Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 4, 2012

Riverfront, alcohol sales topics of concern for candidates

ASHLAND — Second of two stories on the candidates for Ashland City Commission and the issues they are facing.

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Six candidates, including all four incumbents, are running in the election for the Ashland city commission.

The four candidates voters choose on Tuesday will have a full plate in the coming term, grappling with issues ranging from water line replacement to liquor sales. They also will be working with a new mayor.

Candidates are incumbents Larry Brown, Tom Cantrell, Kevin Gunderson and Marty Gute, first-time challenger Tim Duley and former commissioner Cheryl Spriggs.

In interviews the week preceding the election, The Independent asked the candidates to discuss four crucial issues and then offered them the floor to touch on other matters they believe are important in Ashland.

Today the candidates weigh in on the riverfront and alcohol sales, the payroll and others things on their mind.

Riverfront

Ashland transformed its sleepy riverfront boat landing into a picturesque park with modern restrooms, a jetty and a boat dock, paying for it with $11 million in mostly federal funds.

The park is phase one in what is intended to be a much larger park, taking in city land on the other side of the Ben Williamson and Simeon Willis bridges. Money for the enlargement is not yet on the horizon.

Since opening, the park has hosted Summer Motion events and an annual Youthfest music festival, but critics say it is otherwise underused, considering its pricetag and potential value to the city. One perceived shortcoming among critics is the city’s unwillingness to allow alcohol sales at some events.

A group of investors backed out of financing a blues festival at the park for that reason.

The Independent asked candidates for their thoughts on best using the park — and whether alcohol sales should be a part of the vision.

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