Joined: 09 Sep 2005
|Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:22 am Post subject: Gubernatorial Candidates' Positions
|KRTC sent letters to Governor Ernie Fletcher and Steve Beshear, the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor, requesting their thoughts and positions on rails to trails. Governor Fletcher’s response to KRTC’s request was not received in time for inclusion in the recent newsletter. KRTC’s Chairperson, Keith Lovan, forwarded Governor Fletcher’s letter dated October 18, 2007 for posting on our website stating his position.
KRTC does not endorse any candidates. KRTC does encourage all citizens to vote and to evaluate their positions on rail trails along with other public issues.
The text of Steve Beshear’s reply …
“Thank you for your inquiry about my position concerning rails-to-trails.
Earlier this summer, I unveiled my Adventure Tourism plan for Kentucky. My plan is aimed at creating jobs and exposing the splendor of our state. I believe the state is poised to be a premiere destination for adventure tourism, and the rail trails are a part of my vision for expanding tourism in Kentucky.
I recognize that the rails-to-trails conservancy has proved successful in states like Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, to name only a few, as they have converted former rail lines into recreational trails in rural and urban areas. Yet, despite the success of this program in other states, only minimal efforts have been made to date to expand the program in Kentucky. For example, we only have seven RTC trails now, totaling just 33 miles in length. We can do better. A Beshear/Mongiardo Administration will provide the leadership to get it done.
Dr. Mongiardo and I believe that further developing and expanding our state’s rail trails are important to building upon the vast opportunities Kentucky has to develop its tourism industry. Kentucky has so much to offer, and we believe it is time to share with everyone what Kentuckians already know.”
The text of Governor Fletcher’s letter is as follows:
…Thank you for contacting me regarding the Kentucky Rails to Trails projects. As you know, the state administers the program through the Recreational Trails grant program, Governor’s Office for Local Development, but the funding originates with the Federal Highway Administration. Jodie McDonald is the contact for the program and she may be reached at 502-573-2382 or Jodie.McDonald@ky.gov.
Glenna and I work with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on a new initiative to promote healthier lifestyles. “Get Healthy Kentucky” emphasizes programs to improve overall health. The effort starts with educating Kentuckians to make healthier choices in their lifestyles, diet and exercise programs. Prevention of illness should be our goal. In addition to the beauty and practicality of converting abandoned railroad tracks to walking trails, this program is another tool in our efforts to encourage Kentuckians to get more exercise.
I hope that you will continue making our citizens aware of rails to Trails. We need to involve more people in order for the project to be a presence in communities all across the state. Thank you again for your interest in making Kentucky a better place in which to live, work and raise families.
Posted by Dixie Moore, Secretary KRTC