About Steve

Steve Kay chose Lexington as his home in 1971. He brought with him his lifelong interest in contributing to strong civic and workplace communities.

Steve is fortunate because his professional work and his civic interests match closely. He is a founding partner of Roberts & Kay, Inc. (RKI), a research and organization development firm established in 1983.   At the local level Steve’s major clients have included Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Blue Grass Community Foundation, and University of Kentucky. At the state level his clients have included the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky Department of Education,  and Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. National clients have included Kettering Foundation, Sustainable Racine, The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and U.S. Department of Energy.

Steve had many opportunities to contribute to civic life in Lexington. He has served on the boards of the Lexington Transit Authority (LexTran) and the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association. He helped found the London Ferrill Community Garden and gardens there as a volunteer and in an individual plot. He is a former Vice Chair of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Planning Commission, and former president of the board of the Good Foods Coop. In 1996, Steve and his wife Rona were recipients of the Humanitarian Award from the Bluegrass Chapter, National Conference for Community and Justice.

In 2010 Steve was elected to an at-large seat on Lexington’s Urban County Council.  In his first four years on council Steve worked on issues that range from basic services, such as increased funding for needed equipment for police and fire, to quality of life issues such as additional bike/ped trails and increased support for our parks. He also worked extensively on developing our local food economy, including  generating grant funding to establish the office of Local Food Coordinator within LFUCG’s Office of Economic Development. In addition to service on numerous committees, commissions, and task forces, Steve has provided leadership as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness, Chair of the Downtown Design Excellence Task Force, Chair of the General Government Committee, and Co-Chair of the Infill and Redevelopment Steering Committee.  In 2014 Steve was elected Vice Mayor.

Steve earned a B.A. from Bowdoin College, an M.A. from Yale University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky. He is married to Rona Roberts and has three wonderful sons, three wonderful daughters-in-law, and four exceptionally charming grandchildren.

3 Responses to About Steve

  1. Sharon Reed says:

    Have you conciture running for mayor? I’d vote for you and you probably most of those who put you in may want you to advance.

  2. James Edwin Gibson says:

    Dear Steve Kay (and/or staff),

    I look forward to your serving as a councilmember-at-large here in Lexington.

    One of the issues that concerns me greatly is alcohol abuse. I hope the new administration will build upon the successes of the current one and help correct its failings.

    Despite several successes, alcohol abuse obviously remains a significant problem. The highly publicized recent arrest of University of Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline (who apparently was very clearly intoxicated, but had apparently recently come from a bar), is probably one of numerous examples of bars in Lexington serving persons well beyond the 0.08% legal blood alcohol concentration limit.

    My understanding is that those serving alcoholic beverages in Lexington are supposed to be trained to detect intoxication and to avoid serving intoxicated customers. Based on the news articles I read, Hartline was so visibly drunk that his drunkkenness would have been apparent to even an untrained observer.

    Why isn’t more being done to hold bars accountable? Do liquor taxes and liquor license fees need to be raised pay for more law enforcement personnel? Do some establishments serving alcohol need to be fined large amounts and/or have their liquor licenses taken away? I hope you will help provide the support necessary to get the job done. The Lexington city police and state officials can only do so much.

    I hope you will seek to take appropriate action on this, and that the significant progress of the Newberry and previous administrations will be added to considerably.

    Thanks again for your service.

    Sincerely, James E. Gibson (381 Elaine Drive, Apt. #228, Lexington, Kentucky 40504; phone: 859-259-3686)

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