Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

7:58 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Budget Committee Approves City Spending Plan for Upcoming Fiscal Year

The Louisville Metro Council's Budget Committee passed a spending plan for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year by a unanimous vote.

Mayor Greg Fischer submitted his budget proposal to the council earlier this month, which had been criticized for its lack of funding to external agencies and hammered for cuts to indigent care at University Hospital.

Similar to last year, the council reallocated nearly $3 million in funds and added over $400,000 to non-profit groups for their programing.

City lawmakers were able to come up with those additional funds in part through an agreement with the Parking Authority of River City to make a payment of $300,000 in cash this year with additional payments of $150,000 over the next five fiscal years.

These additional funds were requested by council members who raised questions about a late transfer and payment for the two county parking garages that the city never received. 

The budget also includes money to focus on dealing with the problem of abandoned and vacant properties with close to $40,000 in funds being spent to mow grass at vacant lots throughout the city.

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5:06 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

City Pledges Support to Reopen Old Kentucky Kingdom

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is pledging his support for Kentucky Kingdom days after Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. announced it was pulling out of the project to re-open the old amusement park.

Last Friday, the Koch walked away from its deal with the state fair board despite approval of hefty tax incentives. Bluegrass Boardwwalk CEO Natalie Koch told WFPL that the board voted against the deal because the group’s business model wouldn’t fit well with state regulations and oversight.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, is chairman of the labor and economic development committee. He says council members were surprised to learn the project had failed, but city and state leaders need to move forward.

"There are a number of different amusement park operators out there that I’m sure are wanting to take a look at this opportunity now that it has re-presented itself," he says. "And we’ll go forward from there."

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8:45 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Mayor’s Violence Task Force Holds First Meeting

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Violence Prevention Workgroup is having its first meeting Monday.

The 37-member task force includes business, civic and religious leaders and was formed in response to a brazen shooting in the Parkland neighborhood last month. Among the group’s first goals will be to develop an inventory of youth services and long-term strategies to address escalating crime.

But the group has been criticized for being too large and its lack of women and young adults appointed by the mayor. Others have said the task force isn't moving quickly enough as more heinous shootings have occurred since the initial violence spurred its creation.

University of Louisville Arts & Sciences Dean J. Blaine Hudson is chairing the task force. He says concerns about the group are valid, but those criticisms should not distract from efforts to deter systemic violence.

“You’ll have people who legitimately feel the need to speak out. What they might be able to contribute to the larger process is a whole other question. Some people have a lot to say about immediate issues, less to say about long-term issues,” he says.

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12:42 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Fischer Not Interested in Privatizing Parking

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has resisted offers to privatize the city's parking despite pressure from out-of-town companies.

The mayor is selling two downtown garages for $10.7 million to the Parking Authority of River City to help balance the budget. But PARC is a quasi-government agency that operates several downtown lots and garages for Metro Government.

Council members have questioned why those properties are being sold to a city agency and not put up for competitive bid to potentially gain more for the structures.

Louisville Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland says the city has had several offers to privatize parking since Fischer took office, but the administration isn't interested.

"If we were to sell all our parking garages to the private sector, we would lose control over what the rates would be and we would possibly drive out over time businesses out of the downtown area because parking is a key cost to their employees," he says.

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5:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Ed Hart: Fischer, Beshear Dropped Ball on Kentucky Kingdom

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Louisville businessman Ed Hart is dismayed at the delays in reopening Kentucky Kingdom, and he puts much of the blame on Mayor Greg Fischer and Governor Steve Beshear.

For the past few months, an investment group called Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. has been trying to salvage the former amusement park. But officials confirmed this week that its planned reopening for next year is no longer an option because of serious  disrepair. The group's investors now say the earliest the park can open is 2014.

Two years ago, Six Flags abandoned the site due to bankruptcy and the state fair board spent almost 18 months negotiating with Hart to reopen the park. But those talks failed for reasons that have not been released.

Hart says the mayor and governor need to take a greater role in getting one of the city’s chief tourist attractions running again instead of offering excuses.

"I can't read their minds. The mayor, the governor, his people, legislators—everybody says: ‘absolutely we want Kentucky Kingdom reopened.’ Yet they do nothing about it. It’s the typical, political and bureaucratic words and no deeds,” he says. "The fair board keeps saying that opening Kentucky Kingdom is a number one priority. They said it in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012. Can you imagine how long it would take to open up if it wasn't their number one priority? It's ludicrous."

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1:01 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Louisville Innovative Delivery Team to Tackle Urban Problems

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has put together a special team that will take on five urban challenges.

The projects range from to expanding recycling and reducing the number of low-severity 911 calls to implementing a more efficient rezoning process. Fischer announced a six-member "Innovation Delivery Team" will deal with the five goals, which will be funded by a $4.8 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies that the city received last year.

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2:42 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Fischer Forms Work Group to Address West End Issues

Mayor Greg Fischer has assembled a work group to address violence in west Louisville.

U of L Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson will chair the group, and the rest of the members will be chosen from civic organizations, government, churches and the business community. The group will first take count of all the youth services programs and charities in West Louisville. The next step is to create a crisis response team to help victims of violence.

9:25 pm
Sun April 29, 2012

Fischer's Campaign Twitter Account Hacked

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's campaign Twitter account has been hacked. The page has been inactive since February 2011, but a new profanity-laced message appeared last week. Since taking office, neither Fischer's campaign or administration have used the page and the mayor has used @louisvillemayor to send out instant messages to followers.

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12:28 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

BuzzFeed Highlights Louisville’s Bizarre Breastfeeding Ad

BuzzFeed found the new ad by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's Healthy Hometown Movement to be a bit frightening. From BuzzFeed:

The ad, part of the Louisville mayor's Healthy Hometown initiative, aims to—not scare the living crap out of African-American moms—but to boost breastfeeding among them. If it achieves that goal, I will eat my words (washed down with cow's milk).

Check it out:

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