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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Fayette County Urban Council District 7

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    Frank Cannavo

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    Heather A. Hadi

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    Joseph Hale

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    William Matthew Housh

Biographical Information

What is your professional background, and what makes you the most qualified candidate for the Urban County Council in your District?

What do you see as the highest priority issue facing your district, and how will you address it?

A primary purpose of the Urban Service Boundary is to permit new development within Lexington while safeguarding rural areas. As our population increases, this Boundary is continually challenged by the desire for development and the need for housing and public facilities. How would you protect the balance between urban growth and rural protection and preservation?

Many citizens in the region lack private transportation and rely on accessible, reliable, safe, and affordable public transportation. What measures do you support to meet the needs of a growing population in Lexington, Fayette County and adjacent counties that requires public transportation for jobs, medical care, groceries, and other needs?

Crime rates, including violent crime, are increasing in our community. Some cities address youth crime using trauma-informed systems that go beyond incarceration and attend to the core of violence by providing rehabilitation and support that address mental health and trauma-abuse history. How would you work to build and fund such holistic programs?

Lack of affordable housing and its connection to poverty, crime, poor physical and mental health, and poor educational outcomes is well-documented. In Lexington, thousands of families pay more than 50% of their income on rent, while others live in substandard housing or are homeless. What measures do you support to address affordable housing in the community? 

If elected, how will you make it easier for residents to participate in local government?

I have 37 years of experience in business development and product management within the aircraft industry. My roles spanned program management, product management, and sales and marketing. Before that, I served as a US Army officer, including time in Vietnam. My educational journey includes an engineering degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, and a Master of Education degree from NC State University.

Growing up in a home that valued public service, I witnessed my mother’s involvement in local planning boards, elections, and congressional offices. Having lived in various states and communities, I’ve observed firsthand the impact of local government decisions on people’s lives. I emphasize the importance of thoughtful planning and adherence to community standards.

My unique perspective, shaped by years of observation and community engagement, positions me well to guide the development of this combined city-county entity.
Our highest priority is accommodating the growth of the area while preserving the essential nature of the Bluegrass Region. People want to come here for what they see when they visit. To pave it all over to accommodate the need for housing and commercial development is a betrayal of both the existing and the new residents. Alternatives to single family housing and large apartment complexes must be found.
Many family farmers, particularly those in horse breeding, seek to sell their land due to high prices. Property owners have the right to sell or lease within civic plan limits. Some plans lack creativity, leading to sprawl, traffic issues, and strain on infrastructure. The unappealing model of five houses per acre with minimal spacing or tall apartment buildings surrounded by pavement persists. Cluster development, green spaces, and buffer zones offer better alternatives. Infrastructure costs, like roads and utilities, should be borne by developers. Let’s preserve open, beautiful land and avoid “paving paradise.”
The current “hub and spoke” bus system was designed for a smaller urban core, but as the community has grown, transit needs in outlying areas have strained the system. Longer “spokes” routes often loop back to the hub, making travel time inefficient. To address this, we could task Lextran experts with creating distinct routes for outlying areas that don’t return to the center. Collaboration with LFUCG, Commonwealth, or Federal Government for planning and funding would be essential. Considering healthcare, each of the main hospitals (BHI, UK, St. Joseph) could benefit from specialized healthcare routes. The nationwide issue of food deserts—where smaller, pedestrian-accessible stores are costlier than large ones—requires investigation.
Mental health issues contribute to crime rates, and establishing treatment or rehabilitation facilities—whether formal or not—requires trained professionals and significant funding. Collaborating with institutions like UK, Transylvania, and BCTC could aid in setup and staffing.

However, reducing youth crime isn’t solely about financial investment. Despite millions spent, some subcommunities exhibit little regard for others’ rights. We need community-driven efforts emphasizing empathy and respect. Historically, churches played this role, but their influence has waned.

