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Lexington Vice mayor says higher costs and staffing needs make budgeting harder

Vice Mayor Dan Wu and Mayor Linda Gorton During a Recent Work Session
Stu Johnson
Vice Mayor Dan Wu and Mayor Linda Gorton During a Recent Work Session

Lexington’s vice mayor is expressing frustration with what he feels is a lack of federal response to gun violence. Dan Wu’s comments come following the mass shooting this week in Nashville taking the lives of six people, three of them children. The first-term vice mayor said when more gun restrictions didn’t come after the Sandy Hook school shootings in 2012 he gave up mentally. Wu said he doesn’t have the emotional energy to feel outrage anymore. “And it’s hard to be numb to that. I don’t want to be numb to that. But also from a local level, there’s nothing, there’s not much that we could do to move that needle,” said Wu.

Wu said this is an issue the urban county government can’t do much about because the city council can’t create any laws that supersede state or federal statutes.

Lexington’s City Council is on a spring break period. When members return on April 18th, they will hear Mayor Linda Gorton’s budget speech. Dan Wu noted rising costs for projects and staffing vacancies create challenges. He added there can be a hope to hold onto to prior COVID federal recovery dollars that are going away.

“I think people, to some degree, have an expectation of being able to get more financial help in different ways and so that’s also not going away. So, basically we have to spend more on the same amount of money we have,” said Wu.

Wu said there’s a lot of back-and-forth communication between the Council and the mayor’s office. The first-term Councilman said he meets weekly with Mayor Linda Gorton.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.