Morgan discusses past votes, importance of University

The News staff chose Jay Morgan, associate provost and city council member, to participate in a Question & Answer forum so he might address his position on the City Council.

Q. As a Murray city council member and the associate provost of the University, how do you balance the desire of the city’s constituents with those within the University?

A. They are relatively easy to separate, oftentimes the only overlap we really see is when something related to the city streets or municipal infrastructure, comes up. So it’s a relatively easy balance. One thing that I have been able to do is when items come up with the city that are economic development related. I’ve been able to link the city to resources here at the University. Faculty or staff who can help with those kinds of issues – fire issues or chemical issues down at one of our plants. I see it as a linkage between the city and the University.

Q. Earlier in the year, after the alcohol vote occurred, what was your position on how it would be taxed within the city?

A. I was in favor of an 8 percent tax on alcohol, because the Tennessee alcohol sales tax is significantly higher and the counties surrounding Murray are only a little under. So I felt like 8 percent was the most appropriate and I wanted to make sure the city recuperated the money it has spent on alcohol already …

Q. Earlier last year when the issues involving city stickers arose, how did you vote and why – in regards to students having to purchase the city stickers?

A. I voted in favor of the students. I did not think students should be required to purchase the city stickers. My idea was unfortunately defeated. Two individuals voted against ammending the ordinance to include the students, myself and one other. I do not think – and still do not think – students should have to buy city stickers.

Q. How important do you think it is that the City Council members really work together and really debate the issues that arise?

A. I think it’s crucial. The City Council has a variety of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. It creates good debate and flushes out the unknowns it helps us really figure out what the best decisions are.

Q. As Murray State is a big part of Murray’s economy, do you think the City Council values the students and tries to help them as much as they can in order to keep more students coming in?

A. I think the City Council values the students and the University, but I think they could do more. I say that with a little critique. Typically the city and university have had a good working relationship, but you can always improve upon things.

Story by Chris Wilcox, News Editor.