Louisville Metro Council President Jim King http://wfpl.org en Louisville Council GOP Demand Democratic Budget Chair Resign Over East End Funding Flap http://wfpl.org/post/louisville-council-gop-demand-democratic-budget-chair-resign-over-east-end-funding-flap <p>Calling it a case of "political bullying" Louisville Metro Council Republicans are demanding Budget Committee Chair Marianne Butler step down after failing to deliver a list of their spending priorities to the mayor's office.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 22:17:02 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 9486 at http://wfpl.org Louisville Council GOP Demand Democratic Budget Chair Resign Over East End Funding Flap FBI Wouldn't Just 'Research' Louisville Metro Council Practices, Legal Experts Say http://wfpl.org/post/fbi-wouldnt-just-research-louisville-metro-council-practices-legal-experts-say <p>A former federal prosecutor says it is naïve to believe the FBI is interviewing members of the Louisville Metro Council just to learn about policies and procedures.</p><p>As WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting first uncovered, <a href="/post/fbi-looking-louisville-metro-government-questioning-council-members">FBI agents have interviewed a number of city lawmakers</a> over the past six months.</p><p>Federal investigators have asked about discretionary spending and the council's relationship to Jefferson County judges, a source said.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:03:20 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 8686 at http://wfpl.org FBI Wouldn't Just 'Research' Louisville Metro Council Practices, Legal Experts Say Louisville Council President Jim King Refutes Ethics Claim, Suggests Prosecution of Complainant http://wfpl.org/post/louisville-council-president-jim-king-refutes-ethics-claim-suggests-prosecution-complainant <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Louisville Metro Council President Jim King says a series of ethics complaints alleging he personally profited from his public office should be dismissed.</span></p><p>King’s attorney, in a 24-page formal response obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, says the complaints are untimely and without merit.</p><p>The attorney, Jon Fleischaker, claims the complaints lodged by political activist Janice Rucker could be considered harassment and that the matter should be referred to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 20:19:13 +0000 Kristina Goetz 8685 at http://wfpl.org Louisville Council President Jim King Refutes Ethics Claim, Suggests Prosecution of Complainant Byline | FBI Looks at Metro Gov't; Legislature Mulls Felon Voting Rights; Corvette Museum Sinkhole http://wfpl.org/post/byline-fbi-looks-metro-govt-legislature-mulls-felon-voting-rights-corvette-museum-sinkhole <p><object height="81" width="100%"><param name="movie" value="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136083688&amp;color=205075&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_playcount=true&amp;show_comments=true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" height="81" src="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136083688&amp;color=205075&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_playcount=true&amp;show_comments=true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wi Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:53:10 +0000 Laura Ellis 8670 at http://wfpl.org Byline | FBI Looks at Metro Gov't; Legislature Mulls Felon Voting Rights; Corvette Museum Sinkhole Local Option Sales Tax Proposal Filed in Kentucky Senate as Mayor Greg Fischer Outlines More Details http://wfpl.org/post/local-option-sales-tax-proposal-filed-kentucky-senate-mayor-greg-fischer-outlines-more-details <p>A Kentucky state senator has filed legislation to let residents vote on raising the local sales tax for special projects, but he is already doubting its passage in the 2014 legislative session.</p><p>Republican Paul Hornback of Shelbyville introduced <a href="http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14RS/SB135.htm">the bill</a> on Tuesday. It would allow local residents vote on temporary tax increases to pay for special projects.</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 20:46:43 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 8570 at http://wfpl.org Local Option Sales Tax Proposal Filed in Kentucky Senate as Mayor Greg Fischer Outlines More Details Jim King Elected Council President 4th Consecutive Year; Democrats Divided Along Racial Lines http://wfpl.org/post/jim-king-elected-council-president-4th-consecutive-year-democrats-divided-along-racial-lines <p>The Louisville Metro Council re-elected Democrat Jim King to an unprecedented fourth consecutive term as president on Monday by an unanimous vote.</p><p>But King's fellow Democrats were fractured after the 17-member majority caucus ousted their party leader in a vote mirroring the verdict of Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's removal trial.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 8146 at http://wfpl.org Jim King Elected Council President 4th Consecutive Year; Democrats Divided Along Racial Lines Louisville Metro Council Shrinks KFC Yum Center's Taxing District http://wfpl.org/post/louisville-metro-council-shrinks-kfc-yum-centers-taxing-district <p>In a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council approved a measure reducing the size of the tax increment financing district surrounding the KFC Yum Center from six square miles to two square miles.</p><p>Council members hope this change will develop better revenue projections for the arena to help pay down its debt.</p><p></p><p>Since February, city officials have been discussing new ways to <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/amid-financial-woes-mayor-greg-fischer-appoints-city-cfo-arena-authority-board">deal with financial woes at the downtown arena</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/1078_Tax-Increment-Financing">TIF district</a> is made up of property, occupational and sales tax revenue that goes towards the Louisville Arena Authority to help retire the $349 million in construction bonds.</p><p>But the taxing-district has fallen far below its expected projections putting a heavier burden on the city&mdash;and Louisville taxpayers&mdash;to cover more of the costs.