Meet Councilmember Amanda Bledsoe
Tenth district Councilmember Amanda Bledsoe “was raised in the 10th district,” and as a fourth-generation resident of this district, she shares, “This area is very special to me.”
The tenth district features the growing Southland Drive corridor and extends to the corner of Nicholasville Road, featuring assets like the “Welcome to Southland” sign that Bledsoe collaborated to have installed.
She is in her fourth term, having served on the urban county council since 2015, and also chairs the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee, which involves “shepherding the Council’s work toward stewarding the city’s tax dollars,” adding, it’s “a role I graciously embrace.”
As a council member, Bledsoe is focused on creating an environment for economic growth and believes sound fiscal responsibility is important. Her district is home to the thriving Southland area, so she watches as new businesses open all the time.
“Everywhere from Southland Drive and beyond is always evolving. The 10th District has no shortage of restaurants, retail, and varying offices. It’s a great testament to the fact that people really want to live, work, and play in this part of town.”
She finds that the biggest challenge facing the south end of Lexington is that people want to live and work here.
Bledsoe says, “The growth in this part of town has been substantial. Over the last several years, there have been a lot of new residential infill developments and new businesses popping up, but the increase in traffic congestion from this growth is equally substantial.”
Driving down Nicholasville or Harrodsburg roads during rush hour isn’t for the faint of heart, and she admits that the increase in traffic makes maintaining these local roads more difficult.
“This has put a lot of strain on our infrastructure and is very noticeable for anyone who tries to drive down Nicholasville Road or Harrodsburg Road at rush hour.” She acknowledges the strain is expensive, saying “It makes maintaining our local roads difficult. In the 10th District alone, it would cost about $11 million to bring all our neighborhood roads up to the City’s goal.”
Of course the only constant is change in Lexington. She says, “We’ve seen a lot of development and redevelopment the past several years. Across this part of town, we’ve also seen a lot of young families moving into our neighborhoods. They bring with them new ideas and a desire to be engaged, which helps reenergize our neighborhoods. I’m excited to see what new neighborhood initiatives and new businesses pop up in the coming years!”
While the neighborhood continues to change, it remains an ideal place to raise a family. Bledsoe attests, “I was raised in the 10th district so this is where we wanted to raise our family primarily because of the quality of the schools, parks, and trails.”
As a mother of two, she says, “My kids are in the very active part of childhood so I’m playing basketball with Mays (13) in the driveway or at the barn with Annabeth (9) training horses most often. I love to be outside so you will see me running on our city trails or walking our dogs at the dog parks.”
As for south Lexington’s new assets, she says, “The Summit is an excellent example of a neighborhood where you can live, work, and play. There’s plenty of restaurants, retail, a grocery, and activities all within a walkable space.” This is also where you can find Bledsoe enjoying her favorite spots for a business lunch or dinner. She says, “I love Core Eatery or Honeywood for lunch, J. Alexander’s for dinner, and Whiskey Bear Bar for after work with friends.”
A “day in the life” of a councilmember keeps her busy. She says, “Council meetings are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means a lot of meetings. Committee meetings, work sessions, and even plenty of smaller meetings before and after official Council work.”
She enjoys connecting with those in the community, saying, “This part of town has very engaged residents who love Lexington as much as I do. No matter where I am, I’m constantly running into neighbors who want to share their ideas for how we can improve our community.”
Bledsoe concludes, “With the challenges of growth come opportunities for creative ways to find solutions so I am excited to see how we come together to create vibrant neighborhoods for those who live there and those stopping by for a visit.”
If you would like to be connected to your neighborhood association, or would like to start a neighborhood association, please feel free to reach out to Councilmember Bledsoe’s Office. She says, “Getting involved with your neighborhood association is the most effective way to have an impact on your neighborhood. To stay in the know, I would encourage everyone to follow the 10th District Facebook page and my e-newsletter. When it’s safe, I will resume my regular in-person Coffee with a Councilmember events for anyone to come meet me and talk about issues in the area and around Lexington.”
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This article appears on page 4 of the 2021 annual print edition of the Spring Summit Guide.
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