Law enforcement can’t prevent all crime; their focus is solving cases. Stopping crime requires mind-reading abilities and preemptive actions, which pose ethical challenges. Effective policing depends on community acceptance. Balancing safety and freedom remains a complex challenge. The Council and community must collaborate, recognizing there’s no simple solution.
Market forces and the economy significantly impact rents, affecting investment property owners who must cover costs and seek financial returns. Short-term rentals (like Airbnb) also influence housing dynamics. Repurposing empty commercial buildings into living spaces seems logical, but costs can be prohibitive. Tax and loan incentives for developers could help. Sometimes, tearing down and rebuilding is more cost-effective and allows for creative solutions. Modular tiny house systems, placed in secure clusters, offer a safe and affordable housing alternative. Codes exist to limit substandard housing, but reporting deficiencies is crucial for action. Insight from shelter providers is valuable for understanding homelessness causes & solutions
It seems easy now. It does take some effort but not an insurmountable one. Currently all Council meetings and Planning Commission meetings are live streamed and available to all. The libraries have computers one can use if you do not have one at home. The meetings are also archived and available on demand. Each Council member has an office manager that can serve as a first line of communication for all residents, and Council members are well known for follow up. Meetings are open to all. A number of ad hoc committees exist on which residents can serve or give input. The meeting times are not always convenient for working residents, but they are established to balance the needs of Council members that have other jobs. Any resident that wishe
Education Bachelors and Juris Doctorate
Campaign Email
I am an immigration and family law attorney, born and raised here in Lexington. I am a mother of two young kids ages 4 and 8 who attend school in Lexington. Being a small business owner, an attorney that serves the underprivileged and a mother - I believe this gives me a unique perspective from those who are also running for D7. I am known to be a fighter and I don't plan to change. If I win, I will fight for everyone's voices to be heard regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or social connections. We are all equal and we need representatives in city council who respect and advocate for all.
Affordable housing is a major issue nationwide and Lexington has not escaped this. We need to focus on infill and restoration, using existing structures by revamping and restoring them into usable spaces. However we also have to accept that Lexington is growing, and with the urban boundary expansion, we have the opportunity to create new developments that can positively impact our community and the housing crisis if we expand in a responsible, ethical and sustainable way.
We must ensure that our city keeps its cultural integrity and beauty while not stopping growth. We do this by creating spaces in which developers and our community members can come to the table and together create solutions that benefit everyone.
I believe that cooperating with Lextran and other public transportation services to fund more bus stop locations that make sense for those who use it. From apartments to grocery stores or clinics and make these stops comfortable and accessible to all.
We absolutely need to focus on the foundational issues that snowball into individuals who commit crimes. We do this by offering safe spaces for children to learn, grow and play while also diving into the issue of childcare for working parents, like myself, who may not have anyone else to lean on.
Inflation and high cost of living is a nationwide issue. We need to address this by getting with our community landlords and housing programs to create an atmosphere of empathy and not greed.
By hosting meetings and gatherings during timeframes that are reasonable for those who have standard 9-5pm jobs and concurrently offering tele-video options for those to participate in the conversation. We also need to focus on digital availability that makes it easier for our community to stay informed without having to dig all over the internet to find the information and resources that they need.
Education Sullivan University Graduate Associate of Science Information Technology Software Specialist
Having diligently served within the corridors of state government since 2017, fulfilling the critical role of IT Coordinator for the Kentucky Department for Public Health Emergency Response and Preparedness Branch, I bring a depth of administrative acumen to the forefront of governance.

Concurrently, my steadfast commitment to spiritual leadership over the past 19 years, currently as a Pastor at The Gate Church Lexington, offers a unique vantage point into the fabric of our community. My tenure on the board of directors further underscores my dedication to enhancing the welfare of our constituents.

