lexington from Winchester. Of course, Interstate 64, being a federal highway and administered at the state level, does not enter into the equation, but for those who travel U.S. 60 or Colby/Todds Road to Lexington could not fail to notice the respective conditions of these two roads between the sections in Clark and the sections in Fayette.
On U.S. 60, the Clark County portion of the road is well paved and generally free of difficulty. As soon as one enters Fayette County, the same road becomes pockmarked, with continuous bumps and potholes. And the same holds true on the Colby/Todds Road corridor (although portions of Colby Road have been inadequately patched).
Not only are the road conditions vastly different, in winter travelers will note that when U.S. 60 in Clark County is rapidly cleared of snow to make the morning commute easy, the Fayette County side is left untreated and hazardous. These conditions of neglect also seem to apply to Bourbon County, as one rarely sees news items in the Herald-Leader from that county either. All of Lexington’s attention, governmental, in Lexington TV broadcasts and on the part of the Herald-Leader seem to be directed toward Nicholasville, Versailles and Georgetown and it is hard to fathom the reasons for this favoritism.
Of course, traveling from Lexington to Nicholasville is like driving through one long cityscape, rather than traveling from one community to another, so perhaps there is an inclination to think of Jessamine County as merely an extension of Fayette.
It becomes pretty easy to associate these dichotomies between Clark and Fayette to the lack of commercial development which takes place here (despite the heroic efforts of the Industrial Authority and Tourism) because Winchester gets so comparatively little exposure in the Lexington press (unless it happens to be a murder, child abuse or a fire).
There have been suggestions that the central Kentucky area should be working together as a region to deal with problems which afflict the entire area, but this is not going to happen until Lexington re-directs some of its emphasis eastward and begins to visualize central Kentucky as a region rather than as “Lexington and everybody else.”