TO LEXINGTON VILLAGE COUNCIL
My name is Kirsten Pscholka-Gartner and I want to represent you on Lexington Village Council. I am a 1999 graduate of Lexington High School, a 2001 graduate of Capital University and a 2004 graduate of Capital University Law School. I am employed as the appellate attorney with the Richland County Prosecutor's Office. Growing up, I was frequently exposed to what was happening in Lexington through my father, who was Lexington's Administrative Director. As a result, I became interested in how our community developed and was managed. As an adult, I want to focus my interest and talents towards making Lexington the best place to live and raise a family.
Lexington's official letter-head identifies Lexington as "A Growing Community For Families", and that is one of the characteristics of Lexington that I most love and want to preserve. Our schools, parks, and safe neighborhoods provide an excellent family environment, and the many family-focused community events such as the Blueberry Festival, Halloween Parade and Trick or Treat night, and Light-up-Lexington program create fond memories that families will cherish for decades. Our excellent public school system provides our children with the academic tools that make it possible for them to succeed later in life. Lexington truly supports the notion that "it takes a community to raise a child."
Lexington has become known as a bedroom community for the greater Mansfield area, with a majority of new development being residential in nature. Until recently, most of that development had been single family houses. More recently, we have experienced an increase in apartment buildings and condominiums that cater to an increasingly older population. I believe that we now have a good mix of housing choices, and I do not favor additional multi-family rental units. Owner occupied condominium projects attractive to senior citizens should be allowed if market demand can be demonstrated. I also support zoning, sign and property maintenance codes and vigilant enforcement to preserve the character and property values of the community.
I believe that Lexington needs to balance this residential growth with additional commercial and light industrial development to relieve the tax burden on village residents. However I do not support the theory that "any business is good business." It should also be a "good fit" for the village and its citizens. New development should not jeopardize the historical character and quaint charm of the village. New commercial/industrial parks should be developed similar to the existing industrial park in areas where the traffic, noise and pollution from these new businesses will not have an adverse impact on the residential neighborhoods. The older central business district should be revitalized and new businesses attracted to fill vacant properties. More convenient parking is needed to help support these businesses. The village needs to encourage this redevelopment through the use of tax abatements, low-interest loans to support storefront improvements and building code updates, and public expenditures for streetscape and infrastructure improvements.
The Village of Lexington has established an excellent reputation in the area for progressive planning and efficient public works delivery. The village has been successful in obtaining numerous grants for large public works improvements projects because it had done the appropriate planning and budgeting for these projects well in advance of when they were actually needed. This has saved village taxpayers millions of dollars in avoided expenditures. I would work to continue this tradition of future community planning and capital improvement programming and encourage the utilization of grants and low-interest loans wherever possible to reduce the burden on village taxpayers to finance needed capital improvement projects. Lexington has earned an excellent reputation in Richland County for its snow removal, spring clean-up, and leaf collection programs, park maintenance and other public works operations, and has a very low crime rate . I would constantly strive to improve the delivery of public services, and to provide our excellent public works and safety forces with the tools and resources needed to safely accomplish their task.
I believe that local governments should be efficient, responsive and transparent, and treat all its residents alike, regardless of income or neighborhood. As your council representative, I pledge to work for all residents of the village, and to constantly strive to improve our public works and safety programs, continue our steady, planned growth, and maintain the character and values of our wonderful community.
Paid for by Kirsten Pscholka-Gartner,