ELECTION 2020: City Commissioner Incumbent Joe Denning

We continue our coverage of Election 2020
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - 13 News full interview with Bowling Green City Commissioner incumbent Joe Denning.

We continue our coverage of Bowling Green City Commissioner candidates
We continue our coverage for Bowling Green City commission candidates

Q: If anything, what are you going to do to ensure more affordable housing in Bowling Green? What kind of policies are currently in place or planned (if any) for more affordable housing?

A: "The problem we have, first of all in the city of Bowling Green, we’re not in the building business. We talk about affordable housing, you have to have contractors out there that, first of all want to build what is determined to be affordable housing. And one has to keep in mind, they have to make a profit. So we don’t have individuals out there that are interested in building what is termed by some, affordable house. I don’t have an amount in my mind, that is affordable housing. Is affordable housing $150,000 -- $200,000? Who makes that determination? I think that is something that it would have to be some guarantees for money to get a contractor interested in building affordable housing.

Q: So it’s about finding a contractor? Are there any, any plans in the works to try to know find somebody who would come and build some more affordable housing or grants?

A: “Well, we have had in the community is the Housing Authority -- building affordable housing, and a couple of agencies that have built affordable houses. Those individuals must have the funds or some guarantees that they can do that.”

Q: With 19 cities in KY that have adopted the Fairness Ordinance, do you believe Bowling Green should or shouldn’t have one. Why or why not?

A: “I will not vote for the Fairness Ordinance. I think just recently, the Supreme Court passed down some things pertaining to that. I think that it is something that should be taken at the state level. My votes in the past have been and will continue to be a no.”

Q: Do you have plans on expanding broadband internet within the city? If so, how?

A: “Well, that’s another thing to where you have to have some outsiders involved. One of the things that people get confused with is the fact that we as a city are builders, we’re developers, and we’re not. The government of the city of Bowling Green is to provide the citizens with police protection, fire protection, street maintenance, etc. We’re not developers. We would love to see someone come in and be involved in expansion for that particular utility, but it’s not easy when funds are not available and you don’t have other entities that are willing to do those things.”

Q: What role do you think the city plays in keeping the community safe during COVID-19 -- even working with the county?

A: “We have an excellent health department, good management of the health department. And as you are aware, they’re the lead and our county and our city pertaining to that. I think people have taken this pandemic lightly. We are not out of danger yet, and I’m one of the believers and have been for many years in Dr. Fauci. I have followed him from prior jobs to where he’s at now. And a lot of people are not listening to him, and I think we’re, we’re gonna be sorry, that we’re not following the guidelines that he has set forth. I will go a step further in saying that I think a lot of places have opened up too early. When we get to a point where we invited people that come back in an establishment in numbers, the nothing we’re asking for problems.”

Q: What ideas do you have to help diversify city leadership and employment?

A: “Well, one of the things that I’m involved in now is being on the committee as city commission representative is with our workforce development committee. We’re working on making sure that all of our departments and starting with police and fire department, have an opportunity to come in contact with and hire individuals that fit within the minority category. One of the things are always emphasized since I’ve been in law enforcement in the past, as an example, you can’t make a version to be a policeman. That individual has to have inside their body a desire to be a policeman or a fireman. And we are working to find those individuals for our department, as well as all other departments. And if we can’t do that, we will record to show that we made every effort to do so. But I, Joe Denning, will do everything that I can to make sure that all of our departments is a reflection of our community.”

Copyright 2020 WBKO. All rights reserved.