Tonight the phone rang off the hook at City Hall, thanks to people wanting to talk to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.
It was all for the mayor's Telephone Town Hall. Gray spent an hour answering calls, and taking suggestions on how to make Lexington a better place.
The town hall kicked off the city's involvement in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayor's challenge. Lexington is competing for a $5 million prize by coming up with the best idea on how to make their city a better place.
The Mayor says, "it's encouraging because people were staying on the phone for almost an hour, to express what they think is valuable and could get a great idea for our city."
The Mayor's office says more than 7,500 people called tonight. While Gray couldn't take all those calls, we're told those people he didn't get to talk to were able to leave a voicemail.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's private foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, started the competition and will award one $5,000,000 prize and four $1,000,000 prizes to the five cities with winning ideas.
More than 1,000 cities are invited to participate in the challenge.
"The more we can encourage our citizens to create, to be imaginative, the better the cities are gonna do," explained Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, "what these grants will do is stimulate ideas and out of these ideas we'll find solutions, we'll find good problem solving."
The deadline for submissions is August 1st. Submit your ideas to Mayor Gray using the title "Mayors Challenge" via email or snail mail.
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Gray's address is 200 East Main Street; Lexington, KY 40507.