The amalgamation of my extensive governmental experience at both state and local levels, fortified by over 18 years of honed leadership skills and training, positions me as a formidable candidate poised to navigate the intricacies of public service with adeptness and foresight.
At the forefront of my district's concerns, as well as those of Lexington at large, lies the imperative of bolstering Public Safety and ensuring equitable access to affordable housing. These twin pillars are not merely issues; they represent the very bedrock upon which the prosperity and well-being of our community stand. As a council member, I will be steadfast in my commitment to addressing these paramount challenges head-on, leveraging strategic partnerships and innovative policies to forge a safer, more inclusive future for all Lexingtonians especially District 7.
As Lexington is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, being prepared for this growth is paramount. We must have a strategic approach to serve the community needing housing and public facilities, as well as protect one of the very things that makes Lexington great, our rural area and horse farms. We do this by coordination and planning so all are served.
In order to address the pressing need for enhanced transportation accessibility throughout Lexington, a comprehensive approach is imperative. By expanding our bus routes to blanket the entirety of our urban landscape and establishing strategic hubs, we can effectively bridge the gap in mobility, fostering greater connectivity and inclusivity for all residents.

Furthermore, this initiative presents a unique opportunity to stimulate economic growth and bolster our workforce. Through strategic investments in additional buses and the expansion of our driver roster, we not only mitigate transportation disparities but also create a wealth of professional opportunities.
In cultivating a safer and more prosperous Lexington, the synchronization of initiatives aimed at preempting youth delinquency and fortifying mental health resources emerges as a cornerstone imperative. Recognizing that our investment in the next generation is pivotal to the city's trajectory, we must proactively channel resources towards nurturing the holistic development of our youth.

My brainchild, the 'Boys to Men' mentoring program, epitomizes this commitment by instilling invaluable life skills and fostering a sense of civic responsibility among our young citizens. However, the power to effect transformative change lies in collaboration. By synergizing efforts with kindred programs across the city, we unlock a wealth of resources and avenues to amplify our impact, ensuring that every corner of our community thrives and flourishes.
At the heart of my campaign lies a steadfast commitment to addressing the foundational challenge of affordable housing and equitable access to living within our vibrant city. I advocate for leveraging the Urban Service Boundary as a strategic tool to expand the availability of affordable housing, ensuring that every resident has the opportunity to secure safe and sustainable living accommodations.

