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Wed February 20, 2013
Resolution Honoring Late Councilwoman Judy Green Faces Opposition
A resolution in the Louisville Metro Council honoring the late Judy Green is facing opposition, according to its sponsor.
Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, introduced the non-binding measure in the Community Affairs committee this week.
Green died last month from a heart attack and the resolution praises her for adopting nearly a dozen children and being a foster mother to over 50. The resolution says Green "loved all people” and had an "unyielding generosity" towards District 1 constituents.
In 2011, Green became the first council member booted from office for violating the city’s code of ethics, specifically the mismanagement of taxpayer funds.
Scott says residents were looking for a way to honor Green’s memory and move beyond the controversy, but a handful of city lawmakers raised concerns.
"I explained to my colleagues on council that (Councilwoman Green) being removed from office occurred before I got here," says Scott. "My tenure should not be tainted by what happened previously."
Scott would not comment on which members contacted her objecting to the resolution, but a spokesman for the Democratic caucus confirmed with WFPL there was opposition based on sending the public the wrong message.
"The resolution addressed her service in District 1, and it's fairly obvious that there were some people who were questioning approving a resolution when she had been removed from the council," says Democratic spokesman Tony Hyatt.
Last month, hundreds of family members, friends and supporters turned out for Green's funeral at St. Stephen Baptist Church in west Louisville.
During the procession, the Rev. Kevin Cosby, who performed the eulogy, praised Green's community service and defended her legacy, saying Green had suffered a "media onslaught" based on "an isolated incident."
Green's husband told WFPL he didn't know a resolution honoring his late wife had been introduced but that he doesn't need the city's recognition to know what she meant to residents.
"I think my wife's actions speak for themselves while she was in public office and before she took public office," says James Green. "It's always nice for people to take note of the things you've done, however, in my mind whether or not the Metro Council or anyone takes formal action to acknowledge her contribution, I know what my wife's contribution was to this community."
Initially residents were seeking to rename a park or city street after Green, but a resolution was suggested by Scott's office instead.
The committee meeting to discuss the resolution was canceled this week, but Scott says she plans to issue a proclamation honoring Green to her family at the next full council meeting.
"I wanted to respect what residents were asking me to do and also acknowledge that Dr. Green did serve on Metro Council, and that is a legacy she leaves behind that should be appreciated in some form or fashion," says Scott. "I explained to them that because those actions were taken before I got there I was simply trying to be responsive to what some folks in the district were asking me to do."
Devin Katayama contributed to this story.