By Matt Lasley firstname.lastname@example.org
January 25, 2014
The Leitchfield City Council met in a special-called work session on Thursday, Jan. 23 to discuss the City’s successes and failures, and what needs to be done to make Leitchfield the best it can be.
City Councilman Kelly Stevenson, who broached the subject of holding a planning session late last year, served as moderator for the session.
To open the discussion, Stevenson asked the City Councilmembers to reflect on what they felt were the City’s most important accomplishments.
“If you don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t know where you’re going,” Stevenson said.
Topics ranged from the City Tourism Commission to the exceptional work done by the Leitchfield Public Works, Fire, and Police Departments.
Additionally, Grayson County Industrial Development Officer Dudley Cooper, who attended the session, addressed the City Council to discuss the improving local economy.
“Right now, almost every company in this community is hiring,” Cooper said.
Stevenson said it is also important to recognize ways the City can improve - and how those improvements can be accomplished.
A major talking point in this regard was Leitchfield’s appearance.
City Councilman Harold Miller cited the many abandoned or unsightly properties around the City that may leave a negative impression on visitors.
Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason added that beautification needed to be done on the entrances to the City.
And City Councilwoman Margaret Fey said a number of City streets require attention. Occasionally, after the Utilities complete their work, City streets are left in poor condition, Fey said.
Communication between City and public entities also requires improvement, according to the City Council.
Stevenson cited the lack of communication between the City Council and other City entities, including the Tourism Commission and Utilities.
Miller also discussed the need for better communication between veteran and new City Councilmembers and to improve the relationship between the City and the public.
He recommended an orientation process be put into effect to address general information new Councilmembers need to know after they are elected.
In addition, the City Council discussed ways to encourage the citizens of Leitchfield to be more involved in their government.
Miller said input from the constituents whom the City Councilmembers represent is always welcome and essential to improve the City.
Miller questioned whether posting City Council meeting agendas online or streaming the meetings live online or on television might spark public interest.
Former Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO Stephen Meredith, who also attended the session, recommended that the City of Leitchfield work to better promote its strengths.
“We need to focus on how we can bring people from the lakes to the City on the weekends,” Meredith said.
Meredith’s comment opened the discussion to tourism and ways to grow and expand Leitchfield while maintaining its signature “small-town feel.”
Leitchfield Tourism Director Ilsa Johnson said the Tourism Commission is looking into several options for new recreational activities, including the already underway sports complex, which will be added on to James D. Beville City Park.
Meredith also recommended re-branding the City as “Leitchfield: The One and Only.”
“There’s only one Leitchfield in the whole world,” Meredith said. “That’s something to be proud of.”
Meredith also said governmental planning sessions should not be limited to Leitchfield and encouraged county-wide planning session also involving Clarkson and Caneyville.
“We’re only as successful as our neighbors,” Meredith said.