Community Politics

The Louisville Metro Council will hold its next regular meeting away from its home turf for the first time. All 26 council members will attend the April 12 meeting at the Academy at Shawnee High School, said president David James.

“It’ll be basically a normal Metro Council meeting, just not at City Hall,” James said. “We’re trying to take government to the people.”

James said Louisville residents sometimes have trouble getting to City Hall downtown or finding parking. By meeting in a neighborhood, people will have another way to access their representatives, who will set up tables in the school’s lobby after the meeting, he said.

The idea of holding meetings in different locations was something James said he thought about while running for council president. He said he felt Metro Council should be more “community-oriented.”

James said Spectrum will contribute some equipment for recording and broadcasting the meeting for free, while the rest of the setup will be paid for with Metro Council funds.

Attendance at normal Metro Council meetings varies week to week, depending on what’s on the agenda. James said he did not know how many people might come to the Shawnee meeting.

A February meeting of the Community Affairs and Housing Committee at the Shawnee Golf Club — another meeting usually held at City Hall — drew about 200 attendees to discuss vacant properties, James said.

James said holding meetings in such venues can attract citizens who may not feel comfortable or have a way of getting to City Hall. If this meeting goes well, the council may hold future off-site meetings in East and Southwest Jefferson County. The body is considering venues such as the Iroquois Amphitheater and the University of Louisville’s Shelby Campus, he said.

The meeting could also give council members a way to spend time in districts they don’t usually travel to, James said.

“It just gives everybody an opportunity to expand their exposure to different thoughts,” he said.

The April 12 Metro Council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at 4001 Herman St.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.