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Work group formed to develop Lyric Theatre business plan

The Urban County Council on Tuesday unanimously asked Vice Mayor Jim Gray to form a work group to develop a business plan for the Lyric Theatre.

The business plan submitted by the Lyric Theatre Task Force says the city will be expected to provide more than $300,000 a year to operate and maintain the Lyric.

The council’s budget and finance committee reviewed the business plan and recommended that a work group of business, industry, arts and cultural experts be formed to develop a business plan.

O’Mara named Lexington’s acting commissioner of finance and administration

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry named Bill O’Mara, the city’s director of revenue, as the acting commissioner of finance and administration on Friday.

O’Mara replaces Kyna Koch, who resigned on Feb. 17 to take a state job as a staff member of the Legislative Research Commission. Her resignation was effective Friday.

Koch was the city commissioner that Newberry wanted to give a 12.7 percent salary increase, which would have raised her pay from $110,947 to $125,000 a year. Rather than taking action on the proposed salary increase, the Urban County Council tabled the issue.

Lexington’s tax revenue up slightly in January

Lexington’s revenue growth slowed in January, but officials remain optimistic about the city’s financial picture in the current fiscal year.

The city collected $16 million in total revenue in January, up $229,000, or 1.5 percen, over January 2008. Through the first seven months of the fiscal year, the city has collected $150.4 million in total revenue, up $5.3 million, or 3.6 percent, over this time last year.

Lexington’s finance commissioner resigns to take state job

Kyna Koch, Lexington’s finance and administration commissioner, resigned from the post Tuesday to take a state job. Her resignation will be effective Feb. 27.

Koch was the city commissioner that Mayor Jim Newberry wanted to give a 12.7 percent salary last week, which would have raised her pay from $110,947 to $125,000 a year. Rather than taking action on the proposed salary increase, the Urban County Council tabled the issue.

Lexington says farewell to two council members

It was an afternoon and evening of accolades and tributes to outgoing long-time Lexington Urban County Council members Dick DeCamp and David Stevens on Tuesday, the day of their final work session and council meeting.

DeCamp, the six-term District 3 council representative, could not seek re-election because of term limits. Stevens, a three-term at-large and a one-term District 5 council member, chose not to seek re-election.

Urban County Council rates progress on key goals

A lot of work needs to be done to meet the goals laid out in the “Six Pillars of Progress for Lexington,” Lexington Urban County Council members agreed at a Monday planning retreat.

The pillars were jointly developed by Mayor Jim Newberry’s administration and the council during its first retreat in January 2007. Newberry has said the pillars are the measuring stick for everything his administration is doing.

The pillars are improving the environment, building the economy, developing a shared vision for Lexington’s future, planning with more innovation, communicating better and governing more effectively and efficiently.

The city is making good progress on some pillars, but overall a lot of work remains, said Vice Mayor Jim Gray.

Lexington revenues down 9.2 percent in October

The national economic slowdown is starting to show itself at Lexington’s city hall. City revenues for October dipped 9.2 percent from a year ago, thanks largely to a sharp decline in payroll taxes.

Revenue from licenses and permits, which includes the all-important payroll tax, dropped 15.7 percent compared to October 2007 collections. “We are headed for very difficult times,” said Kyna Koch, the city’s finance and administration commissioner.

Lexington says workshop not anti-union

Beshear to make major funding announcement regarding Eastern State Hospital

Myers on White House call