Spurred by his experiences with the Harrods Hill Neighborhood Associ-ation and directing the University of Kentucky School of Music, Harry Clarke was elected as the representative for the 10th District in the LFUCG Urban County Council in November and assumed his seat in early January.
Councilmember Clarke answered a few questions for us about his plans and goals for his district and Lexington.
What prompted you to run for the 10th District council seat?
Public service and elected office have been an interest of mine for a long time, but full-time work at UK made that farfetched, at best. My recent retirement provided the opportunity to offer my full-time service to Lexington and to the 10th District.
The more I have learned about the responsibilities of a councilmember and the opportunities for involvement in our great city, the more appealing the idea became. My interest was also piqued by a very positive experience serving as the president of the Harrods Hill Neighborhood Association.
What experiences have you had – professionally, civically, socially – that have prepared you to be an effective leader for this district?
As director of the School of Music at UK for 14 years, I administered a personnel, scholarship and operating budget of over $2 million and a faculty and staff of some 60 professionals in the administrative, performance and academic areas. During my entire tenure at UK I was frequently dealing with not only students, faculty and parents, but also with the UK Administration; the Athletics Association, its administration and coaches; the Alumni Association; and the Office of Development. I also served for two terms as a member of the University Senate.
My tenure as president of the Kentucky Association of College Music Departments and frequent visits to high schools throughout the state provided a statewide scope of administrative opportunities. My experience as the president of the Harrods Hill Neighborhood Association was also great preparation, as the communication and frequent interaction with people and their government called for prompt and decisive action.
In 2013, what are the most important issues facing the 10th District and how do you plan to respond to them?
The 10th District faces many of the same problems the rest of Lexington faces. There are areas of the district that are still experiencing serious flooding; unfortunately, the solutions to the problems are long range and will come eventually as the EPA mandated Consent Decree process is accomplished. My goal is to strongly advocate for these 10th District water projects and get them done as soon as possible.
As I walked the streets of the district during the campaign, I came across innumerable streets that have not been paved in decades. These less travelled residential streets, whose residents experience unsatisfactory paving and curbing, need to be higher on the priority list. Well-paved roads are important where people live and play. I will work to support higher allocations of repaving funds to address these neglected streets without ignoring the needed maintenance of primary roads.