Louisville Metro Council

10:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Third Democrat Enters Louisville Metro Council District 9 Race

Democratic Council candidate Mollie Younger Noe
Credit www.mollieforlouisville.com

A third Democratic candidate has jumped in the race to replace retiring Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh.

Mollie Young Noe is a real estate broker who lives in the Crescent Hill neighborhood. She also owns a franchise restaurant in the St. Matthews area.

The contest for the District 9 seat has already drawn a competitive field of candidates. Attorney Chris Hartley and gay rights activist Greg Bourke have also filed to run in the Democratic primary.

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7:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Jim King Elected Council President 4th Consecutive Year; Democrats Divided Along Racial Lines

Council President Jim King, D-10, re-elected for a fourth consecutive term
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Council re-elected Democrat Jim King to an unprecedented fourth consecutive term as president on Monday by an unanimous vote.

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.

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1:03 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Barbara Shanklin Verdict Leads to Leadership Struggle Among Louisville Council Democrats

Councilman David James, D-6, and Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, are vying for caucus chair.
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The controversial ethics trial for Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has been over for months, but it's still causing infighting among council Democrats.

City lawmakers are meeting Monday afternoon to appoint leadership positions, including council president, party chair and vice-chair.

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1:11 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Gay Rights Activist Who Sued Boy Scouts Running for Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council candidate Greg Boruke
Credit LinkedIN

A prominent gay rights activist is running for the Louisville Metro Council seat being vacated by Democrat Tina Ward-Pugh.

Greg Bourke is a Humana applications consultant who gained national attention when he petitioned against the Boy Scouts of America after he was kicked out of a local troop for being gay.

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8:40 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Two Louisville Attorneys Seeking Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh’s Seat

Two Louisville attorneys are vying for Democratic Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh’s seat next year.

Ward-Pugh announced earlier this month she won't seek re-election from the 9th District seat she's held since the inaugural council formed in 2002.

The race is expected to draw a crowded field of candidates, but Democrat Christopher Hartley and Republican Laura Rice, both attorneys, are the first to file.

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12:42 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh Won't Seek New Term

Tina Ward-Pugh
Credit twitter.com/No9purpletina

The Louisville Metro Council is losing one of its most outspoken progressive voices. Democrat Tina Ward-Pugh won't seek re-election next year.

Ward-Pugh served on the old city Board of Alderman, and was an inaugural member of the Metro Council since 2002. She represents District 9, which includes the Crescent Hill and Clifton neighborhoods.

While serving on the council, Ward-Pugh sponsored and co-sponsored several proposals for increased ethics and more transparency and accountability in government, including the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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10:41 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Eliminates 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales

Credit Creative Commons

After a long and emotional debate, the Louisville Metro Council moved to outlaw alcohol purchases at retail package stores after 2 a.m. by a 15-7 vote.

The ordinance effectively eliminates special licenses allowing sales up to 4 a.m. except for bars and restaurants in an effort aimed at curbing crime and attracting economic development.

Council members kicked the measure back to committee last month over objections to an exemption that would have still allowed beer to be sold up to 4 a.m.

During the council meeting Thursday evening, the debate centered on whether to exempt businesses such as Thortons gas stations, which sell alcoholic beverages but make most of their money on other items.

A committee amendment proposed allowing retailers where non-alcoholic beverages make up less than 50 percent of their revenue to avoid the ban. But supporters of the ordinance argued that would ultimately dilute the measure.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, who sponsored the measure, says the concentration of liquor and convenience stores in her west Louisville district are the source of blight, crime and deter development.

"I have to leave my neighborhood to get the amenities that you enjoy every day," said Hamilton. "We can't get the businesses to locate in our neighborhoods. So we've been trying to clean up our neighborhoods and revitalize our neighborhoods. We've been investing millions of dollars block-by-block, protest letters and I don't know how much else we have to do."

Opponents of the measure included local liquor store owners and convenience chain representatives who said it was unfair to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. They also say a liquor ban is a scapegoat and won't address the real problems in the West End or other areas.

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2:50 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Addressing Claims of Racial Bias in Shanklin Verdict, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge Says 'Get Over It'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3,
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, is refusing to confirm or deny claims that she voted to retain fellow member Barbara Shanklin solely because she is an African-American woman.

But she says those who disagree with the outcome need to "get over it."

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, blew the whistle on the nearly three and a half hour deliberations.

Downard said Woolridge told lawmakers she would not vote again to remove a black female from office.   

"If I turned to you and I say ‘I will never vote to expel a white man from the Metro Council’ what thoughts did you just have? Anger? Revulsion? That happened in the deliberation room," Downard said. "One of the members of my Metro Council said I will never vote to remove an African-American woman from this council."

Downard later confirmed with WFPL that council member was Woolridge.

Some have pointed to a racial divide regarding the case both in in the community and on the council since the verdict.

It has been noted that all of the black council members voted to keep Shanklin in office despite some lawmakers such as Democrat David James denying race had anything to do with the decision.

Woolridge sidestepped questions about whether her vote was based on race and she refused to address the matter further.

"Dr. Shanklin was exonerated and the council needs to move ahead. Everybody ought to get over it including Kelly Downard and anybody else that has a problem with it," she says. "She got the amount of votes that she needed to remain on the council."

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6:42 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Fischer Administration Official: 'Ban The Box' Would Complicate Metro Louisville's Hiring Process

Credit Shutterstock

Saying Louisville Metro has a policy not to ask about criminal records on job applications, Metro Human Resources Director Kellie Watson warned council members the so-called "ban the box" ordinance could complicate the city's hiring process.

But supporters believe the legislation is still needed in order to give convicted felons a fair chance when seeking employment.

The council's Labor and Economic Development Committee held its first hearing on the measure Thursday to gather more information about the proposal.

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8:45 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Shrinks KFC Yum Center's Taxing District

KFC Yum Center
Credit File photo

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.

Council members hope this change will develop better revenue projections for the arena to help pay down its debt.

Since February, city officials have been discussing new ways to deal with financial woes at the downtown arena.

The TIF district 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.

But the taxing-district has fallen far below its expected projections putting a heavier burden on the city—and Louisville taxpayers—to cover more of the costs.

"Reducing the TIF area allows the TIF revenues to directly reflect the success of the arena and eliminates changes in business activities unrelated to the arena," says Council President Jim King, D-10, who sponsored the bill. "This approach is more realistic and gives the city a better monetary outcome in the future. It also taps into promised state tax revenues."

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