Glenn said he wants to see downtown projects to completion

Commissioner Bob Glenn, who is seeking a new term of office, said the city has made strides in developing downtown and needs to continue the process.

But Glenn said he supports efforts to boost other parts of the city, such as south Frederica Street and the city’s west side.

Glenn served as Owensboro City Commissioner from 2013 to 2018, ran unsuccessfully for state office, and then was reelected to the commission in 2020.

The city, Glenn said, is in strong shape.

“I think our community is doing well,” Glenn said. “We have low overall employment.”

The city’s convention and tourism industries are also high-performing, he said.

“We have virtually totally recovered from the effects of Covid,” Glenn said.

In seeking a new term as commissioner, Glenn said he wants to finish projects underway downtown.

“We’ve got stage 2 of downtown development going on. We want to make sure it is completed so we get the (new) hotel and the Sportsplex,” Glenn said. The Sportsplex will be used to attract sports tourism, but will be available for use by residents as well, Glen said.

“I want the Sportsplex used for community purposes,” Glenn said, and that, “We have a lot of young people here we need to get off the streets” and involved in community activities.

The city needs more activities and programs for youth, Glenn said.

“I think groups like Western Academy (at The Neblett) and Breaking The Cycle are wonderful (organizations) that address the gun violence,” Glenn said.

City and county law enforcement have worked several incidents of gun violence involving juveniles in recent years.

“The key is to get young people engaged in activities (and say), ‘let’s get you focused on what you want to do for the rest of your life,’ ” Glenn said.

Glenn, a professor at Owensboro Community & Technical College, said, “we need to give (juveniles) opportunities at a very young age.”

Glenn said the city needs a development director for downtown and for places like south Frederica Street. A director would create incentives for businesses to move to south Frederica Street, Glenn said.

When people are looking to locate a business in the city, “we should say, ‘have you considered a Frederica Street location, or a Parrish (Avenue) location, or a Carter Road location?’ ” Glenn said.

Another focus, Glenn said, would be looking to create retail stores and other businesses on the west side. Glenn said he would also look for more ways the city can expand affordable housing, through neighborhood development that produces more homes and apartments.

Glenn said the commission has done things to promote public safety, such as creating the Owensboro Police Department police training academy, and by funding “Operation Firehouse.”

That initiative will replace all of the city’s fire stations but one by the time the work is finished, along with creating a new fire training center.

“We’ve addressed (city employee) retention. We’ve addressed the senior center issue,” Glenn said. “Certainly, we are aware of the need to address the gun violence issue.” The commission also responded to the need to address flooding around Shifley Park, he said.

“As a city commission, we haven’t sat around,” Glenn said.

While there is more Glenn wants to do, “we are moving in the right direction,” he said.