Mayor Newberry Wants To Take Regional Approach

If revenue sharing works for the SEC why can't it work for the bluegrass? It's concept called regionalism and it's the message of the Bluegrass Tomorrow group.

Thousands of people leave their home counties everyday to go to work in Lexington. That's good for Fayette County but not so good for the outlying areas.

Jessamine County judge executive Neal Cassity says about 55% of the county leaves for work and that means a significant loss in payroll tax.

Studies by Bluegrass Tomorrow show regional governments all around the bluegrass are facing a crisis in revenue collections. That's why it is urging area counties to work together. The goal is to improve the region and help out neighboring counties in the process.

Lexington mayor Jim Newberry says we need to follow in the steps of our forefathers and work together to remain competitive in the global economy.

These bedroom communities to Lexington aren't only losing revenue they're losing resources and Newberry says Fayette County can help them and vice verse.

"They can help by lending their expertise. They can bring opportunity for economy on a broader scale than we can do in Fayette County alone. They can help address transportation issues," said Newberry.

Richmond's mayor, Connie Lawson, says Madison County has a lot to offer and a lot to gain from regionalism.

"Being part of bluegrass, we have an equal say at the table. Where a lot of big cities in the country become greater and the others just become secondary, we feel equal," said Lawson.

Newberry says he's committed to uniting the bluegrass into one big neighborhood that works together instead of several separate counties working alone.

"I am committed to seeing that we are better neighbors in the future than in the past," he said.

He urged others at Friday's conference to participate in a regional government summit and keep the lines of communication open.

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