Mondays With The Mayors - Everette Varney, Georgetown
LEXINGTON, Ky. - This week we speak with Georgetown Mayor, Everette Varney about the loss of the Bengals training camp, the state of Georgetown's economy, and the upcoming reunion of the 1972 Olympic basketball team which lost the Gold Medal game to the Soviet Union in controversial fashion.
Question: Normally, Georgetown would be full of Cincinnati Bengals fans in town for the pro football franchise's training camp but that relationship ended. How is your town coping with the loss?
"I haven't heard a lot of complaints about it. It was a wonderful 15 year relationship, but the NFL changed the rules for practices and the Bengals simply decided it made more sense to hold their training camp in Cincinnati. So, no hard feelings."
Question: How would you describe the state of Georgetown's economy right now?
"I think we are on the rise. I get reports from Toyota and the County Judge and I go out quarterly to sit down with them and we update them on what's going on in the city and of course they brief us on what's going to be happening in the future at Toyota...things are looking up. Toyota is doing much better now than they did during the economic downturn. We are pretty much dependent on the huge industry they have here in Georgetown. If they go, we go, and when they're down, we're down."
Question: What does the revenue picture look like?
"We are very encouraged. We think that during the next budget year we could grow as much as a four or five percent increase. That's what the forecast is."
Question: What are some the challenges you face going forward?
"We are always challenged with growth. Even with the down economy, we have continued to grow and of course the challenge is keeping up with services. Certainly we try to maintain emergency services because people always want to feel safe in their own homes and when they are out and about in the city."
Question: Tell us more about the 1972 Olympic Basketball Team reunion coming up at Georgetown College.
"Well, I myself am a former basketball coach, and one of my dear friends is Kenny Davis; who captained that Olympic team. Of course I think it was one of the biggest farces in sports that the Americans got cheated out of winning the Gold Medal against the Soviets. I feel they certainly earned the victory. This squad has never been together since the Munich Games, and no one has been lost. So every member will be here in Georgetown coming up in a few weeks. This is going to be great not only for us, but for the whole state of Kentucky".
Mondays with the Mayors airs each week during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on WUKY.