Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Politics
10:47 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Encourages Citizens to 'Ware' Red Friday

Mayor Fischer is encouraging Cardinal Red Day

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is encouraging citizens and businesses to brandish Cardinal red ahead of the Final Four this weekend.

The mayor declared Friday is Cardinal Red Day to celebrate the University of Louisville men's and women's college basketball teams making it to the Final Four in their respective NCAA tournaments.

The men's team is scheduled to play in Atlanta on Saturday, and the women's team will be in New Orleans on Sunday.

"I want to paint the town red—literally," Fischer said in a news release. "It’s been an amazing, and lately very emotional, season for the Cards—both the men and the women—and we want the whole city to get behind them in their quest for national titles in Atlanta and New Orleans."

Read more
Politics
3:04 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

City Mulls Charging Neighborhood Groups for Night Zoning Hearings

Under a new proposal, Louisville Metro Government would bill neighborhood groups approximately $3,000 to hold zoning hearings in their affected communities.

The Metro Planning Commission often holds special meetings at neighborhood venues in the evenings when residents and developers clash over controversial new projects or developments.

But city officials says rising costs for things such as a court reporter, recording equipment and security are harder to pay for in lean budget times.

"We've gotten to the point where in the past couple of years our budget has gone down quite a bit," says Metro Planning and Design Services Director Phil Bills. "And a lot of places we go to are not convenient for video or audio recording. In our downtown location we have that equipment, but when we go out we have to hire a court reporter and that's up to $1,500 alone."

The idea was discussed briefly at the Metro Planning Commission last Friday, and the proposal has been tabled.

Attorney Stephen Porter represents OPEN Louisville and other preservationist groups in zoning cases. He says neighborhood leaders object to the idea because it burdens residents and favors developers

Read more
Politics
8:30 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Councilman Ken Fleming to Fund Local Option Sales Tax Study

Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, is sponsoring a $25,000 study on the economic impact of raising the state sales tax in the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer has been lobbying residents and state lawmakers to support a local option sales tax to raise revenue for special projects.

The plan would allow local voters to accept or reject raising the sales tax, which proponents say could generate around $90 million annually.

But Fleming says the city hasn’t examined its current tax structure and officials don’t know how an increase would burden residents.

"We really don’t have a benchmark or a good analysis on the taxes and how it affects individuals, and this study I’m anticipating will gives us a clear understanding of the tax implications. It can be used for future analysis or reviews of any type of taxes that might come up," he says.

Read more
Politics
6:10 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Water Pipe Burst Floods Mayor Greg Fischer's Office

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The infrastructure woes for downtown Louisville continued Saturday after a major water pipe burst severely flooded Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Fischer's chief of staff discovered the flooding around 2 p.m and staff rushed to save valuable artwork and historic furniture in Metro Hall.

The pipe burst began on the sixth floor of the building cascading to the fourth and second floors, including Metro TV studios.

According to a mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter, city crews aren’t certain what caused the pipe to burst, but believe it could be connected to the underground electrical explosion that occurred early Saturday morning.

The explosion dislodged manhole covers and shut down a few downtown Louisville blocks. It also caused the evacuation of Metro Police headquarters.

Read more
Politics
4:12 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Comes Out Against 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

After pressure from local gay rights and city lawmakers, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to veto the so-called religious freedom bill.

The bill would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith.

Last week, the mayor and city commissioners of Covington joined the chorus of those against the legislation.

In a letter sent to the governor to Tuesday, Fischer says the measure is "well-intentioned" but raises too many legal questions and isn't needed.

"We are a compassionate city. We don’t need this proposed law, full of ambiguity and question, to prove our religious freedom and protect our citizens from some perceived threat," says Fischer. "We have plenty of laws and a Constitution adopted by our citizens that provide us ample protections—no matter our faith, our profession, or our other rights and traits as human beings."

Read more
Politics
1:18 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Covington Mayor, City Commissioners Ask Gov. Beshear to Block 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

The mayor and city commissioners of Covington, Kentucky are asking Governor Steve Beshear to block the so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill, renewing pressure for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to join the opposition.

In a unanimously approved resolution, the commission says HB 279 presents a risk to Covington’s Human Rights Ordinance, which forbids discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents.