Furthermore, it is imperative that we enact robust policies to safeguard against predatory practices that exploit our citizens, particularly in the realm of rent escalation. We must uphold the principals of fairness, by implementing measures to curtail unjustified rent hikes and protect tenants from undue financial burdens.
Engaging our residents in the vital workings of local government necessitates a concerted effort to communicate unequivocally that their voices are not only valued but indispensable to our collective progress. Leveraging targeted marketing campaigns to foster a sense of inclusivity, coupled with strategic incentives aimed at incentivizing participation, serves as a potent catalyst in galvanizing civic engagement. Moreover, in the digital age, the creation of accessible virtual platforms serves as a linchpin in democratizing the discourse, ensuring that every Lexingtonian has a seat at the table, regardless of physical barriers or constraints.
Education Lexington Catholic High School 1984 Lexington Commonity College 1984 to 1986 General Studies Kentucky State University 2001-2003 Non Traditional student Political Science and International Development Under Dr Jim Graves PhD (None degree student)4.0
Campaign Email
In the fall of 1984 I was elected Student Council President for my senior year at Lexington Catholic High School. Next I was sworn at ROTC Officers Basic camp at FT Knox KY. I attended LLC and served in the KY Army National Guard as a Platoon Leader in the 401st Combat Engineering Battalion in Cynthiana. In 1989 I was on Councilmember Lesile Trapp staff and Publisher of the #10 District wide newsletter. We started the Clay Mill Road expansion Project in the District. In 2002 I served on Mayor Teresa Issac's campaign staff. And later was appointed to her transition team. I have been a campaign staffer for Sheriff Kathy Witt. Coroner Gary Ginn. Mayor Jim Gray, State Rep CherLynn Watley Stevenson, State Rep James Kay ( now County Judge Woodford County). Member of the Fayette County Democratic Executive Board from1998 to 2018. Also I am retired from Federal Service. Honorably discharged US Navy and US Army, Founded a national Law firm Harris Federal Law Firm with over 8000 approved claims
Public Safety is my most important duty once elected as District 7 councilmember. Working with the Mayor and administration I will offer ideas and proven solutions to recruit retention of our Public Safety team. Police Fire and Emergency Services are critically important in the 7th district. To preserve and protect the Intergrity of our wonderfully diverse neighborhoods. My first assignment would be to keep Renea Buckles as my councilmember Aide. I have know Renea Buckles her husband Attorney Joe Buckles for many years . Renea has tremendous instituation knowledge since being at city hall working with my friend Councilmember Preston Worley. On important issues like the fentanyl epidemic in our community. Affordable housing is very important
I would attend planning commission meeting and all council meetings produce a district wide newletter to offer the residents regular updates and seek their ideas at gatherings. Our bluegrass is a treasurer and brings us all many benefits. Both ecomonic and for quality of life. I am a strong support of the PDR program started by Pam Miller my long time friend and mentor. Additional Mayor Teresa Isaac appointmented me to her transition team just after her victory. And we enhanced the program further under her leadership. My role on her transition team was to assist in the recruiting of Chief Rebecca Langston the cities first Lady Comm. of Public safety. I lead the panel that vetted her and interviewed her until Council voted her into office.
Wheels has come under diress for poor service. I support and the voters of the 7th District support a new pilot micro transport system. Supported by grants from by the state of Kentucky and the USDOT. Being a retired federal official. I have established contacts with many elected leaders in Frankfort and Washington DC. I fully understand the process of getting much needed funds to support this new micro transport program as a pilot. To get District 7 residents from door to door at low or no cost. I support At Large Councilmember Chuck Ellingers recent proposal in this regard. And will a do all I am able to see this pilot is up and operating in my first 6 months as councilmember. I am a huge supporter of Lex Tran as well. Together we will!
I just reviewed the crime data from in January 2024 there were 9 forcible rape complains, 16 robberies, 34 aggravated assaults, 73 Breaking and enterings, 467 theft reports 89 auto thefts 1 arson for total of 689 incidents in a city with a population of about 320k. Our Public Safety team police fire EMS and Sheriff's office does great work. However it is well known the Police department is under staffed by about 95 sworn officers. So call times and resources at certain moments are challenging for our team. My goal as a former Public Safety Officer for the city would be to aggressively recruit and retain officers with extra training and equipment to mitagate these numbers in our community. Crime and drug use are tearing at the fabric of our neighborhoods. I am a believer in community policing. Having officers out of their vehicles meeting with the residents in their areas as often as possible. Facilitating open and honest direct dialogue. To reduce these high numbers.
First I believe our city administration could do better in obtaining federal funds at the community level and the individual level. I am trained by the USDOL OPM and several other federal agencies during my career in federal service. I represented 559 individuals before federal agencies like the SSA, the VA. OPM USDOL and many others to obtain life changing benefits for residents of Lexington. I am confident our city Administration with my assistance could offer these services at no cost to the individual. Mayor Linda Gorton oftens speaks about building our city up one person at a time. I know this works. Having a stable source of income would mitigate so many of the bad issues that affect our community today. I founded Harris Federal law.
Yes, by bring the local government to our neighborhood. As a retired letter carrier. I see the impact good government may have on individuals when it is accessible at there own residence. By better using Lex Call 311, website, and Lex TV our community will be better informed and engaged on all the critical topics we are discussing here in this survey. Also by having more neighborhood engagement, Block meetingis etc. Where the residents know and work with their elected officials and civic employees for a better quality of communication. Which will lead to a more effective city government. Immediately I will start the #7 newsletter free of charge to the residents of District 7. And use this platform as a way to directly engage