Lexington Mayor leads the charge; Gorton spears fundraising campaign

Posted at 10:08 AM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 21:38:27-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Faced with a budget shortfall of roughly 40 million dollars due to tax revenue losses attributed to COVID-19, Mayor Linda Gorton was forced to slash more than two million dollars normally earmarked for some of the city’s vital social service agencies.

“One of the jobs for a mayor is presenting a balanced budget proposal, and at this time our revenues are way down. So it did hurt me,” she said of the cuts she had to make to agencies such as the Salvation Army, Arbor Youth Services, The Children’s Advocacy Center and so many others.

But now Gorton is going to attempt to make up the difference by launching an online fundraising campaign.

“It was spurred by an anonymous donor who called me over the weekend and said, ‘I’d like to fund Arbor Youth for one year,’” she explained.

That donor will be writing a check for $237,000.

“Actually my first reaction was, I had no words, and anyone who knows me, knows I usually have a lot of words,” said Lori Clemons of Arbor Youth Services.

Without the generosity of this donor, Lori would’ve likely been forced to make some cuts of her own.

“I hope the same can happen for the other non-profits, who two days ago I was in the same boat with,” Clemons added.

Gorton is also hoping for the same result from this campaign.

“Some of the partners we’ve helped, through grants in the past, will be able to receive money through this mechanism,” she said.

And unlike balancing a budget by making cuts, helping to lead this charge was a much easier decision for the mayor.