Kyle Thompson’s family home was burglarized in 2009, and he says he is using the lessons he learned from that experience in his campaign for mayor of Frankfort.
The local attorney and Frankfort native says he’s seen the cycle of crime and wants to put together a comprehensive plan to eradicate it.
During a campaign fundraiser Thursday night, Thompson proposed a plan that would be created by city stakeholders – including city police, city firefighters, EMS, City Hall, citizens and business leaders – to lower the crime rate.
“By identifying and setting goals we can determine if we are successfully combating the surge of drugs that have infiltrated our borders, if we are successfully prosecuting and rehabilitating those offenders who are being integrated back into our community, and whether we see actual results of safer streets and neighborhoods,” he said in a speech in the Capital Plaza Hotel’s Caucus Room.
Thompson noted Frankfort’s crime rate rivals larger cities and is higher than state and national averages.
“One in every 28 people in our city was a victim of property crime in 2010 – chances are you or someone you know has been a victim recently.”
The fundraiser featured the band Yellow Dye #5 and several other local musicians. Guests ate fruits and marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain at the chocolate-themed party.
About 100 people – family members, friends and courtroom colleagues – attended the party to show support for Thompson’s campaign, which will also focus on the local economy and unemployment rate.
Frankfort has seen an economic downturn with an unemployment rate 2 percent higher than the national average, Thompson said, but he doesn’t want to see more “restaurant jobs.”
“We need real paying jobs for individuals and families, not just minimum wage jobs,” he said after his formal talk Thursday.
Thompson said the city’s stagnant revenues over the last few years raise a red flag.
“We’ve got things we need to spend money on to fight crime and to deal with some of the issues we have, and the only way we’re going to be able to do that is if we find more revenue,” he told The State Journal.
He said he wanted to “find and utilize unique and unused funding.”
Installing parking meters downtown is a small thing he says could help offset the slow revenue.
“We can’t raise taxes at a time when everyone is struggling financially … so we have to figure out new avenues for revenue,” he said.
Longevity pay for city employees is on the radar for the current City Commission, and while Thompson sees city employees as a vital resource, he says the money must be in the city’s budget to increase pay.
“The reality of the situation is (that) those are human factors – you have to take into consideration certain individuals that are living by the standards that we provide them on a yearly basis, and we want to keep those resources to have the best individuals being compensated as well as they possibly can,” he said.
“But when you think there are tough decisions that have to be made – where is the money going to come from?”
Thompson is opposed by City Commissioner Bill May and Donna Hecker in the 2012 mayoral race. The primary election will be May 22.