Louisville Metro Council

Politics
5:29 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Sues Mayor Greg Fischer Over Upholstery Program Records

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has filed suit against Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Shanklin, D-2, is seeking public records regarding an upholstery program for ex-offenders that her office funded, which is part of a recent ethics investigation against her.

In September 2012, Shanklin requested records related to Fischer's "involvement in the investigation," and what authority the mayor's office had to close the program.

The councilwoman alleges the mayor is violating the state's open records law and depriving her of evidence needed for her defense in the ethics case.

"Basically we asked for what authority or rule or policy the mayor relied on to terminate the upholstery program," says attorney Aubrey Williams, who is representing Shanklin.

Williams is requesting the ethics commission delay its ruling until this matter is settled.

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Politics
11:30 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Noise and Notes: Council Leaders David James and Ken Fleming on Taxes, City Budget and Guns

Louisville Democrat David James and Republican Ken Fleming don’t always agree as leaders of their respective caucuses, but the two Metro Council members hope city lawmakers tackle a number of issues this year.

Among them is the new spending plan for the city. Mayor Greg Fischer says the local economy is bouncing back from the recession, but Metro Government still faces a $13 million budget shortfall.

Both parties hope the budget process is transparent, and James and Fleming agree that public dollars for city services are running thin and need to be spent wisely.

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Politics
11:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch Opens Satellite Office in Fairdale Neighborhood

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, announced Wednesday she is opening a satellite office in the Fairdale neighborhood to give resident more opportunities to stay in touch with her office.

From Welch's office:

"This office will allow closer contact to constituents and easy accessibility to problem areas in the district," says Welch. "I plan to have this office open on Mondays and Fridays 12 to 5 pm. Come out and see us there!"

The councilwoman will host a grand opening for the new office on January 28 from 2 pm to 5 pm. There will be Metro agencies available for information and light refreshments at this event.

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Local News
10:58 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Former Metro Councilwoman Judy Green Dies

Credit Louisville Metro Council

Former Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, who was ousted from office after allegations that she abused a city jobs program to benefit her family, has died.

Green represented District 1 in western  and southwestern Louisville.  A dentist by trade, Green was first elected to the council in 2006. In 2011, a council court removed Green from office after ruling that she'd mismanaged taxpayer money and committed misconduct.

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Politics
1:36 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

State Law Forces Metro Council to Leave Guns Out of ‘Deadly Weapons’ Ordinance; Nunchucks Included

Nunchucks
Credit Wikipedia Commons/Public domain

The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee will discuss a proposed ordinance this week that would take out guns in the city’s definition of deadly weapons.

The ordinance seeks to change Metro Government's safety codes to include such things as knives, nightsticks, ninja star, nunchuck karate sticks and brass knuckles as violent weapons, but not firearms.

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Politics
6:35 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Metro Council President Jim King Announces Committee Leaders for 2013

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, announced Thursday the chairs and vice chairs of the council's committees for 2013.

Along with the standing committees and two ad hoc panels created last year, King says a new Intergovernmental Committee will be formed. 

Councilman David Yates, D-25, suggested the creation of the new panel, which will work to strengthen the council's relationship and ties with state lawmakers in Frankfort and federal leaders Washington D.C.

"This  will work to build a relationship with our Jefferson County legislative delegation and make recommendations for change to our state governance statutes under (state) law that created merged government," King said in a news release. "I anticipate this committee will also work with the mayor’s office to review other statutes that affect Metro Louisville, such as local option taxes and federal issues as well."

The committee leaders are as follows:

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Two Politically Different Women Join Metro Council

Parker and Fowler
Credit The Parker Campaign/Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Council has the most female members since 2007 with the addition of two new members: Democrat Cindi Fowler and Republican Marilyn Parker.

The freshman lawmakers were sworn-in this week and both hope to add new perspectives for their districts and respective political caucuses.

Fowler and Parker come into council with very different backgrounds.

Fowler is a former legislative aide and replaces her old boss, Bob Henderson, who retired. She is a graduate of Emerge Kentucky, which helps train Democratic women to run for office and won a seat that the GOP had hoped to pick up last fall.

Asked about the biggest difference between her and Henderson, Fowler says her predecessor served his constituents well, but didn't always have an open ear.

"I would say probably I would listen a lot more," she says.

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Politics
11:02 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

King Re-Elected Council President

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a unanimous vote, Louisville Metro Councilman Jim King has been re-elected to a third consecutive term as council president.

The council held its organizational meeting Monday, and elected King to the one-year term. He has been council president since 2011, and also served in the position in 2008.

No other member has been council president as long or as often

Among the accomplishments that King's supporters point to is his leadership in helping the council close a $20 million budget shortfall and overriding a mayoral veto for the first time in council history.

King says the body faces a number of challenges in 2013, and lawmakers need to be united in order to accomplish their goals and remain relevant in city government.

"And don’t we want our council to be respected and seen as relevant? I know one thing. We can’t be relevant if we are divided or if we are seen as parochial. I happen to know that we are much more relevant when we function in a unified way," he says.

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Politics
9:30 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Councilwoman Attica Scott Announces “Bringing Down the House” Campaign

Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a new effort to tackle the city's housing crisis, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is announcing a campaign to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in her district.

Scott joined worked crews from the city's Inspection, Permits and Licenses Department on Thursday morning to launch "Bringing Down the House," which is aimed at razing properties that are not habitable and have become serious neighborhood eyesores.

The effort will cost a little over $1 million, according to Scott. It is being funded with $60,000 in council appropriations, around $420,000 in federal HUD money and $500,000 from a settlement secured by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Scott is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee. She says the demolition process takes a long time, but that the new campaign is worth the cost.

"I wish that we could demolish more of the houses that have been abandoned and vacant, and have just destroyed neighborhoods in our district," says Scott. "These are houses that are far beyond rehabilitation, they're house that neighbors have been crying out to city government for years to demolish. They're a public health nuisance and a public safety issue for neighborhoods."

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Politics
8:02 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer: Local Sales Tax Option Would Give Louisville 'Independence'

Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Addressing the Louisville Metro Council, Mayor Greg Fischer said the city needs additional revenue if it wants to remain competitive and that a local sales tax option would give the city more independence from state government.

The mayor has been pushing lawmakers in Frankfort to allow the city to put temporary sales tax increases up for a public vote. He outlined his plan—dubbed Local Investments For Transformation, or LIFT — for council members Thursday.

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