Residents of Louisville Metro Council District 10 — which includes parts of the Highlands, Germantown, Camp Taylor and Buechel — will elect a new council member next week.
And while the two men running for the seat once held by the late council President Jim King don’t stray too far from one other on key issues facing the city, they do differ in experience and approach.
The seat is now filled by Democrat Steve Magre, who was appointed following King’s death in January. Although Magre was chosen by the Metro Council to fill the seat until November’s special election, the Jefferson County Democratic Party had earlier chosen assistant county attorney Pat Mulvihill to actually run for the seat.
While Mulvihill and Republican Bob Redman are each running for office for the first time, they both say it’s something they’ve always considered.
“I’m retired,” Redman explained. “I had a little time, so I thought ‘OK, I’ll give it a try.’”
Redman is a retired Male High School football coach. He led the school to three state championships. Redman said much like working with students, being a councilman is another form of public service.
“I have found this a lot like coaching,” he said. “We meet, and every time the door opens it’s like a new play. Something else is happening, something you have to adjust to and talk about and discuss and defend, or you name it, whatever.”
Mulvihill said his time working in local government — since right before the city/county merger in 2003 — has made him uniquely qualified for local public office. He said this perhaps would be one of the few differences between him and Redman.
“If there is one thing, I think it’s just I would hit the ground running from day one,” Mulvihill said. “There is no learning curve for me.”
Mulvihill said he’s excited about possibly working in government in a different role.
“Having got to sort of help put this government together (during merger), I have now worked in it in so many different capacities,” he said. “I have worked closely with the council, and I got to work with the mayor in his first term.”
Both men have been knocking on thousands of doors in the past several days, introducing themselves to residents. They both say they are happy the race has been cordial thus far.
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One of the issues where voters will find disagreement between the two is over a constitutional amendment to allow Kentuckians to weigh in on a local option sales tax in the state, which would pay for specific local projects. Redman doesn’t like the idea. He said he wants fewer taxes and would prefer any tax increase be offset with a cut.
Mulvihill supports the amendment and would like taxpayers to decide what the projects would be.
“I think it will stand for what it is,” Mulvihill said. “I think it gets too complicated to talk about offsetting it.”
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Both men said they support a measure recently approved by the council aimed at making it easier for local law enforcement to deal with troubled hotels, such as the problematic Economy Inn in Buechel. Both said it was a problem they’ve heard a lot about from residents. Magre has been the leading voice on the matter in the council.
Redman called recent changes to the public nuisance code a “step in the right direction.”
“But you also got to make sure we don’t too far,” Redman warned. “There are a lot of hotels and motels in this area that are going to have an occasional problem here and there. We don’t want to penalize those good businesses.”
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Mulvihill said changes to that code were long overdue.
“The key will be making sure that you have the partnerships with police and code enforcement to carry out and enforce the law,” he said.
Featured image of Bob Redman by J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News.