Covington Mayor Sherry Carran has also signed a separate letter urging the governor to veto the measure, saying it is a poor representation of the state.

The bill allows individuals to ignore laws and regulations that violate tenets of their faith, and was overwhelmingly approved by the General Assembly. But in the non-binding measure, Covington officials say the measure could undermine civil rights protections under the "guise of a 'sincerely held religious beliefs'"

Former Covington City Commissioner Shawn Masters says Democrats and Republicans makeup the local assembly, and residents in his city are worried because the law is so broad.

"It says how progressive Covington actually is. That we are very diverse, we welcome all and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. And it just goes to show here in Northern Kentucky and particularly Covington we are about equality for all," says Masters, who currently serves as president of the Northern Kentucky Democratic League.

Read more
Politics
3:14 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Charges Dismissed in Mayor Greg Fischer Election Finance Case

Credit File photo

In the closing decision of the case against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance has dismissed the last of the civil charges filed regarding Fischer's use of campaign funds.

The registry initially found that former Fischer Inaugural Committee Co-Chair Marty Cogan indirectly violated state campaign finance law by soliciting money to fund Fischer's inaugural party under a title for which he was not formally registered.

Despite the finding, KREF officials have dismissed
the charge, following the recommendation of general counsel.

Fischer and his associates were accused of using funds raised expressly for Fischer's inaugural party to pay down outstanding debts incurred during his mayoral campaign.

Under Kentucky campaign laws, funds raised for the purpose of inauguration cannot be used to pay off campaign debt.

"The charges had been brought and they really were without foundation," said Cogan's attorney, Donald Cox. "And if a full investigation had been done initially, the charges never would have been brought. But that's the nature of what goes on in these proceedings. And so we're just happy that we've been completely vindicated."

Read more
Politics
1:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

City Leaders, Boy Scouts of America Unveil New After School Program

The Boy Scouts of America is forming a partnership with Louisville Metro Government for a new after school pilot program to help at-risk youth and teach them needed skills to deal with drugs and violence.

Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials unveiled the NOVA Center on Monday, which will involve the Boy Scouts, Jefferson County Public Schools and Metro Parks in the California neighborhood.

It will take in more than three dozen student from Wheatley Elementary, who will be recommended from the schools' family resource center. NOVA will offer math and science tutoring, as well as life skills and mentoring on how to avoid alcohol, drug abuse and bullying.

Fischer says the task of combating violence starts with the youngest children, but it won’t be successful unless everyone participates.

"And so the Boy Scouts stepping up here should really be applauded. It’s a way they’re going to be directly affecting the lives of these kids one student at a time. And whether you look at 55,000 degrees or 15,000 degrees, people often say ‘how can you get it done?’ And I give them the same answer: you get it done one student at a time. It’s not easy," he says.

Read more
Politics
5:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Amid Financial Woes, Mayor Greg Fischer Appoints City CFO to Arena Authority Board

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed the city's chief financial officer to the Louisville Arena Authority Board amid growing concerns about the financial stability of the KFC Yum Center in downtown.

The mayor named Steve Rowland to the board on Wednesday, giving the CFO a voting position. Fischer believes the CFO will help the arena authority have a broader view of city operations and related financial projections.

"There’s no doubt the KFC Yum Center is a shining star and the envy of other cities," Fischer said in a statement. "At the same time, the city’s financial responsibility to the bondholders is a significant expense in the city budget. Additionally, revenues from the tax-increment financing district supporting the arena have not performed to the original projections."

Read more
Politics
7:30 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Mayor Greg Fischer: Poll Validates Local Option Sales Tax Push

Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

A new Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll shows an overwhelming number of Kentuckians favor a constitutional amendment that would allow city residents to vote on whether to raise the state sales tax.

The survey found 72 percent of voters support the proposal, while 19 percent are opposed and another 9 percent are not sure. But legislative leaders from both parties in Frankfort have spoken out against the measure, preferring tax reform or raising other fees for special projects.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told WFPL the poll shows residents are behind the idea and he will continue to lobby state lawmakers.

"I’ve been talking to legislators in Frankfort along with other mayors and county judges from around the state to show them that there is in fact strong support at the grassroots level and we hope Frankfort will be listening to the people," he says.

Read more

Pages