Together Frankfort: Describe your vision for sustainable economic growth in Franklin County.
Candidate Michael Mueller: I plan to foster sustainable, healthy economic growth through supporting projects that meet the social, environmental and economic needs of our community such as:
~ Existing businesses and making sure they are happy and have the tools they need to succeed.
~ Work with local organizations and the state to help recruit and attract new businesses that will fit in our terrain and our future needs
~ Identify businesses that will help create better paying jobs and balance a healthy tax base.
~ Improvements to quality of life, community amenities and facilities, parks and trails systems and schools. Working with the school board and superintendent to see how the county can better support schools. People move and stay in communities with desirable amenities and school systems.
~ Outdoor, bourbon, and sports tourism.
~ Work with state to revisit the capital tax so Frankfort doesn't carry the burden of the other 119 Kentucky counties.
~ Curriculum and pipeline for workforce development
~ Educate and enforce business licenses and occupational tax.
Together Frankfort: What could our community do to address climate change?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Incentivizing zoning and land uses that allow people to live closer to where they work will reduce sprawl and resources, as well as encourage a more walkable and bikeable community. We could also incentivize green infrastructure and building practices. Joining renewable power agencies could give citizens more control over their electric rates and lower our carbon footprint. Preserving forests and green spaces is important to capture carbon. We can continue to improve sustainability through increasing the implementation of energy saving projects and adding additional electric vehicles, which we have achieved as a Fiscal Court over the last few years.
Together Frankfort: What are your priorities for Planning and Zoning?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Incentivizing zoning and land uses that allow people to live closer to where they work will reduce sprawl and resources, as well as encourage a more walkable and bikeable community.
~ We could also incentivize green infrastructure and building practices.
~ Joining renewable power agencies could give citizens more control over their electric rates and lower our carbon footprint.
~ Preserving forests and green spaces is important to capture carbon.
We can continue to improve sustainability through increasing the implementation of energy saving projects and adding additional electric vehicles, which we have achieved as a Fiscal Court over the last few years.
Together Frankfort: In what circumstances would you support using Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?
Candidate Michael Mueller: I would support a TIF for any projects with public access or for public use.
Together Frankfort: Voting - Only 33% of eligible Franklin County voters participated in the last election and that was considered a good turnout. What do you think can be done to increase voter turnout and engagement?
Candidate Michael Mueller: We need to reassure that the public voice is being heard on a local level, educate people on the importance of voting as a civic duty, educate on the voting process, and use all media to get the word out. During the pandemic we were able to use mail in voting and it worked very well. I think we need to revisit this option if it is fiscally responsible and makes it easier for voters. Currently we have early voting days and voters will be able to vote in any precinct no matter where they live.
Together Frankfort: What is your opinion about election security in Franklin County?
Candidate Michael Mueller: The County Clerks office and poll workers do a great job with election security. There is zero voter fraud in Franklin County. Our equipment is all new and state of the art, has passed all board certifications for the state and is secure.
~~~~~ Gun Violence ~~~~~
Together Frankfort: What specific measures do you believe could reduce gun violence in Kentucky and if elected, what would you do to make sure those measures are put in place?
Candidate Michael Mueller: I would like to see our community, doctors, and schools teach our youth about gun violence and gun safety. Education is the key to help reduce gun violence
Together Frankfort: Suicides account for 66% of all gun deaths in Kentucky. Do you have proposals that would reduce those deaths?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Supporting mental health outreach and providing places for people in crisis situations a safe place to store their guns could all be helpful for suicide prevention. Working with organizations like Moms Demand Action and to educate the public, promote gun locks and most importantly encouraging gun owners to put them in gun safes can also help.
Together Frankfort: The federal government has just passed legislation that would send money to Kentucky for gun violence prevention--specifically for enacting a red flag law or something similar. How would you propose to spend that money to prevent gun violence in our commonwealth?
Candidate Michael Mueller: I support the Red Flag Law as it will help keep guns away from people suffering with mental health issues. I think we should strengthen the gun permit process. Provide a safe place for guns for people that are dealing with mental health issues.
We should also provide protection for victims of domestic violence. Communities with high rates of gun violence are usually affected by income inequality, health problems, and under resourced schools, to be successful we must address all of these issues.
~~~~~ Campaign Contributions ~~~~~
Together Frankfort: What is your position on Dark Money?
Candidate Michael Mueller: I do not agree with the practice of dark money and believe all political donations should be traceable and transparent.
Together Frankfort: Will you identify all contributors to your campaign, including those who contribute to political action committees that support you?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Yes. All of my donors are identified with the state per local voting laws.
~~~~~ Health Care ~~~~~
Together Frankfort: What is your position on reproductive health care for women and Constitutional Amendment #2?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Our government should not regulate what a woman can and cannot do with her body. A ‘no’ vote on this amendment will ensure a woman and her doctor can make this medical decision without government interference.
Together Frankfort: What is your position on expanding mental health care in Franklin County?
Candidate Michael Mueller: We must expand and fund mental health care for individuals that are suffering from this disease. A task force to help with this issue for all ages could be helpful.
~~~~~ Housing ~~~~~
Together Frankfort: Would you, if elected, tackle our affordable housing crisis by supporting a city/county ordinance that adopts the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) to define the rights of renting citizens and families and landlords, and follow the lead of other towns and cities by adopting regulations on Airbnb and other short-term rentals?
Candidate Michael Mueller: Yes I would support the (URLTA) act and I would also like to make sure the renters are held accountable for talking care of an individual’s property. It is important for both the landlord to provide safe housing and equally important for the tenant to be responsible and respectful. I have been on both ends of this issue.
As many communities are seeing, regulation of the number of short-term rentals is needed and will allow for more affordable housing options. Full time occupancies ensure that a town is sustainable over time. Regulation and collection of appropriate taxes from short term rentals is also critical.
Thank you, Candidate Michael Mueller, for responding to Together Frankfort's questionnaire. For readers interested in discussing these issues further with Mr. Mueller, click here for his website.
Kentucky's 2022 General Election, Franklin County, Kentucky
Franklin County Candidates for County Judge Executive
Responses to Together Frankfort Questionnaire
Candidate Carroll politely declined to participate. The following answers were provided by Candidate Michael Mueller, who won the Democratic primary held in May 2022.
Voting for the Kentucky General Election is already underway with early in-person voting. The regular in person voting day will be held on November 8, 2022.