</p><p>&quot;Reducing the&nbsp;TIF area allows&nbsp;the TIF revenues to directly reflect the success of the arena and eliminates changes in business activities unrelated to the arena,&quot; says Council President Jim King, D-10, who sponsored the bill. &quot;This approach is more realistic and gives the city a better monetary&nbsp;outcome in the&nbsp;future. It also taps into promised state tax revenues.&quot; Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:45:20 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6993 at http://wfpl.org Louisville Metro Council Shrinks KFC Yum Center's Taxing District Louisville Councilman Brent Ackerson Unveils Drastic Changes to Discretionary Spending http://wfpl.org/post/louisville-councilman-brent-ackerson-unveils-drastic-changes-discretionary-spending <p>After an hour long deliberation of the Louisville Metro Council's ethics committee Democrat Brent Ackerson unveiled a 19-page draft of broad changes to discretionary spending rules on Tuesday.</p><p>The committee discussed a number of possible reforms including tighter rules for neighborhood grants and a resolution asking the General Assembly for a change in state law that would give the Metro Ethics Commission subpoena powers.</p><p>But the proposals Ackerson is outlining call for a drastic shift in policy such as blocking the use of neighborhood grant funding for community picnics and festivals unless there is a public purpose such as a health fair.</p><p>"At the end of the day I hope it will be equally offensive to all of us because that’s what it’s going to take here. This can’t be a situation where we say don’t touch my project or this or that," says Ackerson. "Let’s just vomit the ideas out there and flush through. If we’re going to bring out real change then let’s really do it."</p><p>He says it's important lawmakers put bold ideas out for the public to debate in the wake of Barbara Shanklin’s expulsion trial, which in part centered on the use of discretionary funds.</p><p>The plan also would forbid a single council member from spending over $15,000 on a single event. It would effectively stop the funding district events such as <a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120806/NEWS01/308060109/Barbara-Shanklin-Louisville-Metro-Council-ethics-complaint-Neighborhood-Development-Fund-grants">Newburg Day, which has received grants over $20,000</a> from Shanklin's office in years past.</p><p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:30:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6540 at http://wfpl.org Louisville Councilman Brent Ackerson Unveils Drastic Changes to Discretionary Spending Council Budget Committee Rejects Property Tax Increase in Contrast to JCPS Hike http://wfpl.org/post/council-budget-committee-rejects-property-tax-increase-contrast-jcps-hike <p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">In contrast to Jefferson County Public Schools, the Louisville Metro Council Budget Committee rejected any increase to local property taxes in a unanimous vote this week.</p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">Mayor Greg Fischer announced last week that he planned to introduce an ordinance keeping real estate tax rates at the same level.</p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">Under the ordinance, the property tax rate for home owners in the old city limits or Urban Services District will remain at 36.66 cents per $100 of assessed value. Those living in the unincorporated areas of Metro Louisville will remain at 12.55 cents per $100.</p><p style="margin-left:4.5pt;">Council Democrats and Republicans praised the decision, and Council President Jim King, D-10, took the vote as an opportunity to contrast with the school board's decision to raise taxes.</p><p>"Our taxpayers deserve a break in light of the annual JCPS tax increases. We believe in letting economic activity and new jobs drive tax receipts—not higher rates," he says.</p><p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 16:58:21 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6489 at http://wfpl.org Council Budget Committee Rejects Property Tax Increase in Contrast to JCPS Hike Barbara Shanklin's Attorney Lashes Out at City Officials Over Removal Trial Proceedings http://wfpl.org/post/barbara-shanklins-attorney-lashes-out-city-officials-over-removal-trial-proceedings <p>A Louisville Metro Council Court hearing turned into a shouting match between city officials and the lawyer representing embattled Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, in her upcoming removal trial.</p><p>Shanklin faces ouster from office after a Charging Committee of five council members filed a petition saying she violated three sections of the city's code of ethics.</p><p>The chief allegation is that Shanklin used taxpayers funds to benefit her friends and family through an upholstery program for ex-offenders.</p><p>The program was set up to help former inmates learn a trade, but city records showed few ex-offenders attending the class while Shanklin and family members did.</p><p>Mayor Greg Fischer's office shut down the program in late 2011, but <em>The Courier-Journal</em> discovered the councilwoman's office continued to fund the program with discretionary&nbsp; through the Petersburg-Newburg Improvement Association, which Shanklin and her niece were listed as board members.</p><p>Attorney Aubrey Williams is representing Shanklin. He strongly objected to the council's handling of the proceedings, exhibits and who will be subpoenaed to testify.</p><p>At different points Williams lashed out at Council President Jim King, D-10, Charging Committee attorney David Tachau and Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell.</p><p>Williams says O'Connell especially has been engaging in unprofessional "shenanigans" leading up to the removal trial.</p><p>"Now you be quiet and let me explain," Williams yelled. "You may think you can <a href="http://wfpl.org/post/jefferson-county-attorney-mike-oconnell-faces-political-threats-amid-legal-controversies">push district court judges around</a>, but you won't push me around sir. Your behavior is appalling. How you are practicing this case is appalling."</p><p>"How dare you," O'Connell barked. "I'm not going to play your games. You accuse me of unprofessional conduct you better put it on the record."</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:47:26 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6146 at http://wfpl.org Barbara Shanklin's Attorney Lashes Out at City Officials Over Removal Trial Proceedings